The New Baked Potato: Salted Roasties
Friday, September 2, 2011
Trying out easier recipes from famed cookbook Zuni Cafe, I found this delightful recipe using simply potatoes and sea salt. The idea is you bake the small potatoes in a bed of salt. Not only does the salt add amazing flavor, but a wonderful crackly outside and perfectly soft creamy inside. Baked potatoes are so "yesterday." This "new" version (based on times old technique of baking) will for sure become a favorite side dish in your house, as it has in mine.
1 1/2 lb small yellow creamy potatoes, like Finnish or Danish yellows, German butterballs, etc.
about 10 cups of sea salt
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Take the potatoes and wash and scrub them well, then dry them with a towel. Add a good layer of salt to a casserole dish large enough to accomodate your potatoes. Layer in the potatoes in a single layer, trying not to overlap too much. Top with the rest of the salt, leaving a small amount of potato exposed on the top to check for doneness. Place in oven, uncovered, and bake for 40-50 minutes or until very easily pierced with knife or fork.
Let stand 3 minutes in the salt to cool a moment before removing.
The potatoes themselves are salted all around, so no need to offer additonal salt to the potatoes when serving. However, traditional baked potato condiments of good European style butter, rich sour cream, and finely shopped chives are just wonderful with these potatoes. They are addictive as is too.
You can serve these potatoes with any dish, from braised meats to grilled fish. They are fast and delicious.
Yes you have to use sea salt -- kosher won't work here and iodonized table salt definately won't. You need the larger rock crystals of sea salt to achieve the proper cooking. You can reuse the salt after it's cooked to make this dish again or bake other vegetables or even fish in the same fashion.