December 10, 2010

Sautéed Potatoes: Weakness on a Plate

Yes, I'm going through a chip phase. Don't worry, I'm also going through an exercise phase to balance it out.

Anyway. I had a fair amount of baby Yukon Gold potatoes on hand last night that were leftover from a fantastic potato salad (served warm, with tons of fresh herbs and zero mayonnaise) I made earlier this week. Glaring at them and trying to decide how I could use them up as quickly as possible (I rarely buy or eat potatoes because they are my single biggest weakness), I flashed back to my first (magical) couple of meals at Les Philosophes and decided to try reproducing their pommes de terre sautées, which translates to sautéed apples of the earth but really means sautéed potatoes. Those French with their crazy sayings.

The. Result. Was. Really. Really. Really. Good. Staggeringly good, even. And exactly what my hips don't need.

Sautéed Potatoes

  • 6-8 baby Yukon Gold potatoes (or 1-2 regular-sized ones), washed and sliced thin
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-3 sheets paper towel on a clean plate for drying
1. Preheat olive oil over not quite-high heat (on an 1-10 electric range, I used an 8) in a medium skillet while you slice your potatoes. A mandolin would work great here, but it's such a low volume of potatoes that slicing them by hand is probably more efficient.

2. Sprinkle the potatoes with paprika, salt, and pepper. Toss them a bit with your hands to ensure that they're evenly coated.

3. Arrange potatoes in skillet so that they all lie flat, and cook for 2-3 minutes each side (or until lightly browned all over), using a fork to flip them. Depending on the size of your skillet, you may need to do this in batches.

4. Remove the potatoes to your paper towel-covered plate, and blot them a bit to remove any excess oil.

5. Sprinkle with salt and a bit more paprika, and serve as soon as possible with ketchup, aioli, mustard, or whatever condiment you prefer. They're just as delicious plain, too!

These weren't a perfect reproduction of the sautéed potatoes at Les Philosophes, because I think I sliced them too thin, thus skipping the sautéed potato stage and going almost all the way to the chip stage. But they were completely delicious, and they brought me back to the homemade potato chips served at Steve's Greek, another favorite restaurant of mine in Boston. Yum!

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