Author Notes: I was lucky enough to be gifted a copy of the Toro Bravo cookbook. For those unfamiliar with the Portland dining scene, TB is a local tapas-style restaurant that pays homage to classic Spanish dishes. The food they serve is ah-mazing, and I highly recommend a visit if you're ever in town (though be prepared to wait unless you get there when the doors open). One of the recipes I've tried from the book is for Butter-Braised Turnips with Mojo Picón. The turnips cooked up beautifully in the butter, and I wondered if the same technique would translate to other root vegetables. I gave fingerling potatoes a whirl, and was quite pleased with the result. The potatoes got golden brown and a little crispy outside, and were sweet and creamy inside. I added herbs, garlic, and lemon juice to liven things up. The amount of butter used definitely seems insane, and you may be tempted to decrease it, but I implore you not to; it's necessary for the potatoes to cook through, plus about half of it will remain in the pan when the dish is plated. - hardlikearmour
Food52 Review: This recipe is a gem. After trying it, I’m convinced that all cooks should have butter-braised fingerlings in their repertoire. The technique is super simple and results in seriously delicious potatoes -- in about the same time it takes to heat your oven for roasted potatoes. Within a matter of minutes, the potatoes are a beautiful dark golden brown with slightly crispy outsides and creamy insides. The finishing touch of herbs, garlic, and lemon juice is the perfect complement. Thanks to this recipe, I'll be butter-braising potatoes for weeknight suppers and holiday gatherings alike. - EmilyC
Serves 4 to 6
- 1 1/2 pound fingerling potatoes (I've used Russian Banana, Purple Fiesta, and French Fingerlings with good results)
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoon small sage leaves (or coarsely chopped large ones)
- Leaves from an 8-inch sprig of rosemary (about the same amount as the sage)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic (2 large or 3 medium cloves)
- 1 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice (or sherry or malt vinegar)
- Chopped parsley and/or minced chives or scallions and/or rosemary or borage blossoms to garnish
- Scrub the fingerlings, then cut into approximately 1-inch pieces. The pieces should all be about the same size so they cook at the same rate.
- Heat a 12-inch sauté pan (not non-stick) over medium-high heat. Cut the butter in half lengthwise. When the pan is hot, add the butter all at once. It's going to steam, smoke, and start to brown immediately. You may want to panic, but don't -- just have an exhaust fan going and proceed quickly. It will work out.
- Immediately add the potatoes, even though the butter won't be fully melted. Arrange them in a single layer and season them with salt and pepper. Let them cook without stirring for 4 minutes. Stir, then rearrange in a single layer, turning individual pieces if they have an obviously raw side up. Stir after 2 to 3 minutes, then stir again after another 2 to 3 minutes.
- Test one of the largest pieces. If needed, stir and cook a bit longer. Otherwise push the potatoes to one side of the pan, creating a small space to add the herbs and garlic. Add the sage and rosemary, and allow to fry for 15 to 20 seconds. Add the garlic, and allow to fry for 10 to 15 seconds. Then stir so the herbs and garlic are evenly distributed and the potatoes are in a single layer again. Add the lemon juice, and when it finishes hissing, remove the pan from the heat and give everything a good stir.
- Transfer to a serving dish using a slotted spoon or spider. Try to get most of the herbs, but leave most of the butter behind. Garnish as desired, and serve immediately. (They taste delicious at room temperature, but they quickly lose their crispness. Feel free to go this route -- I promise, no one will complain!)