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Cracked Potatoes with Vermouth, Coriander and Fennel
35 minutes 10 minutes active
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.
pounds small Yukon Gold potatoes (1½ to 2 inches in diameter)
tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
01Using a meat mallet or the bottom of a heavy skillet, whack the potatoes one at a time to crack them until slightly flattened but still intact. In a bowl, toss the potatoes with 1 tablespoon of oil and the salt and pepper.
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.