Pommes de Terre a la Provence
One medium sized one will fill two 4 inch ramekins and will serve 2
Many of you may already know this, but Pommes de Terre in French literally means apples of the earth—and so what would that be?—a potato of course. I just have always thought that’s such a cute name. This is a very delicious dish and so easy to fix. I’m sure it’s not light in calories or cholesterol, but every now and then a splurge is OK.
- 1 medium sized baking potato (Idaho of course), peeled and sliced relatively thin.
- Crème Fraiche- 1/2 C. total will do. *see below for recipe you can make yourself–much better and more economical however you have to start making this the day before making this dish.
- S&P to taste.
- Chopped Italian Parsley for topping.
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Pam oil or butter spray the ramekins
- Place some of the potato slices on the bottom layer. It’ll probably be around 3 slices.
- Spoon the Crème Fraiche over this layer, sprinkle lightly with S&P and continue doing this for however many layers will fit in the ramekin. You might need to make some more Crème Fraiche.
- Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven for approximately 1 hour.
- Top with chopped parsley.
- If you wish to add a cheese to this mixture to accompany a meat or fish dish that has no sauce involved so that it wouldn’t conflict with a more complicated potato sauce, that would be very easy to accomplish. You might think of Parmesan, Cheddar or Blue Cheese mixed in with the Crème Fraiche. You don’t need much to make a culinary imprint. Also, spread a little on the top before putting in the oven.
You can also make this dish with other types of potatoes and/or just using one large dish. You will have to adjust your cooking times of course and I think for a larger dish, it could be as long as 2 hours or until tender.
- Creme Fraiche-homemade: Easy but start making it the day before you make this dish. In a small bowl whisk 1/2 cup heavy wipping cream with 1/2 cup sour cream. Cover well and leave out in a warm place for 12 hours. Then stir and place in the refrigerator for another 12 hours. At this point it should be perfect–thick, creamy and delicious.
- Fresh Herbed Cream Sauce: No cooking here — simply blend 1/2 cup creme fraiche with 1 teaspoon each finely sliced chives and fresh tarragon. Add about 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Serves up to 6 people. Streak a little over pieces of grilled, baked or poached salmon, sole, or scallops. Herbs could be pureed with a little shallot and stirred into the cream for a pale green color.
- Pan Sauces: Stir a generous tablespoon into defatted pan sauces after pan grilling poultry, fish or vegetables. Bring to a simmer, taste for balance, and pour over foods.
- Soups: Reduce the amount of cream called for in your favorite creamed soup by half and substitute creme fraiche.
- With Fruits: A few spoonfuls of creme fraiche lift fruit flavors. Try over berries, ripe peaches or nectarines, or on sauteed pears. The cream could be lightly sweetened, flavored with a little lemon, orange or vanilla.
- Imagination is everything. Try creme fraiche in other dishes as well. Streak it over mousses and jelled sweets or savories. Finish an appetizer plate of marinated leek or grilled scallions and asparagus with a zig zag of creme fraiche. It is classic in Beef Stroganoff instead of sour cream.