Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Rosemary Garlic Sautéed Potatoes – pretty close to perfect

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As an Irishwoman, I am genetically predisposed to adore potatoes. Mashed... baked... fried... chipped... roast... steamed... you name it, I’m there, knife and fork - or just plain fingers - at the ready.
It is very hard to pick a favourite. A strong contender - and a simple classic dish that I’ve rustled up since childhood - is sautéed potatoes. Excellent with roast or grilled meats, with a delicious golden crust, and laced with garlic and rosemary, I think this version is pretty close to perfect (and if onions make you cry, read the simple tips at the end of the recipe).

As a side for 2 greedy people, or 3 – 4 more restrained appetites you will need:
500g floury potatoes such as Rooster, peeled and cut into bite-sized cubes (of about 1.5cm)

25g butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, halved from top to bottom, then sliced thinly into half moons
1 teaspoon of very finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 clove of garlic, very finely chopped

50g butter
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt (I prefer Maldon for this dish)
1.                 Place the potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil then simmer gently for 10 minutes. Carefully drain off the water and set the potatoes aside for a couple of minutes to allow the steam to evaporate. You want the potatoes to be as dry as possible. They will still be a little firm but that’s perfect. You don’t want them to break up when you start to fry them.
2.                 While you are waiting for the potatoes to cook, place 25g of butter together with 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the sliced onion. Lower the heat and cook gently until the onion starts to turn golden (about 7 minutes). Add the rosemary and garlic and cook for a further minute. Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl.
3.                 Wipe out the frying pan with kitchen paper before adding the remaining butter and olive oil. Place over a medium-high heat and when the butter has melted and stopped sizzling, add the potatoes cubes. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the sides of the cubes touching the pan have started to turn golden. Gently turn the potato cubes and continue cooking until gloriously golden all over.
4.                 Scatter the cooked onion mixture over the potatoes, sprinkle with a little sea salt and continue cooking for a minute or two to heat through. Serve as soon as you possibly can, although this dish will relax happily in a warm oven for 20 minutes if necessary.

Note: If preparing onions makes you cry, read on for some simple tips to avoid weeping into your sautéed potatoes...
When you cut into an onion, it releases a volatile compound that irritates nose and eyes. Use a sharp knife to avoid excessively crushing the onion cells, releasing less of the compound in the first place. Breathe through your mouth to avoid the onion vapours going up your nose and lean slightly away from the onion so that the vapours don’t rise into your eyes.
Or wear some stylish goggles like my lovely assistant, Naomi...
(Photo by Veronica Casey)
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