Monday, July 20, 2009
Recipe for New Potatoes
New potatoes, although given a special name, are nothing more than young versions of potatoes of any variety. They are picked before reaching full maturity, thus giving them the thin, flaky skin and enhanced taste for which they are known. So what exactly causes these traits? Potatoes that are picked at a younger age have less time to develop a tough skin or process a lot of their sugars into carbohydrates. This leaves you with a delicate layer of skin that never has to be peeled, and a much more heightened, sweeter overall flavor - and for those of you watching your carb intake, less of those too!
While you can easily replace potatoes with new potatoes in any of your recipes, I think it's fun to also explore the more delicate side of the new potato to bring out its unique personality and flavor. The recipe below pairs new potatoes with shallots. Shallots are related to onions and have a reminiscent flavor, but are much more mild and sweet. These qualities will bring out the sweetness of the new potato without overpowering it as a red or white onion might. I have tried this recipe with normal potatoes and onions though, and it is still delicious - so please, use whatever you have on hand, this is a very fun and simple dish to make! Enjoy!
Crunchy New Potatoes with Sautéed Shallots and Fresh Herbs
8-10 new potatoes, scrubbed
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium-sized shallot, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper, to taste
Fresh basil, oregano, thyme (whatever you have on hand) chopped, to taste
Directions: Melt butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Leave smaller (1 – 1 1/2 inches in diameter) potatoes whole, while halving or quartering larger potatoes. Place the potatoes in the saucepan and cover. Cook on medium heat for 15-20 minutes, shaking the pot occasionally to keep the potatoes from sticking to the bottom. Add the sliced shallot, salt, pepper, and chopped fresh herbs. Recover and cook until shallots are translucent and potatoes tender and golden brown, shaking the pot now and then to distribute herbs and thoroughly cook the potatoes.