Student Chef: Jason Goertz
Jason Goertz, a student at Lake Washington Technical Institute, took first prize in the WSPC Student Recipe Contest for this beautiful and flavorful version of the classic French Pommes Anna. Goertz suggests the Pommes as a side for a special dinner. He also recommends varying the recipe with any other combination of cheese and herbs, such as Mozzarella or Parmesan and oregano, or Cheddar and basil or thyme. A mandoline is a must utensil to thin-slice the potatoes.
Scrub potatoes with vegetable brush under cold running water. Do not peel.
Coat a 10-inch oven-proof skillet with a few tablespoons of the olive oil. Using a mandoline, cut potatoes into thin slices.
Arrange the first layer of slices, overlapping, over bottom and up sides of the oiled skillet (this first layer becomes the top, see photo, so take a little extra time to arrange carefully). Brush potatoes in pan with some of the olive oil, sprinkle with salt and spread evenly with about one-third of the cheese. Sprinkle with about 1/3 of the chopped rosemary. Create another layer of potato slices. Sprinkle with oil, salt, cheese and rosemary. Press layers down. Create another layer of potato slices, oil, salt, cheese and rosemary. Press down and repeat layers until all potatoes are used and pan is full.
Place filled skillet over medium-high heat and cook until olive oil sizzles and potatoes at sides begin to brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Move skillet to oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Carefully tilt skillet to drain off any excess fat. (It may be easiest to do this by putting a tight-fitting lid on the skillet and turning the potato cake out into the lid, pouring off oil, then returning the cake to the pan.) Return to oven and bake until potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Put large serving plate or cutting board on skillet, then carefully invert to tip cake out. Cut wedges to serve.