Spicy thin-sliced potatoes with cilantro, jalapenos, and olives

I hope everybody had a happy dragon day on Saturday! What’s that? You didn’t know it was dragon day? Didn’t you get the card? Oh, well I’ll share mine with you…

Happy Dragon Day!



Isaac drew these pictures! It’s two sides of the dragon’s day card. They kill me! I love the technique of course. I love the way he fills the page with his imagination. I love the way he did a little dotted-line arrangement for his writing. I love the little pile of knight stuff – shield, chain mail, helmet – that the dragon has dispatched. I love the idea of dragon day – you have to play dragons, draw dragons, pretend to be a dragon, talk about dragons or think about dragons – as if we didn’t all do that every day already! But most of all, I love the fact that Isaac asked me to write the date on it. So I did. Then he said, and the day, what day is it? Saturday. And then he wanted the exact time of day. So I wrote that. And then he said, but what day is it? I’m not sure what you mean. Is it the last Saturday of summer? Well, I checked the calendar, and I’m fairly sure it was the last Saturday of summer. Isaac said…write that on there, too. The boys seem so blissfully unaware of time passing – except that when they’re doing something fun it goes too fast, and bedtime comes too early. Something about Isaac asking to record this exact moment, at the end of the summer, and the beginning of the school year…I tell you, it killed me!

Spicy potatoes and olives

And this dish of spicy potatoes – I was unexpectedly smitten with this as well. I was inspired by vague ideas about Peruvian presentations of potatoes, and vague ideas of spicy Peruvian sauces. Basically, it’s potatoes, thinly sliced by the food processor, baked in layers with a spicy sauce of tomatoes, garlic, jalapenos, cilantro, a touch of lemon and a touch of sugar. I’m not kidding – I couldn’t stop eating it! It’s weirdly addictive! Malcom liked it too!

Here’s Flight of the Conchords with Friends, because it’s stuck in my head, because I wish I could watch all of this show again without having seen it, and because Isaac is such a good friend to have.

5 smallish potatoes (I used yukon gold)
2 T olive oil (+/-)
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped

1 cup cilantro – washed and stems removed
1 clove garlic – minced
2 jalapenos – seeds and veins removed, chopped
1 t lemon juice
1 t sugar
2 small tomatoes – roughly chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
salt & freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 and set a large pot of salted water to boil. Scrub the potatoes and chop them into 1/8 inch slices. (I used my food processor, which was amazingly fast and efficient!)

When the water is boiling, drop the potato slices in, and boil for 5-7 minutes, till they’re just slightly soft. Remove to a strainer, and drain completely.

In a food processor or blender combine all of the ingredients but the olive oil. Add the olive oil in a thin stream. Depending on the juiciness of your tomatoes, you should have a pourable sauce. If it’s very thick, add a few tablespoons of water and process again.

Drizzle a bit of olive oil in a baking dish. Spread a thin layer of potatoes over, and scatter 1/3 of the olives over that. Spread an even layer of 1/3 of the sauce over that. Add another layer of potatoes, more olives, more sauce. Another layer of potatoes, the rest of the olives, the rest of the sauce. Top with a thin layer of potatoes. Drizzle olive oil over the surface.

Bake for about 40 minutes, till the inside feels soft, and the top is starting to become brown and crispy.

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4 thoughts on “Spicy thin-sliced potatoes with cilantro, jalapenos, and olives

  1. Happy Dragon Day. Wonderful artwork, Isaac! Did you eat some Long Yan? (dragon eye).
    Driving through town and seeing you and Isaac laughing as you walked to school on the shady sidewalk under late summer leaves gave me a big big happy morning smile.

    • Ooh – Malcolm would like to be a water dragon! Isaac just drew one the other day. I like the eyes best, too! Well, that and the serpent-y windy-ness.

      Thanks, SR!

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