Pommes Anna

September 10th, 2011

When dinner is leftover chicken or some other “ho hum” entree, try making these potatoes anna as a side dish.  It is a dish that will become the star of the meal.  I have been trying to clear the refrigerator of all of the holiday food and the last of it was leftover grilled chicken.  I was not excited to eat it once again.  I needed something on the plate to get excited about. 

I have this perfectly lovely mandolin that David paid a perfectly lovely price for and I can’t bring myself to use it.  I have a fear of sharp blades.  The fear was exacerbated by the fact that David sliced off the tip of his finger using it for the first time.  But I got it into my head to make pommes anna with really thin potato slices.  I scrounged around in the deep recesses of the corner cabinet and brought out the mandolin.  Then I enlisted David to do the actual slicing with dire warnings about keeping his fingers away from the blade.  He did a great job and I ended up with paper thin rounds of potatoes. 

Pommes Anna are nothing more than thin potato rounds sauteed in butter with a little salt and pepper.  The potatoes are artfully arranged in a saute pan for the first layer, which will be the top when it is done.  More potatoes and butter are added to form more layers.  It can be flipped in the pan to finish the second side or, after being flipped, placed in the oven to finish cooking.  I used only two potatoes forming two layers so I cooked it all on the stove top.

Pommes Anna was created by Chef Adolphe Duglere at Cafe Anglais in Paris during the reign of Napoleon Boneparte.  Cafe Anglais was popular with the aristocracy and courtesans of the time.  It was purported to be named for one of the grandes cocottes of that era, actress Anna Damiens.


2 to 4 Yukon Gold Potatoes
2 to 4 Tablespoons melted butter
Salt and Pepper to taste

Slice potatoes 1/16th to 1/8 inch thick, preferably on a mandolin.  You want paper thin slices.  Add a tablespoon of melted butter to a nonstick ovenproof skillet.  Arrange potatoes in a circular pattern overlapping slightly until pan is covered.  Drizzle with a little butter and salt and pepper and continue layering until all potato slices are in the pan.  Cook over medium heat until bottom potatoes are browned.  Place a large plate over pan and flip potato cake onto plate.  Return inverted potato cake to pan to cook on the second side.  If you have several layers you may want to finish the cooking in a 400 degree oven.

Place potato cake on a serving platter and cut into wedges to serve.

Printable recipe

9 responses to “Pommes Anna”

  1. bellini says:

    Loved the hear the history of one of my favourite potato dishes. I am so glad your mandolin was dragged from the back of the cupboards to make this to perfection.

  2. Kate says:

    I have a soft spot in my heart for potato dishes! This sounds simple and delicious. I don’t own a mandolin so I have all of my fingers! I enjoyed the history of the dish.

  3. Pondside says:

    Such a pretty potato dish for when there are only two or three of us.

  4. Gloria says:

    Penny look really nice! gloria

  5. EliFla says:

    Delish!!!! hugs and have a nice weekend, Flavia

  6. This could be an entire meal for me, but I guess I could share it with others as a side dish if I had too. (smile) I have a fancy mandolin that I was dying to have and it scares me too. Great idea idea to have the men do the slicing Penny.

  7. Big Dude says:

    I’ve never seen this dish and like Sam, I think I’d just eat it and forget the other items. I can sure envision it under a couple of over easy or poached eggs for breakfast.

  8. Barbara says:

    Those turned out perfectly, Penny! I’ve never made them, but sure have thought about it enough. Really, I hate to admit this in public, but I probably would eat the entire dishful.

  9. Dulce Dough says:

    This is great! Easy to do, yet looks so beautiful!

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