Thursday, December 9, 2010

Potatoes Anna

Potatoes Anna or Pommes Anna is a classic French dish.  Simply, it is a mound of sliced potatoes baked in butter.  Yum.  It is one of my brother's favorites and he regularly requests it.  He and his girlfriend, Kate came over this weekend for dinner.  He made the pork ribs and I made the sides, including these potatoes.  Big thanks to Kate for assisting me in the kitchen.

Potatoes Anna
Serves 6 to 8

3 lbs baking potatoes
5 Tbsps butter, divided
kosher salt, to taste

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

You can decide whether to peel the potatoes or not.  We elected not to this time.  Slice the potatoes evenly to about 1/8-inch.

Melt 2 1/2 Tbsp butter in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet (or other ovenproof skillet) over medium heat.  The heavy skillet is important because it conducts heat well and will produce a crisp, browned crust.  Melt the remaining 2 1/2 Tbsp of butter in another container.  Set aside because you are going to drizzle it over the potatoes.

Arrange a single layer of potatoes, slightly overlapping, in a circular pattern in the pan, sprinkle with a bit of salt.  Drizzle with 1/2 Tbsp of butter.  Repeat the layers about 5 times, ending with butter.  They may be slightly mounded in the center.

Press down firmly with your hands to pack the potatoes.  You want the potatoes to be dense and compact so that they hold together.

Cover the pan with foil and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake for an additional 25 minutes or until potatoes are golden.

Take a spatula or rounded edge knife and loosen the edges of the potatoes from the sides of the pan.  Place a pan upside down on the top of the pan, invert potatoes onto plate.

Slice into wedges for serving.

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