Saturday, May 3, 2008

Spiced Chili Potatoes

My next challenge dish comes from Everyday Asian by Patricia Yeo and Tom Steele. I had a really hard time figuring out what to make from this book, not because there was too much to choose from, but because there was too little. Since the book is called Everyday Asian, I was expecting Asian recipes. You would too, right?

Braised Lamb Shanks - it's got porcini mushrooms, carrot, celery, tomatoes, red wine, thyme and white beans. That doesn't seen "Asian" to me. Neither does the Poached Prawn and Tomato Confit Stack, with tomatoes, garlic, red pepper flakes, shrimp and salsa verde. Umm...yeah...not Asian. And I can't even imagine how the Smoky Tomato Polenta snuck into this book.

Other recipes looked good, but I have yet been able to procure fermented black beans or kecap manis, and Hubby won't eat anything that's come into contact with garam masala.

I finally settled on Spiced Chili Potatoes, thick-sliced Yukon and russet, dumped on top of popped mustard seeds, caramelized onions, chilis, and a little curry powder, then baked until tender.

And you know what? They were good! Hubby ate most of them, and was unable to stop complimenting my genius (I tried to explain that it was a recipe from a cookbook, but I'm not sure it registered in his brain). I had no idea that mustard seeds got soft when you cooked them. But after toasting for 3 minutes, sautéeing with the onions for 10-15 minutes, and baking for 20'd be soft too.

And so, I encourage you to make these:

1 Yukon gold potato, cut in 1/2" slices
1 russet potato, cut in 1/2" slices
1/2 onion, cut in 1/4" slices
1 t yellow mustard seeds
1 t brown mustard seeds
1/4 t curry powder
2 small dried chilies, like de arbol or Thai bird
2 T vegetable / canola oil
1/4 c water or broth
1 T butter, cut in small pieces

Preheat the oven to 375.

Heat a skillet (preferably cast iron, but mine is currently being treated for severe rusting) over high heat. Toast the mustard seeds, chilies and curry powder, stirring, about 2-3 minutes, until the mustard seeds start to pop.

Add the onion and oil, and cook, stirring, until the onions are dark brown. Salt and pepper the potato slices, and add them to the skillet along with the water/broth. Distribute the butter bits over the potatoes. Bake for 20-ish minutes (until tender), flipping half way through cooking.

Serve topped with yogurt and cilantro, if desired. (I didn't, but I'm sure it would be a welcome addition.)


Kitt said...

Yum! How strange to have salsa and polenta in an Asian cookbook. I just looked at the Powell's reciew and it says the same thing: ""The only complaint one could credibly lodge against this slender cookbook is that, despite the title, many of the recipes seem less Asian and more pan-global: a little Italian here, some convincing Southern there."

Vicki said...

How about "Green Chili Spoon Bread"? Bread stuff, corn, green chilies, and parmesan!

I'm still going to keep the book, because the recipes look tasty, Asian or not.