If you boil new potatoes just a little differently -- in a wide shallow pan in a single layer, with no lid and a lot of sea salt -- you get a head-turning new appetizer. Or serve it as a side for grilled steaks or chops or butterflied chicken to and the mojo will get even more play. Adapted slightly from Spanish Flavors (Kyle Books, 2013) —Genius Recipes
2 1/4 pounds
evenly sized waxy new potatoes, such as fingerling, scrubbed but unpeeled
Sea salt flakes
large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
green chili pepper, seeded and chopped
Leaves from a bunch of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
freshly ground cumin seeds
Scant 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
white wine vinegar, Muscatel if possible
Put the potatoes into a wide, shallow pan in which they fit in a single layer. Add 2 tablespoons salt and 1 quart cold water (just enough to cover), bring to a boil, and leave to boil rapidly until the water has evaporated. Then turn the heat to low and continue to cook for a few minutes, gently turning the potatoes over occasionally, until they are dry and the skins are wrinkled and covered in a thin crust of salt.
While the potatoes are cooking, make the cilantro mojo. Put the garlic, green chili pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt in a mortar, and pound into a paste. Add the cilantro leaves, and pound until they are incorporated into the paste. Add the cumin, and gradually mix in the oil to make a smooth sauce. Just before serving, add the vinegar, and spoon into a small bowl.
Pile the hot potatoes onto a plate and serve with the mojo, instructing your guests to rub off as much salt from the potatoes as they wish before dipping them in the sauce.
Genius recipes surprise us and make us rethink cooking tropes. They're handed down by luminaries of the food world and become their legacy. They get us talking and change the way we cook. And, once we've folded them into our repertoires, they make us feel pretty genius too. Watch for new Genius Recipes every Wednesday morning on our blog, dug up by Food52's Creative Director Kristen Miglore.