Friday, October 24, 2008
Not for the faint-of-salt
My box of veggies had a pound of lovely fingerling potatoes last week, perfect for trying a new recipe. I had a few in mind, but decided to see if Alton Brown's Perfect Fingerling Potatoes could live up to their title. Reading closer, I saw that salt crystals were supposed to form as the potatoes were resting on a drying rack. Many reviews concluded that these were too salty, but one reviewer mentioned that they were like potatoes she had eaten in Syracuse. Ooh, this was a recipe for Salt Potatoes, which I'd eaten at a fair in August in Central New York!
Now, if ever a recipe was perfect for our family, this would be it. We tear through salt at record pace, especially my husband. He has clinically low blood pressure, though, so it's OK. A low sodium diet would be possibly the worst culinary sentence that could be passed on our household.
It had never occurred to me to make salt potatoes, just as I'd never make funnel cakes, or deep fried mars bars, or kettle corn, or any other "fair food" I've run across. But fortified by Alton Brown's claim of potato superiority, I dove right in.
-This recipe is simple, a ton o' salt, some water, and potatoes. I halved everything for 1 pound of potatoes.
- I cut my potatoes because they were not "small" fingerlings
- I used some "ice cream rock salt" that I'd bought for my previous ice cream maker, of recent memory (before I realized that it was dearly departed).
- While the potatoes were simmering away, a salt crust kept forming on the sides of the pan. I brushed it down with a damp pastry brush, but this was largely for my own amusement. Don't worry about the quantity of salt on the sides; there will be plenty for the potatoes.
- Salt crystals did form as these potatoes sat on the rack. You can probably see them if you click on the photo below, and the top photo.
I served the fingerlings drizzled with a melted butter/cracked pepper mixture.
These potatoes were really salty. Duh. They were tasty, and brought back memories of sitting in the food tent in Bouckville. I think these might have been even saltier than those, and they had a nice crispy crust that the ones in New York had lost by swimming for a few hours in a lake of butter.
Besides our family, however, I don't know anyone else who loves salt enough to serve them these potatoes. Unless I run across some folk from Central New York who are homesick! These would be best eaten at lunchtime, because you will be thirsty for hours afterwards. I'd might try cutting the salt quantity by a quarter to a third next time.
I'm not sure I'd call these fingerlings "perfect" as Alton does, but we did really enjoy them.