Friday, March 27, 2015

Mediterranean Cheesy Potatoes

I had to pay a little homage to my girl, Julie Child! I found her volume one "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" at a thrift store (what! A commodity such as this in a thrift store?!) So after I walked away with a bloggers dream come true for <$1, I knew I hit the jackpot. It was only after I stumbled upon this potato recipe that I knew, whoever turned this bad boy into the thrift store must have been seriously disturbed.

The first sentence on the first page, "... a good cook should be able to perform under any circumstance..." Yup. That includes finals, quarter-system, application season, cold/flu symptoms (yeah, all those things are currently happening)! So, put your big girl French panties on, and get to cooking. Don't let the words like "Scallop", "braised", "sear" freak you out, just make your own variation of it!

Just look at this cheesy, crusty, basil-y goodness! So, as much as I love her, here is my modified version of the infamous Gratin de Pommes de Terre Provencal. 

2 whole yellow onions, thinly sliced into rings
2 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
5 heirloom tomatoes + pulp
1/4 tsp. sea salt
4 cloves garlic, mashed
2 tbs. fresh basil, chopped
1/4 tsp. thyme
1/2 c. artichoke hearts, drained
2 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
2 lbs. red potatoes
1/3 c. grated swiss cheese
1/4 c. feta cheese crumbles
1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
black pepper

Yields ~ 6 servings 

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 deg. F. Cook the chopped onion and olive oil until they are translucent and tender, but try to avoid browning them. Fold in your tomatoes + their pulp and season with salt. Turn heat to medium and let them simmer for a couple minutes together before setting aside. Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl mix together, mashed garlic, basil, thyme, artichoke (chopped) and olive oil. Season this bowl with black pepper and also set aside.

There are a lot of moving parts in this recipe, but after you do them all you just set aside and then once the potatoes are ready you assemble like you would lasagna!

Cut your potatoes 1/8"-1/6" thick. You don't need to use a mandolin slicer, just cut up with a knife. You're going to be layering the potatoes, so exactness is not necessary. But know that they need to be roughly the same size, or you will have some raw potatoes and some incredibly mushy potatoes. Consistency in size and thickness is important for cooking time.

I used an oval glass casserole dish, with a lid, but you can really use whatever pan you'd like. Layer 3 tbs. of the piping hot tomato mixture onto the bottom of your greased pan. Layer 1/3 of your potatoes on top. To this, add 1/2 the garlic, artichoke mix. Top with more tomatoes, then potatoes, then garlic repeat until you finish the ingredients. Ideally, you want to end with potatoes. I just had to add some fresh basil to the top of my last layer!

Top the last layer with a drizzle of 1tsp. extra virgin olive oil, black pepper, and grated swiss cheese (reserve feta!). Cover with foil, cook for 40 minutes. I suggest placing the casserole dish on a baking sheet, as some of the juicy tomato goodness, can ooze out and cause a stink in your oven!

After the potatoes have been cooked, add feta cheese, broil on high for 3 minutes in oven and serve!!


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