Monday, July 23, 2012

Butter Steamed New Potatoes

Butter stewed potatoes, are whole new potatoes or small, cut up red potatoes, steam cooked in butter and often sprinkled with herbs, such as parsley.

Butter Steamed New Potatoes

No secret here that I love potatoes I suppose. Seriously, set a pot of stewed potatoes in front of me and I'm perfectly happy to enjoy them as my meal.

Truth is, potatoes have long been a large part of the southern diet because with commonly large families, they filled a lot of bellies rather cheaply. Just like there is no one single way to make a southern fried chicken and there's no such single magic mashed potato recipe, there are a multitude of other ways to fix the spud.

Speaking of that, I wonder... do you peel your potatoes with a kitchen knife? Or with a vegetable peeler - better known at least in my house growing up, as a potato peeler? I have always used a vegetable peeler, and I can whip through a bowl of potatoes in no time with that simple tool, but I struggle with trying to do the same thing with a knife. Our primary duty as kids was to play, so Mama didn't employ us to chores or kitchen duty much, but that is the instrument she used, the one I grew up using, and frankly, the tool I still use today.

Of course I use a paring knife for other things, and I even have my own personal, and unforgettable, experience using a knife on potatoes, and it's something I've never forgotten. One of my favorite quotes is by Maya Angelou, who once said "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." It really is true, and this story will certainly demonstrate just that.

When I was in upper grade school, one day I went to the house of one of my friends from the neighborhood, who lived a few blocks up from our house, to see if she could come out and play. When she asked her mother, she was told that she could, once the bowl of potatoes in the kitchen was peeled. Her mother armed us both with a kitchen knife, a fairly foreign object to this youngster, parked us in front of the sink on Coke crates, and set off about the house tending to her chores, while we went to work on those potatoes. I looked at this curious instrument and asked my friend "don't y'all have a potato peeler?" She gave me the oddest look and said "potato peeler? What's that?" So I got a very brief demonstration on how to use a knife to peel potatoes and we set out to tackle the project.

We were having the best time, talking and giggling and making a fun time of the kitchen duty, when her mama popped back in. She picked up the peels from the potatoes I had pared, scowled at me with this horribly angry face and promptly began belittling me for the apparently terrible job I was doing. Then she ran me out of her house. I could feel the heat rising up in my cheeks as fast as I could see the horror and embarrassment on my friend's face. I was devastated, and I've never forgotten it to this day. Needless to say we didn't get to play. My friend was embarrassed, I was hurt, and truth is... we never played together again after that.

Something to think about isn't it?

The process of steaming potatoes in butter is very old school, and is what sets these apart from simply boiled potatoes tossed in butter. Try not to freak out too much about the butter in the recipe - I know it's a lot. While the potatoes do get infused with some of the butter while steaming, much of it will be pooled in the bottom of the serving dish, so you won't actually be consuming every ounce of it. Well, unless you wanted to that is.

New potatoes are so tiny, and the skins are delicate and edible, and they really are the best potato for this. I do recommend cutting away a strip around the center so that the butter can infuse right into the meat of the potatoes. You can also prepare this with the smaller red potatoes, but for all other types of potatoes, peel and chop those into bite sized chunks. The peeled, buttered potatoes are especially decadent, because they will absorb a lot more of the butter while they cook.

Many of our mom's probably made these buttered potatoes in some form when we were growing up, I'm guessing primarily because they were easy, filling and delicious. Mama almost always made them tossed with parsley, what we called parslied potatoes, and using whole, peeled and cut up russets like this.


Since big bags of russets are the most economical, those are what I keep on hand much more often and I tend to make them like those pictured above... though I tend to take it a little lighter on the butter myself these days.

Here's how to make them.

Recipe: Butter Steamed New Potatoes

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 30 min | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings


Ingredients
  • 2 pounds of new or very small red potatoes
  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup of chopped fresh parsley, loosely packed
Instructions

Add the butter, water, salt and pepper to a medium saucepan and melt butter over low heat. Meanwhile, scrub the potatoes and peel a strip away from the center of each potato. Add to the saucepan, cover, and cook over low for 25 to 30 minutes. Roll potatoes around in the pan occasionally as they cook, but do not remove cover.

Sprinkle the potatoes with the parsley, toss and transfer to a serving bowl, drizzling the remaining butter from the saucepan over the top. Serve immediately.

Cook's Notes: New potatoes are tiny, with very thin, delicate skins and are the best potato for this dish. If using larger red potatoes you must cut them into quarters, or they will take too long to cook. May also substitute any other baking potatoes, but peel and cut those into bite sized chunks. Adjust cooking times as needed. Cut potatoes will also absorb more of the butter. May also substitute other herbs at the end; try chives, fresh sage, rosemary, thyme or basil, or use a dried herbes de Provence.

Source: http://deepsouthdish.com

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Posted by on July 23, 2012
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32 comments:

  1. These potatoes sound delicious, the recipe is makingmy mouth water! How horrible was that awful mother? Not just for making you feel bad, but for giving you a knife, for heaven's sake?!
    xx

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    1. I know! I thought the same thing on hindsight but it's an experience I've never forgotten!

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  2. My taste buds only get excited about potatoes when they are scalloped au gratin. the rest of the time I'd rather have sweet potatoes or rice. Well, occasionally a baked potato can catch my fancy.

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    1. I bet I could change your mind about that Eva! ;)

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  3. These potatoes sound amazing! Thanks for sharing!

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  4. We had some new potatoes similar to this the other night. Instead of the parsley though, we sprinkled real Parmesean cheese over them. Yum!!

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    Replies
    1. One of my favorite oven baked versions is slices of potatoes sprinkled with Parmesan - so good!

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  5. Thank the Lord for spuds! Cooking for 9 requires a big food budget and potatoes help me feed my hungry crew and are budget friendly. These look amazingly yummy~gonna throw some meat on the grill tonight and have these as a side! Thanks!

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  6. What a great idea - I've always just boiled the potatoes then tossed in butter. Duh - what was I thinking. These will be on the menu soon and don't worry, I'll make a special effort to pour that butter collected in the bottom of the dish over mine serving.

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  7. I use a potato peeler as well. moma used on and since a teenager I have used one, and I"m 64 yrs old now. I can peel things zip-zip..lol In fact the one I use I have had since the 60's, sch a great lil' tool..LOL

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    1. Yay Dora! Same here. I can zip through a pile of potatoes with a peeler quick. Not so much with a knife LOL! I can't believe you still have one from the 60s - I bet I know exactly what it looks like too, because I had one. I've upgraded to a bit of a new version, though I've probably had this one for a good 10 years now too. Use it up, wear it out, right?!

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  8. I use a carrot peeler. Much like a potato peeler....well exactly like a potato peeler, I just called it a carrot peeler growing up! ;)

    Your potatoes look divine! Great side dish.

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  9. Well I bet that woman didn't win any mother of the year awards! And you never played with that girl again!?!? What a sin!

    Anyway, I love potatoes pretty much any which way, but I made some very similar to this last week... I didn't peel them at all (but if I had, I would've used a peeler!) and I used dried parsley and dill. Also added a good dose of this sliced dried garlic (McCormick) that I recently discovered. They were sooo good, I think my youngest daughter actually had thirds!

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  10. when i peeled potatoes with a paring knife,my step-mother made me peel the peeling if they were peeled too thick. but now i use a peeler. lol

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    1. Oh my goodness - sounds like step mother was quite a perfectionist!

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  11. when i had to peel potatoes,and peeling was too thick i had to peel the peelings but now i have a peeler. i've come along way since i was 9-10.

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  12. Recipe looks great! Gonna go cut some parsley from the garden! Funny, growing up we had a "carrot" peeler but had to peel potatoes with a knife. I wasn't great at it, but Mom never fussed much. With 5 kids, I think she was just grateful to have some help in the kitchen!

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  13. My mom used a "carrot peeler" but always used a paring knife for her potatoes. Once I was old enough to know better, I decided that I needed a "vegetable peeler." How senseless to use ANYthing else?!? Those peelers have feelings, too, and they like to peel everything! I am so going to try this dish, because I love potatoes. I'm with Big Dude. I never thought to put the butter in with the water. How much better they'll taste! I'm going to try some rosemary and thyme with mine... mmmmm

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    1. Steaming in the butter really does make a difference & adds a lot of flavor to the potatoes. Please let me know what you think!!

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  14. That mom should have asked for the knife back and shown you how it was done. Teach.

    I, myself, use a peeler. Although, I do use a knife when I peel big cooked potatoes. Sometimes a little more than skin comes off, but it's no big deal. I make big chunks of potatoes when I make a huge batch of potato salad.

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    1. I agree Barbara! Don't scold - teach! I really don't think I was doing that bad of a job but I think her mom had some other issues going on at the time & took it out on me. Life!

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  15. I remember , as a child, my older aunts talking about one of my newly married cousins and her poor ability at peeling potatoes. They said she "peeled potatoes completely away", and always said it with that "tone" that stuck with me all my life. So, I decided that if I never learned anything else , I was going to peel potatoes to satisfy my critical elder aunts, Lord love 'em. To this day, I can never peel a potato without thinking of them..lol!

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    1. I bet! Funny how that kind of criticism sticks with you. As a young gal, I once worked at a department store that was similar to a Walmart or Kmart and one of the departments in my area was toiletries. The supervisor over my area had a very thick foreign accent. Not sure where she was from but she was married to a military man who brought her home to this country. She was a mean, hateful woman and she belittled me in front of coworkers for the way I spelled toiletries with a toil and said it should be spelled with a toli - laughing at me! I took my 16 years old embarrassed self home that night and looked it up in a dictionary and sure enough, I was right and she was wrong. I never said anything to her but I can't spell toilet or any variation of that word without second guessing myself to this day!! Years later after I had moved on to another retail job at the mall, that same lady was fired for stealing from that very store. Turns out she had been stealing merchandise for years!!

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  16. And... speaking of criticism... To the gal who left a comment that the potatoes "took entirely too long to cook. I could have used the oven if that was the case."

    Unfortunately your profile picture was inappropriate to publish for this website, but to answer your question, if the potatoes took so long that you could have baked them, then you likely used the wrong kind of potato!

    New potatoes are tiny red skinned potatoes, with very thin, delicate skins and are the best potato for this dish because they don't take that long to cook. If you used a larger red potato - which is not the same as a new potato - you must cut them into quarters, or they will take too long to cook.

    Any other baking potatoes may also be used but you must peel and cut those into bite sized chunks. All of that is in the post above.

    Although cooking times will vary depending on those factors, it really should not take more than 30 minutes max to cook these, but it does take that amount of time because of the method. You are slow cooking the potatoes here - butter steaming them - not rapid boiling them, such as when you make mashed potatoes.

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  17. So glad I found your site, I really love it! Such great recipes, and you sound like my kind of gal, southern all the way!

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  18. all y'all makin me horngry !......i made some shelly beans with bacon ,onion, peanut oil,and fried them low heat until juice is gone.........almost as heaven sent as your butter steamed taters !

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