"Rissole" is a fancy name for a French cooking technique that involves sautéing partially cooked potato balls in butter until they are browned and crisp. In this recipe, the potatoes aren't formed into small balls; although this makes a wonderful presentation, it's a very time consuming technique. In lieu of using clarified butter (or the more traditional duck fat), we use a combination of butter and oil - but if you have clarified butter on hand or are inclined to make it (try our recipe), use that instead of the combo). So that the potatoes cook evenly, select specimens that are all about the same size. Browning and crisping is easiest if you create a fairly flat surface on both the top and bottom sides of the potatoes. For a nice flavor boost, the rissole potatoes are tossed in fresh herbs and butter at the last minute.
2 ½ lb
small new potatoes (peeled)
unsalted butter (in lieu of clarified butter)
olive or vegetable oil (or rendered duck fat)
minced fresh parsley
minced fresh tarragon, thyme, or dill
unsalted butter (melted)
coarse salt (to taste)
freshly ground pepper (to taste)
Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Add the salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook the potatoes until they are almost tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain thoroughly. At this point, the potatoes can be held at room temperature for several hours before proceeding with the recipe.
Heat the 2 tablespoons each of butter and olive oil (or 1/4 cup of clarified butter) in a large skillet, preferably nonstick, over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes in a single layer (don't crowd the pan) and cook, turning the potatoes with tongs as they brown and crisp, until all sides are golden, about 10 minutes.
In a medium-size bowl, combine the melted butter and the herbs. Add the hot rissole potatoes and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper as desired and serve immediately.
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