So, you're sitting in one of New Orleans finest restaurants...Antione's, Arnaud's or any of the many other world-class restaurants, and the waiter says, "You want fries with that?" Huh? That probably won't happen, but it is likely you could choose a special fried potato dish to go with your spectacular entree. It takes a pretty special dish to stand alongside some of the great New Orleans entrees. Brabant Potatoes live up to those expectations. This New Orleans classic is more than just a side of fried potatoes, it’s found in all types of New Orleans restaurants, from the finest creole establishments to the simplest neighborhood corner restaurants. It’s at once fancy and understated and will get the attention of every diner lucky enough to find them next to their Trout Meuniere. Tender and creamy on the inside and crunchy on the outside, drizzled with garlic butter and seasonings, this is the Grande Dame of New Orleans sides. Let's make some...
Here's What You Need
You will want to use a nice starchy potato-best for frying. Russet or Idaho potatoes are perfect. These potatoes are low in moisture and absorbent and render fluffy when cooked. Yukon Golds, only slightly less starchy, are also absorbent and fluffy and work very well for this also. The potatoes will be fried in vegetable or canola oil and seasoned with kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper and creole seasonings. The game changer? A drizzle of melted butter, chopped garlic and parsley just before serving sets it apart. See-this has to be simple and no-angst with such few ingredients. Lets see how we do it.
Here’s What You Do
First…you have a beer. Get yourself and your ingredients together and ready, read through the recipe from beginning to end. Make sure you have everything you need, do your chopping and set all the ingredients so all you have to do is assemble. The potatoes do not have to be peeled unless you want them that way. I prefer not to peel them, but that’s me.
Wash, cube and soak the potatoes
Scrub them very well with a soft cloth, then cut them into ¾" cubes. Put the cubed potatoes in a bowl and cover with cold water. Let them soak for 15 to 30 minutes.
Parboil the potatoes
Bring about 10 cups of cold water to a rolling boil, drain the soaking potatoes and add them to the boiling water. Once it returns to a boil, let them go for no more than three minutes. We are just partially cooking them here so don't let them go too long-you should just be able to push a toothpick in part ways. They will finish cooking when you put them in the oil. This helps to breakdown the starch a little and will help make the potatoes cubes crispy when fried. Once they are parboiled, drain them on some paper towels for a few minutes until they are totally drained.
Heat the oil to 350 degrees
Add about 2 to 3 inches of vegetables or canola oil to a dutch oven (or other suitable pan with high sides) and place it over medium high heat.
Melt the butter and soften the garlic
While the oil is coming to temperature, melt the butter in a saucepan, then add the chopped garlic and stir for a couple of minutes until the garlic is soft. Throw in some chopped parsley.
Fry the potatoes
Once the oil has reached 350 degrees, add the cubed potatoes. Be careful not to overfill the dutch oven, leave a good bit of room between the potatoes. If necessary, do this in batches. You want to fry the potatoes for 10 to 12 minutes until the outside is starting to brown and get crunchy. I have found that 10 to 12 minutes is the sweet spot. Once they are done, drain them into some paper towels just until any excess oil has been removed.
Place drained potatoes in a bowl, add seasoning
You can use a bowl or a baking sheet with sides for this next part. Place the potatoes in the bowl and add the creole seasoning and the salt and pepper. Some creole seasonings have a good bit of salt so make sure that you don’t over salt. Toss to mix that all together well.
Drizzle on the melted butter, garlic and parsley
If you are ready to serve, mix it all up and pour onto the potatoes. Sprinkle some extra chopped parsley on top and toss.
Serve right away or keep warm
The potatoes are ready to serve and they are at their very best right now, but if you’re not, just stick them in a 150 degree oven to keep them warm until you’re ready-just don't pour on the butter until you are ready to serve. Also, don't cover them if you put them in the oven because you don't want them to steam and lose their crunch. That's it...all there is to it.
Hints and Tips
- Parboiling first helps to breakdown the starch which will help make a crispy crust when fried. But, if you don't want to parboil the potatoes, just increase the frying time to at least 15 to 18 minutes.
- Make sure to use enough oil to cover the potatoes.
- Be careful not to overstuff the dutch oven, leave a good bit of room between the potatoes. Fry in batches if necessary.
- Many commercial creole seasonings contain salt, so you should taste before adding more salt.
- Not ready to eat? Once drained, just stick them in a 150-degree oven, uncovered, to keep them warm until you’re ready. Wait until they come out of the oven before adding in the butter and garlic. Also, don't cover them with anything while in the oven, you don't want them to steam and lose their crunch.
- Make more than you think you need....they will be popular and they make great leftovers for breakfast. Just saute them in a pan until the butter is re-melted and they are warmed through. They will make your eggs proud to be there!
There you have it. That’s it, all there is to it, simple as that. You could be at a fancy dinner at Arnaud's or Antoine's, at the corner neighborhood restaurant, or enjoying an informal family meal at home. These Brabant Potatoes are a classic New Orleans side dish that will make any meal special. The classic New Orleans Creole dish is Trout Meuniere served with Brabant Potatoes. My first experience as a child with Brabant Potatoes came alongside some Trout Meuniere at Arnauld's. Check out my recipe for Trout Meuniere and you have an awesome Creole meal!
Here's What You Need
- 5-6 Russet or Yukon Gold Potatoes
- vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoon Creole seasoning
- Kosher Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper to taste
- 4 tablespoons Butter
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 tablespoon parsley chopped
Here's What You Do
- Scrub the outside of potatoes with soft brush or cloth. Peel only if desired
- Cut potatoes into ¾ inch cubes.
- Soak cut potatoes in cold water for 15 to 30 minutes, then drain.
- Bring about 10 cups of water to a heavy boil and parboil potatoes for three minutes after water returns to a boil. (See Recipe Notes)
- Remove from water and spread out on paper towels to dry.
- Melt the butter in a small sauce pan and add the chopped garlic. Simmer on low until the garlic is softened. Don't burn the butter. Keep warm while potatoes fry.
- Add about 2 inches of vegetable oil (make sure its enough to cover the potatoes) in a skillet and bring to 350 degrees over high heat.
- Fry potatoes for 10 to 12 minutes, until the outsides are starting to brown and get a little crisp.
- Drain the potatoes onto paper towels, then place in a bowl or sheet pan almost immediately
- Sprinkle on the creole seasoning and kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper; Mix well.
- Add the parsley to the melted butter and garlic, mix well, then pour this onto the potatoes and mix well.
- If you are not able to serve immediately, place in a warm over (150 degrees) until you are ready to serve them.