I’m back in sweltering LA. But it sure does feel good to be home. I always find myself immediately more inspired to cook while I’m here, though I suppose that could change in a month when I start school and realize that I’m up to my eyeballs in 2,000 page textbooks about Chinese Herbs. I’m determined to keep up cooking and lessons and sharing food while in school because it’s all part of a larger vision of Nutritional Education and healing through Acupuncture that I hope to combine in the future.
This recipe is inspired by a meal I had at Quillisascut Farm School a few years ago. I made my own version this past winter and was reminded of it just a few weeks ago when I stopped by the farm for a visit so I revisited my recipe a few days ago. Traditional pommes anna (and the way we ate it at Quilly) is a french dish consisting of slabs of potato cut with a mandolin into very thin slices, layered in a dish with pieces of butter between each and baked. I like to call my version rustic because that’s a nice way of saying “I don’t own a mandolin so my slices aren’t as thin, but if you say “rustic” it sounds better than “on a budget and don’t want to purchase a mandolin”.” I also like to use fingerling potatoes instead of a traditional yukon gold (especially if the fingerling potatoes are multi-colored) because each little round gets quite crispy.
This is definitely a fall dish. And it is definitely not fall yet. But I’m autumn obsessed and impatient, so please bear with me.
2 lbs. Organic mixed heirloom fingerling potatoes (or simply a mixture of your favorite potatoes)
6 oz-8 oz (3/4 cup- 1 cup) cold salted Kerrygold butter, (I’m not joking here..you can’t be afraid of butter with this dish. Normally I’m all for buying unsalted butter and thus controlling salt intake yourself, but Kerrygold does suck an awesome job on this butter that I leave it to them in this case)
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
cracked black pepper
2 tsp. fresh thyme
1 tsp. fresh rosemary
Preheat oven to 400F.
Wash potatoes. I like the skins on because I think they look nice, but you can peel the potatoes if you want. Carefully slice each potato into rounds as thin as you can safely make them with your knife. Once you’ve sliced all potatoes, pat the slices dry with a paper towel. Potatoes hold onto a tremendous amount of moisture and any left on them will make it difficult for them to crisp up.
Sauté garlic in 2 Tbs. butter for about two minutes over medium heat until just golden. Remove from heat and set aside.
Use one end of the stick of butter to grease the bottom of a 8-10 inch round baking dish. Then lay down one layer of potato rounds. Sprinkle garlic evenly around potato layer. Next, cut off small pieces (about 1/2 tsp. size) of butter and arrange them on top of the layer of potatoes. Sprinkle with thyme and rosemary and cracked pepper. Repeat this layering process of a layer of potatoes, garlic, butter and herbs until you run out of potatoes. Make sure to do one last butter layer on the top and extra herbs.
Bake for 30-35 minutes until potatoes on top look golden and crispy.
Tastes delicious with a fried egg on top!