"But…but…but…potatoes aren’t Paleo!"
(7/18/14 UPDATE: White potatoes are now Whole30 approved!)
Once again, with feeling: It all depends on what you mean when you say “Paleo.” There is, after all, no such thing as one definitive Paleo diet. Potatoes may not have been available to cavemen, but I really don’t care. Historical re-enactment ain’t my cup of tea. (Besides, it’s not like our prehistoric ancestors snacked on dark chocolate bars, either.)
My personal template for Paleo eating focuses on nutrient-packed whole foods that don’t hurt me. For me, potatoes fall into that category. After checking out Bill and Hayley’s post on the Paleosity of potatoes, listening to the safe starch debate, and soaking in Mat Lalonde’s talk about nutrient density at the 2012 Ancestral Health Symposium (during which Mat pointed out that peeled potatoes are actually more nutrient dense than sweet potatoes, save for the beta-carotene in the latter), I’ve decided that an occasional portion of peeled potatoes are a-OK on my plate. Your circumstances may be different; for instance, if you’re on a super-low-carb protocol at the moment, you’re probably not looking to down a bowl of spuds.
Blah, blah, blah, science, science, science, blah, blah, blah.
With that pesky business out of the way, let me show you how to use a pressure cooker to make spuds with crispy exteriors and fluffy interiors in no time flat.
Here’s what to gather to make a side dish fit for four folks:
- 1 pound fingerling or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into uniform 1 - 1½ inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons of ghee or favorite animal fat
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup minced Italian parsley
- ½ medium lemon
Here’s how to make it:
Add ½ cup of water to the bottom (or the minimum recommended by the manufacturer) of a 6-quart pressure cooker fitted with a steamer insert. Dump in the potatoes.
Cover the pot and cook over high heat until high pressure is reached. Lower the heat to a simmer and maintain high pressure for 5 minutes.
Let the pressure release naturally (~10 minutes). You can fry them right away or refrigerate them in a covered container for up to a week.
Melt the ghee or butter over medium high heat in a large skillet. Once it starts sputtering, carefully add the potatoes to the pan.
Season generously with salt and pepper. Leave the potatoes undisturbed for 1 minute before flipping to brown the other side for an additional minute.
Squeeze on the juice from half a lemon and toss with fresh Italian parsley.
P.S. Just ‘cause I’m posting a recipe for a side dish of potatoes doesn’t mean you have license to gorge on potato chips and French fries, which are just vehicles for delivering vegetable oil badness into your system. Yes, I know you already know that, but I’m a mother, and my job is to nag.
Looking for more recipes? Head on over to my Recipe Index! You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPad® app, and in my New York Times bestselling cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel 2013).