I first tasted brabant potatoes - garlicky, buttery, bite-sized bits of glorious, crunchy starch - a little over a year ago at Galatoire's in New Orleans. As addictive as they were, I tragically wasn't able to manage more than a few bites of this classic Creole side dish, as I was already full by the time they arrived at the table. Between the Louisiana seafood festival, the Creole tomato festival, lunch at Commander's Palace, several gumbos, and a (meatless) muffaletta, I had, truth be told, been full for days.
Since my CSA has recently gone on a potato rampage, leaving me with 4 bags of the things growing eyes in my cupboard, I figured now was as good a time as any to try to recreate the flavor of those crispy cubes. Much to my horror, a little research revealed that brabant potatoes are actually deep fried in oil - and that's before they get drenched in butter. Nothing more than glorified french fries! No wonder they taste so good.
I figured there had to be another way. Sure enough, a visit to one of my favorite recipe sites, NOLA Cuisine, revealed that baking is an option - albeit a rarely-used one. I was afraid that baking wouldn't give the potatoes that crispy-on-the-outside, fluffy-on-the-inside texture that is so integral to the dish, but I was wrong. I'm not going to lie - this isn't exactly like the deep fried version, but it's pretty darn close, and it's just as addictive!
2 medium-sized Idaho potatoes. or equivalent
3 tbsp (or so) olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 tbsp flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/4-1/2 stick unsalted butter (most recipes call for a half stick, but you could easily use 1/4 stick and just use a bit more olive oil to make up the difference)
salt and pepper, to taste
Toss with olive oil and salt, and lay on nonstick cookie sheets, making sure they aren't crowded or touching one another.
Bake in a 425 degree oven until brown and crispy on the outside, about 15-20 minutes. You may have to take them out and turn them to make sure the bottoms don't burn.
Meanwhile, in a skillet, saute garlic in 2 tbsp olive oil over medium low heat. Gradually incorporate the butter. Add most of the parlsey.
Toss with the potatoes, add salt and pepper to taste, garnish with the remaining parsley, and serve immediately.