Tuesday, April 27, 2010

roasted fingerling potatoes with saffron breadcrumbs

i certainly don't need to convince you that roasted potatoes are a fantastic food - crunchy and creamy and all around delicious they don't really need much gussying up. but when you want to get fancy with them what better way than to add some crunchy goodness laced with saffron to the mix? long ago erin and i found mystery saffron in our cabinet and for awhile there i think we saffron-ed just about everything. i mean, free saffron! that's as exciting as finding money in your pocket! sadly i think that was the last time i used the stuff cause those little threads are expensive.* but on sunday i broke down using the "we're making a fun sunday dinner" as the excuse...and i'm glad i did cause the potatoes were awesome and now i get to make other fun saffron things. this recipe comes from the same article as the soft tofu recipe and was equally delicious. i think i maybe went a little light on the saffron ("a pinch" is so imprecise) but they were still great.....we were scooping up the last of the crunchy breadcrumbs.

roasted fingerling potatoes with saffron breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon ghee (or substitute olive oil, unsalted butter, or a combination of the two)
1 pound fingerling potatoes
kosher salt, to taste
fresh black pepper, to taste
half a slice of stale bread or english muffin (makes about 1/2 cup crumbs)
pinch of saffron threads

preheat the oven to 375°. Heat olive oil in a cast iron pan that will hold all the potatoes without excessive crowding. When the oil is very hot, add the potatoes, sprinkle generously with salt and pepper, and cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, until browning barely starts.

meanwhile, make the breadcrumbs. tear up half a slice of stale bread (english muffins work surprisingly well) and place the pieces in a coffee grinder, along with the saffron threads. process until well mixed, shaking the grinder a bit as you go.

add the breadcrumbs to the potatoes, stir well, and cook for about 2 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs begin to brown.

transfer pan to oven, and roast for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. adjust for salt, and serve hot.

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