Wednesday, April 23, 2008

roasted fingerling potatoes

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

Tom Douglas is a Seattle icon. Even those of you from other parts of the country (or world) might be familiar with him because, in addition to being the driving force behind multiple famed Seattle restaurants, Tom also makes occasional appearances on the Food Network. Having already experienced the glory of his culinary prowess, I couldn't not take Mom and Dad to one of his restaurants while they were in town. Though I truly wanted to try one of his other restaurants, when I was perusing the menus online, I once again succumbed to the tantalizing offerings of the Dahlia Lounge. It was, thankfully, everything I expected. In addition to the highly regarded Tuscan grilled bread salad (which I will soon attempt to replicate), I enjoyed their red dahlia cocktail, which is made with St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur. (For those of you who are a little behind on your culinary news, St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur is *the* thing in cocktails these days.) After our outstanding entrées and even though we were really too full, we all sampled the Lounge's most popular desserts: triple coconut cream pie, for which Tom is rather famous, and the doughnuts with seasonal jam. The seasonal jam turned out to be rhubarb, and it was so fantastic that I'm still thinking about how I can make some of my own or...*ahem*...when I can just eat his again.

Steamed Dungeness Crab with Drawn ButterUnfortunately, one can't revel in the savory and sweet delights of Tom Douglas's cooking on a daily basis (at least not without a sizable pocketbook). On these many occasions, one can -- and should! -- take matters into one's own hands for a true Pacific Northwest culinary experience. After spending a few sunny hours atop the Space Needle, Mom, Dad, and I headed down to Pike Place Market to pick up a bouquet of seasonal flowers, a loaf of crusty bread, and, of course, some fresh seafood. I'm sure it would make sense for me to show you a picture of the steamed crab we feasted on that evening. However, I feared that it would all be devoured before I sat down to eat if I stopped to take a picture, so all you get to see is a big bowl of the remains: crab shells that have been sucked clean of every last morsel of delicious meat. The entire meal was a glorious, coastal delight. Who wants to come visit next?

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
Adapted from a recipe from Bon Appétit - March 2007
Serves 3-4

12 ounces unpeeled fingerling potatoes, scrubbed clean
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 large fresh thyme sprigs
1 tablespoon sea salt, plus more to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place potatoes in medium saucepan; pour enough cold water over to cover. Add 2 thyme sprigs and a few dashes of table salt. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until potatoes are just tender when pierced with skewer, about 20 minutes. Drain.

Transfer the hot potatoes to a greased 9" x 9" baking dish. Top the potatoes with 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter. Once the butter has melted, stir the potatoes to coat them with the butter. Sprinkle the potatoes liberally with the sea salt and the leaves from the remaining 2 thyme sprigs. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes.

Seattle's Elliott Bay and the Olympic Mountains on a cloudy day
Elliott Bay & the Olympic Mountains
as seen from atop the Space Needle on a partly cloudy day
(click the image to see the enlarged, much better version)

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