Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Here's Your Holiday Side Dish . . . and it can be made in advance!


Here is one of my favorite side dishes for holiday meals.  My friend Christiane made a version of it and brought it to a Christmas party almost 20 years ago and it has made regular appearances since then!  I think you will love it as well . . . 




Caramelized Potato Tart
This dish is so beautiful! It uses a wide variety of potatoes, caramelized onions and garlic, fragrant fresh herbs and just a little sharp cheese between the layers . . . Did I mention I LOVE potatoes . . . These flavors are a perfect accompaniment to baked chicken, grilled salmon or a nut loaf with a beautiful Caesar salad and Lemon and Roasted Garlic Green Beans for dinner or paired with eggs, steamed veggies and biscuits for brunch . . . It takes a while to bake and is worth every single minute and each creamy bite literally melts in your mouth!
Yield – 10 generous servings

12 cups thinly sliced potatoes*           
1 small to medium finely chopped onion
2-3 large garlic cloves minced           
2 tablespoons melted butter + 2 tablespoons olive oil
4 oz finely grated cheese—I use a sharp but creamy goat gouda but a goat or sheep’s cheddar,   or almond cheese all work great
3 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs—I use equal parts of snipped chives, chopped rosemary and thyme

Generously butter a large, deep casserole dish - at least 9x12x4.  If you have one with a cover that is the best choice.

Soak the potatoes in pH 11.5 ionized water (if you use filtered water you will need to add 1 tablespoon sea salt) for at least 10 minutes. This actually keeps them from turning brown while arranging layers. Scrub and slice very thinly. I use a mandoline slicer, it makes the job go super fast and the potatoes and onions are completely uniform.

Layer the potato slices by alternating the varieties (i.e., red, rose, gold, purple, white, sweet potato) overlapping slices as you create the first circle around the outside of the dish and work toward the center.

Lightly brush with butter and spritz very lightly with pH 9.5 ionized water (or filtered water), sprinkle with onions, garlic, herbs and cheese.

Now repeat for the next layer. Keep adding layers until all the potato slices are used. There will be many layers.

Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour—this steams the potatoes leaving them almost creamy.  Remove the lid and bake for an additional 20-30 minutes or until the edges are browned, the top crispy and the volume has reduced by about half.

Serve hot and be prepared, everyone will want to give you a standing ovation!

NOTE:  *This recipe uses a variety of potatoes to create its unique flavor and texture. I used 2 smallish purple, 2 medium Ukon gold, 1 large red, 2 med rose, 1 large white and a large garnet or jewel yam.  While you can adjust the other potato varieties a sweet potato is a must!

This is a great dish to prepare in advance.  Prepare through covered baking.  Remove from oven and cool, refrigerate.  About 1 1/2 hours before serving, remove from refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for about 45 minutes.  Place covered dish in oven and heat about 15 minutes, remove cover and bake until edges are browned and the top crispy, about 30 minutes.




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