The little baby potatoes I find at the farmers market are perfectly delicious, lovingly grown by local farmers. I frequently buy them when I am at the market planning a meal – great pastured steaks or burgers or freshly made sausages, whatever gorgeous vegetables are in season (asparagus, radishes, beautiful lettuces at this time of year) and some great fruit (strawberries now). Them some of those lovely potatoes to round it out. And I’ll be honest, in the end I tend to just roast them with a little olive oil and salt and pepper after I’ve spent more time preparing the other dishes. It’s delicious, but a bit of a shame to make these little gems an afterthought. They deserve attention and a starring role.
Around here, most of the farmers market potatoes are golf ball sized yellow varieties, which are perfect for this. Brown them crisp in a hot skillet and then braise them in an incredibly flavorful buttery, creamy sauce. Get the olive oil very hot the add the potatoes cut side down. Don’t crowd the pan so do it in batches if needed. The potatoes will stick to the pan at first, but when they are nicely browned, they will easily release to be turned over with tongs. The potatoes can take a lot of garlic, but I suppose you could cut it back. Thyme and bay are the prefect accompaniments, and a little spritz of lemon brightens it all up.
Baby Potatoes in Garlic and Thyme Cream
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds small yellow potatoes, halved (or quartered to make evenly sized pieces)
4 Tablespoons butter
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/3 cup chicken broth
6 Tablespoons heavy cream
6 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
Half of a lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
- Pour the olive oil in a large, deep heavy skillet and heat over high heat. Cook the potatoes, cut side down first, until browned all over, flipping when the potatoes easily release from the bottom of the pan. Transfer browned potatoes to a plate. Do not crowd the pan, if needed cook in batches, adding a bit more oil if necessary. Add the butter to the pan and let it melt, then add the garlic and cook for one minute, stirring. Pour in the chicken broth and heavy cream and return the potatoes to the pan. Tuck the thyme sprigs and bay leaves into the potatoes. Bring the liquid to a bubble, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the potatoes are cooked through and the liquid has reduced to a light sauce coating the potatoes. Remove the thyme stems and bay leaves. Spritz over some lemon juice and season well with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
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