Monday, March 24, 2008

No Name Pan Sautéed Potatoes

I'm still working on a name for this dish. I'm sure it has a name (in that I'm sure it's been done before), I just don't know what it is yet and a Google search was of little help. I served this to Simona and her husband last night and got such rave reviews that I decided that even without good photos (yet), I had to get it on the blog.

Potatoes have received a bad rap from the low carb/low glycemic police. Packed with nutrients, potatoes can and should be part of healthy eating as long as the high-fat toppings and deep-fat, high heat frying are avoided. (This coming from a once avowed low carber who wouldn't have eaten a potato to save her life until recently. More coming on this subject in another post.) That is not to say that would I serve potatoes daily or even weekly as they are a high-starch food that can seriously mess with blood sugar levels, but I no longer fear them as I once did. And it has been found that purple and red potatoes especially are packed with antioxidents. So I say go ahead and enjoy a potato now and then - in its simple humble skin - the way nature intended. This is an easy and very tasty way to serve potatoes with simplicity and minimal fat. I would have sprinkled fresh chopped parsley on the finished dish but am having issues with my greenhouse parsley at the moment. If you make this dish, please have some fresh flat-leaf parsley on hand.

With apologies for the especially bad photo below (what can I say? My settings were off), here's the recipe:
(Nice photo coming soon)
No-Name Pan Sautéed Potatoes
Christine's original recipe
3 medium sized unpeeled Yukon Gold potatoes (red or purple varieties may be used instead)
5 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped (for finishing)
1 tablespoon kosher salt (more or less depending on your taste)
freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
If you have two cast iron pans or other heavy skillets of the same size, prep them both over medium heat with a teaspoon each of olive oil and butter. Set one pan aside for flipping the potatoes. If you don't, be prepared to flip the potatoes onto a plate and then back into the pan.
Using a mandoline, or if you are very adept and have very, very sharp knives, slice the potatoes paper thin. I know that Yukon Golds are mostly round, but try to slice along the largest side.
If you have a handy little gadget like this, slice your garlic cloves paper thin also. If you must use a knife, slice them as thinly as you can.
After you have melted the butter and olive oil in one pan, remove it from the heat and begin layering the potato slices, beginning at the outer edge of the pan, overlapping the potatoes slightly, going around the pan and spiraling inward until your potatoes reach the center. The entire bottom of the pan should be covered with potatoes. Repeat this process two more times then sprinkle one-third of the garlic over the potatoes along with several generous pinches of kosher salt.
Continue this process until all the potatoes, garlic and salt have been used. You may also grind black pepper over these layers if desired. I chose to grind my black pepper over the whole thing when I'd finished with the layering.
Place the pan over medium heat and cook until the bottom layer of potatoes are well browned and crispy. Adjust the heat, if necessary, to avoid burning the potatoes.
Here's the fun part: Place the other skillet over the one holding the potatoes and, using oven mitts please, hold the two pans together and flip so the potatoes drop into the second prepared pan. Easy, huh?
Now put the potato-filled pan over the heat and cook until the bottoms are crispy-brown, just like the first side.
When all this is done you should have a beautiful and thin pancake-like potato dish that is crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside.

To serve, cover the pan with a plate that will hold the shape of the potatoes intact and again, using oven mitts, flip the pan over the plate, dropping the potatoes in one glorious piece onto your plate.
Sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley, cut into wedges and serve immediately.

Having been very lax at blogging lately and sorely missing some of my favorite food events, this is my entry for this week's Weekend Herb Blogging. The ever-popular WHB was established by my friend Kalyn over two years ago and is being hosted this week by Ramona of The Houndstooth Gourmet. Click here to read about the humble beginnings of WHB and here for how to join in the fun.

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