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!
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