Friday, January 9, 2009

Garlic and Rosemary Potatoes

I made this up myself, years ago, based on something I had in a restaurant in the 70s. This seems to be something you might find in the South of France, but definately that area near the Italian border where I had the original. This is not for the diet conscious or the cholesterol challenged individual, but on occasion, how much harm could a cup of butter do to you?
I exagerate for effect. There is not that much butter in this, but I suppose you could do this with a very fine extra virgin olive oil to avoid some of the worst effects of the butter. My philosophy when it comes to butter is: Why whould you use margarine or any of the substitute butters if there are a ton of calories in the sustitutes and they mostly contain Hydrogenated Oils! There is one substitute butter that I feel is safe at this writing, but it has a suspicious seaweedy aftertaste that I do not like and it is not a good substitute butter for cooking and baking.
This is extremely simple, just a bit time consuming. Fortunately I enjoy the fussy parts of cooking. I get in the zone I guess.

Prepare a deep ceramic or glass baking dish. Oil or butter it lightly.

Using a mandolin or a nice sharp knife, slice your desired number of potatoes into very thin rounds across the potato. I would go less than a quarter of an inch and perhaps as low as one eighth.

Melt a stick of butter and have more ready if you run out. One is more than enough for a dish the size of a pie plate.
Have on hand:

Dried or fresh Rosemary leaves. Mince the fresh and crumble the dry.
Several minced cloves of garlic to your taste.
Salt(sea salt preferred).
Freshly ground pepper.

Arrange a single layer of potato slices on the bottom of the baking dish. These may ovelap very slightly in order to get good coverage, but do not make this more than one layer.
With a spoon, drizzle melter butter over the potatoes, and sprinkle with garlic, Rosemary, salt and pepper.
Arrange another layer on top of the first, and continue till the potatoes are used up. The top layer shoudl be beautifully arranged for presentation.
End with butter salt and pepper. I find it is better not to put the herbs on top as you get a scorched taste after baking.

Place in a 350 degree oven and bake till the potatoes are soft when punctured with a skewer or toothpick and the top is browned. If you like a browner top crust(And I do), you may run this back under the broiler for a few moments or raise the temperature to about 450 for ten minutes at the end. Watch it carefully though. You may wish to drizzle or brush the top with butter or olive oil...Grammie would use olive oil, of course.

Cut the "cake" in wedges or simply spoon out like scalloped potates.

This is great with any meat, but I am especially fond of this with Roast Pork with similar seasonings.

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