Sunday, August 7, 2011

Nigella-Inspired Boozy New Potatoes

I'm currently in the midst of a passionate love affair with new potatoes; they're so tiny, so versatile, so delicious, and - let's face it - so damned cute. One recent, steamy evening, the only thing that sounded good was salad, but it needed to be substantial enough to count as dinner; enter the wee, adorable, darling new potato.

My affection for the über-posh, bawdy, and unapologetically buxom Nigella Lawson is well-documented, and I remembered seeing some "boozy potatoes" on her blog. This seemed the most felicitous word pairing that might be wished, and a quick Google search led me to the recipe, which I altered to suit personal taste and the contents of our larder. The results were so good that I can easily see this becoming a go-to preparation; along with some falafel, shaved carrot, plum tomatoes, and a simple tahini dressing, these little beauties turned a simple plate of greens into a Proper Dinner.

Of course, the primary virtue of a method like this one is that the sky is pretty much the limit; you could change up the spices, omit the lemon juice and/or mustard for less tanginess, add chopped onions or scallions, and really do whatever suits your potato-based fancy. That said, I do suggest you make them (at least) once as written; you won't be sorry!

Nigella-Inspired Boozy New Potatoes
~ 2 lbs. tiny new or fingerling potatoes
~ 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
~ 1 tbsp. minced garlic
~ 2 tsp. prepared mustard
~ Juice of one lemon
~ 3/4 cup white wine
~ 1/2 tsp. each: salt, chili powder, marjoram
~ A few grinds of fresh black pepper

~ Preheat the oven to 425 degrees fahrenheit, and coat a baking dish with cooking spray.
~ Wash the potatoes, and halve some (if not all, depending on their size). Add to the baking dish in a single layer.
~ Mix together the remaining ingredients, and pour over the potatoes. Combine to make sure they are all thoroughly coated (I like to do this with my hands; it's not only fun, but moisturizing!).
~ Cover the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil, and bake in the center of the oven for about 35-40 minutes.
~ Remove the foil, stir the potatoes, and continue baking another 15-20 minutes, until they are golden brown and glazed with the (by now somewhat reduced) liquid.
~ Serve hot or at room temperature, as a side dish, or for a perfect hot weather dinner, atop a beautiful salad with some added beans, falafel, or baked tofu/tempeh for protein.

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