Saturday, November 5, 2016

The Glamorous Potato

Normally I would never link the two words “glamorous” and “potato.”  “Filling,” “comfort food,” “humble,” “inexpensive” or “traditional” are the words I usually think of when the subject of potatoes comes up.  

But that was before I saw and then sampled my friend Dorothy’s Roasted and Sliced Potatoes. They called to mind sophisticated dining—not an arena in which I often find myself.

These potato slices were slender—maybe 1/8-inch thick--and rimmed with the tiniest bit of brown skin.  Spread out on a serving dish and covered with melted butter, they seemed almost too elegant to eat.  But I managed to down more than my share.

It takes time to slice the potatoes so thinly and evenly—unless you happen to have a slicing blade for your food processor.  You can also use a mandoline, which makes the job easier, as long as you’re paying attention to what you’re doing and don’t also slice your fingers.
Dorothy’s Roasted and Sliced Potatoes – serves 4 
2 large russet potatoes (about 1 3/4 pounds total), brick-shaped rather than long and  
            tapered, if possible 
4 tablespoons butter 
1 teaspoon chopped garlic 
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/4 teaspoon black pepper 
1 tablespoon lemon juice 
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese  
Begin preheating the oven to 450 degrees. 
Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil to speed clean-up.  Put the butter, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper on the foil-covered pan and put into the oven until the butter melts.  Remove the tray from the oven and stir the mixture around until all the foil is covered with butter. 
Thoroughly scrub the potatoes to rid them of dirt but do not peel.  Slice them into 1/8-inch slices and lay the slices onto the butter mixture.  Using tongs, turn the potato slices over so the butter covers both sides.  Overlap the potatoes if necessary.  Bake for 15 minutes.  

Remove from the oven and sprinkle on the Parmesan cheese and lemon juice.  Bake for another 10 minutes, or until the potato slices are just beginning to brown.  Carefully transfer them to a plate or bowl and serve.
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