Potatoes Boulangére and the Baker's Wife…. Potatoes
"Running away. Go to it.
Where did you have in mind?
Have to take care.. Unless there's a where
You'll only be wandering blind.
Just more questions.
Different kind. "
-"No More- Into the Woods"
Which they left out of the movie
Did you see Into The Woods..?
There might've been this long post about the baker and his wife from the musical (turned movie) . Then I might've realized that a lot of folks might not know what in the world I'm talking about and decided not to go on this rant about how that movie didn't really do the musical justice.
So just picture me sitting in a theater (because my daughter made me) watching Johnny Depp's Tim Burton-ish Big Bad Wolf and trying not to be that person that points out everything that is different from the musical.
Just as a side note. I am that person.
It's a magical fairy tale story about 4 different characters, one being a Baker (and his wife) and their quest to have a family and all the drama that entails when you're in debt to a witch who sends you on a journey between fairytales.
Hold On while I start singing….
My first experience visiting Broadway and all it's grandeur and intrigue was to see the play Into the Woods with Berdnette Peters who just gave so much to her part as the witch.
So while I love Meryl Streep I think I was just ruined for all other remakes of that play.
Because dammit Bernedette Peters..
What does that have to do with potatoes? Absolutely nothing
I'm just unable to think of anything else but the Baker , his wife and Chris Pine as the prince, when trying to come up with some compelling story about Baker's Wife potatoes.
So let's get on with it.
Essentially this dish puts you in the mind of an au gratin, with it's thin sliced potatoes layered in a baking pan. I've always made this with a milk base, making those potatoes creamy and unbelievably rich when scooping them up and dolloping them on your plate.
Are you a dolloper? Is that even a word?
The red squiggly lines are telling me no but let's play pretend and say it is.
No this is not a dance move, its when you place an obscene blob of food on your plate when everyone else is using nice small spoon like proportions.
So I'm a dolloper… Ok so that sounds strange when I say it out loud..
A few years back when attempting to try this recipe sans milk (because whoever said milk does a body good has not been around my husband after he eats a bowl of ice cream-- OMG open a window), I ran across an article about Pommes Boulangére which is a French potato gratin. It uses stock in the place of milk along with herbs and hints of butter. Keeping with my old school recipe I added in the pork (cause I'm southern), more than a hint of butter (cause I'm southern) and some sautéed onions with a little garlic (cause a dish isn't really worthy unless it leaves you with bad breath and makes you wish your pants had an elastic waistband)
Which means you're in luck cause this does both.
So "Into the woods and out of the woods and happily ever after"… with potatoes?
I'm such a weirdo...
*P.S I might've skipped my step of adding foil to the pan to keep the potatoes from browning to fast. Don't do that*
*P.P.S or is it P.S.S… I might've also tipped the pan over when in the oven causing the juice to spill over the side into the bottom of my oven. Don't do that either.*
Prep Time- 30 mins Cook Time- 2 hours Yield 6 servings
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 yellow onion
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
4 oz pancetta (optional)
3 cups chicken stock
8 medium size Yukon gold (or other waxy potatoes), peeled
½ cup butter, unsalted, cubed
½ cup fresh parsley chopped
kosher salt fresh ground pepper
Heat oven to 350
Using a mandolin, thinly slice each potato into a bowl and set aside.
In a large pan over medium heat, combine olive oil, onions and garlic. Cook until translucent making sure not to brown the onions, about 6-8 minutes. Warm the stock over medium heat. In a casserole dish, alternately layer the potatoes with the onion mixture, pancetta, a few cubes of butter, and a sprinkle of parsley. Add a little warm stock to cover each layer and season each layer with salt and pepper to taste. Bake uncovered for about 2 hours or until the potatoes are tender. If they start to brown to quick, cover with foil. Serve while warm adding more fresh parsley to garnish if desired.
-I would suggest placing the baking pan on top of a baking sheet pan to keep any juice from spilling over into your over.