Years ago, when I was writing a weekly cooking column for an Indiana newspaper, I apparently wrote more about potatoes than I realized. I still love them to this day but back then, they were kind of a passion. “A Passion for Potatoes” was even the title of one of my columns. As my photo ran alongside my copy each week, I was recognized quite a bit, especially in the supermarket. A woman stopped me once in produce to say she enjoyed my column. As they were moving off, her friend asked her who I was. “You know,” she said, “She’s the one who writes all those potato recipes.” It wasn’t long after that, that I was hailed in the parking lot. The woman couldn’t remember my name. “Hey, Potato Lady!” she shouted.
It was definitely time to move on…
JANSSON’S TEMPTATION (6 servings)
These Scandinavian Potatoes are great partners to roasted meats. You could also garnish them with a fried or poached egg and serve with a green salad and a glass of white wine for a Sunday night supper. Or forget the salad and wine and bring them forth at breakfast (in which case some crisp bacon on the side wouldn’t hurt – it never does!)
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1 leek, white part only, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons butter
1 can of Swedish anchovy fillets (3-1/2 ounces)
8 medium-sized Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup fine breadcrumbs
Heat the oven to 350 degrees and, using a bit of the butter, grease a square baking dish. Set aside.
In a skillet over medium heat, sauté the onions and leek in the remaining butter until soft. Remove from the heat and transfer to a large bowl. Cool slightly. Drain the anchovies and cut them into bite-sized pieces.
Combine the onion mixture, potatoes and anchovies. Sprinkle with a little black pepper - you shouldn’t need salt due to the anchovies. Transfer to the baking dish. Pour the cream over the potatoes and cover the dish with aluminum foil. Bake for 50 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and most of the liquid is absorbed. Remove foil, sprinkle potatoes with breadcrumbs and return to the oven for another 7 to 10 minutes or until the top is golden brown. The dish should sit at room temperature for 5 minutes before serving.
LEMON POTATOES (4 servings)
A recipe from Gwyneth Paltrow and a wonderful side dish with fish. I’ve also served these potatoes atop a bed of arugula as a colorful vegetarian main dish.
4 medium-sized russet (starchy) potatoes, peeled and cut in rustic wedges
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup chicken stock
2 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of 3 lemons
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Place all ingredients (except parsley) in a baking pan and toss to coat.
Roast potatoes for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and baste with the juices. Roast for another 20 minutes and baste again. Roast potatoes for a final 10 minutes or so until brown and crispy. Sprinkle with parsley and serve hot.