I was looking to make some side dishes to accompany Sirloin Steaks and of course I had to cook some potatoes. I was contemplating making mashed potatoes, such as Thomas Keller’s Purée of Garlic Potatoes, but I was not in a dairy kind of mood. I decided to try out another Keller potato recipe instead and settled on his Crisped Roasted Marble Potatoes dish.
The original recipe calls for marble potatoes, which are a variety of young, tender potatoes. Young potatoes have thin, wispy skins and a crisp, waxy texture. They tend to be sweeter than their fully grown counterparts because their sugar has not yet fully converted into starch. Marble potatoes are smaller than new potatoes (which I think are the same thing as baby potatoes and mini potatoes), and often come in a variety of colors. I am sure this dish would be beautiful with colorful marble potatoes; however, I couldn’t find any in my grocery store and I assume they are very expensive here in Singapore. I went with some cheap Malaysian-grown mini potatoes and they worked out great.
In his Ad Hoc at Home cookbook, Thomas Keller provides several recipe variations for roasted marble potatoes. The base recipe has these small potatoes tossed with salt, olive oil, garlic and herbs and roasted until they are tender. You can serve the roasted potatoes whole just like that, or you can smash them lightly with a fork and finish them with garlic confit, butter and chives. Or you can crush the roasted potatoes gently and brown them in hot oil like I did. The potatoes were delicious and didn’t feel heavy at all, despite the fact I did fry them a bit at the end. I also loved how the roasted garlic just melted in my mouth! Here is the “crisped” version of this recipe:
Crisped Roasted Mini Potatoes
Yields: 6 servings
- 2 1/4 lb mini or marble potatoes, washed and dried
- 1/4 C canola oil + 1 T canola oil
- 12 unpeeled garlic cloves
- 4 thyme sprigs, plus a few sprigs for garnish
- kosher salt
- 4 T unsalted butter
- fleur de sel
Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
Toss the potatoes with 1/4 C canola oil, unpeeled garlic cloves, thyme, and salt to taste in a large bowl.
Melt 2 T of the butter in a large oven proof frying pan. Spread the potatoes in the pan and transfer to the oven. Roast for 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the potato size, until the potatoes are completely tender when pierced with the tip of a paring knife.
** If you lack a proper sized oven such as myself, obviously you can roast the potatoes in a regular baking pan. I melted the butter separately and greased the bottom of my baking tray.
After the potatoes are cooked, discard the thyme sprigs and allow the potatoes to cool enough to handle. One at a time, place each potato on a board and crush the potato lightly with the heel of your hand or a meat mallet. The sides should split, but try to keep the potato whole.
Heat 1 T canola oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until hot. Add the potatoes and the garlic cloves and sauté, turning to brown both sides. Remove any excess oil in the pan, then swirl in the remaining 2 T of butter to glaze the potatoes.
Serve with garnished thyme sprigs and a sprinkling of fleur de sel. Enjoy!