Asparagus and twice-cooked potatoes

Here’s another recipe from Slow Food Fast, a terrific weekly feature in the Wall Street Journal. This is from Eric Ziebold, a great chef in Washington D.C. and owner of Métier and Kinship restaurants. I’ve tweaked it a bit, but only a bit.

All together, it will take 40 minutes or less to make this combination, with most of the time going to boiling the potatoes. Let’s start!

Assemble your ingredients: 4 to 6 red-skinned potatoes, one pound of asparagus, 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon leaves, 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley leaves, and salt and pepper to taste. (Not shown: 2 tablespoons butter, 2 to 4 tablespoons olive oil, 1/4 cup dry white wine [or white vermouth or water], 1/4 cup half and half or crème fraîche [optional].) (For a vegan meal, omit the butter and cream.)

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First, wash and boil the potatoes, about 15 to 20 minutes. When just done, remove from heat and drain. While the potatoes are cooling, wash the asparagus.

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Cut into one-inch pieces, slicing on the diagonal and removing the tougher part of the stem at the bottom.

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Heat the butter and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large sauté pan, then add the asparagus tips.

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Sauté about 2 minutes, then pour in the white wine (or vermouth or water). If using dried herbs, add them now.

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Cover and let cook for another 2 minutes until just tender. While they’re cooking, peel the potatoes and cut into bite-sized pieces, then spread out on a cutting board to dry.

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Remove the asparagus from heat and spoon into a serving bowl, leaving some of the pan juices in the pan. Add 1 to 2 more tablespoons of olive oil and raise the temperature to medium-high heat. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper.

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Pour the potatoes pieces into the sauté pan and cook until they’re just crispy, about 2 minutes per side.

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If desired, add the half-and-half or crème fraîche to the asparagus now, tossing lightly. (I forgot to add it, and they were fine!)

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We had this for dinner along with salmon and served it with a nice Virginia Chardonnay, but either would make a great brunch side as well. And the potatoes would be great as home fries, with perhaps some diced sweet onions added.

Enjoy!

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