If you loved playdough as a kid and working with your hands in the kitchen, this is the dish for you. A festive red, green and white mixture encases baby potatoes for a seasonal and intriguing addition to your holiday table. If making individual portions, you may need three-pounds of kosher salt to ensure the potatoes are well covered.
- 2 lbs small potatoes, washed
- 2–3 lbs kosher salt
- 10 fresh sage leaves (more if desired)
- 2 tbsp pink peppercorns
- 1 cup water (more if required)
- 1 tbsp pink peppercorns, crushed
- 3 large sage leaves, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp finely chopped chives
- ½ cup salted-butter, room temperature
- Heat oven to 400ºF.
- In large bowl, mix salt, sage, peppercorns and water, crushing peppercorns & pinching sage leaves with fingers to release natural oils. Mixture should feel like wet sand; add extra water if required.
- Transfer enough salt mixture into bottom of wide, shallow, heavy ovenproof 2 L (8 cup) skillet or casserole (or 4 shallow wide mouth ram-ekins for individual servings) to make a salt bed about ½ inch thick.
- Gently press potatoes into salt bed and fairly close together. Top potatoes with remaining salt mixture; press and smooth with hands until the rounded tops of the potatoes just show as bumps under the salt crust.
- Bake 30 to 40 minutes, until potatoes are fork-tender. The salt will dry out and form a very hard crust.
- In small bowl, combine crushed peppercorns, sage and chives; add butter and stir with a fork until well blended. Divide into 4–6 small serving dishes so that each person has a personal butter pot to dip the hot potatoes.
- Crack the hard crust of the salt-packed potatoes with a knife or sturdy kitchen utensil to loosen the potatoes inside. Place hot casserole dish in centre of table on a heat resistant platter. Ensure each person is equipped with individual forks to retrieve and dust off the hot po-tatoes and their own dish of seasoned butter for dunking. Have fun!
- Head to Bulk Barn for the kosher salt and pink peppercorns.
- Use tarragon or rosemary in place of the sage.