One of my good friends invited PK
and Macky and me to dinner for Thanksgiving. Her 2 daughters will be
home from college so it will be great fun. I tol her to get a
beef tenderloin and put it in the Sous Vide at 128 and I would do
everything else, even bring my blowtorch to finish the beef. (searing
at 5000 degrees browns it but doesn't cook it or raise the temp of the
meat which will be perfect at 128 degrees). So I thought I would make
Pommes Anna. It's really easy, you can do it at the last minute, it
tastes great, and it really looks cool.
My favorite cookbook of all times
is "The French
Laundry Cookbook" by Thomas Keller. I didn't say it was the easiest,
my favorite. There are others like New Texas Cuisine by Stephan Pyles
(which you can buy for $.01 on Amazon) and Louisiana Kitchen by Paul
Prudhomme (Amazon $3.99) that I use a lot. But the book I learn from is
FL Cookbook. There are a bunch of things in there that I can't
because things I can't get, tools I don't have, or it's just too hard
requires more skill than I've got. BUT!!!! Some things are easy. Here's
them, Pommes Anna. Here's the cool thing: YOU CAN PUT ANYTHING IN THE
LAYERS!! It doesn't have to be prunes. For this thanksgiving dinner I'm
going to saute some onions and use onions an sour cream instead…
10 pitted prunes
1 cup chicken stock/broth
1 tbsp minced shallots
Salt (gray salt is better)
2 lbs Yukon gold potatoes peeled
6 tbsp melted butter
Salt & pepper
leave because of the prunes. You've got to trust me
on this… (or use something else Like onions and sour
cream or bacon.. etc)
Place prunes and chicken stock in
a sauce pan and bring
to a simmer.
Cook for 20 min or until liquid has evaporated. Put
prunes on a cutting board, chop, add shallots and Gray salt to taste …
the oven to 450
the potatoes and using a mandolin slice very thin rounds.
Place the potatoes in a big bowl of lightly
salted water. This keeps them from turning brown.
2 tbsp of butter in the bottom of an 8 - 10 inch
nonstick skillet, slopping sides is very helpful. (You can do this in
an iron skillet, but the straight up sides makes it a little harder.
Just be sure to push the potatoes in from the sides as you cook them so
that you have room.)
a handful of potatoes out of the water and dry them
on a towel.
from the outside make a ring of potatoes around
the pan, overlapping. Then move in and make another ring inside the
another inside that, overlapping until you cover the bottom of the pan.
Add a little salt and pepper on
top and do another layer
of potatoes. The more layers, the better.
After the second layer spread half
of the Prune mixture(or onions and sour cream)
on top of the potatoes, leaving at least a 1 inch border all around.
2 more layers, Salt
& pepper after the first, taking the potatoes out
of the water and
drying them as you need more…
the 2nd half of the prunes(or onions and sour cream), again leaving at
1 in border around the edge. Then add 2 more layers of potatoes (do 3
have a bunch of potatoes left), again salt & pepper after the
Pour the remaining butter over the
top and place the
skillet over medium heat. Here's the 1st tricky part: DON'T LET THE
STICK TO THE PAN! … After the butter starts to bubble, cook the
potatoes for 3
to 4 minutes, shaking the pan to see if the potatoes move and slide
a big wooden spoon to push the potatoes around the side to keep them
to keep them from sliding apart(especially if your pan does not slope
on the sides). The potatoes will start to brown on the
Give the potatoes one more shake
to be sure they are
sliding around in the pan and put the pan in the oven for 30 minutes or
the potatoes are well browned and crisp on top.
Take the potatoes out of the oven
and see if you can
still slide them in the pan, use the big spoon to get it lose if you
Let them sit for a few minutes. Here's the 2nd tricky part: On a large
board or a baking sheet, something that won't break and big enough to
whole potato cake. Either place the cutting board on top of the pan and
over or, do what I do, flip the pan and slam it on the cutting board in
move. You will have the most beautiful potato cake with brown
potatoes. Cut it in pie wedges to serve. This is a Thomas Keller recipe
means you can do it several hours before you serve it. Just put the
sheet back in the 450 degree oven till it bubbles again. When you cut
a very sharp knife, it tends to come apart. This is very delicate.
Here's the best part, this works
with anything you like
with potatoes. So instead of prunes, how about sour cream and chives,
or bacon, or just a little cream. Or if you like ketchup on hash
about a little ketchup and sautéed onions. Or Cheddar cheese between
layers. If you don't want to use butter, use olive oil. This is also
breakfast the next morning.
Now that you have cooked a Thomas
Keller recipe, you are a Master Chef.
I bought a new screw driver set
last week. I seem to
never have enough. People use them and never give them back or leave
the place they are "most needed", which means I can't find them. This
was a deal at Home Depot. 27 screw drivers and a case for $10.99.
They come sealed in plastic. It's
one of those things
where it looks like they placed each screw driver on a table to display
whole set and then melted 2 big sheets of plastic on both sides. For 27
drivers, this thing is 3 feet long and 2 feet tall and it has that
so you can't just punch one out. I got in my truck and wanted to put
screw drivers in the case and then in my tool box before I left. I got
super sharp knife and started cutting around the edges like you would
clam.. Honked my horn once by accident. Didn't work, the plastic was
together. So I started cutting the outside ¼ inch of the plastic off.
time I turned it to get a better angle I honked the horn. By
the time I was half way around, it had turned in to a
life or death struggle. There was no way I was going back in the store
saying "Sorry, I know these were on sale but I can't get the package
open" and then have some old guy open it for me and look at me
like maybe he needed to walk me home. By now there were several people
around my truck watching and wanting to help but afraid to, for fear I
having some sort of attack, after all I did have a knife. Every time I
the horn, they all jumped back. When I looked up, it was like "The
of the living dead", faces all around me. I decided it was time to
like that: Some times he gives us a gift that seems
more like punishment. People are talking about you and wanting to help,
sure what to do. You don't know what to do either. God doesn't play
he's not pushing your buttons just to see what you'll do. He's always
plan, always got a purpose, always got something to teach. He doesn't
things hard just to make you mad. Pay attention. If life is hard, God
yelling at you, trying to get you to look his way.
I need to buy a $200 band saw so I can open my
$10.99 screw driver set. You know I'll have to buy another one, there
screw drivers missing already.