POTATOES WITH ONIONS AND MAPLE SYRUP POMMES DE TERRE AUX OIGNONS ET SIROP D’ERABLE
The French are artists with the potato, and here this wonderful tuber is taken to new heights. Brushed with oil and maple syrup, infused with garlic, onion and bay leaf, it is one of the best possible side-dishes I can think of. If you’re not in the mood for meat or poultry, one or two of these potatoes makes a fine main course. They are simple to prepare, out of the ordinary, and they appeal to everyone. ASTUCE: the cooking time will vary depending on the size and freshness of the potato. Also, I ADORE bay leaves. If you love them but don’t adore them, you may use fewer (or more!!!). And should you have any leftover potatoes, dice them up, add some bacon and serve them for…an American breakfast or a French first course! Special Equipment: tongs, aluminum foil
Wash the potatoes, and make three partial cuts in each, crosswise. Be careful not to cut through the potatoes.
Using a pastry brush, paint the exterior of the potato and inside of the cuts with olive oil, then with the maple syrup. Season with salt and pepper, making sure some of the seasoning gets inside the cuts. Rub the minced garlic over the potatoes, pushing some of it into the cuts in the potatoes.
Light a medium-sized fire in the grill.
Brush the slices of onion on either side with oil and maple syrup, season them on each side, then slip one slice into each cut in the potato, pushing them down as far as you can. Slip a bay leaf into each slit of the potato, alongside the onion slices. Season the potatoes all over with salt and pepper.
Place the wood chips in a bowl and cover with water.
Cut four large pieces of aluminum foil and set the potatoes in the center. Pour 2 teaspoons of water around each potato, then seal the packets. When the coals are red and dusted with ash, divide them in the barbecue, putting half the coals on either side. Place the grill over the coals.
When the grill is hot, place the potato packets in the center of the grill and close the top. The temperature should rise to about 400F (200C). Cook the potatoes for 20 minutes, then check them for doneness. The potatoes should be nearly tender. Open the packets, and then drain the wood chips and place them on the hot coals. Close the grill and continue cooking the potatoes until they are tender through, 10 to 15 additional minutes. Remove the potatoes from the grill and transfer them from the foil to a serving platter or four warmed plates.