Sunday, April 30, 2006

Skordalia with Crostini

So, it isn't that I haven't been updating this blog, it's just that I haven't been cooking anything. We've been out of town so much that I haven't had the chance. So this week I am cooking!

Tonight we had Greek Garlic Potato Dip (Skordalia) With Crostini, from One Potato, Two Potato. It was good but was disappointing. It was kind of more like mashed potatoes on bread. I still ate it because I loved roasted garlic, and potatoes, but I definitely won't make this again. This is the second dud I've had from this cookbook (and I've only made two things from it). One more and it's going on Ebay.

Greek Potato Garlic Dip (Skordalia) with Crostini
1 lb. small white or all-purpose potatoes, scrubbed
Coarse salt
1/2 head garlic, cloves broken apart but not peeled, plus 1 garlic clove, peeled
1/2-3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2-4 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Warm water or stock for thinning (optional)
Crostini (recipe follows)

Heat oven to 350. Put the unpeeled garlic on a square of foil. Drizzle with 1 tsp of the oil, season with salt and pepper, and fold up the foil to form a neat little package. Roast for about 30 minutes until the garlic is very soft but not caramelized. Carefully open the foil and let the garlic cool.

Put the potatoes in a saucepan, cover with water by at least an inch, add a good pinch of salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, cover partway, and cook until the potatoes are very tender. Drain the potatoes on a rack set in the sink and leave them there to cool somewhat.

Meanwhile, pound the garlic and 1 tsp salt into a smooth paste, either in a mortar with a pestle or on a cutting board with the side of a chef's knife. Transfer the paste to a bowl - wooden is best.

When the potatoes are cool enough to handle but still rather warm, peel them and add them one at a time to the garlic, crushing them completely with the pestle or spoon as you go. Continue until you have a smooth puree.

Dribble in the olive oil a bit at a time, working the puree until each bit is incorporated before adding more oil, until you have a creamy puree. the amount of oil that the potatoes will absorb depends on their texture, character, and age.

Season with lemon juice to taste. Taste for salt - you may not need any more. The sauce should be thick enough to hold up a spoon, but if you prefer a looser sauce, stir in a bit of warm water or stock.

Serve right away, or cover loosely and keep at room temperature for several hours. The dip can also be covered and refrigerated for a day or two; just be sure to let it return to room temperature before serving. If any oil puddles on the surface, stir it back in.

CROSTINI:
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice a baguette on the diagonal into 1/3 inch thick slices.
Arrange the slices on a baking sheet and bake, turning once halfway through until crusty and beginning to brown around the edges, about 15 minutes. You may want to finish them with a brush of extra-virgin olive oil or a rub on the crust with a cut clove or garlic- or both. Serve immediately.

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