More frequently than I wish, something absolutely delicious that I want to share with you simply doesn’t photograph as appetizingly as I would hope. Sometimes, I have to make a judgment as to whether the photograph is just going make everyone want to turn the page. But then there are dishes like this one; such a flavor hit that I don’t want you to miss it, even if it isn’t the most photogenic.
The recipe for Golden Potatoes with Caper Brown-Butter Crumbs comes straight last April’s Gourmet. And in this month’s Cook’s Illustrated there’s an article touting “Crispiest Roast Potatoes” is onto one of the reasons these potatoes are so very good. The secret is in two things: Slicing the potato into disks as opposed to chunks and parcooking them briefly before putting them in the oven. The result is a potato that’s both crisp and creamy at the same time. And the caper brown-butter crumbs, an absolute cinch to make, is a savory delight with the crunch of the potatoes.
1 ½ lbs. Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled, then sliced into ¼ inch thick disks.
½ stick unsalted Butter
¼ cup, capers, chopped. (I prefer capers in salt to those in brine).
1 cup of coarse, fresh breadcrumbs from a baguette.
1. Put a 4 sided sheet pan in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees.
2. Cover potatoes with 2 inches of water in a 5 to 6 quart pot and add 1 tbsp of salt. Simmer potatoes until almost tender for about ten minutes. Don’t overdo it or potatoes will fall apart. Drain potatoes well.
3. While potatoes simmer, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium low heat, swirling the pan occasionally until the butter is browned and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the capers.
4. Toss the potatoes with ½ the caper butter, then spread them out on the hot sheet pan. Stir the remaining caper butter into the bread crumbs and scatter them over the potatoes. Roast, turning the mixture over once or twice until the potatoes are tender and crumbs are golden, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and serve.
3 thoughts on “Golden Potatoes with Caper Brown-Butter Crumbs”
Sounds delicious but to clarify is a disk the same thing as a slice?
Yes a disk is the same thing as a slice. For some reason, I thought it made more sense than to call them that. But the real deal is not to use chunks or large dice but rather the slices you see in the photo.
Just a brief comment about roast potatoes. You are probably luckier than us, as you can get Idahos and their relatives, which give a wonderful floury inside. British potatoes tend to be wet and yucky, whereas in Austria, we have beautiful spuds on holiday, especially the waxy ones, which are almost unobtainable here.
Back to roasting:
Quite right to parboil the spuds until nearly cooked.
But the real trick is to let them steam a few moments once drained, and then to shake the pan with the lid on. This provides a floury outer "crust", that makes all the difference when you come to slam them in the oven.
We always do our roasties that way.
The best for a roasted joint are cooked in the oven in quite a depth of vegetable oil, preferably in a heavy iron dish, such as Le Creuset, turned a couple of times during the roasting process, so the tops crackle while the bottoms get that floury yet crispy french fry texture.
Try it. You need nerves of steel to shake the pan as, if they are overcooked or you are having an orgasm at the time, you will end up with thump (mashed spuds).
Best for the New Year.