mini tastes big ::::
My ability to focus is terrible these days. I had 15 minutes to work on revamping and bettering some note templates for my patient notes and totally squandered it by spacing out and waiting for my next patient. And maybe thinking about food, now that my morning sickness is better. Or some cool mocktail to try. Or trying some new variation on the ever-present potato in my life.
I’ve taken this path before: purple potato salad, Indian eggs and potatoes, smashed potatoes, and a crispy potato roast. The lowly potato, food of the peasants, now risen in the culinary world to an all-around dress-me-up vegetable, and sometimes the star of the show.
When I saw this recipe for mini pommes anna, it was actually years ago on another blog. It wasn’t until a reprise of the recipe in the bon appetit magazine that reignited my interest. I decided it was a no-fail recipe. Thinly sliced potatoes, butter, and thyme — a slam dunk. While it does take some time to slice and prepare these little ones, it is worth it and makes a big impression on the final dish. Remember, focus! Don’t space out while using the mandoline – you may slice off a finger. Dream about those mocktails later.
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 12-24 small tender thyme sprigs (or use dried thyme to sprinkle) plus 2 teaspoons coarsely chopped leaves
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1¾ lb small waxy potatoes (I used Yukon Gold), each slightly larger than a golf ball
- 1 teaspoon salt plus about a teaspoon more to sprinkle onto potatoes at the end
- black pepper
- Special equipment: a standard 12-cup muffin tin; a mandoline; 12 rounds of parchment paper to fit into muffin tin bottoms
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Brush muffin cups all over with butter, then add a round of parchment paper to each well.
- Arrange 1-2 small thyme sprigs in center of each round (or use dried, like I did). Drizzle ½ teaspoon butter into bottom of each cup.
- Add chopped thyme and garlic to remaining butter in saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Using mandoline, slice potatoes crosswise into very thin rounds (less than 1/16-inch thick), placing them into a large bowl as you work. Pour herb butter over and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat all slices.
- Divide potato slices among the muffin wells, layering overlapping slices to create a circular pattern. Lightly press center of each to make compact. Drizzle any remaining butter and seasoning from bowl over each well.
- Cover muffin tin tightly with foil and place on a baking sheet. Baking until potatoes can be pierced easily with the tip of a knife, about 35 minutes.
- Remove foil; invert a rimmed baking sheet over pan (I also had my silicon mat lining it). Turn, lightly tapping on a counter, releasing potatoes onto sheet. Rearrange any slices that may have fallen out. using metal spatula, carefully turn potato towers, thyme sprigs facing down. NOTE: If using dry thyme, you DON'T need to flip. Discard parchment.
- DO AHEAD: Potatoes can be assembled one day ahead. Cover and chill at this step.
- Increase heat to 425 degrees F. Uncover potatoes if needed. Bake until bottoms and edges are golden and crispy, about 25-30 minutes. Carefully turn potatoes, thyme sprigs facing up (if not using dried thyme). Serve immediately, when hot (although I didn't have any trouble eating lukewarm ones the next day).