The best potatoes ever


I know. Quite a claim and I am the potato queen. But these really are the best potatoes I’ve ever made and it’s not my own recipe.

I’m part of the Food52 Cookbook Club and last month we cooked from Shaya, a terrific offering from Alon Shaya, the owner of several restaurants in New Orleans and Denver and a genius at his Israeli-based cuisine. The recipe calls for boiling fingerling potatoes until tender, then mixing them up with schmaltz. That’s chicken fat! I wish I could get schmaltz in my neck of the woods but it is not to be.

So I substituted clarified butter, which has a very high burning point because all the milk solids have been removed leaving pure fat. My two favorite words: pure fat. All you do is melt butter, skim the foam off the top and let the milk solids sink to the bottom. Then pour off the pure fat until you get perilously close to the milk solids and stop.

Preheat the oven to a screaming hot 500 degrees and mix the cooked potatoes with the butter and a generous amount of salt. Put them on a rimmed baking sheet (I like mine with foil for easy clean up) and gently smash them with the bottom of a cup or measuring cup. Make sure there’s room around each potato for maximum crisping action. And roast them for 20-25  minutes.

You will want to take them out of the oven too soon. Step away from the oven. The potatoes should be deeply browned on the bottom and crispy around the edges.

I am telling you, these things are magical. I probably made enough for two meals and two leftover containers and King Daddy and I ate almost all of them right off the pan.

Measurements don’t matter here. Make enough for two or ten. Just have enough clarified butter (or schmaltz if you’re lucky) to generously coat the potatoes.

Are these potatoes something you can eat every day? No. Will you want to eat them every day…for all three meals? Yes. A thousand times yes.

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