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Last Chance Foods

Last Chance Foods: The Ultimate Pickled, Smoked, Smashed, Fried Potato Salad

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by David LeiteLeite's Culinaria

Serves 4 to 6

For the anchovy aioli

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 6 anchovy fillets, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, or 1/2 cup olive oil and 1/2 cup grapeseed oil

For the smoked pickled potatoes

  • 2 pounds small red new potatoes, 1 to 1 1/2 in diameter, scrubbed and rinsed
  • Sea salt
  • 4 cups malt vinegar
  • Peanut oil, for frying
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Dust the garlic with a bit of salt and, using the flat side of your knife’s blade, rub the salt back and forth into the garlic to make a paste.

2. Add the garlic, anchovies, lemon juice, and egg yolks to a medium bowl. Whisk to combine.

3. Slowly drizzle a few drops of the oil into the bowl while whisking vigorously until the mixture is smooth. Add the rest of the oil in a thin stream, all the while whisking until smooth and light yellow. Season with salt.

4. Add the potatoes to a large pot and add enough cold water to cover by 2 inches. Add the salt, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook gently until tender, 10 to 12 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with ice and water. When the potatoes are cooked, drain them and then add them the the ice water. Let them sit until cooled completely.

6. Drain the potatoes and prick each potato deeply with a toothpick or thin metal skewer numerous times all over. Pour the vinegar into a medium bowl and add in the potatoes. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let the potatoes hang out on the counter in their pickling bath overnight or for at least 8 hours.

7. Following manufacturer’s instructions, set up your smoker, smoker box, charcoal grill, or gas grill for cold smoking using sawdust, chips, chunks, or Bradley bisquettes. You make a makeshift smoker by heating a cast iron skillet until very hot, placing it on your turned-off grill, adding wood chips, and closing the cover.

8. Smoke the potatoes, making sure to keep the temperature under 100°F (38°C), for 1 hour. Remove the potatoes from the smoker. You can refrigerate the potatoes for several hours or you can immediately fry them.

9. Pour enough peanut oil into a heavy pot so that it reaches a depth of 2 inches. Heat the oil to 375°F, using a deep-fry or candy thermometer to monitor the temperature. While the oil is heating, place the potatoes on a flat work surface and smash them with the palm of your hand just until they crack and split.

10. Fry the potatoes in batches, making sure the heat never goes below 350°F, until the potatoes are golden brown, 7 to 9 minutes. Transfer the potatoes to paper towels to drain and season with sea salt and pepper. Serve immediately with plenty of the aioli on the side.