Let’s get FANCY!!!!
Come to think of it, this may be the potato side dish equivalent of jazz hands. Yep, it is.
What I love about this dish is how ridiculously simple it is. There are only four ingredients; potatoes, butter, horseradish and salt.
Have you ever had horseradish before? It’s kind of like the English version of wasabi. It’s hot, but not spicy-hot, more mustard-hot. Sinus-clearing hot. Is that gross? Sorry. Right in the middle of this layered side dish is a good, solid layer of horseradish. The heat of the oven takes a lot of it’s throat-tingling action away, so you can be bold with it. It’s tasty. It gives an almost salt & vinegar chips vibe to the dish, along with a little hotness and a lot of flavour.
The rest of the dish is so straight forward; it’s just thinly sliced potatoes, brushed with butter and salt and baked into a golden, crispy disk. The outer layer tastes like a potato chip and the inside is just creamy, soft, perfectly seasoned, buttery potato. What’s not to love?
Nothing, that’s what! If you have a mandolin or a food processor, than this whole preparation is going to take you about 5 minutes. If you’re slicing potatoes by hand, like I did, it will take a little longer. I like slicing potatoes, though. It’s one of the few hand-eye-coordination-required tasks that I can actually do. Take every chance you get to feel competent, I say!
While this dish is easy to put together, it does take an hour in the oven, so it’s not exactly quick. But the beauty of that arrangement is that it gives you time to get everything else together, while you’re side dish is ticking away with no supervision necessary.
The other thing I love is that this side is so elegant, and has so much flavour on it’s own (thanks HORSERADISH), you can get away with serving something pretty simple alongside it. We had chicken breasts with mushrooms and some broccolini, steamed. So the whole meal had about 8 ingredients, but the elegance of the Pommes made it seem like a feast.
Gotta love that! Also, how cool is my horseradish, Kren. I love buying ingredients that look crazy, like they’re from Bulgaria or something. This is not a paid endorsement for Kren, but it totally could be. Call me Kren.
So what about you? Do you have a go-to fancy side dish? They’re so useful at this time of year, to bring a little elegance to the holiday table. Also, I may or may not be eating the leftovers of this cold for a mid morning snack. Okay, I may. I definitely may.
Horseradish Pommes Anna
An original recipe by Sarah Coates for The Sugar Hit
6 x medium potatoes (about 1.2 kg/2.5 lbs)
30z (75g) butter, melted
2 tbsp jarred horseradish
Preheat the oven to 450F/220C. Peel and very thinly slice the potatoes on a mandoline, in a food processor or by hand. Brush a cast iron skillet with butter, and line it with greasproof paper (this is optional, but I was worried about sticking – if your pan is well seasoned, don’t bother). The first layer of potatoes is the presentation layer, so arrange the first layer of potatoes in concentric circles in the bottom of the pan carefully. Brush with butter, and sprinkle sparsely with salt. All together there will be six layers of potatoes (approximately one potato per layer) with a layer of horseradish in the middle.
So, continue layering, brushing with butter and a little salt, and adding the horseradish after the third layer. Once the potatoes are all in, place the pan on the stove over a medium heat, and wait until you hear the butter start to sizzle, and then place in the oven for an hour. After it is finished baking, leave it to settle for a few minutes, before turning out onto a serving dish. *Jazz hands*