Patate Alpino

Patate Alpino - roasted creamer potatoes with Italian cheeses and Bresaola

The Little Potato Company provided me with the potatoes used in this recipe. The recipe and all opinions expressed in the post are my own.

I don’t care who knows it. I love potatoes. Roasted, mashed, boiled, smashed, simmered, braised, caked, or scalloped – bring ’em on. So, when I got the opportunity to play around with The Little Potato Company‘s creamer potatoes, I was right on board.

It’s been fun experimenting with these tiny, tender, flavourful potatoes. The recipe I’m sharing with you today was inspired by thoughts of Swiss raclette, but it’s got an Italian twist, since my neighbourhood is famous for its Italian delis and coffee shops.

When I was tracking down ingredients for a dish I made recently with my cooking group, I ended up with quite a lot of Bresaola. Since raclette is often served with air-dried beef and roasted potatoes, it seemed a natural fit for the little red Blushing Belle potatoes I’d been working with. In keeping with the Italian theme, I chose a mix of Asiago and Parmesan cheeses to complete the recipe.

Patate Alpino - roasted creamer potatoes with Italian cheeses and Bresaola

Patate Alpino

Serves 4 as a side; 2 as an appetizer or small plate

12 Little Potato Company Blushing Belle potatoes
1 head of garlic, broken into cloves, unpeeled
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
1 sprig of fresh thyme
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

15 grams of grated Asiago cheese
15 grams of grated Parmesan cheese
10-15 grams (1-2 very thin slices) Bresaola, shredded

Centre a rack in your oven and preheat to 400°F.

Toss the potatoes, garlic, rosemary, and thyme in the oil and then add several grinds of pepper. Salt lightly, or not at all, as Bresaola is quite salty enough. Roast the potatoes for 30 minutes, stirring around the 20 minute mark.

While the potatoes are roasting, grate the cheeses and mix them together. Shred the Bresaola and reserve separately.

When the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, remove them from the oven and preheat the broiler to 500°F. Discard the rosemary and thyme and remove the garlic from the roasting pan.

You have two choices with the garlic. You can keep the cloves warm and serve them with the potatoes, or (my favourite) you can squeeze the cloves out of their skins immediately and spread them on toasted rounds of baguette. (If you have leftovers, add them to your next batch of mashed potatoes.)

Gently crush each potato with a potato masher, taking care to leave them reasonably intact, then give them another grind or two of pepper. Sprinkle each potato with the cheese mixture and then place the potatoes under the broiler until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Carefully move the potatoes to a serving platter, using a metal offset spatula, then top each with a mound of shredded Bresaola.

Patate Alpino - roasted creamer potatoes with Italian cheeses and Bresaola

This dish can serve as a side, but I think it really shines as a snack. With a glass of Italian red wine or a Belgian-style beer, it’s a satisfying way to warm up on a cold winter’s day.

If you’d like to take these potatoes back to the other side of the Alps, substitute Gruyère or Emmental cheese, with viande des Grisons (or Bündnerfleisch) as a topping. In that case, you might want to reach for a French vintage.

I didn’t stop there with my recipe experimentation with my stock of little potatoes. Come back next Thursday and I’ll have one more recipe for you. In the meantime, you can visit The Little Potato Company’s website for more recipes.

FFWD – Bresaola and Walnut Tartine

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Don’t you find this is a bittersweet time of year? The holidays are full of fun, friends, and family, but I also find my thoughts turning to those who are no longer here and the experiences that have passed. On melancholy nights like this one, I want comfort and simplicity from my kitchen.

Thank goodness for simple, delicious dishes like this week’s French Fridays selection. And thank goodness for miscalculating how much bresaola I needed to make it. The indescribably fragrant and delicious squash dish I made for supper ended up gracing the kitchen floor. Thank goodness I’ve had many years to become accustomed to my clumsiness.

The extra bresaola did not go to waste. I munched on tartines and another dish inspired by the Viande des Grisons that was the intended ingredient in this week’s French Fridays foray. If I can keep my clumsiness in check, I’ll tell you about that second meal on Monday.

As for the tartine, I toasted a light rye bread from a bakery down the street, slathered it with butter and covered it with thin slices of bresaola. I massaged, rather than drizzled, a little good olive oil into the dry meat, sliced it into soldiers, and arranged some walnut halves on each. Simple. Really good, too, although in future, I might sneak a thin spread of mustard onto the toast along with the butter.

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I didn’t go hunting for the Viande des Grisons, as my neighbourhood’s Italian roots meant that Bresaola was only a few blocks away. I’m curious to try it some time though, whether in this tartine or in one of the salads or raclettes that Dorie describes in the header note for this week’s recipe.

In the meantime, I’m going to raise my cup of tea to the past and leave the bustle of the holidays until tomorrow.

Find links to the rest of the French Fridays crew’s posts on this week’s recipe here: Tartine de Viande des Grisons.