I like to use Dutch Yellow or small Yukon Gold “new” potatoes – they’re plentiful, inexpensive, easy to work with, and uniform in color (red new potatoes not so much…) so look for good quality “golden” new potatoes.
A lesser cook would boil them in salted water as they are, but I prefer to tourner ( or “turn”, pronounced “tour – nay”) the potatoes, so they are neatly peeled, with 6-7 sides, making them into a miniature football shape.
Set up a container with cold water, and place your potatoes in a bowl. Working one at a time, using a tourner knife, cut off the top and the bottom of a potato, then tourner 6-7 sides as you peel them. They should resemble small footballs. Hold them in cold water till ready to cook.
If you are boiling these potatoes, bring them to a gentle boil in ample salted water, and cook, 12-15 minutes, or till there is no resistance when pierced with the tip of a little knife.
If you are pressure cooking them (pommes de terre a la vapeur), toss in the potatoes with a cup of water and a big pinch of salt. Clamp on the lid, bring up to pressure, and cook (at a nice, slow simmer) for 8 minutes.
Toss with good salted butter, season well with fleur de sel and minced parsley.
Chef Willie’s Note
Potatoes stay hot for a long time, so they can be prepared and cooked up to two hours ahead of time and kept hot in a warm oven (200-250 degrees) till ready to serve. Oh, and always make extra potatoes – its better to have too many than too few. They’re also delicious cold, the next day, as a “salad”.