For the outlaw in us all…

Several weeks ago my sister’s sister-in-law Sara (and therefore, by my creative family thinking, my outlaw) commented on one of my posts and asked if I could share a potato recipe that I had made for a family dinner more than 15 years ago. I knew at once the recipe she sought: it was an easy take on a potato gratin- with butter and Parmesan, but no cream. So easy in fact, that there really was no recipe. It was one of those magic kitchen dishes that you could whip out any time, any where and almost always look like a super star. And clearly it was tasty because here we are 16 years later and Sara is still remembering it! Sadly, like some tried and true favorites that you make too often, it had fallen between the cracks of my cooking and I had almost forgotten it.

So, last night I set out to make it again for Sara (and the rest of you) and with hope that my brood would like it and I would gain an old/new side to count on. I mean, what’s not to like- thinly sliced potatoes that crisp when cooked at high temperatures, along with butter, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese. For me, it is a complete no-brainer. And, as I remade it, I was able to incorporate the kitchen knowledge that I have gained over the years- and make it better. So to Sara, my outlaw, thank you for reminding me of an old kitchen friend. It was so nice to make this dish again, have my family devour it, and to have my brain immediately start to think of ways to re-invent it.

One note: you can change the cheese to Gruyere, if you wish and can also add some fresh herbs as well. If using Gruyere, I might add just a dusting of cayenne for spice.

Crispy Potatoes with Parmesan– serves 4 with leftovers, 6 if you eat it all.
2-3 large Idaho potatoes, peeled and very thinly sliced on a mandolin
6-8 T unsalted butter, melted
sea salt/pepper
¾ c roughly grated fresh Parmesan

1. Pre-heat oven to 450.
2. Pam a medium sized casserole or dutch oven. (You will be very glad you did this when it comes to the clean up!) Set aside.
3. Take the thinly sliced potatoes and soak them in water to remove the excess starch. Set the potato slices between paper towels and pat dry.
4. In the bottom of the casserole, drizzle a little of the butter. Then place the potato slices in a single layer on the bottom of the casserole. Drizzle more butter on top of the potato layer and then place another layer of the potatoes. Repeat until the potatoes and the butter are all in the casserole.
5. Season the potato mixture with sea salt and pepper. And then top with Parmesan.
6. Bake for 45 minutes until top is crispy and potatoes are tender.

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2 Comments

  1. Sara
    Posted April 29, 2010 at 10:31 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Caroline-

    Yeah!! Your foodie outlaw!! I am so happy to see this recipe and simple as it is, I will make it tomorrow night. Two dinner guest/sleepovers will approve I am sure.

    I look forward to more “outlaw” stories/recipes.
    Your loyal west coast following,
    Sara

  2. Miquele
    Posted May 6, 2010 at 10:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

    This recipe could not have come in a better time. I tried at home and it was a KEEPER! This is the kind of food I need “Easy and Fast” to make. I could prepare in the morning and heat it up later and it still tastes fresh and krispy. I added red pepper flakes to mine and Oh! it was unbelievably GOOD!

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