Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Celebrate National Pie Day with Caramelized Potato Tart

Today is National Pie Day . . . so does a savory potato tart count?  It does in my family, so I hope it will in yours as well!  In fact no St. Patrick's Day celebration would be complete for my Irish, potato loving family, without a delicious potato dish!  And this is one of my favorite ways to make a potato dish that's high in everything that's good for you and missing everything that isn't!

One of my Irish friends, Christiane Savage, and I designed this one way back in the mid 90's and it's still just as amazing as ever!!!  Part of the secret lies in the mix of potatoes, some creamy, some starchy and even some sweet!  The combo makes this dish magical!!!

I hope you enjoy it!

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 – 8 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 would also be 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.

What a great way to serve potatoes!!!!  You can make these ahead of time, up to the point of baking, cover tightly and refrigerate up to 8 hours before baking.  If you are taking them right out of the refrigerator and directly into the oven, place the baking dish in the oven while it's cold and then turn it on and allow it to come up to temperature along with the oven.  

So the next time you want to make a simple, healthy side dish with a real WOW factor, this one's for you!

Bainigí Sult As An Bia! 
Or as they say in Texan, "Enjoy the Food Ya'll!"

Dr. P

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