January 4, 2008

Cracked Potatoes

I saw an episode on French Bistro fare, by Amy Finely on Food TV. Her cracked potatoes recipe seemed interesting, so I gave it a couple of tries. In the first attempt, I used Thyme as she did, but forgot to add garlic. This time around I used Rosemary instead, and upped the quantity of sliced garlic to my taste. In each attempt, I couldn't bring myself to use the 1/2 cup of olive oil that the recipe called for - so I used a couple of tablespoons instead.

In this recipe, potatoes are lightly smacked until they just begin to crack (I used a mortar and pestle). Then, they are cooked over low heat with olive oil and herbs, until the potatoes are crisp on the outside and creamy inside. Garlic and more fresh herbs are added towards the end of cooking, and the garlic is allowed to become lightly brown and chewy.

I used baby red potatoes for quick cooking, Since the skin is not removed during cooking, it's best to go organic. Potatoes are also high on the list of foods the US department of agriculture recommends buying organic.

N (my significant other), loved these. I liked a couple of things about this recipe:
The garlic! - who knew browned garlic could be any good? I thought you were never supposed to brown garlic - but this was seriously delicious.
The herbs: Both thyme and rosemary were so aromatic. The smell of olive oil and herbs cooking in your kitchen is unforgettable, and then, garlic hits the pot...

This is a very simple recipe, so you can really taste the potatoes. I would like my potatoes crispier rather than creamier, so the next time around I would boil or steam the potatoes, almost flatten them to increase the surface area in touch with the pan, and then crisp them up in my cast iron skillet with olive oil, herbs and garlic . The flattening and crisping technique is inspired by fried green plantains (tostones), but is much healthier.

This is my contribution to Sweetnicks ARF/5-A-Day Event.


Laurie Constantino said...

Browned garlic, potatoes, and herbs -- what could be better. A friend of mine makes a similar recipes, and keeps a special rock in her kitchen that is used only for smashing potatoes. They are delicious, and yours look very tasty!

Minti said...

Thanks Laurie. Your comment also helped me discover your blog. Now I can find new ways to use that bottle of pomegranate molasses in my kitchen!

Archana said...

I seem to have fallen in love with your site. Like the way you write them.Thanks for sharing.

Minti said...

Glad you like it Archana. Do keep coming back - I plan on posting lots of recipes from India and lots of vegetarian recipes.

Archana said...

surely will do. I have subscribed by RSS to your site and will know when you post new recipes.

coco said...

Do I smell browned garlic? This recipe is certainly going to be on my to-do. I like the idea of flattening the potato. And if you deep fry them and sprinkle with the Indian masalas, you've got yourself some aloo tuk (a sindhi speciality)! Can try this with arvi (colocasia) too. Yum!

Minti said...

Aloo tuk sounds good. I am still perfecting an Indian version of this (it's getting better)- very similar to the tuk except its pan fried or boiled because I still have a fear of frying.