Crushed Potatoes with Coriander and Wine (Patates Antinaktés)
A very simple, absolutely delicious three-ingredient dish from Cyprus.
Inspired by the Home Fries by Rōze Traore I start by cooking the potatoes in a mixture of olive oil and water. Some recent Cypriot recipes suggest to briefly boil the baby potatoes before frying, but the way I do it, the water evaporates just as the potatoes start to sizzle and soften. Then I carefully crack them, and continue to fry them in olive oil with plenty of crushed coriander seeds; finally I drizzle with wine, stir, and serve.
Antinaktés means ‘tossed’ and the chef who demonstrated the dish to me –a zillion years ago, when I first visited Cyprus-- did exactly that: as he added the coriander, and again when he poured in the wine, he tossed vigorously the pan as the potatoes sizzled.
I never managed to toss as the professionals do, but the taste is equally wonderful if you carefully stir the potatoes with two spatulas.
1 ½ pounds (about 700 grams) baby potatoes
2/3 cup olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
3-4 tablespoons coriander seeds
2/3 cup rosé or dry red wine
Finishing salt (optional)
Choose a skillet or sauté pan that holds the potatoes in one layer. Pour in ½ cup olive oil, season with a good pinch of salt, and add enough water to halfway cover the potatoes.
Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to medium-hot and cook until the potatoes start to sizzle and the water has evaporated, about 10-12 minutes.
Meanwhile put the coriander seeds in a mortar and coarsely crack them, then transfer to a small bowl.
As the potatoes fry, reduce the heat to medium-low and gently crack them one by one with the back of a wooden spoon or with a small potato masher; you need to slightly crack, not completely mash them. It may be easier to do this on a separate wooden bord, then return the potatoes to the pan.
Continue frying, drizzling with the rest of the olive oil and sprinkling with half the coriander seeds, until the potatoes start to turn golden brown and crispy.
Sprinkle with the rest of the coriander seeds and toss with two spatulas, frying the potatoes for another 1-2 minutes, until very aromatic.
Pour in the wine, and cook for another minute or two, until the sauce get syrupy. Remove from the heat and if you like, sprinkle with finishing salt and serve immediately.