Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Pommes Anna with Infused Oil

Infused oil adds subtle flavor to these brown, crispy, tender potatoes that are better than french fries. I got the idea when making the oil for potato-crusted haddock, and could eat a whole pan of these all by myself. The recipe serves 2, but is easily doubled or even tripled - I'll tell you what to do.

2 russet potatoes, peeled
Infused olive oil
Kosher salt
Optional: freshly ground black pepper, red pepper flakes, or finely minced rosemary

Preheat oven to 425*F
Preheat burner on stove to medium

Brush the bottom and sides of an 8" non-stick oven-proof skillet with the oil. Using a mandoline or very sharp knife, thinly slice the potatoes one at a time (so they don't turn brown before you use them.) Lay the slices in concentric circles in the pan, pressing down each layer firmly, brushing each layer with the oil, and adding salt to every 3rd layer. If you're adding pepper or rosemary, sprinkle them on in the middle layer.

Cook on the stovetop about 5-8 minutes until the bottom layer starts to brown, using the edge of a spatula to peek and then press the potatoes back down into the pan. Pop the pan in the oven and cook for about 20 minutes, until the bottom layer is nicely browned.

Drain off all the oil, and using a dinner plate or flat skillet lid, flip the cake over and slide it back into the pan. Continue to bake another 10 minutes or so until the new bottom starts to brown.  Slide onto a cutting board, cut into pie wedge shapes and serve.

Note: if you're doubling or tripling the recipe, use a 10" or 12" skillet, increase the first oven cooking time to about 25 minutes and the second oven time to about 15 minutes. Don't cook more than 3 potatoes at a time in the same skillet; use two if necessary.

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