Simply Seasonal: Splurge on Fingerling Potatoes
special to the daily
If you can handle the price point, treat yourself to some fingerling potatoes. Though dramatically more expensive than russets, red bliss, Yukon gold or other potato varieties, the flavor is sublime. Buttery, rich, almost nutty, they can be cooked using your favorite method -roasted, boiled, grilled or baked. The thin skins are tender and tasty, so don’t bother peeling.
Their petite size makes serving whole fingerlings a pretty presentation for special dinners. At full maturity, these tubers are smaller than conventional potatoes, slightly elongated and somewhat knobby…. Hence their name. There are at least ten different varieties of fingerlings covering a range of colors including white, yellow, red, and purple. Often you can find a variety bag at the grocery and splurge on this!
“Try ‘smashing’ fingerlings as a simple and tasty preparation,” said Jeremy Kittelson, executive chef of Restaurant Avondale. “Boil them in their skins till tender and allow to cool. Gently smash with your hand or a spatula, then saute in butter. They are rustic and full of flavor.”
Full of nutrients, too. Fingerling potatoes are rich in Vitamin C, fiber and potassium. And calories counters can enjoy the full potato flavor without much guilt.
Larkspur’s executive chef, Armando Navarro suggests a great ‘one-pot’ meal. “Start a roast beef, chicken, or pork in the oven and as it cooks, it will release its juices into the pan. Add the fingerlings about 25 minutes before you expect the roast to be finished and toss with the pan juices. It will all be ready at the same time.”
Sue Barham is the marketing director for Larkspur Restaurant and Restaurant Avondale. Larkspur, (larkspurvail.com)
at the base of Vail Mountain, has been
serving American Classics with a fresh interpretation since 1999. Avondale, (avondalerestaurant.com) opened in
September 2008 in the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa and features a West Coast inspired, market driven menu.
1 small chicken
1 Tablespoon each fresh*, chopped herbs:
Parsley, basil, tarragon, chives, oregano, thyme, marjoram, sage, rosemary, mint
*if using dried herbs, use half this quantity
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 pound fingerling potatoes, whole
Combine all ingredients, except chicken, in a large bowl. Add chicken and toss in marinade to coat well with all the fresh herbs. Gently lift skin on breast to let marinade closer to the meat. Allow to marinate in refrigerator at least 2 hours. Preheat oven to 425°. Move chicken to a roasting pan, breast side up and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375° and continue to roast one hour. Add fingerlings to the pan and toss with pan drippings. Roast about 30 more minutes until chicken reaches 180° with thermometer inserted into thigh. Serve chicken with potatoes and pan juices. Serves 4.
Warm Fingerling Potato Salad
1 pound unpeeled, assorted color fingerling potatoes, scrubbed and sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 cup sugar snap peas
4 radishes, scrubbed and thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons diced red onion
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Steam potatoes for 8 – 9 minutes. Add peas and steam for 1 – 2 minutes more. Transfer potatoes and peas to large bowl and allow to cool for about 5 minutes. In another bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients. Add the sliced radishes and diced red onion to the peas and potatoes. Pour dressing over the vegetables and gently toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 4.
Twice Baked Potato Appetizers
1 pound fingerling potatoes
2 ounces pancetta or bacon cut into small pieces
1 ounce Asiago cheese grated or Parmesan
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 to 2 teaspoons of chopped chives or parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste
Bake potatoes at 350° till fork tender, about 30 minutes. Cook the pancetta or bacon until it is crispy and drain on paper towels. Remove potatoes from the oven let them cool briefly before slicing them in half lengthwise. Use a teaspoon to scoop out the centers leaving a solid shell.
Mash the scooped out potatoes with all but 2 Tablespoons cheese. Heat the heavy cream to almost a scald and then add the salt and pepper, pancetta or bacon, chopped chives and mix till just combined
Fill the potato shells with the mixture – the amount depends on the size of the potatoes. Top the stuffed potatoes with the remaining two tablespoons of cheese. Put the potatoes on a baking tray next to each other and bake about 15 minutes until the top is slightly brown and the cheese is melted.
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