I am writing this post with a smile on my face and skip in my heart. The smile is because the lovely and talented Cheryl Lu Lien Tan reached out a few weeks ago and asked us to be part of the launch of her new book, A Tiger In the Kitchen. Cheryl’s book is a memoir about discovering her Singaporean roots while cooking alongside her family in Singapore. I can hardly wait to read the book if it is anything as delicious as her site, we will not go hungry. Cheryl has asked a handful of people to share a family recipe today, something near and dear to our taste-buds as well as our hearts. It was hard to decide between my family’s recipes and the recipes I have learned from Lenny’s family. A hardier decision when half of your household roots are Basque and the other half is Portuguese. Even though the food from both cultures are somewhat similar, they are also very different. I decided to share one of my favorite recipes Basque Parsley Potatoes
The skip in my heart is because I am sharing a recipe that was a childhood favorite of mine. You see, my grandmother Helen, use to make this dish very often, it was a staple in her house as well as my great-grandmother’s and Tia’s homes. I, remember, fondly, of opening the front door and the sweet but pungent arms of garlic wrapping itself around me and leading me into the kitchen. There my grandmother Helen, stood stirring a bubbly pot of potatoes with garlic and parsley. I could not wait for it to be placed on the table; instead, I would grab a spoon and sip the warm soothing broth, feeling the potatoes gently mash against the roof of the mouth. I loved it! I loved every garlicky taste. I loved the smell in the kitchen. I loved the smile on her face. I loved the warmth that was everywhere around us. Perfect. Soothing. Comfort.
This opportunity to share a family memory, was the gentle nudge that we have been needing, as we have been wanting to start sharing more of our family recipes with you. We talk about it often, then skip onto something else. Thank you, Cheryl, for stirring the pot – so to say.
What is your favorite family recipe?
Basque Parsley Potatoes
3 russet potatoes, peeled, washed and cut into cubes
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small head of garlic (about 16 cloves), sliced paper-thin
3 cups of water
1 tablespoon salt (more or less to taste)
handful parsley, washed, dried and minced
Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven. Add half of the garlic, stir and over low heat, cook until lightly golden. Do not let the garlic get crispy or dark brown, the taste will be bitter.
Add the potatoes, rest of the garlic and stir, just enough to coat the potatoes. Add the water and salt. Bring to a boil.
Lower heat to a low simmer and cook until the potatoes are soft but still a bit firm; about 20 minutes. It will depend on how large the cubes are. Turn off heat.
Season a bit more, if you like a little more salt.
* I like to turn off the heat and let the dish sit for about 30 minutes, in the cooking pot, before actually serving. Then gently reheat. This recipe goes very well with a nice piece of fish or roasted meat.