I unabashedly love the potato, in all its guises, but I have to admit it’s usually in the background of a meal. Even when the potato is the star of a dish, it’s often another ingredient that steals the show. In gratins and mash, it’s the cream, cheese, butter, or garlic that you really remember. Even French fries are mostly a deep-fried delivery system for cooking oil.
Braising brings to mind slowly cooked meat, fragrant with wine and herbs. What happens though, when the same care is given to the potato? In this week’s French Fridays dish, new potatoes (or fingerlings, or baby potatoes) are simmered with stock, garlic, lemon zest, and herbs. Dorie describes these as “energized” boiled potatoes and I’d describe them as potatoes that easily stand on their own. I’ve made them with chicken stock or vegetable broth and have been equally happy with the results, but it’s important to use fresh herbs. It makes a huge difference. I’ve dressed them lightly with just salt and pepper, sometimes with a bit of butter, or with a squeeze of lemon. They’re perfect for soaking up juices, too, as they did when I served them with steak.
Taking a bit of care with potatoes turns out to take almost as little time as simply boiling them.
You can find many other blogged descriptions of this week’s FFWD recipe here: Broth-Braised Potatoes