Thursday, April 30, 2015

¡Papa Oom Wow Wow!

Here're THE RIVINGTONS, for your entertainment:


(Of course, this video and song has absolutely nothing to do with today's dish, other than the word "papa".)

Papitas de Cambray Al Ajo.

This is a simple dish that lifts the humble, dumpy potato to a new level of can't-stop-eating them-garlicky glory.

I first saw the recipe in Mexico— The Beautiful Cookbook; recipes by Susanna Palazuelos and text by Marilyn Tausend. HarperCollins Publishers. (It's one of my favorite Mexican cookbooks.)

There's a recipe, which really isn't necessary. But here's an easy guidance.

Boil a kilo of very small (or not so small new potatoes in well salted water, until tender, about 20-25 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat up to 1/2 cup butter (really, IMO that's too much. A couple of tablespoons will do.)

Add 2 tablespoons of oil. I used olive oil.

Add up to 8 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced. (I had roasted garlic on hand, with very large cloves, so I just squeezed off about 6 cloves from the roasted head. I didn't bother mincing the garlic. It was already buttery soft and luscious. The choice is up to you how you like your garlic. If you hold off putting the minced garlic in the skillet as the papitas finish browning, you have a somewhat more refined dish. If you put whole garlic cloves in at the outset (whether raw or roasted), you get a fascinating caramelization.

 O.k. "BURNT", for which we of lusty primitive tastes crave and fight over.)

Add the potatoes and sauté 8-10 minutes over medium heat.

Salt and pepper to taste, plus the juice of 1 or 2 Mexican limes.

The Palazuelos recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon of Tabasco Sauce! I used instead, about 1/3rd of a seeded chile manzano (Chile perón) in the skillet, and dusted the potatoes with a coarsely ground, medium picante chile seco. Finally, I added a very little Pimentón de La Vera, to give the dish a touch of smokiness.

This is a great dish to accompany grilled meats, but yesterday, it stood on its own as an irresistible appetizer.


Steve Cotton said...

With a bit of bacon, it could be a meal on its own.

jennifer rose said...

And some anchovies, too.

DonCuevas said...

Both bacon AND anchovies, together?
I don't think so.

Besides, it wouldn't be traditional Mexican with either. ;-)
Maybe you should make a Bagna Cauda.