Saturday, August 30, 2008

Channeling Pottery Barn

It seems that from every life cycle stage I take away a friend. From Eldest Daughter's preschool years brought Coleen. Coleen and Geoff's eldest daughter is still a close friend of our daughter's and their second born is sweet, with the white blond hair that's requisite on Sunset Tan. I wish the kids all went to school together but alas, they followed family tradition and went parochial. On the upside, I know way more about Catholicism than I did a decade ago!

Having them for dinner last night was a good excuse to try out some new recipes. I grilled fillets and topped them with lemon herb butter courtesy of Sunset. And then I made herbed potatoes, a la Orangette. The Orangette gal, Molly, is fast becoming my new BFF. She claims that the potatoes are equally good eaten hot, room temperature or cold and I wholeheartedly agree. The leftovers are long gone.

When we moved into our house six years ago and were faced with landscaping the backyard, my sole request was for a covered Thai-style pavilion. I don't do sun. As a whim this summer, we added globe lights around its perimeter. For those of you who go all out for Christmas, hanging things like this is no big deal. It took us, the amateurs, a few trips to the hardware store and a lot of measuring to get them just right.

Last night was warm but not too warm. The kids played in the yard with neon glow sticks. The adults watched the sun turn the hills yellow then bronze then brown, Riedel glasses of 2001 Georges De La Tour Private Reserve in hand. With the hurricane lamps on the table and brightly colored cotton tablecloth and pillows, it was a Pottery Barn photo shoot moment. And it was much needed after the kids' first week back in school.

Here's the potato recipe. I used reds instead of fingerlings, and I skipped peeling them.

Fingerling Potatoes with Chives and Parsley
Adapted from Gourmet, July 2008

These would be delicious with almost anything: roasted chicken (served hot or cold), eggs any style, salmon, you name it.

1 ½ lb. fingerling potatoes, such as Russian Banana
1 ½ cups water
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large garlic clove, pressed
½ tsp. salt
A few grinds of black pepper
3 Tbsp. chopped chives
1 Tbsp. chopped Italian parsley

Peel the potatoes, and halve them lengthwise. Combine the potatoes, water, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper in a nonstick 10-inch skillet. Place the skillet over medium-high heat, and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat slightly, and continue to simmer briskly, shaking the skillet occasionally, until the potatoes are just tender, about 10 minutes. Remove the lid, and continue to cook until most of the water has evaporated and the potatoes are glazed, about 5 minutes. Stir in the herbs. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature, with extra salt for sprinkling.

Yield: 4 servings

P/S We made the banana bread today. It's better than my old standby banana bread recipe but next time I'll make it with light brown sugar instead of the dark, and about half as much topping.

1 comment:

Kelly said...

Sounds like a great recipe. Will have to write it down. I am always looking for different potato ideas.