Let me start by saying that I am a huge fan of four cooking sites, www.americastestkitchen.com, www.finecooking.com, www.foodnetwork.com, and my daughter Kelli’s blog, www.cancookwilltravel.com. The first requires a subscription in order to access all of its content, but I find it to be well worth the yearly subscription prices. The others are free, and are wonderful. (There are a number of other online resources that I really like, and I’ll reference them when I highlight recipes from those sites.)
This recipe is one that I saw featured on the weekly PBS show, America’s Test Kitchen. I think the concept behind the cooking technique is very interesting, and I am looking forward to trying it with Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and a few other vegetables. The process used with this recipe involves braising the small red potatoes in water and butter, to which salt, garlic cloves and thyme have been added. Once the potatoes are almost tender, the garlic and thyme is removed, and the water is allowed to boil away until all that is left are the butter solids, which brown and adhere to the cut side of each potato. The finished potatoes are tossed with the garlic cloves, which have been mashed, lemon juice, and chives. Of course, the potatoes are also seasoned to taste with salt and pepper. These potatoes are delicious, and are a nice change from baked, mashed, fried, or parsleyed potatoes.
Here’s my take on the basic recipe, courtesy of America’s Test Kitchen.
Braised Red Potatoes with Lemon & Chives
- 1.5 lb. small red potatoes unpeeled, halved (or enough to fit in your 12-inch skillet)
- 2 cups water
- 3 tbsp butter unsalted
- 3 cloves garlic peeled
- 3 sprigs thyme fresh
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp lemon juice fresh, if possible
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp chives minced, fresh (if using dried chives, use about 2 tsp.)
- Fit potatoes, cut side down, in single layer, in a 12-inch nonstick skillet. Add water, salt, butter, thyme, and garlic to skillet, and bring to a boil over medium high heat.
- Reduce heat to medium, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until potatoes are almost tender.
- At this point, remove garlic to a cutting board, and discard the thyme.
- Place uncovered skillet over medium to medium high heat, and allow the water/butter mixture to boil slowly until the water evaporates and the butter begins to sizzle and brown. Swirl pan frequently, being sure to keep the cut side of the potatoes in contact with the skillet. (This will probably take 15-20 minutes.)
- Meanwhile, after the garlic has cooled a bit, mash the garlic until it forms a paste. (I like to do the same thing that I do with raw garlic. Smash the garlic against a cutting board with the flat side of a chef's knife. Add a sprinkling of kosher salt to help break down the garlic. Once a paste has been created, you're ready to proceed.)
- Mix the garlic paste in a small bowl with lemon juice and pepper.
- Once the water has evaporated from the skillet and the butter has browned, let the potatoes cook a bit longer, until the browned butter bits stick to the cut surfaces of the potatoes.
- Remove from heat, add garlic/lemon juice/pepper mixture and chives, stirring until mixed. Serve immediately.