I wonder who Anna was. Her name has become associated with this potato dish that, I think, most of us assume is something quite fancy. Well think again, it may look fancy when served, but it’s not fancy to make. Do you love thinly sliced potatoes cooked till brown and crispy? Well that’s what this dish is all about. You can make it with all one kind of potato or use a variety of potatoes. In the version that I made recently I used a white baking potato (russet) and a large sweet potato to provide some color contrast, and increase the nutritional value of the dish. You could also use Yukon Gold potatoes, or red-skin potatoes.
In my experience with making this dish, it is best to peel the potatoes so you get nice crispy, browned edges, but of course you can certainly leave the potatoes unpeeled if that is your preference.
The key to the success of this dish is to cut the potatoes in even slices. One tool that I like to use is a mandoline slicer. It makes quick work of cutting vegetables into thin even slices. I find it easier to clean and use than my large processor for slicing jobs like this.
Since this post is a “how to” tutorial I am going to give tips on making Potatoes Anna first, followed by the recipe itself.
1. Once the potatoes have been sliced, begin the layering. Use a heavy, oven-proof skillet. I like to use my wrought-iron frying pan for this job as it distributes heat evenly and the bottom layer gets nice and brown. If you don’t have a wrought-iron pan any oven-proof pan will do.
2. Choose the prettiest slices for your first layer of potatoes, as those will be on top when you invert the potato cake. Layer in a spiral fashion.
3. Brush with melted butter. As you assemble alternating layers of white potatoes and sweet potatoes, brush each with melted butter for added richness.
4. Season generously. Root vegetables can take a lot of salt, so don’t be stingy. Add salt and pepper to each layer so every forkful is evenly seasoned.
5. Add the final layers. You should have 4 to 5 layers when you’re done. Plenty of butter and a non-stick pan make the result very easy to turn out onto a serving plate.**
**Unfortunately I didn’t take my own advice. When I made this dish I made a smaller amount for 2-3 servings, and instead of using a smaller skillet, I used the 10″ one, so I had fewer layers of potatoes. When I tried to turn it out onto a serving plate it broke, so my photos do not do justice to how attractive the finished dish really is. But, it tasted wonderful just the same.
YUKON GOLD AND SWEET POTATOES ANNA
Yield: Makes 6 servings
- 3 – 4 medium, peeled Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes
- 2 medium, peeled sweet potatoes
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 425*F. Cut potatoes and sweet potatoes into 1/8-inch thick slices with a handheld slicer or sharp knife keeping potato varieties separate.
2. Brush an ovenproof 10-inch non-stick skillet with butter. Starting in center of pan, arrange about 20 slices of white potato slices, slightly overlapping, in a circular pattern, covering the whole bottom surface. Brush with butter and season generously with salt and pepper.
3. Make another layer with sweet potato slices; brush with butter and season. Repeat, alternating white and sweet potato layers. Drizzle any remaining butter on top of potatoes.
4. Place skillet over medium-high heat and cook until butter vigorously bubbles in pan, about 4 minutes. Transfer to oven and bake 30 minutes. Tent loosely with foil and continue to bake until potatoes are easily pierced with a knife, about 20 minutes more. Remove from oven. Run a small rubber spatula around edges of potatoes to loosen. Carefully invert onto a plate and cut into wedges to serve.
SOURCE: Martha Stewart.com