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The flavor is all in how you crack the potatoes, not smash them
Milk Street Bowtie Cracked Potatoes with Vermouth, Coriander and Fennel

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

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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.

4

Servings

Tip

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

1½ pounds small Yukon Gold potatoes (1½ to 2 inches in diameter)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon salted butter
2 teaspoons coriander seeds, cracked
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, cracked
1 cup dry vermouth
Ingredients
  • pounds small Yukon Gold potatoes (1½ to 2 inches in diameter)

  • 2
  • 1

    teaspoon kosher salt

  • ¼

    teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1

    tablespoon salted butter

  • 2

    teaspoons coriander seeds, cracked

  • 1

    teaspoon fennel seeds, cracked

  • 1

    cup dry vermouth

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Cracked Potatoes with Vermouth, Coriander and Fennel

Get Ready to Cook

4

Servings

35 minutes

10 minutes active

Tip

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.

Ingredients
  • pounds small Yukon Gold potatoes (1½ to 2 inches in diameter)

  • 2
  • 1

    teaspoon kosher salt

  • ¼

    teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1

    tablespoon salted butter

  • 2

    teaspoons coriander seeds, cracked

  • 1

    teaspoon fennel seeds, cracked

  • 1

    cup dry vermouth

Step 1 of 3

Crack the potatoes

pounds small Yukon Gold potatoes (1½ to 2 inches in diameter)
1
tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
½
teaspoon kosher salt
¼
teaspoon ground black pepper

Using 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.

Step 2 of 3

Brown the potatoes

1
tablespoon salted butter
1
tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

In a 12-inch stainless steel skillet over medium-high, heat the remaining oil and butter. Add the potatoes in a single layer, reduce heat to medium, then cook without moving until well browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Flip and cook until well browned on the other side, about 5 minutes.

Step 3 of 3

Add the coriander, fennel and vermouth, finish cooking, and serve

2
teaspoons coriander seeds, cracked
1
teaspoon fennel seeds, cracked
1
cup dry vermouth

Add the coriander and fennel. Cook, shaking the pan constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the vermouth. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low.


Cook until the potatoes are just tender and the liquid has nearly evaporated, 12 to 14 minutes, flipping the potatoes halfway through. Transfer to a serving bowl, scraping the sauce and seeds on top.

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