Tuesday, November 3, 2009

International Potato Week 2009: Tuesday

This next potato recipe comes from Jose Andres, owner of Jaleo and a few other DC-area restaurants and boisterous personality behind the PBS cooking show, Made in Spain. I always order the papas arrugas -- baby fingerling potatoes with a to-die-for cilantro and cumin mojo verde -- so I was delighted to catch the Made in Spain episode where he shows you how to make them at home. They're easy, cheap, and positively divine, or "astonishing!" as Jose would say. I do not have exact directions for the original recipe so the following is my own interpretation, and it has served me well. Also, you should definitely watch Made In Spain, even if you don't like to cook. You will find yourself talking like Jose and dreaming of Iberia.

Recipe: Papas Arrugas
Adapted from Jose Andres. Makes 4 side dish servings.

The sauce alone is a keeper. You can serve it with anything -- chicken, fish, other veg, bread. I eat it with a spoon. My stomach growls at the very thought. Baby fingerling potatoes are hard to find, but you can use any fingerling or even boiling potatoes. Right now Trader Joe's has bags of these cute little mini boiling potatoes, which I have been using.

Don't be afraid of the amount of salt you are using; it's more a part of the cooking process than the actual flavor. The salt is used to make the skin cute and crinkly -- apparently how they do it in the Canary Islands, where this dish originates.

2 lbs. fingerling or boiling potatoes
kosher or sea salt, lots of it
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 bunch of cilantro, well-washed, including stems
1 t ground cumin
1 t pimenton (smoked paprika)
1/2 C olive oil
1 T sherry vinegar (optional -- but Jose adds this to everything)
salt and pepper to taste

Special equipment: mortar and pestle or food processor

Add the potatoes to a large pot, and add enough water to the pot to just barely cover them. Add about a quarter cup of salt, and cook on medium-high heat for 25 minutes, or until most of the water is evaporated and the potatoes are soft. Drain in a colander and set aside. If the potatoes have too salty a coating for your taste, you can wipe them off with a paper towel.

While the potatoes are cooking, make the sauce: with a mortar and pestle or the food processor, grind together the garlic, cilantro, cumin, and pimenton. Slowly add the olive oil, grinding all the while, till everything is fully incorporated. Add the vinegar if you're using it and salt and pepper to your taste, and serve with the potatoes.


Mike said...

The potatoes are positively impregnated with flavor!

Danny said...

WoW! Berry yoonique dish! Berry especial!

HungryGrad said...


Anonymous said...

Where does one get pimenton in the DC area?

DEO said...

You can definitely find pimenton (often labeled "smoked paprika") at Penzey's, which has locations in Rockville and Falls Church, or you can order from latienda.com, spicehunters.com, and a bunch of other online stores. Also, you might want to try Shopper's Food Warehouse -- I've found a lot of good surprises there (at least at the Rockville location, which has a great ethnic foods aisle).