Crispy Exteriors Elevated to a Whole New Level

OMG, these spuds are unbelievable! So lusciously crispy on the outside and sooo creamy on the inside. Thanks Fine Cooking for introducing chef Luke Thomas and his grandma’s potatoes to us.

“My Nan always made the crispiest potatoes. She’d add a little bacon or beef drippings, which made it savory, too.”

In Luke’s version, the potatoes get coated in a deeply flavored paste made from anchovies, fennel, and rosemary that forms a delicious brown crust during roasting. They are definitely more time-intensive to make than a baked potato, but not nearly as tedious as preparing a gratin.

Even if you’re not a fan of anchovies (I’m a bit skittish about them, especially whole) you will love these taters, trust me. You’ll be hard-pressed to know there are anchovies in the recipe at all.

They were a perfect complement for our dinner of lamb shanks and ginger-glazed carrots (the best ever!) The recipe below serves eight, but with only two of us eating, we cut the ingredients in half, with enough for leftovers. Amen.

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Ingredients

  • 12 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 12 oil-packed anchovy fillets, coarsely chopped
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tsp. fennel seeds, crushed
  • 3 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 lb. medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 1 cup vegetable oil

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I used a mini processor to make the anchovy paste.

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After roughing up the spuds in the colander, toss them in a bowl with the anchovy paste.

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The potatoes are carefully placed into the hot oil in the roasting pan. The paste will not cover the entire spud, so don’t be alarmed.

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After roasting for 20 minutes, turn the potatoes and roast for another 20 minutes. Place onto a platter or bowl and serve while they’re still hot.

Directions

  1. Combine the garlic, anchovies, rosemary, fennel seed, and zest in a mini food processor and process to a paste. (Alternatively, mince the ingredients together on a cutting board, occasionally using the flat side of the knife to help mash the ingredients to a paste.) Season to taste with salt and set aside.
  2. Put the potatoes in a large (6- to 8-quart) pot with enough cool water to cover by at least 1 inch. Add 1 tsp. salt and bring to a boil. Cook until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain in a colander and then give them a good shake in the colander to rough them up; this is what will give them their lovely crisp bits.
  3. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 400°F. Pour the oil into a large roasting pan, and transfer to the oven to heat for about 10 minutes.
  4. Toss the potatoes with the garlic and anchovy paste mixture. Remove the roasting pan from the oven, and carefully add the potatoes. Roast, flipping once after about 20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender with a well-browned crust, about 40 minutes.

by Luke Thomas from Fine Cooking

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This photo doesn’t do justice to just how creamy the interiors turn out.

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