Thursday, September 24, 2009

Glorified Home Fries

Great. You're here. Presumably, you're interested in how my diced potatoes sauteed with persillade turned out.

"What's persillade?" you ask, just as my mother did last night when I told her what I was making.

"Oh, that's just a fancy way of saying garlic and parsley," I told her.

"Listen to you!" Avo exclaimed, grabbing the phone from me.

"Can you believe your daughter? Suddenly, she's using terms like 'persillade!' I bet you never thought this day would come, right?"

"Tell her she's got to start thinking about preparing a meal for me and Bernie when we're in town in a couple of weeks," said my mom.

"Can't we just go out to dinner?" I asked.

"No way! You're the one who is showing off with your persillade..." Avo said.

Speaking of persillade, here is how you make it:

Combine two finely minced garlic cloves (I like to use even more) with chopped parsley. Congratulations! You've made yourself some persillade.

This recipe (which I got from my crash course in cooking at Peter Kump, now the Institute for Culinary Education) is deceptively easy. Don't be fooled.

Diced potatoes sauteed with persillade

6 cups (3 pounds) all purpose potatoes
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/4 cup minced parsley
3 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Fill a large saucepan with cold water. Trim the potatoes into rectangular blocks. Cut each into 1/4-inch slices. Stack 2 or more slices together and cut into 1/4-inch strips. Cut these into 1/4 inch dice and place in the saucepan until ready to cook (it will feel like forever!)

2. Bring the water to a rolling boil (which will also seem to take forever). Remove from heat immediately and drain the potatoes. Do not rinse. Allow the potatoes to air dry (which will take forever).

3. Prepare the persillade by the above method.

4. If the potatoes aren't thoroughly dry, blot them with paper towels (as Avo says "the more you dry, the less you fry").

5. In a skillet large enough to hold the potatoes in a single layer, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the potatoes, making certain not to crowd the pan, and saute, tossing occasionally, until the potatoes brown lightly, 6 to 8 minutes (a likely story! more like a half an hour!).

6. Pour off excess oil. Add the butter and continue sauteeing to brown and crisp the potatoes completely, about 5 minutes.

7. Just before serving, toss the potatoes with the persillade and saute to reheat, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

I got antsy standing in front of the stove moving the potatoes around the pan and asked Avo to "potato sit" while I ran to the corner store for a beer and chocolate run (beer for him; chocolate for me).

I followed all of the directions, but this recipe took me a couple of hours to cook (no kidding). By the time I finished, I had pretty much lost my appetite (after standing over a hot stove!)

Two hours to make and about two minutes to eat.

Avo made this dish before and it was delicious, but my version tasted like glorified home fries.

My big mistake, I think, was not fully drying the potatoes so they never really became crispy. Also, as Avo pointed out, I should have used a slotted spatula rather than a plastic spoon (so that I wouldn't mush the potatoes and create lots of fried bits in the pan). More garlic and parsley would have helped too.

Apparently, Avo also used curly rather than flat leafed parsley. To be honest, I didn't know there was more than one type of parsley.

After we're finished eating, I look down at my shirt -- it's splattered with grease. (NOTE: That is not me in the photo).

"Guess I should have worn my apron," I tell Avo.

"Oh well. There's always next time."

1 comment:

Susan Blumberg-Kason said...

These home fries sound wonderful! Potato dishes are always a big hit in my family. And it'll be nice to have something homemade for a change.