Imagine ordering a medium rare fillet mignon steak with red wine sauce in a French bistro and have it served with a piece Pommes Anna or Potato Cake…oh, this is perfection. So over time I developed a fixation with the Pommes Anna, so much so that I was obsessively trying to get this recipe right for weeks and after each unsatisfactory trial I would go and try again with an extra dose of determination. Well, eventually as you can imagine, I got it right and I am gladly sharing with you today the path to starchy happiness. There are a few tips that make a huge difference as I discovered and here they are:
Fry the potatoes in a nonstick pan, cooking them in the oven won’t produce the same end result
Butter is essential for achieving the desired golden color, don’t substitute it for oil
Don’t wash the potatoes after slicing them you need the starch
Don’t try slicing the potatoes by hand, you will never cut them thin enough and if they are not really thin they won’t stick and your cakes will fall apart.
4 large potatoes such as Yukon Gold
2 Tbs corn oil
1 1/2 Tbs butter, diced
sea salt to taste
Prep the potatoes: Coat the bottom of a medium size nonstick pan with the oil.
Peel, wash and pat dry the potatoes. Slice them thinly with a mandolin or in a food processor. Don’t wash the potatoes after slicing them.
Place four slices in the center of the pan to create a pretty patter and start arranging the rest by slightly overlapping then. Sprinkle with sea salt and start lining the seconds layers and sprinkle with salt again.
Cook the potato cake: Set the pan on high heat, as soon as the you see that the oil is hot and starts bubbling place the diced butter around the edges of you potato cake and lower the heat to allow the potatoes to slowly turn golden without burning them. Check the coloration regularly by gently lifting one end of the cake with a spatula. When ready to turn place a plate over the pan, flip and slide back in to the pan, do this over the sink as some of the oil will inevitably spill.
Once you have achieved the golden color on the second side as well slice the Pommes Anna into a serving dish and use a sharp pizza cutter to produce neat slices.
Serve alongside any red meat or poultry.
Wine Suggestions: Chardonnay- or Savagnin-based white wines from the Jura, Sonoma Chardonnay.