Saturday, October 10, 2009

Pommes de Terre Anna

I came across this recipe in my old 1951 cookbook, A World of Good Eating; a collection of old and new recipes from many lands; tested in the kitchen of a New England housewife.

The recipe reminded me of the times my father would make Potatoes Anna and recount his experiences as a waiter working in the dining room of the Copley Square Hotel in the late 1920s. We would listen to his stories while watching his careful preparation of this beautiful dish, which turned out looking something like this picture from Wikimedia Commons.

6 medium-large potatoes
1/4 lb. butter
1/2 tsp. prepared French mustard
Salt and pepper.

Butter a 9" pan that is about 2 - 1/2 inches deep.

Pare and slice the potatoes thin and brush or spread the slices with butter into which the mustard has been worked.

Arrange the slices around the edges of the pan and covering the bottom, overlapping the slices. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Continue to build up the layers this way until the pan is filled. If any butter remains, melt and pour it over the top. Press the layers down so that the pan is well filled.

Bake in a hot oven (400°) until the slices are tender when tested with a sharp knife (40 - 50 minutes).

Remove from the oven and let stand a minute or two. Then run a knife around the edge of the pan, invert and unmould the golden brown potatoes onto a hot serving plate.

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