On free Saturdays that are not packed with activities, I like to take Son and Daughters to our local farmers market for some browsing and eating. Mostly I encourage Son and Daughters to taste the different seasonal fruits and to enjoy them in all of their glory. Daughter #1 is extremely adventurous and is willing to try (LOVES to try) all variety of samples, including baked goods and more unusual fare. Daughter #2 is far more cautious and wants to try things she recognizes, but only if I give it to her. She refuses to take food from a stranger, even if I am encouraging her and am right next to her. Son is the toughest for me, because he won't eat the fruit at farmers markets and instead stares longingly at all the things that he is not allowed to eat, like cheese, cheese topped breads, and pastries filled with butter.
It was on one of these farmer market excursions where I ran into a bit of trouble. I went to the bread/pastry stand where there was just a mass of people in line to buy these delicious pastries. I had my eye on two baguettes and the gentleman helping me saw Son and Daughters and said, "Wait. I want to give them a cookie." He came back with three cookies and I had to refuse one on behalf of Son, but allowed each Daughter to take one. With a polite thank you, the girls squealed with excitement. The cookie was bigger than each of their faces and iced with yellow frosting (it was duck shaped.) They clutched their new found treasures firmly and then I heard the yelp of Son screeching, "WHERE IS MINE?" I frantically tried offering him the baguette which he promptly said wasn't good (although he normally loves it) and began saying that he was hungry, in a very very loud voice.
Desperate my eyes searched the market trying to find something that would appease Son. After buying strawberries and trying to soothe him with that, I spied out of the corner of my eye a man walking, holding a huge cone of fries. Son LOVES fries and is quite the connoisseur. I quickly zeroed in on the fry stand, and went over to discover that it wasn't just regular fries, but they were pomme frites. (Pomme frites are actually DOUBLE fried, which makes them have that characteristic crunch and deliciousness.) They were perfectly golden brown and they offered several dipping sauces to accompany the cone of frites. I asked Son, "Do you want some french fries?" and he promptly said YES and I ordered them.
Out came this huge cone of fries with this delicious homemade ketchup and Son could not sit down fast enough to eat them. I explained that these were special fries called "Pomme Frites" and nodding, he ate them. I managed to sneak in a few bites and they were truly delicious. Daughters tried desperately to eat the fries, and Son eyed them and said, "YOU got cookies. I get pomme frites." I couldn't really argue with his logic, but I did manage to steal a few fries for each Daughter.
It has become Son and Daughter's favorite thing about the farmer's market. Whenever we go on Saturday, their first question is, "Can we have pomme frites?" This past weekend, I went closer to lunch and I promised that we could get two cones instead of just one. Daughter #1 asked if she could choose a different dipping sauce besides ketchup and I agreed. When we got there, we stood in line for more than 10 minutes, and when it was finally my turn I asked for two cones....only the gentleman told me that they only had enough for one cone. I knew that war was going to ensue once I announced that there would only be one cone to share amongst the three of them and I gritted my teeth preparing for the onslaught of frustration and greed that was to follow. To try and stop the war, I asked if I could have an additional dipping sauce from the ketchup and got a delicious garlic mayonnaise. I turned around with the extra sauce and the single cone of pomme frites only to be greeted by dismay and whines. "ONLY ONE MOM?"
Needless to say, it wasn't smooth sailing with the single cone of pomme frites, and on the way home, I thought about how the pomme frites were so popular and what the sense of having all the dipping sauces was. As I was driving I was suddenly hit with the idea of roasting some potatoes and also offering different dipping sauces, inspired by the pomme frites. I served these the same day as I did the Asian Fried Chicken and they were equally a hit. They are wonderful since you can offer a bit of the spicy mayos to the adult and regular ketchup for the kids. Easy to make, and fun to eat, you won't go wrong making these.
Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Dipping Sauces
Serves 4 to 6
2 ½ lbs variety of fingerling potatoes (purple, rose, and yellow are all delicious)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (more if necessary to coat all the potatoes)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 375.
Slice fingerling potatoes in half. In a large bowl add olive oil, salt and pepper and toss well to combine and make sure each potato has some oil and seasoning.
Throw potatoes onto a heavy roasting pan in a single layer. Cook in the oven for between 45 minutes to an hour, until golden brown. Serve with dipping sauces.
¾ cup of mayonnaise (will be split into three different sauces)
¼ cup ketchup
2 tablespoons sambal oelek
1 tablespoon chopped basil
1 teaspoon garlic (will be split into two different sauces)
1 teaspoon chopped jalapeno
Salt to taste
Mix together ¼ cup mayo, ½ teaspoon garlic, and ⅛ teaspoon salt. Mix well. Set aside
Garlic Jalapeno Mayonnaise
Mix together ¼ cup mayo, ½ teaspoon garlic, 1 teaspoon of chopped jalapeno, and ⅛ teaspoon salt. Mix well. Set aside.
Mix together ¼ cup mayo, 1 tablespoon chopped basil, ⅛ teaspoon salt. Mix well. Set aside.
Mix together ¼ cup ketchup and two tablespoons sambal oelek. Mix together. Set aside.