Saturday, April 19, 2008

Weeknight New Potatoes with a French Twist

I feel like our blog just had a "coming out" party (not that I would know, I'm not THAT Southern!). Ramona, who always has great tips about D.C. Farmers' Markets, introduced us to the Washington D.C. foodie blogosphere at large with a shout-out on I don't know if I'm more surprised by our daily hits quadrupling, or by the number of government employees who use their mid-afternoon breaks to browse food blogs. We got hits from the Senate, NIH, DOJ, USDA... I'm more than moderately amused at how easily distracted folks are on Friday afternoons (including myself, since I was clearly monitoring my blog hits!).

Just to make sure that nobody out there has any misconceptions about us being snazzy or hip or anything, I'm posting on a lazy weeknight meal from a few days ago. Last Sunday, in our excitement over the Dupont Farmers' Market's latest spring arrivals, D and I picked up both new potatoes and spring garlic.

We both really like potatoes, I mean Really. Like. Potatoes. And yet we don't cook them all that often, probably because we avoid side dishes in general. In case you haven't noticed, we tend to cook one-pot meals on weeknights, at most throwing together some rice or pasta to round out a meal. D's not a multi-tasker (it's that linear scientific mind), and my heart sinks whenever multiple pots or skillets or prep bowls get dirtied in an evening (I'm the dishwasher in the family). So we haven't really had a potato fix since leaving behind the heavy winter casseroles and stews.

The recipe is very everyday French, which means it's surprisingly simple and straightforward in both prep and flavor profile, yet the quality is very high. The potatoes were tender, slightly crisp on the outside, and slathered in enough walnut oil to be moist but not oil-y. The taste actually really caught us: I don't know if it was the nutmeg or the walnut oil, but the flavor was more sophisticated that I would have otherwise given skillet potatoes credit for. Unfortunately, I don't know spring garlic well enough to tell how much of a difference it made. On the whole, the dish was simple without being boring -- perfect for a weeknight.

AND it was vegetarian, AND I made a salad to round out the meal. Talk about getting over kitchen phobias.

We'd like to submit this post to Weekend Herb Blogging, which is being hosted this week by Susan over at The Well Seasoned Cook. If you'd like to participate, read the rules for Weekend Herb Blogging, then send your entry to Susan by 3:00 on Sunday, Utah time.

Patricia Wells' Potatoes sautéed with Garlic and Walnut Oil

2 lb small, firm, smooth skinned potatoes (We had picked up some new potatoes at the local farmer's market)
1/4 cup walnut oil (P.W. says that you can substitute Extra Virgin Olive Oil, but you'll be missing out. HER words (paraphrased), not mine!)
Freshly grated nutmeg (indispensable.)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced (we used spring garlic, which we sautéed with the potatoes)
1 handful of parsley, minced
1 handful of chives, minced (didn't have)
  1. Peel (but only if you must) and thinly slice potatoes. Wrap in a thick towel to absorb any liquid.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the potatoes and sauté, shaking the pan from time to time until the potatoes are thoroughly cooked and browned on both sides, about 20 minutes. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste as the potatoes are being tossed.
  3. To serve, sprinkle on the garlic, parsley, and chives, and toss to blend.
Serves 4.


Kate said...

I'm always on the lookout for good potato recipes

Ginny said...

Looking good! Looking at food blogs is the way to go during lunch or any other time your job gets you down! :)

Anonymous said...

These potatoes looks sooo delicious and so colorful! Love it!

Ann said...

Your potatoes look delicious and remind me of a dish I used to make a lot... must go dig out that recipe.

Molly said...

*GASP!!* Spring garlic, ooohhh. I am jealous, and hungry. I have been on the lookout for it at the Dupont Circle farmers market, as well as Eastern Market, and haven't spotted it. I am dying to try it, and garlic scapes as well.

Kalyn said...

Sounds very tasty, and the walnut oil is a great idea.