After pan-frying fillets of sole for little Aria and myself last night, I realized pairing the fish with roasted potatoes in coconut oil might lack a toothsome bite. In an attempt to create the perfect balance of texture, I added an extra step to the potatoes by breading them with a mixture of breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, garlic and coconut shreds. The crunchy potatoes helped balance the texture of the fish and the addition of coconut shreds might sound a bit unusual but it was a reminder of the coconut oil used previously.
You can also find gourmet potato dishes in my first cookbook, Haute Potato, which is an ode to this root vegetable. In this book, I’ve included one of my favorites, which hails from India: a spicy potato cutlet stuffed with ground beef, or kheema. To illustrate the versatility of potatoes, the book is separated into chapters based on the primary flavor profile or texture of the dish. Each section is an exploration of the ways in which the potato can be used. So, though it may start its life in the ground, when combined with the right techniques and ingredients the potato can truly be haute cuisine.
Servings: 4 servings
1¾ pounds small Yukon Gold potatoes
3 tablespoons pure coconut oil, melted
1 sprig thyme
1 sprig marjoram
1 tablespoon garlic powder
½ cup breadcrumbs
¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
4 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
Seasoning the potatoes: Gather the marjoram and thyme leaves and finely chop them. In a mini food processor or bowl, combine the garlic powder, 2 teaspoons of salt, Parmesan, breadcrumbs, coconut shreds, black pepper and the herbs. Pulse in the machine until well comnined or simply stir well with a spoon. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Boiling the potatoes: Wash the potatoes and cut them into quarters (no need to peel them). Place them in a large pot and add cold water until the potatoes are barely covered. It's important to start with cold water so the potatoes cook evenly. Bring to a boil, add 1 teaspoon of salt and reduce the heat to medium-high (if you cook the potatoes at a roaring boil, they might fall apart). Cook for about 20-23 minutes. The potatoes should be fork-tender but still firm. Remove from the pot. Drain the potatoes throroughly and let them cool a little. Remove the skin if it's peeling off (so it doesn't burn in the oven). Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle and have dried (with no excess water), transfer to a greased baking sheet. Drizzle with the coconut oil. Toss well.
Roasting the potatoes: Roast for 20 minutes. When there's a nice brown crust, sprinkle the coconut breading mixture and continue roasting for 20 minutes.
Garnish with parsley. Serve immediately.
It's ultra easy to remove the thyme and marjoram leaves from the stem. Hold the top of the stem with one hand and slide the other hand along the stem, pulling the leaves off. I like to bruise the leaves a little in a mortar and pestle to release all the flavor and make the dish more potent if you don't use a food processor for the preparation of the breading mixture.
You can season the potatoes with any other kind of herb.