|Barbara is the owner of Jade Luna Home Made Ice Cream, downtown main street, and sells a wide variety of homemade delicacies at the Friday Matapalo farmer’s market at Martina’s Bar. Contact her directly firstname.lastname@example.org|
For those of you that don’t know, for four years I operated my own restaurant. It’s every chef’s dream to have their own place and do things 100% their way, and for me it was the culmination of my restaurant career. I put my heart and soul into that restaurant, not to mention a pretty penny, and pulled every trick out of my bag. Fine dining in a one Iguana town in the middle of nowhere, location, location, location, lost my shirt. Although financially a failure, fans of the restaurant assure me it is sorely missed, and lament the loss of their favorite dishes.
The dish I’m reminded about most often is not the grilled garlic shrimp, or the pork chop rubbed with star anise, black pepper and coffee bean, or the pan blackened Mahi with pineapple salsa, but the humble potato offering. Often when I’m invited to a gathering I’m asked “Can you bring those potatoes barb?” We’d love to see ya, and don’t forget those potatoes! So in hopes that someday I can pass on the potato torch, here is the simple yet sublime potato preparation.
- 5 large all-purpose potatoes thinly sliced
- 1 cup (1/2 pint) heavy cream
- ¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter
- ¼ cup hard grating cheese like parmesan
- ½ thinly sliced medium onion or ¼ cup minced shallots
- Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
With a sharp chef’s knife slice your potatoes as thinly as possible keeping the slices together. Then fan them out in a glass or stainless baking dish. Pour the cream over the potatoes, sprinkle the cheese, grind some black pepper and sea salt on top, then the onions or shallots, and lastly dot the butter around. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake at 350° for 1 hour. Uncover and bake another 15 or 20 minutes until brown and bubbly. Don’t overcook or the cream will break and ruin the presentation.
Because man can’t live on potatoes alone, let’s round out this meal with some very simple grilled or pan-seared meat. Pick the meat of your choice, pork or beef tenderloin, chicken breasts, or lamb chops, and use a very classic marinade of lots of chopped garlic, chopped fresh rosemary, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, fresh-ground black pepper and a squeeze of lemon. The key to the best flavor is to let it marinate overnight or at least for a few hours. Grill or sear in a very hot sauté pan or cast-iron skillet to desired doneness, let rest 5 minutes and serve sliced.