Recipe: Aunt Clara's Potatoes

This isn't the official recipe for the week–Willy will be along later today with more for your home-cooking delectation–but I made this tonight and couldn't resist sharing it with you all. My Aunt Clara, who was Danish and therefore knew her way around potatoes and butter, taught me to make these twenty-five years ago in her tiny apartment in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. She made the best potatoes in the world, and the recipe couldn't be simpler. When they're done, they end up with an amazing crust on the side closest to the heat, and when you cut them with a fork they just burst into fluffiness.

This recipe doesn't look like it should work, but the water in the butter is enough to create steam that cooks the potatoes. This recipe doesn't work with oil or margarine, incidentally, only butter, as though you needed an excuse.

1 stick unsalted butter
3 lbs. small new waxy potatoes (such as Yukon Gold), washed but unpeeled
1 teaspoon kosher salt

  1. Melt the butter in a heavy pan such as a Dutch oven.
  2. Throw the potatoes and salt in (the potatoes should be in one layer) and cover.
  3. Cook over medium heat until the potatoes are done, 20-30 minutes; a sharp knife stuck in the potatoes will not stick.
  4. Serve with the brown butter poured over the potatoes.

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