On Braising
August 26, 2010, 3:04 pm
Filed under: Food and Recipes, Side Dishes | Tags: , ,

Today, in Memphis, it’s 86!! Never thought I would be so excited to see temperatures in the 80’s, but it seems like such sweet relief after them temperatures in the 100’s that we have been privy to around these parts.

The cooler weather this morning had me savoring my coffee and becoming really excited about the pending fall rolling in with it’s cooler temperatures, cooler weather vegetables, and beautiful colors. I love when the leaves change to their shades of bright orange, red, and yellow. This time of year ignites a pure, childlike sense of wonder, and it’s something that I relish in each year.

One of my favorite things to do this time of year is braising. I love to make a meal, stick it in the oven or crock pot, and forget about it for hours until it becomes luscious and fills my house with its smells and warmth. These types of meals require little effort, and allow for lots of time spent with family, which is a precious commodity. Once the weather starts to turn cooler, or for a simple Sunday dinner, try these meals: pot roast, crock pot lasagna, or take these potatoes here.

I found myself craving to cook with this method this past weekend, dying for it to be cool, so I made these in a desperate attempt to glean any first bit of fall (but temperatures will be back to the 90s next week, I know). However, these potatoes were a relatively quick braise, and they didn’t heat up the house. They were luscious and creamy, with a wonderful depth of flavor, and would go with just about anything you’d like to serve them with. It’s a great recipe to have in your repertoire, and with little effort, people will think you’re a genius in the kitchen.

Braised Fingerling Potatoes
Slightly adapted from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything

2 lbs of fingerling potatoes
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
1 bay leaf
Few sprigs of fresh thyme
1 can (2 cups) of low sodium chicken broth

1. Scrub potatoes clean. In a large Dutch oven, heat olive oil and butter over medium high heat.

2. Finely dice onion. Add to Dutch oven, sauté until translucent. Add potatoes, and stir. Cook until potatoes to become slightly golden and become thoroughly coated with butter, olive oil, and onion mixture. Reduce the heat to medium.

3. Add salt and pepper to taste (remembering that potatoes take a good pinch of salt), bay leaf, and thyme. Stir.

4. Add stock to pan. Stir. If liquid is not yet covering potatoes, then add water just until the water level is right above the potatoes, it took me about another cup of liquid.

5. Cook for 30 minutes on a medium heat, at a good simmer, uncovered, until potatoes are tender and sauce is reduced and is glazing the potatoes nicely.

6. Remove thyme stems and bay leaf. Serve.


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