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Meat is not complete without taters. But Nicolaus Balla and Courtney Burns' smoked potatoes at Bar Tartine? They can hold their own. The co-chefs (and couple) layered the earthy flavors on thick. “We were trying to pack as much umami into a dish as we possibly could. The result was something that we won't take off the menu," Balla says. “With the amount of ADHD in our kitchen, that is saying a lot."
Smoked Potatoes with Ramp Mayonnaise
(This recipe requires a charcoal grill or smoker.)
2 pounds small Yukon gold potatoes
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups Alder wood chips, soaked for 1 hour (available at Lazzari in Brisbane, lazzari.com)
1 gallon vegetable oil for frying
½ bunch dill, tough stems discarded,
½ bunch green onion, cut into thin slices,
½ bunch curly parsley, leaves torn, for garnish
Black Garlic Vinaigrette (see recipe here)
Ramp Mayonnaise (see recipe here)
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, toss the potatoes with the grapeseed oil and the kosher salt.
3. Transfer to a rimmed sheet pan, and roast until barely tender, about 40 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, prepare a fire in a grill for indirect heat. If using a charcoal grill, burn the charcoal until it is covered with white ash, and then add the soaked Alder wood chips to the fire. If using a smoker, follow the manufacturer's directions for potatoes and skip to step 6.
5. Put the roasted potatoes on the grate so that they are opposite the fire. Cover the grill, and smoke the potatoes until they are browned and tender to the touch, about 30 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
6. In a deep pot, heat the vegetable oil to 350 degrees.
7. Set a cooling rack over a baking sheet lined with paper towels.
8. Gently press the potatoes between your palms to smash them slightly without breaking them. Add to the hot oil, a few at a time, and fry until crisp, about 4 minutes.
9. Transfer to the cooling rack, and let drain for about 1 minute.
10. Transfer to a large mixing bowl, add the dill, green onion, parsley, and Black Garlic Vinaigrette, and toss to combine.
11. Transfer to a serving platter, and serve with the Ramp Mayonnaise and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.