I moved back to New York a little over a week ago and in that short time have experienced the whip of Mother Nature’s wrath: first, an earthquake, and now a hurricane. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Godzilla and King Kong made cameos next.
Slowly but surely, I’ve been unpacking boxes and, like a bird, have been tucking things away into every nook and cranny I can find in the new apartment. Closet space is, as usual, something that needs to be carefully studied and adroitly negotiated.
The kitchen was the first room I focused on. Eight boxes into the process, most of the cabinets were stocked and I was certain I was done. Unfortunately, ten more lurked among the Kraft-brown pillars in the living room. Things are tidy for the most part, but despite a thorough cleaning on the move-out, I am still finding questionable items. Why does anyone need multiple jars of candy cane sprinkles and cerulean sugar?
Thus far this week I’ve made Nicaraguan carne chorizada for a real taste of home, roast chicken to get back into the routine (I make roast chicken at least once a week), and a red pepper frittata with the smoky garlic potatoes that follow.
This simple recipe is packed with flavor and takes minimal effort. The potatoes are par-cooked in the microwave—no need to boil water, drain, etc.—then sautéed until crisp and golden, like edible copper coins.
Smoked paprika is one of my favorite spices—it’s deep and rich and reminiscent of well-prepared barbecue. If you can’t find it at your supermarket, do look for it at a specialty shop or online; it’s worth the trouble and you’ll find yourself adding it to numerous preparations (and of course, in recipes on this blog). Lots of garlic add punch and heat, and the bits brown nicely into crisp nuggets.
My secret ingredients: mayonnaise and a squeeze of lemon right before serving. A little extra indulgence and zing for what will be a new favorite side dish.
SMOKY GARLIC POTATOES
Equipment: large microwave-safe bowl, plastic wrap, microwave, large standard or nonstick skillet, rubber spatula
Active time: 20 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
Notes: If you can’t find fingerlings, substitute with 1 pound small red bliss or new potatoes. Cut potatoes in quarters lengthwise, then slice thinly crosswise.
1 pound fingerling potatoes, scrubbed well (See Notes)
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons lemon juice
- Slice potatoes crosswise into thin rounds and place in large microwave-safe bowl. Add garlic and 2 tablespoons olive oil and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper and toss once again.
- Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and microwave 2 minutes. Without removing the plastic wrap, toss the potatoes, then microwave 1 additional minute.
- Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add smoked paprika,oregano, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 20 seconds. With a rubber spatula, scrape potatoes and any oil and garlic bits into skillet and cook, tossing or stirring occasionally, until potatoes are crisp and dark golden, 5 to 10 minutes.
- Remove skillet from heat, then add mayonnaise and lemon juice. Serve immediately.
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