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Five flavours » French, Vegan, Vegetarian » Antoine’s Potatoes

Antoine’s Potatoes

The following is a recipe of dubious origin given to me by a dubious Frenchman who described himself as “a crazy French hippie”. To say this in what can only be described in Monty Python terms as the “outrageous French accent” Antoine had you need to swallow the ‘r’s and drop the ‘h’ in hippie. Antoine was a backpacker visiting New Zealand and working in various bakeries for which he woke up at 3am. As a result of his work, he was a permanent fixture of the backpackers kitchen we were staying in in Auckland from afternoon to evening. His cooking was accompanied by stories you wouldn’t believe, and probably shouldn’t. When Antoine went on his merry way, we inherited his map that had one simple line drawn to show his journey from France to New Zealand. Next to his line was written “Frenchy”. We eventually added lines to show our own trips into and out of New Zealand. Somehow this map got put in to storage with all of our things when we went abroad to Asia for a few years. When we started unpacking upon re-entry, there was the map. Stories of Antoine ensued.

Antoine was from a region of France that bordered with Switzerland and he insisted that this was a local specialty. Perhaps it was, or perhaps it was just a bit of bull-merde derived from whatever was available on the free shelf in the hostel. At the very least, you can rest assured it’s a good thing. We met Antoine more than 10 years ago now, yet my husband and I still make these potatoes when we want something warming and simple. As alluded to, feel free to experiment with types of vinegar (balsamic is lovely) and amounts according to your own taste. If you can’t hack the taste of raw garlic, a light frying before adding it to the plate should sweeten it up a bit. You could even get fancy and add some herbs, but don’t get too carried away. The whole point of this is its simplicity.

And, if anyone can confirm that this is, in fact, a French recipe please enlighten me.

Antoine’s Potatoes

New potatoes- enough to cover each person’s plate
fresh garlic cloves-about half a clove per person is strong but good
salt
olive oil
white wine vinegar

Get the potatoes on to boil until cooked. They should be boiled whole.

In the meantime, mince the garlic cloves on a chopping board and then gather into one small mound. Pour salt onto the mound and then use the side of your knife edge to sort of smear the salt into the garlic. Keep using this motion until you have a nice paste of garlic and salt.

Smear a thin layer of the garlic paste on each person’s plate. It doesn’t have to cover the entire plate, but just be sure it is distributed evenly.

Drain the potatoes and cut each one in half. While still steaming hot, place the potatoes on each plate.

Drizzle the potatoes in olive oil and sprinkle with vinegar. Quickly turn them over on the plate a few times so that all the garlicky, salty, vinegary, olive oily goodness gets distrubuted.

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3 Responses to "Antoine’s Potatoes"

  1. niamh says:

    bull-merde – love it! Great new look for the site too, good luck with it!

  2. Marie says:

    I like how you think, Ana, the more garlic the better!

  3. Ana O'Reilly says:

    Hi Marie.
    I’ve no idea whether this is a traditional French recipe but (a) it has garlic (mmmm!) and (b) it looks delicious and I can’t wait to try it. Who cares if it’s faux French!, J’aime l’ail et les pommes de terre! :)

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