making food from anywhere, with anything

basic potatoes

Hello all.

Last Friday at the grocery store, I found some purple potatoes.

I’ve cooked with these potatoes before, and I think they’re quite tasty.  Not as starchy as the typical red or russet potatoes, but nevertheless delicious.  And hey, who doesn’t love aesthetically pleasing, genetically engineered food (why, I do! I do!)?

One thing I noticed when I oven-roasted them was that they tended to cook considerably faster than other potatoes.  Whether this is due to their darker color or their apparent lack of starch I’ll never know, but they came out unappetizingly dry the first time I worked with them.

With that lesson learned, I decided to take a different approach.  The oven I’m working with in this apartment never keeps a consistent temperature.  I sauteed, then steamed them.  They came out melt-in-your-mouth tender, flavorful, and fragrant.

If you want to get creative with your food and are never daring enough to try different combinations, try experimenting with potatoes.  They take on generally any flavor you give them, so go all out!  Throw in some rosemary and thyme!  Hell, make them spicy and add red pepper flakes or paprika with some basil for an interesting combination.  And that’s just herbage!  Think of the possibilities…..It’s easy, it’s fun, and messing up is just a part of the process.

Here is my recipe for a side dish, cooking for 1 person (depending on how much you eat, you may have some leftovers):


approximately 6-8 small purple potatoes, halved

2 cloves garlic, minced

approximately 3 TBSP of extra virgin olive oil, plus 1 TBSP

about 2-3 tsp* of any of the following: basil, rosemary, thyme, dill, oregano, parsley

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup of water

*I tend to eyeball my herbage.  If I like the herb a lot, and want it to stand out, I may put more than 2tsp.  It is your call, I trust you.


Cut your potatoes, chop your herbs.

Heat the oil in a large skillet (preferably one with sides) on medium heat.  Once the oil is hot enough (if it’s fragrant, you’re good to go), dump the potatoes in and toss them around in the oil.  Try to get them coated nicely.  Sprinkle them with some salt and pepper (be generous about it).  Toss again to get them coated evenly in the salt and pepper.  Toss until they start to get a golden color.

Now, you’re adding water to hot oil and we all know how that works (right?!?!?!).  SLOWLY add the water to the potatoes and cover.  Let them cook like this for about 7 minutes.  No taking the lid off.

(Side note: You’re not adding a lot of water to the skillet, so it’s going to boil and evaporate pretty quickly.  If at the end of the 7 minutes your potatoes aren’t quite fork-tender, then add a little more water and cook for a little longer.)

While that is happening, heat some oil (1 TBSP) in a smaller skillet.  Sautee your garlic and herbs, stirring constantly.  You just want to get a nice flavor out of them, not make them crispy bits of black stuff.

Once the potatoes are done, add your herb and garlic mix to them, toss, and there you have it.  If you want to get fancy, add a garnish of some sort (like basil or parsley).  Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil.

I hope this recipe works out for you!  If you have any suggestions, or if you made some cool alterations, let me know!

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