For those of us who are experiencing winter, today the sun is shining brightly, with not a cloud in the sky, so I guess that makes all the cold and the snow tolerable!
That said, today I am sharing a potato dish that I have been making for a long time. It’s a perfect accompaniment to many of the braised and heartier meals being prepared and served at this time of year. It’s also pretty good to eat straight out of the pan!
I named it Confetti Potatoes because when I first prepared it, the uniform size of the ingredients and the festive colors reminded me of confetti. Consider it upscale “home fries”—in that the size of the ingredients are confetti-like, and it is flecked with color where home fries are mainly all the same neutral color. For those who enjoy a good potato dish, this is a keeper.
It makes a fine side dish, or a colorful underlay for presenting a slice of roasted pork loin, duck breast, roasted chicken, or pan-seared piece of fish. This dish is a herbaceous potato mix. I mention herbaceous because a key ingredient—one of my pantry staples—is a fine grind of dried bay leaf-fennel seed-rosemary needles, which I make using a spice grinder. If you don’t have this readily available, you could make up a small batch using a mortar and pestle.
Serves two generously, four perfectly, and can be scaled up
4 potatoes, skin on (Yukon Gold, all-purpose white, or red)
1 large onion
2 medium carrots
2 celery stalks
3 fennel stalks (fronds are okay to include)
5 parsley stems and leaves
Bay leaf-fennel seed-rosemary needle powder
Salt and pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons rendered duck fat (optional)
Cut all the vegetables into a 1/8-inch brunoise, set aside.
Mince the parsley leaves and stems, set aside.
In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add some olive oil and the duck fat, heating evenly but not to smoking.
Begin by sweating the onions, so they soften and just begin to take on some color.
Add the cut vegetable mix, except the potatoes and the parsley, stirring to combine and sauté until the carrots just begin to soften and take on a little color. Season this mixture with the herb powder and the salt and pepper, folding to distribute evenly.
Add the cut potatoes, again folding to combine. Correct the seasoning and add a little more oil if needed.
Lower the heat slightly and fold the mixture often so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. If the pan has a heavy bottom, distributes the heat evenly, and or is well seasoned, the potato mixture shouldn’t stick. After about 15 minutes of sautéing and folding, taste a teaspoonful. If the mix is tender and the potatoes are not raw, it’s done.
Take the pan off the heat, sprinkle the minced parsley over the top, and mix in to combine.
That’s all it takes to celebrate your meal with confetti tonight. Let me know how yours turned out.