Brabant Potatoes

This old New Orleans side dish is different from most pan potato recipes such as hash or fritters which usually call for waxy potatoes. This one uses starchy white/baking potatoes, and the result is a pan full of golden cubes with a crunchy crust and a fluffy center.

The recipe for Brabant potatoes in The Picayune’s Creole Cookbook (1901) doesn’t include garlic, but most contemporary recipes do. And by the way, Brabant is a region in the Low Countries; how this Crescent City side came by the name is unknown. New Orleans is city of mystery.

For four servings, peel and dice two large russet potatoes. Place in a colander and rinse until the water runs clear to get rid of the surface starch. Dry thoroughly between paper towels. Heat about a half inch of vegetable oil in a skillet. I don’t recommend olive oil because it has a lower burn, and you want the oil hot to fry the cubes. Stir the potatoes vigorously, and once the cubes are uniformly brown, drain the oil, add about a quarter stick and two finely minced cloves of garlic, and toss potatoes to coat. Salt and pepper before serving. Top with chopped parsley and/or scallions.

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