After publishing my first cookbook Haute Potato (75 gourmet potato recipes) and feeding our family our favorite potato dishes for years, I thought I had come up with all of the possible ways to cook the starchy, tuberous crop. This potato recipe is an adaptation of my potato flower crisp. This variation is a little easier and quicker to prepare than the original. It's the result of improvising for a dinner party; instead of using individual servings, I laid uniformly mandoline-sliced potato slices in a pretty design on a baking pan and baked them just as you would the potato crisp. The finished product is a thinner potato layer, which might not be as visually festive but it's just as delicious.
So next time you're tempted to create the crispy potato flower but are pressed for time, opt for this quick and easy version.
Servings: 8 servings
8 Yukon Gold potatoes
3 tablespoons salted butter, softened to room temperature
½ teaspoon paprika (optional)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon white pepper, freshly ground
Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
Parboiling the potatoes (see tips): Brush and wash the potatoes. Peel and place them in a large pot. Fill it with cold water until the potatoes are barely covered. It's important to start with cold water so the potatoes cook evenly. Bring to a boil, add 1 teaspoon of salt and reduce the heat to medium-high (if you cook the potatoes at a full boil, they might fall apart). As soon as the water reaches a boil, cook for about 10-11 minutes. Test, using a fork; the potatoes should be slightly tender but still firm. Remove from the pot. Drain the potatoes thoroughly and let them cool a little (do not rinse and let the liquid evaporate). Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, pat them dry. Then use a French mandoline (for even, regular slices or you can use a chef's knife) and slice them very thinly.
Note: Shave them crosswise using a mandoline slicer on the thinnest setting.
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Baking the potatoes: In a small bowl, combine the butter, paprika (if using) and oil. Stir well. Brush the potatoes with the mixture on both sides. Season with salt and pepper. Stack the potato slices onto the baking pan in a pretty design, until you reach the end of the pan. Sprinkle the top with salt.
Bake for 25 minutes at 400°F, then increase the temperature to 425°F and bake for about 5 more minutes. Watch the top carefully; when there's a nice crisp crust, your potatoes are ready!
Serve warm with steak or roasted chicken.
Yukon Gold potatoes are perfect for this dish. The flesh is bright yellow and the texture turns out perfectly: crisp and golden on top and soft and tender inside.
Parboiling means briefly boiling the potatoes. Think "par-tial" boiling = parboiling. You could skip this step but you'll have to bake the potatoes in the oven for a longer time.
Once the potatoes are peeled, place them immediately in water or they'll darken. If you don't plan to parboil the potatoes right away, simply cover them with water and a drizzle of freshly squeezed lemon juice to prevent oxidation.
You could make the same dish using sweet potatoes or other root vegetables such as turnips.
For more gourmet potato dishes, check out my coobook; it's available at Barnes and Noble.