What’s the easiest way to a New Year’s party nosh? Pour a bag of potato chips into a bowl, spoon some sour cream into another bowl, and open a jar of caviar or salmon roe for dipping. It can be as luxurious or as thrifty as you like, depending on whether you splurge on the caviar. And everyone is sure to love it — especially the host, who now has a few minutes to arrange all of the glasses and bring out the bubbly.
Recipe: Crispy Potato and Sour Cream Tart
The second easiest might be this recipe, a more substantial version of that quick-and-tasty combination. It pairs the same thrilling flavors, rearranging them into a buttery and elegant tart.
To make it, I toss cooked, sliced potatoes with sour cream, Parmesan and chives, which coat the potatoes, turning them glossy and extra savory. Then, I heap it all onto a sheet of prepared puff pastry and bake until golden.
So far, it’s pretty standard potato tart fare, which would be lovely and understated enough without further enhancement: a dish to play a supporting role in your meal.
But the garnish turns this tart into a star. Right before serving, I strew the top of the tart with crumbled potato chips and dot it all with caviar. The potato chips add both whimsy and crunch. The caviar gives a salty, juicy pop and a dash of color, especially if you use orange salmon roe, red tobiko or golden trout roe. Set it to the side or skip it altogether if you’re feeding vegetarians.
This tart may be a star, but it’s no diva — it goes with the flow. Cut into dainty pieces, it can be served with drinks as an hors d’oeuvre to be nibbled from a napkin. Or slice it into large squares and add a salad, and you have an excellent appetizer or side dish, or a swanky main course for New Year’s Day brunch.
Much of the prep can be done a day in advance. The potatoes can be boiled and sliced, the sour cream mixture stirred together, and the puff pastry rolled out on a baking sheet (cover and refrigerate it until needed).
Then, about an hour before you want to serve it, simply assemble and bake. It’s terrific warm (not hot) or at room temperature on the same day as baking. Just make sure not to add the potato chips and caviar until the very last moment, right before the corks fly and the toasting begins.
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