Saturday, July 16, 2016

Salt Crusted Potatoes and Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

The Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market will be back at its regular location this Sunday in the Sun Automotive lot on the corner of Agate Street and 19th Avenue. Last week's colorful selection of sweet peppers, tomatoes, and tomatillos from Camas Swale Farm was perfect for a fajita feast.

Also tucked under the table was a lovely selection of freshly harvested potatoes, which inspired me to try this salt crusted potato recipe from food52's Genius Recipes.

These are simmered in a shallow pan with plenty of salt until all the water cooks away, leaving tender, salt-coated tubers that are a tasty alternative to chips for dipping in salsa. 

For these potatoes, I made my favorite roasted tomatillo salsa from Rick Bayless. Meanwhile, my husband seared up some Camas Swale Farm peppers and onions and some marinated skirt steak from Fair Valley Farm for fajitas, and we had veritable feast.

Salt Crusted Potatoes
from José Pizarro’s Spanish Flavors, via food52 Genius Recipes 

2 1/4 pounds evenly sized waxy new potatoes, such as fingerling, scrubbed but unpeeled
2 Tbsp sea salt
1 quart cold water

Put the potatoes into a wide, shallow pan in which they fit in a single layer. Add 2 tablespoons salt and 1 quart cold water (just enough to cover), bring to a boil, and leave to boil rapidly until the water has evaporated. Test one of the largest potatoes with the tip of a paring knife, and if it’s still hard, add a little more water to the pan and cook off. Once the water is evaporated and the potatoes are cooked through, turn the heat to low and continue to cook for a few minutes, gently turning the potatoes over occasionally, until they are dry and the skins are wrinkled and covered in a thin crust of salt.

Pile the hot potatoes onto a plate and serve with the tomatillo salsa, instructing your guests to rub off as much salt from the potatoes as they wish before dipping them in the sauce.

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
8-10 tomatillos
1-2 cloves garlic
1 chipotle chile in adobe sauce 

To roast the tomatillos, you will want to use a cast iron or nonstick skillet, or to avoid a messy cleanup, you can line a regular skillet with foil. Heat the skillet over medium high heat, and place in the unpeeled garlic cloves. Meanwhile, remove the husks from the tomatillos, rinse them, and cut them in half. Turn the garlic cloves and cook until they are charred on both sides. Remove from the pan, and when cooled enough to handle, remove the peels. Place the tomatillo halves into the hot pan, cut side down, and allow to cook until they are well charred and start to soften and collapse, turning more yellow. Flip them over and cook them for a few minutes on the other side. Transfer the charred tomatillos, including all the charred bits from the bottom of the pan, and the garlic, to a blender jar (or a quart sized mason jar on which you can fit the blender blade and base). Add the chipotle pepper in adobe sauce and a generous pinch of salt (you can freeze the remaining chiles from the can on a saran wrap-lined baking sheet, each with a dollop of adobe sauce, and then transfer to a freezer bag when hardened). Blend all the salsa ingredients until smooth. Taste and add more salt if needed. You could mix in chopped cilantro and diced white onions if you like. Serve with the potatoes and use the remaining salas over tacos, with chips, or thinned with stock for an enchilada sauce.

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