Thin-sliced potatoes, 3 ways

Potatoes with rosemary, sage & smoked paprika

This is my 300th post! Considering I post a recipe almost every time, and sometimes more than one per post, that’s gotta be nearly 300 recipes. Phew. I’m simultaneously giving myself a little pat on the back and wondering why I spend so much time on this! For my 300th post, I’ll talk about something simple and enduringly good. Potatoes. I love potatoes. I don’t remember always loving them, but in the last few years, I feel like I want to eat them every night! They’re so comforting, and versatile, and they have a wonderful, subtle flavor all their own, but they’re so generously accommodating to other flavors. I like them roasted – any size. Cut into large chunks and tossed with rosemary; cut into nice thin roasted slices; cut into tinsy pieces, and then roasted till they’re little crispy nuggets. I love them mashed. Mashed potatoes are as fun to play with as they are to eat. You can make mountains and moats and volcanoes, with little pools and rivulets of melted butter. I’m something of a mashed potato purist, (butter, salt, pepper) but tarragon-roasted garlic mashed potatoes are very nice, too. I crave french fries, sometimes. I don’t drink beer, very often, but sometimes I like the idea of going to a bar in the afternoon and having a big plate of french fries and a pint of beer. David and I have a small tradition of going into New York and finding a place to have french fries, hummus, and a glass of red wine. There’s nothing better after a day of walking and looking. I don’t have a deep fryer, but I oven-roast french fries from time to time. I like them with a savory vanilla sauce. It’s my tribute to fries and a vanilla milkshake.

One of my favorite ways to eat potatoes is to slice them quite thin (1/4 inch-ish) parboil them, and then layer them in a dish with herbs, herb-infused milk, or butter, and bake them till they’re crispy on the outside and soft and flavorful on the inside. In this scenario, the possibilities are endless. You can use any herbs or spices that you like. You can always add cheese, if you’re in the mood. One elaborate version is this with sofrito and fennel. I’m going to suggest a few versions here, but your imagination and your taste are the limit.

I’ve never heard this song before! Bob Marley sings Milkshake and Potato Chips!! How wonderful!

Potatoes with sage, rosemary & smoked paprika
(Pictured)

4 or 5 large potatoes
1/2 cup milk
1 bay leaf
1 t rosemary
1 t sage
1/2 t smoked paprika
1/2 t fennel seeds, crushed
a few T butter, in small pieces
salt & plenty of pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 400

Wash the potatoes, but you don’t have to peel them. Cut them into 1/4 inch slices. If the potatoes are very large, you can cut them lengthwise first.

Drop them into a large pot of boiling salted water. Boil till they’re soft, but not soft enough to eat as is. Five – ten minutes should do it, depending on the potato.

Drain them in a strainer, and let them cool till you can handle them.

Warm the milk in a small saucepan, with all of the herbs and the paprika. Let them sit and steep while you’re waiting for the potatoes to be cool enough to handle.

Butter a smallish baking dish with tallish sides. Put half the potatoes in, arranged in flat horizontal layers. Dot them with butter all around. Put the other half in, also in nice horizontal layers. Pour the herb-y milk over everything as evenly as you can. Dot with more butter.

Bake for about 40 – 45 minutes. The top will get quite brown and crispy, and it should feel soft when you test the inside with a knife. Season with salt and pepper.

Potatoes with tarragon, lemon and goat cheese

This version doesn’t have herbacious milk. It has olive oil and lemon, though!

4 or 5 large (or the equivalent amount of smaller) potatoes.
1 small handful fresh tarragon, chopped
1 small clove garlic, roasted or toasted
1 teaspoon capers, chopped
1/3 cup goats cheese, crumbled
juice of one lemon
olive oil (a few tablespoons)
salt and pepper

Boil the potatoes as described in the proceeding recipe.

Butter a dish in the same fashion. (Or coat lightly with olive oil.)

Mix the tarragon, chopped garlic and capers.

Spread 1/3 of the potatoes. Sprinkle with goat cheese, drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice, and scatter with tarragon, capers and garlic. Put another layer of potatoes, and repeat all the fillings. Top with a layer of potatoes, and drizzle with olive oil and lemon.

Bake at 400 until the potatoes on top are crispy and brown, and the potatoes inside are soft.

Potatoes with caraway seeds, rosemary and smoked gouda.

4 or 5 large potatoes
1/2 cup milk
1 bay leaf
1 t rosemary
1 t caraway seeds
1/2 cup grated smoked gouda
a few T butter, in small pieces
salt & plenty of pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 400

Wash the potatoes, but you don’t have to peel them. Cut them into 1/4 inch slices. If the potatoes are very large, you can cut them lengthwise first.

Drop them into a large pot of boiling salted water. Boil till they’re soft, but not soft enough to eat as is. Five – ten minutes should do it, depending on the potato.

Drain them in a strainer, and let them cool till you can handle them.

Scald the milk with a bay leaf, a teaspoon of rosemary and a teaspoon of caraway seeds. Let them sit and steep while you’re waiting for the potatoes to be cool enough to handle.

Butter a smallish baking dish with tallish sides. Put half the potatoes in, arranged in flat horizontal layers. Dot them with butter all around, and scatter half the gouda. Put the other half in, also in nice horizontal layers. Pour the herb-y milk over everything as evenly as you can. Dot with more butter and scatter the rest of the gouda.

Bake for about 40 – 45 minutes. The top will get quite brown and crispy, and it should feel soft when you test the inside with a knife. Season with salt and pepper.

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5 thoughts on “Thin-sliced potatoes, 3 ways

  1. Claire: Great photo, makes me want to make roast potatoes for breakfast! Potatoes are my favorite vegetable also, I eat them possibly every day and my favorite style is something similar yours. I started cooking roast potatoes with every roast meat dish that I ever cooked many years ago, I remember them all the way back to my childhood, yet many Americans had never heard of them and thought they were fabulous; I was always getting request like “you must give me the recipe for those potatoes”; there ain’t no recipe, you just cook ‘em with the roast!
    I’m amazed that there’s a Bob song I’ve never heard before, I thought I’d heard ‘em all, thank you.

    • We used to eat roast potatoes on thanksgiving – my mom would roast them with the turkey. Now I add a little olive oil, I suppose it’s to make up for the lack of meaty juices!!

      I was excited to hear a new Bob Marley song, too!! I wonder what else is out there?!?

  2. congratulations on 300 posts! Another potato fan here, I like them baked in their jackets best, really chewy on the outside (I prefer red skins) and fluffy in the middle, with butter and salt, yum.
    Your recipes look lovely and have reminded me to try potato cubes baked with rosemary again, had it as a teenager in France and have yet to replicate the wonderful richness of the version of the lady I was staying with made. It’s too hot to have the oven on today, but I will do it soon, thanks!

    • Malcolm loves baked potatoes, and I really don’t make them enough!! We’re getting 90 degree days, here, so it’s starting to be too-hot-to cook season here as well. I’m not ready!!

  3. These sound really lovely. The tarragon and lemon in particular. I’m not keen on goat cheese though so will use something else, perhaps a sheep milk feta. The sage and rosemary sound great too. Love potatoes but I’m a total freak for butter so try and keep away from them as I just cannot resist it!

    Cheers!
    Liz

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