You know how you have a friend for a very long time and you feel like you know pretty much everything there is to know about them? Then all of a sudden they surprise you with a statement, goes something like "I don't eat eggs." Or maybe "I don't like peanut butter." Dumbfounded you sit there wondering how in the heck you didn't know this vital piece of information. You're a foodie after all. You take this seriously. It's almost an offense.
These statements tend to slide by others without any concern at all, but I find myself somewhat baffled by these types of statements. You don't like eggs? How in the world can that be? You don't like peanut butter? Well then you must be crazy for certain. Not so long ago I had a friend tell me she didn't like rice. I was so perplexed by her statement it turned into a one hour debacle about how in the world you couldn't like rice. I think I even went so far as to tell her that she must be making it wrong because there was no way she couldn't like rice if it was made properly. I mean how can I know you for so long and all this time you were hating rice behind my back? Say what?
I guess I could understand if someone said they didn't like okra or oysters, BUT eggs? Peanut butter? Rice? No way! Unacceptable! Of course, I say all this with a sense of humor, but I do really get baffled and feel the need to tease people when I hear that they don't like what I consider to be core foods.
Speaking of eggs, you are seriously missing out if you don't eat eggs. I could honestly put a fried egg on top of just about anything, except maybe chocolate, and call it a meal. These Spanish Roasted Potatoes, for example, would be even better with a glorious fried egg sitting on top. A little bit of egg yolk oozing out onto the potatoes? Right? Thank you for agreeing.
However, I will say that these potatoes really don't need anything extra. They were absolutely delicious and crave worthy as is. Crispy and coated with flavor on the outside and creamy and tender on the inside. The half teaspoon of cayenne pepper lends a spiciness that is just about right, not too overwhelming. A little squeeze of lime over the potatoes does wonders to brighten up all the flavors. We gobbled these up in record time.
Now let's just hope no one tells me they don't like potatoes. I might very well jump outta my chair...
3 serrano chilies
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
To parboil the potatoes: Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat.
Add the whole peeled potatoes and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are almost cooked through but the center is still firm. To test for doneness, insert a small sharp knife into the center of the potatoes. It should meet with some resistance when inserted into the center of the potatoes.
Using a large slotted spoon, remove the potatoes from the boiling water and set them on a plate for 5 minutes to steam dry and cool slightly. Cut the potatoes crosswise into 3/4-inch-thick discs or wedges.
To roast the chilies: Set the chilies directly over the burner flames on the stove and cook, turning as needed, until the skins are blistered and nearly black all over. Transfer the chilies to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside until the chilies are cool enough to handle. Peel the chilies and then cut them into thin strips. Set the chilies aside.
To fry the potatoes: In each of 2 large nonstick frying pans, heat 1/4 cup of oil over medium-high heat. Arrange the potatoes in a single layer in the pans, dividing equally to ensure you do not overcrowd the pan, as this will cause the potatoes to become soggy, not crisp and brown as desired. Sprinkle half the salt, paprika, and cayenne pepper over the potatoes. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the potatoes are crisp and golden brown on the bottom. Turn the potatoes over and sprinkle with the remaining salt, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown on the bottom and tender in the center. Stir in the chilies.
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