Thursday, December 6, 2007

Cracked Potatoes

I was skeptical of how this was going to turn out, but everything seemed to work well. You need to smash the potatoes into large chunks, rather than leaving them mostly whole. A medium Yukon Gold broke into 3 or 4 pieces. Smashing them gives it a nice rustic feel that slicing them just wouldn't have. If you have some kind of flavored oil, that would be an excellent addition here.

12 small-medium Yukon potatoes
1/2 cup olive oil
2 sprigs fresh thyme, plus 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
Coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1 clove garlic, sliced

Special Equipment: a rolling pin or heavy pan

Using the rolling pin or a heavy pan, gently smack the potatoes, 1 potato at a time, until the potato breaks into large chunks. You may need to pull some apart, once they have split.

Over low heat, add the olive oil to a medium-sized heavy-bottomed saucepan, then add the potatoes and thyme sprigs and season generously with salt and pepper. Place the lid on the pan and allow to cook, undisturbed, shaking the pan every 5 minutes or so, until the bottoms of the potatoes are browned, about 10 to 12 minutes. (Check occasionally to make sure the potatoes aren't browning too quickly and adjust heat accordingly.) Turn the potatoes to their second side, replace the lid, and continue cooking undisturbed a further 5 to 8 minutes.

Remove the lid and cook a further 2 to 3 minutes, for the condensation to evaporate.

Remove the thyme sprigs and add the sliced garlic and chopped fresh thyme and cook until the garlic is caramelized and chewy, about 2 minutes. Serve hot.

-- Adapted from Amy Finley

No comments: