Mimi’s Lyonnaise Potatoes

November 8th, 2014

Lyonaisse Potatoes 1

It is official.  The cookbook that I have been patiently awaiting arrived in my mailbox last week.  Mimi Thorisson, of the lovely blog Manger, published her exquisite book A Kitchen in France; A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse.  I am totally thrilled with it.  It is a large book, worthy of coffee table placement.  The pages are thick and of the finest quality.  It is richly photographed by her talented husband Oddur and Mimi’s prose about their lives in the Medoc region of France is spellbinding.  I will stop gushing now, but I believe that anyone would be happy to own this cookbook. Click on my Favorite reads widget on the right to get the information about the book from Amazon.  You have to be on my home page to see the link.

A Kitchen in France 2

The recipes are unique and are arranged seasonally.  Trying to decide which ones to try first was a pleasant dilemma.  Most of the recipes are easy and familiar. But there are a few that are uniquely French and a little challenging, like squab pie with foie gras and armagnac.  I am starting with recipes that are familiar to me and you can’t get any more basic than the humble potato.  Mimi’s recipe for Lyonnaise potatoes is easy and delicious.

Lyonnaise Potatoes 2V


By sauteing the partially cooked sliced potatoes in several batches, you are assured that you will get evenly browned potatoes.  The finished dish with the cooked onions goes into an oven for about 10 minutes at the end.  This makes it possible to make the dish ahead of time before the final finish in the oven.

Lyonaisse Potatoes 3The potatoes are buttery and crispy.  Mimi calls Lyonnaise potatoes “the little black dress of side dishes”.  It goes with everything.


2 pounds new potatoes, peeled
About 11 tablespoons butter
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 onions, thinly sliced
A bunch of fresh parsley, leaves removed and finely chopped

Put the potatoes in a large pot, add enough salted cold water to cover, bring to a boil, and cook until parboiled, 10 to 15 minutes.  Drain in a colander and rinse under cool running water.  Let cool for a few minutes, then slice the potatoes into 1/8-inch thick slices.

In a large saute pan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter.  Add about one-quarter of the potatoes and fry, seasoning them with salt and pepper, until golden, about 6 minutes.  Transfer to a plate.  Continue frying the potatoes, adding more butter each time (you should use about 8 tablespoons in total), until all of them are cooked.

Meanwhile, in another saute pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat.  Cook the onions until golden, about 5 minutes.

Return all of the potatoes to the pan, add the onions, and mix gently.  Cook for 5 more minutes for the flavors to combine.

Transfer the potatoes and onions to a large baking dish.  Bake until gently sizzling, about 10 minutes.

Sprinkle the parsley over the potatoes and serve.  Serves 4 to 6.

Printable Recipe

Julia Child’s Scalloped Potatoes

June 24th, 2014

Julia Child's Scalloped Potatoes 1


This is familiar territory for me;  a cast iron skillet, warm lighting for the shoot (forget that natural light when it is late evening), decadent potatoes with a history from Julia Child and a heady scent in the air.  I made this as a side dish for the steak that David was cooking on the grill.  Each time that he returned to the house from the deck, he said “Man, it smells good in here”.  Sometimes tried and true recipes are all you need. And I was tired of baked potatoes with my steak.

Julia Child's Scalloped Potatoes 2


Cooking the potatoes in an iron skillet seemed rustic and smart.  Cast iron holds the heat so well.  Julia Child’s Gratin Dauphinois, or scalloped potatoes to us, has stood the test of time and is still one of my favorite scalloped potatoes recipes.  I did make some changes to the recipe.  I used russet potatoes instead of boiling potatoes and I used Gruyere cheese instead of Swiss.  I also added fresh thyme to the casserole.  My thyme plant is thriving this year.

Julia Child's Scalloped Potatoes 3


Steak, decadent potatoes and a cool crisp salad.  What a wonderful dinner.


2 pounds russet potatoes

A fireproof baking dish about
10-inches in diameter and
2-inches deep

1/2 clove garlic
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese, grated
1 cup boiling milk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Peel the potatoes and slice them 1/8 inch thick.  Place in a basin of cold water.  Drain when ready to use.

Rub the baking dish with the cut garlic.  Smear the inside of the dish with 1 tablespoon of the butter.  Drain the potatoes and dry them in a towel.  Spread half of them  in the bottom of the dish.  Divide over them half the salt, pepper, thyme, cheese, and butter.  Arrange the remaining potatoes over the first layer, and season them with salt, pepper and thyme.  Spread on the rest of the cheese and divide the butter over it.  Pour on the boiling milk.  Set baking dish over heat and when simmering, set in upper third of preheated oven.  Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender, milk has been absorbed, and the top is nicely browned.

Printable Recipe




Katie’s Shepherd’s Pie

May 19th, 2014

Katie's Shephards Pie 1

Our weather went from 90 degrees to a cool 50 degrees this week.  We lit a fire in the fireplace early one morning.  The cool weather made me hungry for comfort food again.  I have made several versions of shepherd’s pie or in this case, cottage pie since it uses ground beef instead of ground lamb.  But Katie from the What Katie Ate blog calls this recipe shepherd’s pie anyway.  I have to say it is the best version I have ever tried.  Why,… you may ask?

Katie's Shephards Pie 2V

It starts with roasting garlic cloves in the oven to be incorporated into the mashed potato topping.  The aroma begins the anticipation of the meal to come.  It continues with the extra flavor that is added to the ground beef mixture.  Tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, steak sauce, barbecue sauce and freshly grated nutmeg all conspire to give the beef richness as well as a deep red color.  The topping is liberally sprinkled with fresh Parmesan cheese.  It came out of the oven bubbly and golden brown.  We loved it.

Katie's shephards pie 4 good

You will too.  Even if you have to wait for the next cold snap, it is worth adding to your favorites file.

Cottage Fireplace

We won’t be seeing this again for a while.


1 Tablespoon olive or canola oil
1 onion finely diced
3 large cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/4 lbs. lean ground free-range beef
2 cups beef broth
1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons steak sauce
3 tablespoons barbecue sauce
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 sprigs thyme, leaves picked, plus extra sprigs to garnish
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Roasted Garlic and Cheesy Mash Topping:
3 large cloves garlic, unpeeled
Sea salt and ground white pepper
5 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
1/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons plain greek yogurt
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan, plus extra for sprinkling

To make the topping, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Place the three whole garlic cloves on a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes or until soft.  Remove and allow to cool, then squeeze out the soft flesh and discard the papery skin.

While the garlic is roasting, half-fill a large saucepan with cold water, season with a good pinch of salt, then add the potatoes.  Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-high and cook at a rolling simmer until the potatoes are cooked through and soft in the middle when pierced with a knife.  This is important if you want a really creamy mash – if they are even slightly firm in the middle you’ll never get smooth mash, as there will be tiny lumps dotted throughout.

Drain the potatoes, then tip them back into the pan and break up with a potato masher.  Pass the potato through a potato ricer until completely smooth.  Add the milk, yogurt, parmesan and cooled roasted garlic and mix together well.  Season generously with salt and pepper, then set aside (or, if you’d like a decorative topping, transfer to a large icing bag fitted with a 1/2 inch star-shaped nozzle and set aside until required).

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large, deep skillet or saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion and fry for 5 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for a further 5-7 minutes.  Add the ground beef and stir well, breaking up any lumps with the back of a wooden spoon.  Cook until the beef is nicely browned, (drain off fat if any accumulates) then add the broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, steak sauce, barbecue sauce, nutmeg and thyme leaves and stir everything together.  Season with salt and pepper and cook for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened.  Spoon the mixture into a 6 cup capacity baking dish.

Pipe or spoon the mashed potato over the filling and sprinkle with extra parmesan and pepper.  Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the potato is golden brown.  Sprinkle over a little more parmesan, if liked, scatter over extra thyme sprigs and serve hot.

Printable recipe

Potato Tots with Malt Vinegar Aioli

April 12th, 2014

Potato Tots 1


My husband is always getting me into trouble.  He was watching the Food Network show, The Best Thing I Ever Ate, the other day and said, “Come here, you have to see this”.  He rewound the program and we watched as a food truck guy explained how he made homemade tater tots.  I scribbled a few things on a piece of paper and stashed it away in my food folder.  The recipe  was not shared on The Food Network website.

Potato Tots 2V


I finally had a chance to try making the Potato tots a few nights ago and they were outstanding; crispy on the outside and rich and creamy on the inside.  The malt vinegar aioli was an easy recipe from Bobby Flay.  We usually try to stay away from deep fried food and I never buy tater tots in the grocery store, but I have to say that I would definitely make these again.  They are a special treat.

Potato Tots 3


Go ahead and give them a try.  Betcha can’t eat just one.  I am linking this to Tasty Tuesday at The Comforts of Home.


4 medium baking potatoes, scrubbed
1/2 to 3/4 cup Pepper Jack Cheese,grated
1/2 to 3/4 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
Flour for dusting
2 eggs beaten
1 cup or more of Panko crumbs, seasoned with more garlic and paprika
Enough canola oil for deep frying

Place potatoes in a pot of cold water.  Bring to a boil and cook until they are just tender.  Drain and cool slightly.  Peel off the skins and then grate them into a large bowl.  Add the cheeses, garlic powder, paprika and salt and pepper to taste.

Roll the potatoes into small cyllnders and place on baking sheet.  Put flour, eggs and panko crumbs in 3 separate bowls.  Dust the potato mixtures in flour, then the egg and then cover with the panko crumbs.  Return each cylinder to the baking sheet.  Place the potato tots in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to set the crumb mixture.

Heat enough oil in a large pot to just cover the potato tots and when it is shimmery cook the tots in batches until golden brown on each side.  This should not take long.  Drain on Paper towels and serve with the Malt Vinegar Aioli.

MALT VINEGAR AIOLI ( I halved this recipe)

1 cup prepared mayonnaise
1/4 cup malt vinegar
2 garlic cloves, mashed into a paste
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon leaves, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
Salt and freshly ground coarse black pepper

Mix all together in a small bowl and serve.

Printable recipe




Bangers and Colcannon with Brown Sugar Guinness Gravy

March 13th, 2014

Guiness Sausage and Colcannon 1


If you want to try something a little different for St. Patricks Day, I highly recommend this riff on the traditional corned beef and cabbage.  The colcannon is a mixture of cabbage, mashed potatoes and bacon.  If you are lucky you can find authentic bangers which are British pork sausages.  They got their name because they are said to make a bang sound when they split while cooking.  But the star of this dish is the brown sugar and Guinness Stout gravy.

Guiness Sausage and Colcannon 2V

The sausages are cooked in the beer and then the beer and brown sugar are thickened with a butter and flour mixture.  The taste is excellent with both the sausages and the potato, cabbage mash.  Unfortunately, I did not put much of the gravy on my plate when I photographed it.  I corrected that mistake when I dug into it.

Guiness Sausage and Colannon 3

As far as I know the original recipe came from Tara at Smells Like Home.  You can visit her site to see a better picture of the dish with the gravy.  If you can’t find bangers, any mild sausage will do.  I used an Italian turkey sausage.  The dish is garnished with scallion tops.  It is well worth a celebration.


For the bangers and gravy:
6 Irish bangers (or mild sausage)
12 oz Guinness beer
1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter mashed with 1 1/2 tbsp flour
Pinch of Kosher salt
1-2 tbsp chicken stock, as needed

1. In a 12″ sauté pan, brown bangers on all sides over medium heat. Add beer to pan, reduce to a simmer. Braise bangers until they are fully cooked and the beer reduces by half, about 10 minutes.
2. Remove bangers from the pan and whisk in brown sugar, butter/flour mixture, and salt until the mixture is smooth.  Bring gravy to a gentle boil and reduce to a simmer until thickened.  If the gravy thickens too much, add 1-2 tbsp of chicken stock as needed.

For the Colcannon:
1 1/2 lbs potatoes, peeled and cubed(I used Yukon Gold, but russets would do too)
2 3/4 tsp Kosher salt, divided
4 oz bacon, diced
3 cups cabbage, thinly sliced
3 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
1/4 cup heavy cream

1. Place potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water.  Add 1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Boil until potatoes are fork tender, about 10-12 minutes. Drain and keep warm in the saucepan you boiled them in.
2. While the bangers brown and potatoes boil, cook bacon in a 12″ skillet over medium heat until almost crisp, rendering as much bacon fat in the pan as you can.  Add 2 tbsp butter, allow to melt, and then add the cabbage. Sauté mixture until cabbage is almost tender but a slight amount of crunch remains, about 10-15 minutes while stirring occasionally.
3. Add heavy cream and 1 tbsp butter to the pot

Printable recipe

© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.