Thursday, November 16, 2017

Potatoes with Sumac and Z'attar

Thanksgiving or for that matter any festive meal is not complete without potatoes in my family. Everyone crowds into the tiny kitchen and snacks on the boiled potatoes and hover around till the potatoes come out of the oven or the skillet and very generously offer to be taste testers. The quantities provided in this recipe might seem alarming, but they disappear quickly. If you do have leftovers, they are great in a grain bowl or tucked into a wrap or sandwich or just warmed up for a snack.

Boiling and then cooking the potatoes in oil makes for a crunchy but melt in the mouth texture. The combination of Sumac and Z'attar elevates the deliciousness.

This is a technique more than a recipe. In my houshold, I have to figure 2 Yukon Golds per person.

8 Yukon Gold potatoes

4 tbsp of vegetable or peanut oil

1 1/2 tsp of paprika

1/2 tsp of Sumac + more to taste

1/2 tsp of Z'attar 

Salt and pepp to taste

Boil the potatoes until they are firm tender. Cut the potatoes in half. Put in a saucepan large enough to hold the potatoes ( at least a 1 gallon saucepan ) and add enough cold water to cover. Lightly salt the water and bring to a boil. Once the water boils, cook for about 10 - 12 minutes till the potatoes can easily be pierced with a paring knife. Drain the potatoes well and cut each half into 4 parts.

Or you can cook it in the microwave. Prick the potatoes well all over with a paring knife. Lay them on the microwave safe plate and cook. figure about 21/2 minutes per potato. i.e if you have 6 potatoes microwave for about 15 minutes. Once the potatoes are cooked, cool a little and cut each potato into eighths.

You can do this ahead of time and hold the potatoes in the fridge.

Heat oil in a large wok. When the oil is hot, reduce the flame. Add the Paprika, and about a teaspoon of salt to the oil. Now add the potatoes and gently lift and scoop to toss them with the seasoned oil. Increase the flame to medium -high and let the potatoes cook undisturbed for 3- 4 minutes till they have brown spots. Toss and cook for another 3 minutes. Do this until all the pieces have a bit of brown. Taste - add more salt if necessary. If the potatoes look dry add in a little more oil, a tsp at a time

Turn off the flame and add the Sumac and Z'attar and mix well. The potatoes should taste tart and bright. Adjust the flavorings if you have to.  Transfer to a bowl and serve immediately.

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