If you cook no other potato recipe in your lifetime, you must try this one. A small amount of turmeric brings out the earthiness and somehow the sweetness of potatoes. This is kind of an upside-down potato casserole with the caramely onions on the bottom rather than the top. A final handful of crisp almonds takes these potatoes over the top.
The recipe is a takeoff on a dish from Viana La Place's The Unplugged Kitchen, a book Sally goes to again and again. She says it reminds her of the things she loves most about cooking -- slowing down and embracing it.
Cook to Cook: Do not let one drop of the golden oil from the potatoes and onions go to waste. This is why bread was created.
The finished potatoes can wait covered in their pot for an hour or more. They are excellent at room temperature.
Good tasting extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and thin sliced
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
Salt and fresh-ground black pepper
1-1/2 to 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, unpeeled, but sliced as thin as possible
2 tablespoons chicken stock or water, and more if needed
1/3 cup sliced almonds or hazelnuts, toasted
1. Generously film the olive oil over the bottom of a 4-quart saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Set over medium-high heat. Layer in the onions, turmeric, some salt and pepper, the potato, and more salt and pepper. Let the mixture cook without stirring until the onions are starting to soften and brown. Don't stir, but peek under them to look for color.
2. Add the chicken stock or water, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Again, don't stir, but shake the pan occasionally, and check to make sure there is still some liquid on the bottom of the pot. Add more liquid as needed. Cook 15 to 20 minutes until there is a syrupy brown glaze on the bottom of the pan, onions are coloring, and the potatoes are tender. Let them stand, covered, 5 minutes.
3. Taste for seasoning. Just before serving, sprinkle with the toasted nuts. Spoon down to the bottom of the pot to get some of the glaze onto each serving.
From The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift, Clarkson Potter, 2008.
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