In light of the shelter-in-place order, many of us have resorted to cooking at home, revisiting old recipes and getting creative with our pantries. Instead of our usual Flavors Worth Finding column with recommendations from restaurants, KQED staffers are sharing the meals they’ve been making at home to find some comfort and grounding during uncertain times.
I remembered that sometime in April, back when I approached cooking every meal with a creative enthusiasm that’s nowhere to be found these days, I was making a lot of potato-centric meals. Very often, I’d top them off with tuna packed in oil and a couple touches of acid by way of lemon juice, pickles and hot sauce along with a drop or two of aioli or mayo. Though the ingredients are quite humble, the bites were always an elegant surprise.
Maybe it’s the cooling fall weather but April memories of boiling potatoes in salty water with a bay leaf floating around occurred to me the other day and lunch was solved. Like I did in spring, I choose the sort of potatoes you don’t have to peel, especially since boiling peeled potatoes makes a starchy mess that I’m not keen on cleaning. Fingerlings, butterballs and the likes work great and larger potatoes can be cut up post-boil. The boiling water has to be truly salty, think ocean salty, and I like to toss in a bay Laurel I collect on my neighborhood walks. It perfumes the water and the potatoes pick up its sweet and pungent fragrance. Rosemary works great too as do other hardy, oily herbs.