Confession Wednesday- On Over-Salting

I never thought I’d say this but I managed to over-salt the crazy salty Jose Andres potatoes. I, the salt-loving goat, think that these potatoes got too salty.

Let’s back up a second. Salt addiction? Check. Super salty recipe? Check. Made the recipe before (and loved it)? Check. What went wrong this time? TOO MUCH SALT!

I feel like I still need to explain. I am the person who has a kosher salt jar on her desk at work, who keeps a hefty supply of salt in the house, who is likely to ask for salt when eating out if God forbid there is no salt on the table. I can write love letters to salt, sing songs about it, and dream about it at night. My heart fills with joy when I hear chefs praise salt. A miserable existence for me would necessarily include missing salt. A harsh punishment would be salt deprivation. My favorite desserts include salt chocolate tarts (Fuel Cafe makes a mean one!) and sea salt caramels. I have been known to put salt on my French toast (minus the syrup) and in my plain Greek yogurt (yep, that’s right!). Need I say more?

This was not a bad recipe. It just needed a tweak I did not provide this one time I made it. In fact, it is a beautiful recipe that celebrates simplicity and the best natural seasoning- ha, you guessed- salt!

So I will go with the version of this recipe that works and try to explain to you how to make and love the Jose Andres amazingly delicious salt baby potatoes, a recipe from the Aspen Food and Wine Classic.

Wrinkled Potates, Canary Island Style with Mojo Verde, a Jose Andres-adapted/inspired recipe

Potatoes: 1 pound new baby potatoes (the quality of these is actually really important), 3/4 cup kosher salt.
Mojo Verde: 1 cup packed cilantro, 3/4 cup olive oil, 1 garlic clove peeled, just a tad of salt and a splash of Sherry vinegar.

Put the potatoes in a medium pot and cover them with water maybe a half an inch over the potatoes. Add the salt.

Stir to help the salt melt. Your goal is for the salt to make the potatoes float. Remember how salt water in the ocean makes you float- well, you want a small ocean in your pot for your potatoes, but not more than that. See these below? floating! If you’re don’t float yet, add salt!

Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for about 3o minutes to get the potatoes tender. The water will reduce and that is a good thing. The potatoes will start wrinkling- another good sign since we’re making wrinkled potatoes.

Pour out most of the water and return to the stove. Shake the pot around until all of the water evaporates while the salt crystalizes over the potatoes. Transfer potatoes into a clean bowl and cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel for about 10 minutes to allow the steam to further wrinkle the potatoes. Ready to serve now whenever your mojo verde is done!

Mojo Verde
First, what a great name- moh-Hoh vEr-dE- beautiful! This is basically a pesto- don’t tell any Italian that- but it is a freaking pesto made with cilantro instead of basil, minus pine nuts and parmesan. Fine, maybe it isn’t a pesto, but you get my drift.

The trick to matching this with the potatoes is keeping it lighter in the salt department. To do that, a food processor is really what you want to reach for. In a mortar and pestle you will always need salt. The salt is what gets the traction in there. The food processor just goes to town on it! The other thing you shouldn’t use is your blender. I tried. No matter how hard you shake while blending, scoop off the walls, it will be a total pain to do it this way.

I did mine in a mortar and pestle because I thought it would be fun. I know, my idea of fun is a little twisted. I recommend skipping the ‘fun’ and going with the miraculous food processor. [ I am a recent but extremely happy owner of a CuisineArt!]

You can gently wipe some of the salt off before you plate the potatoes. Either way, the skin will likely be too salty.

Plate the potatoes and plate some of the mojo verde next to them. Enjoy and celebrate your salt shaker!

Photography by Jennifer Olson

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  1. Confession Wednesday- (un)Solicited Advice
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  • A Plum By Any Other Name

    Hooray for salt! A wrinkly recipe worth trying. ;) One question, in the original recipe are you supposed to wipe some salt off the potatoes or is that in reference to the over-salting incident?

    I am originally from Syracuse, NY and salt potatoes have a cult following there. I'm sure this recipe would go over quite well back home.

  • Monet

    Wow! Isn't it amazing what a difference a little salt can make. I'm wanting to try some of the specialty salt that is popping up in food magazines and blogs. I have never heard of salt potatoes but these look good

  • Belinda @zomppa

    I think you're the first person I know to keep a jar of salt on the desk. How funny! These look sooooo good – I love salt…salted chicken…yum……..

  • A Thought For Food

    These remind me a little bit of Syracuse Salt Potatoes. You basically boil the baby potatoes in a ton of salt.

    The photos are gorgeous and now I'm inspired to try this again.

  • Katherine

    As a fellow salt addict, I think that this would be SO much fun to make – and I am a recent CuisineArt (hand-me-down-but-still-a-food-processor) owner as well!
    I really only eat potatoes when a) heavily salted, b) heavily creamed, and/or c) heavily cheesed. So I think this would be a fantastic alternative for me. But I guess one of those categories is still being filled? Oh well! :)
    At first I thought the potatoes were powdered doughnut holes and I was really confused, and then I figured it out.. haha!

  • Bethany

    OMG! These are the potatoes we had in LA at Bazaar! I'm definitely going to try to make these…so excited! Thanks for a great post and for shharing this great recipe.

  • Shree

    yummmm what a salty treat this is. Never had such salty potatoes will give it a try. thanks for the recipe

  • baking.serendipity

    I've never made potatoes like this before. I don't think I like salt near as much as you do, but they look really good :)

  • Gigabiting

    My name is Janice and I am a salt-a-holic.

  • Jason Phelps

    mmmmm, salt.


  • Jean

    I'm just like you–I love salt! Despite all the baking I've been doing lately, my actual weakness lies more with salty foods than sweet.

    This is a new process for me, I like it. I also love that you used a mortar and pestle for your mojo verde. The combination of flavors sounds wonderful!

  • Tes

    It looks so wonderful! I never tried something like this before.
    ummmm Salt! Yummm


    As a fellow salt-lover I must say this looks very intriguing.

  • Sara

    I discovered this post just as I sat down to reheat my very over-salted dinner. Nothing like a little rice, a bit of chicken, and tons of salt. Whoo. I'll be drinking a gallon of water later. Cheers!

  • The Mom Chef

    I'm one who keeps a salt shaker at my desk too because there's nothing worse than needing it and not having it around. These look amazing and are on my list of things to make. Thank you so much for passing the recipe on.

  • Stephanie

    I LOVE salt too! I would probably over salt these as well. Can't wait to try them!

  • Andra

    Thanks all for your appreciation of salt! Today, I read a blog post that suggested that everyone take a week- a whole week- off salt because salt is so evil. OK! I won't name names, but must say that THIS person need to take a week of the canned and processed foods. In the meantime, I am keeping my salt shaker.

    Plum and Brian- never tried Syracuse potatoes- actually, haven't even heard of it- that's what being from Romania gets you! I will check that out so I am at least informed next time I hear it.

    Katherine- they totally look like powdered donuts!

    Beth- that is AWESOME! I am still so jealous of your amazing L.A. trip!

    Janice- "hiiiiiii Jaaaniiiice" – a choir of salt addicts said!

    And one more note- these are actually not THAT salty. They are however delicious!

  • Christy

    popping by from foodgawker…i had these potatoes at Bazaar in LA not too long ago and am so glad you figured out the recipe…i wasn't sure exactly how to get that fine, fine salt crust on them. now i know! gracias.