Saturday, January 2, 2010

Carmelized New Potatoes

This is my mother-in-law's recipe, and I LOVE it.  After watching her do it a hundred times I think I finally have the technique down.  There are two tricks that you must do or it won't work. The first one is to rinse the potatoes right before you put them in the sugar so they are wet.  The second one is to keep cooking past the time when the sugar hardens a bit; it will melt again and stick to the potatoes.  Let me know if you have questions!

Ruth's Carmelized New Potatoes

10-12 new white potatoes (the small ones), or as many as will fit in a large skillet
1 cup white sugar

The morning before you want to eat these potatoes, boil the potatoes in salted water until they are very tender, about 20-30 minutes.  Try not to poke them too much when testing to see if they're done.  They should remain as whole as possible.  After they're fully cooked, drain them and set them aside to cool. 

About 15 minutes prior to eating, peel the skins off the cool potatoes.  Throw the skins away and set the peeled whole potatoes aside. 

In a large, heavy-bottomed skillet, heat the sugar over medium to medium-high heat.  For awhile it won't do anything, then it will begin to melt.  You don't need to stir it.  When it's fully melted, give the potatoes a quick rinse in water, then carefully transfer them to the skillet.  BE CAREFUL!  Melted sugar can cause serious burns, as my right ring finger can attest!

Once all the potatoes are in the skillet, start stirring them gently with a heat-proof spoon or stiff spatula.  The sugar may crystalize or harden a bit, but keep on stirring.  If it looks like the sugar is burning, turn the heat down a little, but not below medium heat.  After about 5 minutes the potatoes should be coated in the melted sugar, and there won't be much left over in the pan.  Remove from heat and serve.

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