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Basque-Style Potato Cracklins with Idiazabal Cheese
Nathan Congleton / TODAY
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Idaho has a huge population of people of Basque Country decent. This dish is a simple side dish celebrating that heritage and utilizing Idaho's most famous ingredient. This, to me, is a perfect example of how culturally diverse our choices can be for Thanksgiving. Our tables can say so much about what we cherish in life. I love the storytelling aspect of the Thanksgiving table.

Technique Tips: Potatoes can be baked a day in advance and stored in the fridge.

Swap option: Don't be afraid to get inventive with different types of cheese. If using a melty cheese, melt it over the potatoes. If it's crumbly, crumble or grate it on top. 


    • 3 pounds Idaho potatoes
    • 1 cup chopped pimientos
    • 1 medium onion, diced
    • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
    • 2 teaspoons paprika
    • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 1 cup grated Idiazabal cheese
    • 3/4 cup clarified butter
    • Salt and pepper, to taste


1.  Wash and bake the potatoes at 375°F for 45 to 55 minutes until you can easily pierce the flesh with a knife. Remove potatoes from oven, place on a baking rack and cool completely.

2. When cooled, break apart the potatoes into large chunks, approximately 2-inch pieces and reserve for frying.

3. In a sauté pan, sauté the garlic and onions until just brown, season with salt and pepper and reserve.

4. Fry the potato chunks until golden brown. Season with salt and pepper and place in a bowl for tossing. Add all of the remaining ingredients and the onion-garlic mixture to the bowl and toss until fully incorporated. Place in a serving dish and enjoy.