Don't let the amount of salt keep you trying this recipe (it helps the potatoes boil at a higher temperature). The recipe dates to the 1800s when Syracuse, New York, workers (many of them Irish) distilled salt by boiling nearby marsh water. They often added potatoes to the boiling water for a quick lunch dish. They realized the extra-salty water caused the starch in the potatoes to cook more completely, which produced a much more creamy potato compared to other cooking methods. And the outside skin stands up well to herbs and melted butter, too.
1Bring salt and water to a boil. When water is boiling, add potatoes (skin on) and cook until tender, about 25 minutes.
2Drain potatoes in a strainer and place pot back on stove over medium heat. Add butter to the pot. After about a minute, when butter is just melted, add potatoes, pepper and herbs (if using). Remove from heat, toss potatoes to coat with seasoned butter, and serve immediately.
For added color, add about 1/4 teaspoon paprika and/or 4 strips of cooked and crumbled bacon.
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