Laker Baker potatoes are a specialty variety cultivated and sold by Weiser Farms at Los Angeles area outdoor markets. I get them occasionally from their stand at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market, usually on Saturdays. This variety is a lovely two-tone potato with skin that is about 60-70% (totally guessing here) purple with the yellow “undercoat” showing around the eyes. The flesh is colored deep yellow and is firm, slightly waxy, and buttery, much like a Yukon Gold.
Apparently Weiser Farms had originally called them Zebra potatoes and then tried on the name Pinto potatoes, but Laker Baker is the moniker that stuck in this basketball-crazed city. The purple and yellow hues are reminiscent of the LA Lakers uniforms, you see. But as the mighty LA Lakers were solidly rebuffed by The Oklahoma City Thunder in the second round of playoffs in the 2012 season, it seems that Laker fever has ebbed a bit. I hope, however, that enthusiasm for this delicious potato doesn’t wane as well. Call them whatever you want, but I declare them super-tasty!
I’ve bought these potatoes larger, probably five inches in length, but this past Saturday they only had smaller, round ones about two inches in diameter at most. I washed the little Laker Bakers and dried them very well. I then quartered them lengthwise and tossed them with a couple of big tablespoons of melted butter and about the same amount of melted bacon fat (leftover drippings from that morning’s brekkie). I added some minced garlic, some chopped shallots, some minced fresh rosemary, a little fresh thyme, and plenty of salt and pepper. I laid it all out on a sheet pan and roasted them in a pre-heated 400°(F) oven until they were well-browned, crispy on the edges, and cooked through. They cooked in about 30 minutes, with one interruption in the middle of cooking to flip the potatoes with a spatula and move them around a little.
They were fabulous! And they perfectly complemented a meal which consisted of pan-roasted thick-cut rib-eye steaks, garlicky sautéed pea shoots and tendrils, baby tomato Greek salad, and white peaches with creme fraiche for dessert.
Here’s some info on Weiser Farms: http://www.weiserfamilyfarms.com/
This post is my 16th in an occasional series dubbed The Potato Chronicles. My last episode was in April. I hope to get more potatoes to you, happy readers, in the next couple of weeks! Stay tuned. But in the meantime, check out what’s below.
More episodes in The Potato Chronicles:
Crispy Yukon Taters with Fresh Dill & Fleur de Sel: http://spencerhgray.wordpress.com/2012/04/12/2346/
Roasted Pee-Wee Potatoes: http://spencerhgray.wordpress.com/2011/11/13/roasted-pee-wee-potatoes/
Perfect Peruvian Purple Potatoes: http://www.spencerhgray.com/2011/11/perfect-peruvian-purple-potatoes.html
Buttery Boiled Baby Red Potatoes: http://www.spencerhgray.com/2011/11/buttery-boiled-red-potatoes-with-herbs.html
Sweet Potato Chips: http://www.spencerhgray.com/2011/10/sweet-pototo-chips-with-pink-salt.html
Crispy Hash Brown Cake with Provolone: http://www.spencerhgray.com/2011/10/crispy-hash-brown-cake-with-provolone.html
Potatoes Dauphinoise: http://www.spencerhgray.com/2011/09/gratin-dauphinoise.html
Garlic & Lemongrass Home Fries: http://www.spencerhgray.com/2011/06/crispy-garlic-lemongrass-home-fries.html
Baked Mashed Potato Casserole: http://www.spencerhgray.com/2011/04/pommes-regina.html