The other night in class we made potatoes as side to accompany flank steak. The potatoes were layered in a pan (similar to scalloped potatoes) except without the cheese and cream – you might ask WHY would anyone want to do that?!?! – I know I screamed that in my head as Chef J was explaining the dish. However, the outcome was delicious.
The dish is called “LES POMMES BOULANGERE” which means “Potatoes from the baker” and it is basically layered thin potatoes slices with caramelized onions in between. The caramelized onions are cooked with garlic and thyme, then deglazed in chicken stock, so the mixture tastes like a reduced French Onion Soup. Over the weekend, I re-made the entire dinner, flank steak, broccoli, and these potatoes. After I devoured the entire pan – I optimistically thought we would have left overs… I realized that I could modify this dish to become something even better (hint it has cheese – obviously) – look at me and my chef-like ideas!
I’m giving away my first recipe so to speak. I have yet to actually try it, but I can only imagine good things.
LES POMMES BOULANGERE – WITH GRUYERE CHEESE
Ingredients: Onions, Clarified Butter, Garlic (keep whole – easier to remove at the end, or mince if you want to keep it in- up to you), Thyme, Chicken Stock, Idaho potatoes, Shredded Gruyere Cheese, Whole Butter, S/P
Directions: Caramelize onions over medium temperature with clarified butter (this is a one pan dish, so make sure you use something that goes in the oven). Add in thyme and garlic. Deglaze with chicken stock.
Peel and rinse potatoes, do not slice until ready to use, to prevent them from turning brown. Also do not re-rinse them after sliced – the lesson learned is that you will need the potato starch to help bind them together in the dish. Using a mandoline (or a sprializer attachment for the kitchen aid – THANKS to the In-Laws!) – slice potatoes about ¼ inch thick or so.
Remove about ½ of the caramelized onion mixture, set aside. Separate the sliced potatoes into two even piles to make it easier to layer in the ingredients (potatoes, onion mixture, Gruyere cheese, salt and pepper).
Add ½ of the sliced potatoes for the first layer of potatoes over the remaining onion mixture in the pan – making sure that they overlap so that they bind together during the baking process.
Then add the last ½ of the onion mixture on top of the layered potatoes, sprinkle with shredded Gruyere cheese, season with salt and pepper, then the final layer should be last ½ of the potatoes, overlapping. Add in chicken stock, just enough to touch all the potatoes on the bottom (Do not soak potatoes, the liquid should reduce during cooking). Dollop whole butter on top.
Bring the chicken stock liquid boil on the stove-top and you will start to see the potatoes become translucent. – Finish in a conventional oven 375o, and baste potatoes with pan sauce through the cooking process – usually 35-45 minutes. (You could probably top with shredded cheese, close to the end, and broil to make it crusty brown – sounds amazing)
Remove garlic and thyme before serving
LES POMMES BOULANGERE – without the cheese