Monday, February 1, 2010

Later, Tater: Pommes Anna


Want another reason that I love January? Slim pickings at the farmers' markets give me an excuse to eat potatoes with abandon. During the height of the growing season, potatoes seem pedestrian, boring when compared to all the other more exotic, and perishable, options. Come the new year, the potato regain their throne as king of the comfort foods. Mashed, shredded into pancakes, boiled, gratined, scalloped, they return to favor and I wonder why I forsook them.

Before the growing season begins again and we say later to the tater, try this delicious recipe - a simple weeknight Pommes Anna, the most elegant means of bowing to the king of winter. With its crispy top and creamy interior, it's very popular with kids.

Parmesan Potatoes Anna
Closely adapted from a recipe from the dearly departed Gourmet Magazine

a scant pound of yellow-hued potatoes
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan (I used Wisconsin's sarvecchio)
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 450 F. Melt the butter in a medium size bowl. Mix in the olive oil. Pour about half into a 9-inch well seasoned cast iron pan or non-stick skillet. Slice the potatoes approximately 1/16-inch thick on a mandoline (I love my cheap Japanese one). Toss the potatoes in the remaining fats. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Heat the remaining fats over medium-hight heat. Artfully layer the potatoes on the bottom on the pan. Toss the remaining potatoes with the parmesan cheese and layer them in the pan. Cook for an additional 3 minutes. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are lightly browned. Loosen the potatoes from the pan with an offset spatula and invert onto a small plate. Sere warm.

Kids' Cooking Tips

Kids will enjoy seasoning and tossing the potatoes, especially if you allow them to use their hands. Just give them a good scrubbing before and after.

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