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Crisp Potatoes with Allioli

Crisp Potatoes with Allioli

Catalan allioli is the Iberian equivalent of Provençal aioli, or garlic mayonnaise. Drizzled over hot, crisp potatoes, it melts into them, creating a rich, creamy sauce. Sometimes a spicy-hot tomato sauce is used to dress potatoes, in which case they are called patatas bravas, or "brave potatoes."

Ingredients:

  • 3 lb. small red potatoes, unpeeled
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

For the allioli:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup vegetable, safflower or corn oil
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbs. white wine vinegar
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 to 2 Tbs. warm water

Directions:

Position a rack in the upper third of an oven and preheat to 375°F.

Halve the potatoes crosswise and place in a baking dish large enough to hold them in a single layer. Drizzle with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat evenly, then arrange in a single layer. Bake until golden, tender and crispy, 45 to 55 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the allioli: In a small bowl, combine the olive and vegtable oils. In another bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and 1 Tbs. of the combined oils until an emulsion forms. Drop by drop, add the remaining oil to the egg emulsion, always whisking constantly. Do not add the oil too quickly, and be sure that the emulsion is set before adding more oil. Add the garlic and vinegar, and season with coarse salt and pepper. Whisking constantly, add as much of the warm water as needed to create a smooth, thick consistency.

To serve, place the potatoes on a serving platter and pour half of the allioli over the top. (Cover and refrigerate the remaining allioli and reserve for another use.) Serve immediately.
Serves 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Lifestyles Series, Small Plates, by Joanne Weir (Time-Life Books, 1998).