November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving: Potatoes Anna

Today and tomorrow, I'll be sharing a handful of easy recipes for your thanksgiving table. Enjoy!

POTATOES ANNA are by far my favorite way to make potatoes.  Crisp and buttery and delicate in flavor, but still easy to transport and just so delicious.  Also,  they aren't soaked in cream, and while they're buttery, they aren't over the top buttery--so they are not too heavy for even the richest of dinners. If they didn't take the extra time to prep, I'd honestly at these every week in the wintertime.

It may seem like a longish recipe (at least for me!), but it is really simplicity itself.  The hardest part is inverting the skillet onto a plate.

They can be prepped the morning of Thanksgiving, and put in the oven for the last hour while you're roasting your meat.  They're not half bad room temperature, too. And they transport well in the skillet--just pop in the oven for a couple of minutes to reheat.

adapted from Martha Stewart

2 1/2 - 3 lbs Russet Potatoes
8 tbl European butter (or regular unsalted butter, but come on, this is a holiday!)
a couple sprigs of rosemary or thyme (or both)
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Peel the potatoes.  There are three ways you can slice them: Using a sharp chef's knife, slice thinly in rounds. OR use a mandoline.  OR use the slice blade on a food processor.  If you want to be anal and have a perfect dish, you can separate the nice full rounds from the stubby little ends.  If you are using rosemary, strip the leaves from the stem and chop them roughly.  If you are using thyme, simply strip the leaves from the stem and discard the stem.

Melt the butter in a little saucepan. Brush the bottom of your cast iron skillet (or baking dish, but really, it's better in a skillet) with 1 1/2 tbl melted butter. Starting in the center of the pan, arrange the potato slices, overlapping each other, in a circular fashion, till they cover the bottom of the pan.

Brush this layer with more melted butter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and some of the herbs.  Arrange a second layer on top, in the same fashion.  Then coat with butter, salt, pepper, and herbs again. Continue till the pan is full.

Bake for approximately 1 hour, till the potatoes are tender and the top is crispy.  Remove from the oven and allow the pan to cool a bit.  Run a flat spatula along the sides and bottom of the potatoes, and carefully invert onto a flat plate.  To serve, slice into wedges.

If by chance you fail to invert it cleanly onto the plate, don't worry.  Dress it up with some creme fraiche or sour cream, and some herbs.  Or roughly chop it up into a bit of a mash.  It still tastes amazing.

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