Truffled Pommes Anna

Who remembers this?  That was just about the best potato dish I have ever made – so wonderful and buttery, thin and delicate, with a wonderful crunchy outside edge.  Just the perfect side dish, seriously.   There was only one problem, it just didn’t look that good, it was just too brown.  It didn’t taste burnt, but it was just on the edge.  I happen to like things just a little extra done, but not everyone does.  I made that potato dish a least a few times before I felt like I could take a picture, and to tell you the truth, I still was not completely satisfied with the appearance.

This month I was flipping through my Cooking Light and I almost passed right over this recipe – thinking to myself – how could this one come even close to the one from Cook’s Illustrated?  It was the best potato dish ever?  Well, I decided that I just had to prove that to myself, and I gave it a shot.  I should always remind myself to keep an open mind about recipes – just because you thought you found the perfect one, doesn’t mean that there can’t be a better one.  In a way, that is why I never ever get bored with cooking, I am constantly longing to find the next best…  Ok, back to the story.  So, needless to say, this recipe has a fraction of the butter, and was really much simpler to make – since there was not a cornstarch step.  I also followed the recipe exactly, and used my cast iron pan.  I think that was the magic it needed.  When I flipped this baby over onto the plate, lifted off the pan – I screamed.  I couldn’t believe how beautiful it was – it came out PERFECT!!!  Just the right amount of crisp on top, and it was perfectly browned.  The only thing left was to eat it.  It couldn’t possibly taste as good without all that butter, BUT NO – it was SO MUCH BETTER!!!!  That truffle oil made the entire dish!!  No need for all that butter, and really, the amount of truffle oil seemed rediculously trivial, but it turned this potato dish into restaurant quality, no joking.

Do not pass go, do not collect $200 – go immediately to the store and get the ingredients, then go straight to the kitchen and watch the magic happen…

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 1/2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons white truffle oil, divided

Preparation

Preheat oven to 450°.

Combine 2 teaspoons thyme and kosher salt in a small bowl.

Drizzle butter into a 10-inch cast-iron skillet coated with cooking spray. Arrange a layer of slightly overlapping potato slices in a circular pattern in pan; sprinkle with about 1/2 teaspoon salt mixture and drizzle with 1/2 teaspoon truffle oil. Repeat layers 4 times, ending with truffle oil. Press potato mixture firmly to pack. Cook over medium-high heat for 6 minutes without stirring.

Cover with foil, and bake at 450° for 20 minutes on bottom rack in oven.

Uncover and bake an additional 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife. Loosen edges of potatoes with a spatula or knife. Place a plate upside down on top of pan; invert potatoes onto plate. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon thyme.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Truffled Pommes Anna

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