Alibi V.16 No.45 • Nov 8-14, 2007 

Hot Knives

Sherry and Sage Spuds

When the weather starts to turn, there’s nothing that will warm you to the core like a plate of hot potatoes. These wee tubers braised in sherry will heat your chest cavity, and the heady fried sage mayo will stick to your ribs.

Hard day at the rat race? This stuff will put you down like a bong rip through apple cider.

If you have a Dutch oven, now's the time to use it. If not, any large pot will do, but remember: The thinner the bottom of the vessel the more you have to watch your potatoes to avoid burning.

Sherry Roasted Peewees


8 cloves of garlic
1 pound peewee potatoes (short fingerling potatoes will also work)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 cup sherry, divided in half
2 hefty pinches of sea salt

1) Heat your vessel on medium heat while you peel the garlic.

2) Slice the butts off each clove of garlic, and scrub the potatoes with cold water.

3) Toss the potatoes and garlic into the now warm pot and cover.

4) After 5 minutes, add the olive oil and sherry vinegar, then cover. Keep a watchful eye on these little guys as they roast: Stir the pot every 4 or 5 minutes, but do it quickly so you don't lose all the steam-heat the potatoes are producing.

5) When the potatoes are just starting to soften, after around 15 minutes, add 1/2 cup of sherry and reduce, uncovered, then add the second 1/2 cup and re-reduce. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with salt and serve warm on a slather of fried sage mayo.

Fried Sage Mayo


3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
12 fresh sage leaves
1/2 cup mayonnaise (or Vegenaise)
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

1) Heat the olive oil in a small pan on medium-high heat while you thinly slice 8 of the sage leaves. (To "chiffanade" the sage into thin strips, stack the flat leaves on top of one another, then roll into a tight, long, cigar-like bundle. Hold the bundle tight and make fine slices across the width of the roll.)

2) Throw the sliced sage and the 4 remaining whole leaves into the hot oil and let sizzle for about 3 minutes. Deposit the fried sage sections, and any excess oil, into a bowl to chill. Reserve the whole leaves for garnishing.

3) After the oil has cooled, about 5 minutes, add the mayo and black pepper to the fried sage and whip to combine.

Soundtrack: Brian Eno's "The Big Ship" (from Another Green World)