Slowly I have been embracing this whole dairy-free diet (among other things), that my husband has been trying to stick with. I definitely love cooking and baking with butter, but there are other ways to make delicious tasting food, and I have been testing them out. Fortunately when you are baking, olive oil is a great substitute for a lot of things – and to give food a richness that you get from butter – a little truffle oil can definitely do the trick.
I love truffles – pretty much any kind of truffles, but to be honest, I have never really had real white truffles. Someday I will though…and it is fun to look forward to that. In Paris, there is a store that is all about truffles. My daughter is also really into truffles because once when we were visiting Paris – she had some truffled macaroni and cheese – and she was hooked. I think I was over 30 the first time I tried truffles – she obviously has a head start. So during this most recent trip to Paris – we walked by the Maison de Truffle. We had never been in before, but it was early in the day, and didn’t look crowded. We entered the store and we got an immediate whiff of that wonderful truffle smell. My mother was very interested in the truffle candies they had on sale, and asked if she could buy just one to try, and they said that they only came in a box of 10. Then the woman opened this big glass jar though – and asked if she wanted to try one. I thought my mother would give her a hug. Not only did she give my mother one, she gave one to my daughter and I as well. This was the most unusual candy I have ever tried. It was the consistency of Halva (an Israeli treat) with a strong truffle flavor – out of this world. My daughter didn’t eat hers…so I still have a secret stash when I really need to remember Paris.
The last time I made these Pommes Anna, I was overwhelmed with the flavor – it was amazing – the butter and truffles were too good to be true. I decided this would be the perfect candidate to try dairy-free, by substituting olive oil for the butter. I have to say – I really didn’t miss the butter at all. The key though is to get it nice and crispy, and once you get the flavor of that truffle oil, that’s all you need. For those of you cutting dairy out of your diet, you should definitely give this a try. In fact – make it for someone that loves dairy, and ask the, if they miss the butter – they will be too overwhelmed with the truffle oil to even answer…
- 2 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 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
Preheat oven to 450°.
Combine 2 teaspoons thyme and kosher salt in a small bowl.
Put olive oil 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.
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