When thinking about this week’s chef homage article, I remembered that Chef Charlie Palmer influenced me in the early 90’s. I met him, got this cook book, “Great American Food”, and got it signed by him when he opened up Aqua Terra in Palm Beach. I have also eaten at his best known restaurant in New York, Aureole. If you ever have the chance to go there, you must order his fish or duck entrees.
Probably the thing that most impressed me when I met Charlie, almost two decades ago, was the way he cooked fish. I had his Asian infused sea bass, and at the time, it was the best fish I had ever had. It had an almost crunchy outside with a velvety, sweet inside. A taste so delicate but had a lingering subtle aftertaste that was unforgettable.
After getting this cookbook from him, I promptly made one of his salmon recipes for a group of friends and hosted a dinner party to share. Everyone gave rave reviews as they scraped up the last bite on their plates. This recipe was his Pepper-seared Salmon with Three Mustards, Red onion, and Haricots Verts.
The recipe of Charlie’s that I want to share is a potato side. There are always plenty of entree recipes out there to copy, but very few great side dish recipes. This one can be cooked and served year round with fish, chicken, or meat. It is versatile, easy to make, and great as leftovers, that is, if you actually leave them over! They are perfect with eggs the next morning.
Leeks and New Potatoes
This is easy, savory, delish, and fast to make. Here is his recipe: 4 large leeks 12 Red Bliss potatoes (or small red potatoes) 2 1/2 cups of chicken broth 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil 1 Sachet (page 197) Course salt and pepper
Trim all green parts off of the leak. Slice down the middle, and hold under cold water. The sediments should wash away. slice thinly and put them at the bottom of the sauce pan. cut in small cubes. Heat up the chicken broth.
Wash potatoes, slice thinly, and place in the bottom of the sauce pan. Top with chicken stock, Sachet and then top with potatoes that have been salted and peppered. Cover as it traps steam. Cook covered for 10-14 minutes. Cook uncovered for an additional 10 minutes. Enjoy!
1 Sachet (bouquet garnis) (thyme, parsley, pepper, and C