Keep It Simple
When I cook I don’t try and find the most exotic ingredients or the most expensive because honestly I can’t afford it and the times that I have splurged on something I usually am not that impressed. I like my food simple but packed with flavor. I look for ways to add flavor at every stage of the process but I also let the ingredients themselves be the star of the dish. That is what you see in the picture. Simple, clean flavors that were seasoned with only Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper.
I really like my local co-op. It is run by some of the nicest people I have ever met in Chico and the produce they have on hand daily is second to none. The term organic gets thrown around a lot and I used to really resist it. Not because I thought it was bull but because I really was ignorant to what was going into the making or growing of my food. But when you really think about it, chemicals used to produce your food? Really, I think that simple common sense tells you that using chemicals to grow anything will eventually end up in your body. I don’t know if that is fact or not but natural foods should be just that, natural. No chemicals, no mass production that sucks the life and flavor out of the vegetables and no special growth products to make things grow at an unnatural rate. So that is what you see on this plate.
I used two types of fingerling potatoes white and purple, shitake mushrooms, white onion, asparagus, avocado, hydroponically grown tomatoes, and andouille sausage.
CHEFS TIP- If you want your potatoes to crisp up and brown nicely, after you cut them up place them into a bowl of cold water. Make sure they are all covered and let them set while you prep everything else. This will pull starch out of the potatoes and make them much better.
I preheat my pan over a medium heat then I add a tablespoon of butter. Once the butter is ready I drain my spuds and place them in the pan. I lightly sprinkle with kosher salt and grind a little black pepper over them all and let them cook at least 5 minutes before I stir them around. After I stir them I add about a ¼ cup of unsalted chicken stock. This helps steam the potatoes and adds flavor to the finished dish. After the liquid is gone I add the onions, mushrooms and asparagus and continue to cook about another 7-9 minutes, stirring occasionally. Also add another ¼ cup of stock. You are looking for a nice browning on your potatoes. Also check them with a fork. You are looking for what is called “fork tender”. The fork should be able to go into the potato with a little bit of resistance.
The sausage I browned in my cast iron skillet with a teaspoon of butter. Once the sausage is done I remove it with a slotted spoon.
Once the potatoes and asparagus are done I plate everything up. I added 2 tablespoons of sausage to the potato mix. This gave me all the flavor meat but kept the portion size of the meat involved very low. As you can see in the picture I finished the dish with diced tomatoes and avocado with 4 drops of Sriracha sauce.
This dish was filling and very good. It was simple and made use of very basic ingredients. See for yourself and remember to keep it simple.
Written By David Aguiar