At one point I used to Tivo half of the Food Network’s programming but now I have it down to just a few. The celebrity chefs I still enjoy watching include Ina Garten, Ellie Krieger, and Anne Burrell. I especially love how exuberant Anne is about food. She exclaims and makes sweeping gestures all while whipping up these mouthwatering rich dishes that make me want to lick my television screen. I think some people find her a bit abrasive but I feel like I learn something new each time I tune in. There’s something about her upscale comfort food style of cooking that really speaks to me.
After I watched Burrell make her self-titled recipe, Pommes Chef Anne, I finally tabled all of my prior excuses as to why I shouldn’t purchase a mandoline and went out and picked one up. It’s not especially fancy but it does the job for the time being.
I also really wanted to make this with multi-colored potatoes so instead of simply composing the potato cake from russets I opted for utilizing a bag of red, blue, and yellow roasting potatoes. This doesn’t show through as distinctly as I’d hoped but I still feel that it gave the dish a nice twist. In the end CK and I demolished the entire plate in one sitting. Simple dishes made well will always pay off. This is doubly true if they’re also pretty to look at.
Pommes Chef Anne
Originally published by Chef Anne Burrell
3 russet potatoes, scrubbed clean (Erin’s Note: I used red, blue, and yellow roasting potatoes).
Extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup grated Parmigiano
Special Equipment: Mandoline, 8-inch nonstick saute pan
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Working 1 potato at a time, slice very thin on the mandoline. It is important to work with purpose here (quickly) because the potatoes will discolor. Do not put the potatoes in water because this will wash the starch off the potatoes. Coat an 8-inch nonstick saute pan with olive oil, using the potato slices starting from the center make concentric circles of potatoes. Remember that eventually the bottom will be the top so it is important for the first circles of potatoes to look pretty. Brush each layer with olive oil and every 2nd or 3rd layer sprinkle liberally with grated Parmigiano and salt. After every layer of potatoes press the potatoes so they are very compact. Repeat this process with the remaining 2 potatoes.
Place the pan of potatoes over medium heat and cook until the olive oil begins to sizzle and the potatoes begin to brown on the bottom. Put the pan in the preheated oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place a tight fitting lid on the pan. Drain the excess oil out the side of the pan. THIS STEP IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT: After the excess oil has been drained, completely flip the pan so the cake is turned out onto the bottom of the lid, then slide the cake off the lid back into the pan so the brown side of the cake is now up and the top becomes the bottom. We see now why draining the excess oil is important – if you attempt this without draining the oil it will drain out on your wrist and burn you.
Return the cake to the oven and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes or until the cake is fork tender. Cut into wedges and serve.