Here in Central New York, you know it's summer once grocery stores start breaking out the Salt Potatoes. These little salty gems are a staple at picnics, clambakes and really any outdoor gathering you can think of. Typically served alongside the quintessential selection of ribs, chicken, corn-on-the-cob, and of course Hoffman hot dogs and coneys.
Never heard of 'em? Here's some backstory:
During the 1800s, Irish salt miners in Syracuse, NY would bring a bag of small, unpeeled, substandard potatoes to work each day. At lunch time, they would boil the potatoes in the salt brine - nothing like convenience, eh?
Thanks to local entrepreneur John Hinerwadel, by 1900 these potatoes had become a staple at clambakes thanks to their starchy goodness and affordable preparation.
For those of you not fortunate enough to live in the great upstate where you can head over to your local market and pick up a bag of Hinerwadels salt potatoes, then here's a simplified recipe using ingredients you should be able to find no matter where you're located.
Note: Try not to gasp in horror at the amount of salt vs. amount of potatoes. I mean, you are on a salt company website after all... but really, don't skimp on the salt out of fear. I promise, it just won't be the same.
- 1 pound “new” potatoes (I prefer red, but white are fine, just make sure you get the small ones)
- 1/2 cup Kosher salt
Combine the potatoes, salt, and enough water to completely cover the potatoes, then add a little more (water should cover potatoes by about 2 inches) in a large pot. Bring to a boil and continue boiling until they become a bit soft and can be easily pierced with a fork - 10-20 minutes depending on potatoes.
They are done when soft, but firm. Do not cut or pierce potatoes - this will make them absorb the salt water and get soggy.
Drain and let dry until you see a white film covering the potatoes - this is the salt doing its job.
Melt butter and serve with potatoes.
Dip your potatoes right in and enjoy the fluffy, hot treasure.
- Using margarine is a sin! Go hard with real butter or go home.
- If you're making more than a pound at a time, make sure to increase the salt proportionally.
- Leftovers always make great homefries for tomorrow's breakfast.
- Wanna kick it up a notch? Check out our Products for some finishing salts to make this picnic food a little more gourmet.