Southwest Potatoes

I’m a side dish girl.  I love the whole barbecue thing as much as the next person, but what’s on the grill is never quite as interesting to me as what’s in that salad or bowl of potato something or pasta dish or veggie thing or fruit platter.  My plate will always be side dish-heavy.

So with the opening of barbecue season, I’ve been collecting some new side dish recipes that I can easily throw together and serve with whatever happens to be on the grill.  This one caught my eye last fall when Mark Bittman posted it in his Minimalist Column in the New York Times.  I bookmarked it and then forgot about it until a couple of weeks ago when I found it sitting there waiting for me to joyfully rediscover it, which I did.  And then I made it and then we ate it and now I’m telling you how super good it was.

And this one is definitely showing up next to our grill this summer.   That’s pretty self-explanatory given this combination of ingredients… potatoes, black beans, corn, jalapenos, cilantro and grated cheddar cheese.  And this is possibly one instance where the final dish is just so much greater than the sum of its parts.  I would advise you to make a double batch… this stuff is addicting.

And as good as this is, you knew I would not be able to resist putting an egg on top, right?  Well, it just so happens that the leftovers make for an amazing breakfast or lunch the next day… but, alas, it's doubtful there will be any leftovers.  Here's the recipe...


Click here for a printable recipe

Recipe courtesy Mark Bittman

It seems just a tad tedious and labor-intensive to roast these potatoes on the stove.  I recommend that after you cut up your potatoes, you toss them with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, throw them onto a cookie sheet and roast them at 425 for about 20 minutes, and placing them under the broiler for the 5 minutes or until they're nicely browned. Then toss them in the pan with the corn mixture and continue with the recipe.

5 tablespoons olive oil, or more as needed

2 tablespoons minced fresh jalapeño, or to taste

1 to 1 1/2 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen

Salt and black pepper

2 pounds new potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

1/2 to 1 teaspoon chili powder, or to taste

1 14-ounce can black beans, well drained

3/4 to 1 cup grated Cheddar or jack cheese (I used both)

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish.

1. Put 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When hot, add jalapeño and corn, and sprinkle with salt and pepper; let sit for a moment. When corn begins to brown, shake pan to distribute for even browning. Remove corn.

2. Add remaining oil to pan. When hot, add potatoes. Cook, undisturbed, until they begin to brown around edges and release from pan, about 10 minutes. Continue, at least 15 more minutes, turning potatoes to brown all sides without stirring too often. Add oil if needed to prevent sticking, and lower heat if needed to prevent scorching. When potatoes are tender and golden, add chili powder, corn and beans.

3. Turn on broiler. Place rack about 4 inches below. Transfer potatoes to a baking dish, sprinkle with cheese and run under broiler until cheese is melted and beginning to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Garnish with cilantro.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

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