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The flavor is all in how you crack the potatoes, not smash them

Cracked Potatoes with Vermouth, Coriander and Fennel

Appears in March-April 2017

35 minutes 10 minutes active

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Cracked Potatoes with Vermouth, Coriander and Fennel

As much as we like them, crispy, smashed potatoes are a bother. First you boil, then flatten, then crisp in fat. And half the time our potatoes fall apart. We wanted a one-stroke solution, which we found in potatoes afelia, a Cypriot dish that calls for cracking the potatoes when raw, then braising them. Our starting point was a recipe from London chefs Sam and Sam Clark of Moro. They whack raw potatoes, causing them to split and fracture slightly, but not break apart. Next, they cook them in a covered pan with oil and coriander seeds, a traditional afelia flavoring. Red wine, added at the end, simmers into a flavorful sauce. For our version, we preferred the clean, herbal flavor of dry vermouth to red wine.




Don’t use a skillet with an ill-fitting lid. The pan might scorch. If it looks dry, add water 2 tablespoons at a time.

35 minutes

10 minutes active

Julie K.
September 5, 2022
Deep flavors, richness in cooking potatoes so long in the pan
Manal S.

Would a sherry vinegar work as a substitute for vermouth? Looking for a non-alcoholic substitute that won't compromise the flavor, if that exists for this recipe.

Lynn C.

Hi Manal -

I would probably not use a whole cup of sherry vinegar, but instead do a combination of chicken broth and a tablespoon or two of sherry vinegar. Since the liquid gets reduced it might otherwise be too acidic. Good luck!

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