Need something pretty and easy to bring to a holiday gathering? This is the ticket.
I found this classic French dish in Everyday Food's Fresh Flavor Fast book. There are only two main ingredients: potatoes and melted butter. You probably have the fixings for this in your kitchen right now.
Japanese mandoline that is pretty inexpensive (from a Japanese store - it's more expensive on Amazon), and it works great. The lady on the box cover looks so happy to slice vegetables too... ;)
Using melted butter, butter the cast iron pan, and layer potatoes in a pretty pattern. Season with salt and pepper and brush with more butter. Top with another layer of potatoes. Cook the dish on the stove for 2-4 minutes...to get the butter to crisp the bottom layer of potatoes - since the dish is inverted, this will be the top later.
** Update: A librarian came up to me at a meeting and said she made this dish! Love when that happens! However, I wanted to update you...we both though you could easily trim some of the butter on this dish. I thought it was really buttery, but I'm not one to eat much butter on my potatoes. She also thought it was too buttery...and her husband thought it was perfect! So, if you want a less buttery dish, you can cut some of the butter...but if you are serving it to people who like the buttery flavor, then don't mess with it.
It's baked for about an hour in a hot oven until the potatoes are cooked through. When it comes out of the oven, the tops of the potatoes might be browned. Carefully flip it out onto a platter and enjoy the compliments from everyone!
According to Everyday Food, you can bake this ahead up to eight hours (let it cool, cover and refrigerate and then reheat at 350 degrees before serving).
Potatoes Anna from Martha Stewart
6 medium russet potatoes (2 3/4 pounds total), peeled
6 tablespoons butter, melted
Coarse salt and ground pepper
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Slice potatoes as thinly as possible, 1/4 inch thick or thinner. Do not place sliced potatoes in water; the starch is needed to bind the layers.
Brush bottom of a 10-inch cast-iron skillet with 1 1/2 tablespoons butter. Starting in center of pan, arrange potato slices, slightly overlapping, in circular pattern. Brush with another 1 1/2 tablespoons butter; season with salt and pepper. Repeat for two more layers (I only had two layers total because I used four potatoes)
Place over high heat on the stove until butter in pan sizzles, 2 to 4 minutes.
Transfer to oven; bake until potatoes are fork-tender, about 1 hour. Remove from oven. Run a small spatula around edges of potatoes; slide large spatula underneath potatoes to loosen. Carefully invert onto a plate, and cut into wedges.