Crème fraiche, chives, salt, and pepper are perfect, simple flavorings for crushed new potatoes. The addition of cracked coriander elevates the dish into something truly memorable.
Makes 4 servings.
• 1 1/2 pounds new potatoes or fingerlings, scrubbed • Kosher salt
• Fine, flaky sea salt or fleur de sel • 1/2 cup crème fraiche
• 2 tablespoons sweet butter • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
• 2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives • 1 tablespoon toasted, cracked coriander seed (optional; remove if you absolutely don't have or like coriander)
Place the potatoes in a large pot with enough cold water to cover by 2 inches. Add kosher salt (about 1 teaspoon per quart). Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to moderate, and cook until the potatoes are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, 25 to 30 minutes. Drain the potatoes and return to the pot. Cover and keep warm until ready to serve. Just before serving, transfer the potatoes to a warmed, shallow casserole dish.
With a fork or potato masher, crush the potatoes gently just enough to split them open. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt. Stir the crème fraiche until smooth and spoon unevenly over the potatoes. Cut butter into small pieces and sprinkle over the potatoes. Scatter the chives and over the top, sprinkle with more salt and freshly ground pepper. If desired, sprinkle with the coriander seed.
To toast and crack coriander seeds, scatter the coriander seeds over the bottom of a small skillet. Toast over moderately low heat, shaking the pan frequently for 3 or 4 minutes, until you just get a whiff of their fragrance. Place a sheet of paper towel on the work surface and pour the seeds onto it. Use the side of a chef's knife or the flat bottom of a heavy glass to press down on the seeds to crush them. Carefully tilt the crushed seeds into a small bowl.