What's On the Side: Potatoes Anna

Potatoes Anna is a classic French dish composed of thinly sliced potatoes cooked in beaucoup de melted butter. Not surprisingly, it is delicious.

I had plans to make salmon for dinner the other night, and wanted to make some sort of potato dish on the side. I tend to make mashed potatoes, but was looking to try something new. The major selling point of this recipe from Martha Stewart is that it can be made up to 8 hours in advance and reheated just before serving. This meant I could take one item off my to-do list when it came time to cook dinner that night.

Though the presentation is quite elegant, the recipe itself is rather simple. All it takes is a couple of sliced potatoes, some melted butter, a little seasoning, and voilĂ --you have a stunning dish for your dinner table.

Potatoes Anna (printer-friendly version)
makes 2-4 servings

2 medium russet potatoes, peeled
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
coarse sea salt
freshly ground pepper
herbes de Provence
fresh thyme leaves, for garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Using the slicing blade on your food processor or a very sharp knife, slice the potatoes about 1/4-inch thick.
2. Add 1 tablespoon of melted butter to a 8-inch cast iron skillet and brush to cover the bottom.
3. Beginning in the center of the skillet, arrange the potato slices in a circular pattern to cover the bottom of the skillet. The slices should overlap slightly. Brush with melted butter, season generously with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with a small pinch of herbes de Provence. Repeat for at least two more layers.
4. Place the skillet over high heat and cook until the butter begins to sizzle, about 1-3 minutes.
5. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the potatoes are fork-tender. This should take about 60 minutes, but check after 45. Remove from the oven.
6. Serve in the skillet, or use a large spatula to loosen the potatoes from the skillet, then flip onto a serving plate. Garnish with fresh thyme before serving.
7. Alternately, potatoes can be made in advance, allowed to cool, then covered with aluminum foil and refrigerated. To serve, reheat in a 350 degree oven for 5-10 minutes.

(adapted from this Martha Stewart recipe)