I needed a potato dish to serve with grilled steak last night. A lot things came to mind. Although baked potatoes seemed the obvious choice, I wasn't inspired by the thought of them. My father baked a mean potato. He'd slice them halfway through and stuff them with thinly sliced carrots, onions, and celery. Before wrapping them in foil to bake, he'd wrap a slice of bacon around the cut sides of the potatoes. They were fantastic. Very aromatic. We'll ocassionally have them like that, but last night I didn't have carrots or celery. We usually prepare baked potatoes with the method I learned in school; rubbed with olive oil, covered in kosher salt, skewered with metal skewers, and roasted. The salt draws the moisture out of the potatoes, leaving flaky light baked potatoes.
I thought about scalloped potatoes, but had no cheese or cream. Classic Potatoes Anna or Pommes Anna consists of thinly sliced potatoes, melted butter, salt, and pepper. I certainly had those ingredients. I''ll admit, I always thought Potatoes Anna had gruyere cheese between the layers. That just sounded right...and tasty. Nope. Potatoes, butter, salt, and pepper. Period.
When sliced, the crisp exterior gave way to creamy buttery potato layers. Nudged alongside orange-zested creamed spinach, The Anna wedge paired beautifully with grilled garlic-marinated sirloin steaks. I served the steaks on a pool of reduced red wine swirled with creme fraiche topped with butter and parsley. Words fail.