Prep. time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
This is a classic of French cooking, specifically of Parisian cooking: thinly sliced potatoes cooked in butter. The recipe was created by Adolphe Dugléré, chef of the Café Anglais on the Boulevard des Italiens at the corner of Rue Marivaux.
During the Second Empire, the Café Anglais was the height of fashion and its private dining rooms welcomed well-to-do clients with their "cocottes." It was for one of the famous courtesans of this era - Anna Deslions, the mysterious Anna - that Dugléré created "Pommes Anna."
Anna Deslions, nicknamed the Lioness of the Boulevards for her beauty and certain talents, became a famous artist.
Emile Zola used her as the basis for his work Nana... and in fact, Potatoes Nana are simply potatoes Anna made in little dariole molds.
Potatoes "Annette" are derived from the original recipe. The potatoes are cut into julienne, but the method is the same.
- Peel, wash and dry the potatoes. Cut them into thin even slices.
- Butter the bottom and sides of a large sauté pan - for the bottom, choose the nicest potato slices and overlap them attractively since this is the side that will show when the potatoes are inverted onto a serving platter. Season with salt and pepper.
- Place more layers of potatoes on top, arranging them in a wreath pattern, to the desired height, drizzling them with clarified butter. Season with salt and pepper.
- Begin cooking on the stovetop, then transfer the pan, covered, to the oven. Cook in a hot oven (200-230° C /400-425° F) for about 45 minutes. The inside should be soft and the edges crispy.
- Unmold and serve.
- You can also use a charlotte mold and place the pan directly in the oven without starting the cooking on the stove top.
- If you don't want to unmold the potatoes, use a glass ovenproof dish for a more attractive presentation.
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