Sunday, March 3, 2013

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Country Ham and Chilis

I know I have said this before, but I'm not typically a big potato-eater.  I love McDonald's french fries as much as the next person (although I love sweet potato fries more), but mashed potatoes and baked potatoes don't really do it for me.  I will eat them from time-to-time if they are part of a dish I order at a restaurant, but that really only happens once a blue moon.  Every once in awhile I like to humor Alex (who really is a potato lover) and roast some fingerling potatoes at home.  This tends to happen in the fall and early winter when the farmers' markets first start displaying pretty little fingerling potatoes.  This year we discovered roast sunchokes and I think they are better than roast potatoes.  So these fingerlings might very well be the first potatoes we have made all year...  

This recipe was intended to be made with new potatoes, but I decided that I wanted to use fingerlings instead because I think they crisp up better.  When I think of new potatoes I tend to think of boiled or steamed new potatoes, rather than roasted new potatoes.  And if I am going to do potatoes (roasted or fried), I want them to be crispy.  These potatoes weren't as crispy as I would have liked but I thought they had good flavor.  Even though the addition of the balsamic vinegar decreased the crispy texture it added a nice mildly sweet flavor.  And I loved the salty porky flavor of the country ham.  In the future I would add another poblano pepper for additional mild pepper flavor.  I might also add some onion for additional sweetness and flavor.  Alex thought the potatoes would be improved by the addition of some heat (nothing new there) as a counterbalance to the sweetness of the balsamic, but I'm not sure if I would add red pepper flakes or just serve the potatoes with some hot sauce.  These potatoes would make an interesting alternative to home fries for brunch.  The cookbook recommends serving any leftover potatoes with poached or fried eggs for breakfast.  We tried the potatoes with fried eggs and I think they would work nicely either way. 

Recipe after the jump!

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Country Ham and Chilis
Adapted from The Lee Bros. Simple Fresh Southern: Knockdown Dishes with Down-Home Flavor
By Matt and Ted Lee

1 1/2 lbs fingerling potatoes, trimmed and halved lengthwise
2 tbsp evoo
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
6-8 oz poblano chilis (2 large), stemmed, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch wide strips, each 2-3-inches long
4 oz country ham (or prosciutto), very thinly sliced and cut into thin strips

Heat oven to 425 degrees F.

Scatter the potatoes in a 9x13x2-inch roasting pan.  Drizzle the oil and vinegar over them.  Sprinkle s&p over the potatoes and toss until evenly coated.  Roast for 10 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven, add poblano peppers and toss.  Return pan to the oven and roast until potatoes and chilis are browned and tender, about 25 minutes.  Turn off the oven.  Sprinkle the country ham over the top and toss to combine.  Return to the oven, leaving the door gapped and the oven off, for 2-3 minutes to allow the country ham to warm through and soften.


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