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      RECIPE TITLE "Potato Skins" Recipe from ALice Waters, author of The Art of Simple Food: Notes, Lessons, and Recipes from a Delicious Revolution

    ... more great recipes from Alice Waters on our GREAT CHEFS page!

    yields serves 4 --- difficulty easy

    I like this best when the potatoes are sliced quite thin (a mandoline makes this easy): that way the potato slices are less likely to curl up and burn on the edges. Yukon Gold and other waxy, yellow-fleshed potatoes keep their texture in a gratin; floury potatoes like russets fall apart. --Alice Waters

      RECIPE METHOD

    Rub a 9- by 12-inch gratin dish with:
    Butter

    Peel and slice about 1/16 inch thick:
    4 large yellow potatoes (about 1-1/2 pounds)

    Make a layer of potato slices in the gratin dish, overlapping them slightly, like shingles.

    Sprinkle with:
    Salt and fresh-ground black pepper

    Continue to layer the potato slices, seasoning each layer, until the potatoes are used up. You should have two or, at the most, three layers. Carefully pour over the potatoes:
    1 cup milk

    The liquid should come up to the bottom of the top layer of potatoes. Add more if necessary. Generously dot the top of the potatoes with:
    3 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces

    Bake in a 350°F oven until browned and bubbling, about 1 hour. Halfway through the baking, take the gratin dish out of the oven and press the potatoes flat with a metal spatula to keep the top moist. Return to the oven and keep checking. The gratin is done when the potatoes are soft and the top is golden brown.

    VARIATIONS
    • Peel and smash a garlic clove and rub it all over the inside of the gratin dish before buttering it.
    • Use duck fat instead of butter.
    • Use heavy cream or a mixture of half-and-half and cream. Omit the butter.
    • Substitute celery root, parsnip, or turnip slices for up to half the potatoes.
    • Add chopped herbs such as thyme, parsley, chives, or chervil between the layers.
    • Sauté mushrooms, sorrel, spinach, or leeks, and layer them between the potato slices.
    • Sprinkle grated Gruyère or Parmesan cheese on each layer and sprinkle more on top for the last 15 minutes of baking.


    HOT! We recommend:

    Alice Waters: Chez PanisseThe Art of Simple Food: Notes, Lessons, and Recipes from a Delicious Revolution
    The delicious dishes described in the latest cookbook from Chez Panisse founder Waters, such as a four-ingredient Soda Bread and Cauliflower Salad with Olives and Capers, are simple indeed, though the book's structure is complex, if intuitive. After a useful discussion of ingredients and equipment come chapters on techniques, such as making broth and soup. Each of these includes three or four recipes that rely on the technique described, which can lead to repetition (still preferable to a lack of guidance): a chapter on roasting contains two pages of instructions on roasting a chicken (including a hint to salt it a day in advance for juicy results), followed by a recipe for Roast Chicken that is simply an abbreviated version of those two pages. The final third of the book divides many more recipes traditionally into salads, pasta and so forth. Waters taps an almost endless supply of ideas for appealing and fresh yet low-stress dishes: Zucchini Ragout with Bacon and Tomato, Onion Custard Pie, Chocolate Crackle Cookies with almonds and a little brandy. Whether explaining why salting food properly is key or describing the steps to creating the ideal Grilled Cheese Sandwich, she continues to prove herself one of our best modern-day food writers. (Oct.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Click here to buy
    Alice Waters: Chez PanisseChez Panisse Fruit
    The eighth Chez Panisse cookbook, which features sweet and savory dishes that use fruit, follows what has become acclaimed chef Alice Waters's patented style: a mix of rustic dishes, many exhibiting Italian and French influence, that highlight the best possible produce. Recipes are organized by fruit, and each chapter begins with a mini-essay on varieties and growing conditions, and often sounds the biodiversity alarm, as when Waters opines, "How sad, then, that well over 90 percent of the apples sold in this country belong to one of only fifteen of those seven thousand varieties." Desserts showcase flavors that may be slightly unfamiliar, either because they use unusual varieties (Caramelized Red Banana Tartlets) or different versions of a common fruit, as with Fig Cookies that are a haute substitute for Fig Newtons and use fresh figs rather than dried. Savory dishes such as Middle Eastern-Style Lamb Stew with Dried Apricots and a tasty assembly of spices skew more traditional. Some of the most intriguing recipes are the simplest, such as Pickled Cherries and Tea-Poached Prunes. At times, Waters's specificity can be exasperating. Will Crˆpes Suzette with Pixie Tangerine Sherbet be just as good if the sherbet is made with some other variety of tangerine? Still, it's hard to find fault with a book wide-ranging and inventive enough to comfortably encompass Judy's Deep-Fried Lemon and Artichokes, Spring Fruit Compote with Kiwifruit Sherbet and Coconut Meringue, and a tart Vin de Pamplemousse aperitif. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. Click here to buy
    Alice Waters: Chez PanisseFanny at Chez Panisse: A Child's Restaurant Adventures with 46 Recipes
    Chez Panisse, a restaurant in Berkeley, is the brainchild of renowned chef Alice Waters. Fanny is Alice Waters's daughter and Fanny at Chez Panisse is a collection of 46 recipes that are simple, delicious, and fun to make. The first third of the book tells the story of Fanny's adventures at Chez Panisse and introduces many of the people who work and dine there. There is Bumps, a family friend who lives on a boat and makes special bread; Carrie, the florist who supplies Chez Panisse with its bouquets; and Jean, a customer who prefers to eat in the kitchen rather than the restaurant because "That's where the food and my favorite people are." Through Fanny's eyes, the reader glimpses the inner workings of a quirky, wonderful restaurant and the people who run it. (Fanny says she's not sure who runs Chez Panisse--"I think Chez Panisse runs Chez Panisse.")
    The rest of the book is taken up with Fanny's favorite recipes divided into sections such as "Carrots, Cucumbers, and Bell Peppers," "Corn," "Garlic," "Fruit," and more. Recipes range from raita to Peach Crisp and Roast Chicken with Herbs, and are easy to follow with some adult supervision. Though Fanny at Chez Panisse is primarily aimed at children, the recipes in it are delicious enough for adults to enjoy as well. And remember, the family that cooks together has a really great meal to show for all that togetherness! Click here to buy
    Alice Waters: Chez PanisseChez Panisse Café Cookbook 
    Award-winning cookbook author (Chez Panisse Vegetables; Chez Panisse Menu Cookbook) and chef-owner Waters takes readers back to her highly lauded restaurant in Berkeley, Calif. This alluring 200-plus recipe collection is an innovative amalgam of Mediterranean, California, New American and Proven?al dishes. Waters shares her Chez Panisse vision: that all of the restaurant's ingredients be certifiable as "organically grown" by the year 2000. A culinary purist, Waters devotes herself to cooking with fresh, seasonal, organic ingredients, relying upon a choice network of purveyors, producers, farmers, fishmongers and ranchers. The clear and incisive recipes range from simple (Fresh Mozzarella Salad) to elaborate (Headcheese, a jellied meat dish with one small pig's head and two pig's feet) and time-consuming (15-day Home-Cured Pancetta), with an emphasis on incorporating seasonal bountyAfor example, Minestra Verdissima (spring); Venetian-style Pickled Sand Dabs (summer); Wild Nettle Frittata (autumn-winter); Spicy Baked Crab (winter). Despite Waters's militant stance on using organic ingredients and her exquisite attention to ingredient details, she suggests only two pantry essentials: kosher salt and quality olive oil. Aspiring to achieve a higher food karma, Waters successfully delivers a charmingly erudite yet accessible reference. (Sept.)Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. Click here to buy
    Alice Waters: Chez PanisseChez Panisse Vegetables
    The same deep regard for ingredients and their flavors that first drew national attention to Waters's Berkeley, Calif., restaurant in the mid-1970s informs this comprehensive disquisition on vegetables. From Amaranth Greens through Zucchini, Waters (Chez Panisse Cooking) examines the qualities and characteristics that distinguish vegetables at their best and offers recipes that show them off. The 250-plus recipes highlight the main ingredient of each dish, sometimes conferring star status (Mediterranean Lentil Soup; Spicy Broccoli Vegetable Saute) and sometimes orchestrating a felicitous concert (Whole-wheat Pasta with Cauliflower, Walnuts, and Ricotta Salata; Braised Cabbage with Halibut). While the majority of recipes are presented in standard form, some of the most valuable bypass details of quantity and sequence to focus on method (Oven-braised Leeks with Cream; Spinach Roman Style with Raisins and Pine Nuts; Aigo Bouido, a garlic broth; Parsley Salad). Waters promotes a collaborative culinary process, not just among the cooks she credits as fellow authors but between the individual cook and the ingredients of the dish being prepared. Her generous, authoritative approach to vegetables commands the same respect she offers to her subject matter and is exemplified in the concluding bibliography of cookbooks. 60,000 first printing; major ad/promp; author tour.Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. Click here to buy

     

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