The Holidays are almost upon.
Old cooks, new cooks, experienced cooks and wannabe cooks are dusting off the turkey roasters and fish poachers for the ‘big event.’
I remember those days well – back when we would be entertaining large groups of family, friends, co-workers and business associates….
Back when we had a finished house….
I would start planning in early November, sitting in front of the fireplace, stacks of cook books on the floor and stacks of paper at hand.
To give you an idea…. I have 6 cook books soley devoted to cookies, 4 of them strictly Christmas Cookies. Each year I chose 8 or 10 or 12 to bake, half family favorites, half new.
We were a family of three.
Dinners were the same: big productions with too much food requiring lots of planning.
I like doing it. It’s fun.
Even more fun is making a show-off dish that has a fancy name….
And only two ingredients.
Well, three if you make the really fancy version.
Variations on a Theme (by me, not Paganini – although that happens to be one of the most glorious pieces of music…. I digress)
You’ll find the full recipe for Pommes Anna here.
This version has three ingredients, white potatoes, sweet potatoes and clarified butter.
You’ll find the full recipe for Potatoes Anna here.
1/3 (3oz, 90gr) cup butter
2 – 3 medium sweet potatoes
salt & pepper
Clarify butter: melt butter in small pan over low heat just so that it is melted. You will notice the white milk solids in the butter. We don’t want these. With a small spoon skim off as much of the floating milk solids as you can. Then carefully pour the clear butter into a glass measuring cup leaving behind the remaining solids. Using a basting brush butter the insides of a small glass baking dish (large enough to just hold the potatoes and, preferably, with deep sides) with a little of the butter.
Potatoes: Peel and slice the potatoes into paper thin slices, using a mandolin, box slicer, food processor, whatever you have. Line the bottom of the baking dish with potato slices, brush very lightly with butter. Repeat layers (potato, butter) until you have used all of the potatoes. If you use salt & pepper put a little on the middle and top layers. In a perfect world your potatoes should reach or almost reach the top of the dish.
Cover with foil and bake in 400F (200C) oven for 30 minutes. Uncover and continue baking an additional 20 – 30 minutes or until brown on top and knife goes into center easily. Remove and let rest for 5 – 10 minutes. Invert on to a large plate – it should retain it’s shape. Slice into wedges and serve. You could use a small pie or quiche plate.
How easy is that – 2 ingredients, cooks in the oven…. and is just slightly decadent.
Perfect for the holidays.
In addition to a full Thanksgiving Day Menu (with instructions and separate shopping list), for the regular week of November 19 we have Salmon with Tarragon Mustard, Chicken Rice Soup, Braised Sirloin Tips, Farmhouse Pasta….
Thyme for Cooking is a Weekly Menu Planning Service focusing on healthy, seasonal foods.
Join now and try it free for a week! The menu, complete recipes with meal preparation instructions, and shopping list is available each Thursday. (Reverse seasons available for Australia, and others in the Southern Hemisphere).
Don’t need 7 complete dinners? Try the Main Course Menu Mailer option: 6 new main courses every week.