>Pommes Chef Anne

>The problem with making your wife watch three hours of cooking shows per day is that your wife will soon begin thinking that you can actually make anything that is on tv. This is where we started on this fancy yet easy potato side dish adventure.

But, as usual, I modified the recipe.

  1. I used only one large russet potato, rather than the three that the recipe called for
  2. I grated the remainder of my parmesan cheese block I had in the fridge, but I am fairly certain it was a little short of the 3/4 C that the original recipe called for.

The recipe wants you to use a mandolin to create really thin slices of potato. Again, thanks to Hoarders, I no longer have a mandolin. Fortunately, my knife skills are keen. And I was able to get regular, 1/8 inch slices. But it took a while to do so.

The recipe then wants you to arrange the slices in a circular pattern around the bottom of a small oven-safe saute pan. I have never made a tarte tatin before, but I imagine that technique is what you needed here.

Then, after each layer, I sprinkled on some parmesan cheese. I repeated this process, pressing the potatoes and cheese down with each layer, until I was out of both potatoes and cheese. I did save a healthy pinch of the cheese for garnish, though. And, for sodium intake reasons, I did not add the salt that the original recipe called for. Parmesan cheese adds a lot of salty flavor, anyhow.

At that point, I put my pan of nicely arranged potato slices onto a burner on high. I was looking to fry the bottom layer a little bit before putting it into the oven, which I had set to 425. I only wanted to get some browning, so it didn’t take long before I set the potatoes in the oven.

After twenty minutes in the oven, I needed to flip the potatoes over. This was the hard part. When I watched the episode, she first drained out all the oil and then used a small frying pan lid to flip the potatoes on to. It was an ordeal. She was shimmying the potatoes loose in the pan and hurtling the pan around like a high school physics experiment on inertia. All of a sudden, the potatoes were perfectly shaped and sitting on the lid. At that point with the potatoes now upside down, she slid them back into the pan so the other side could brown.

This did not quite work out as well for me. I wasn’t quick enough, and my potato pie shape kind of let loose a little. I shoved it back in to place and put it in the oven for another fifteen minutes.

I served it on a big plate and topped it with some remaining strands of parmesan cheese that had been grated earlier. We cut it like a pie and served little slices to go with dinner.

Although this recipe appeared to be a little more difficult than I could handle, it turned out fairly well. My dish could be cut and served like a pie, just as she did on tv. And the taste was good. It was like eating a gratin without the cream, which makes sense. Or in other words, it was like a mixture of baked potatoes and crispy hash browns, but fancy.

This recipe made about three good-sized servings of this side dish. I had experimented with a short ribs recipe the same day I made these. And since the short ribs recipe also worked out, this was a double good day. I don’t remember when I ate the leftover potatoes or what I ate them with, but I would imagine that leftovers of this recipe would be good for brunch. Probably wouldn’t even need to reheat them.

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