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French in a Flash (Classic): Potatoes Sarladaises

[Photographs: Kerry Saretsky]

There are some things in life that are just worth it. Worth the money. Worth the calories. Worth the time. Some things just are—and this is one of them.

Pommes de Terre Sarladaises is a canonical French potato dish made of only three ingredients: potatoes, garlic, and fat. The fat is usually duck or goose fat, but since those are hard for me to find in America, in their absence I used clarified butter, which I buy as ghee in markets that sell Indian ingredients.

I first had this sitting on a restaurant terrace in Place Dauphine in Paris at sunset. I ordered duck confit, a personal favorite, and it came on a bed of these sarladaises potatoes, which had been cooked in the same duck fat as the as the confit. If you've never cooked with duck or goose fat, order some right now. I know butter makes everything better, but goose fat makes it even better than that. It crisps so beautifully, and tastes so luscious. My duck confit and sarladaise dinner was one of the most significant, most enjoyable, and most fattening moments of my life.

This recipe is so simple. Take Yukon Gold potatoes, the fat of your choice, garlic, water, salt, pepper, and parsley, and one pot. Cut the potatoes into coins, sear in the fat, add the garlic, sear until everything in the pot is golden, add some water, and steam until soft and still crisp. Top with parsley, and season, and serve. I'm sighing just dreaming of it.

About the author: Kerry Saretsky is the creator of French Revolution Food, where she reinvents her family's classic French recipes in a fresh, chic, modern way. She also writes the The Secret Ingredient series for Serious Eats.

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