Potatoe Anna or Pommes Anna is a classic French dish created solely for potato lovers. It is entirely made of sliced potatoes baked in quite a generous amount of melted butter. It is usually baked/fried in a round dish or a pan and the end result is like a layered potato cake (See picture below - this is not mine by the way. I am just showing you how the classic Potato Anna looks like). It is then cut into wedges and served hot usually to accompany roasted meats. Potato Anna was created around the time of Napolean the Third, during the early 19th century. It is named after a beautiful lady but there is still a controversy as to whether it is named after actress Anna Damiens or Anna Deslions.
Individual Mini Potato Anna makes a great little side dish for your dinner/party or you could just eat it on its own. They look so pretty and impressive but I assure you they are so easy to make. The only time consuming part is the slicing of the potato into thin slices. I kept the skin on in mine but you could do without in yours. Also, don't soak the potatoes in water after slicing them. We need the starch to bind them together when they are baking. I have used butter to get the authentic taste of Potato Anna but I'm sure EVOO will work wonders too.
Ingredients (for 6 mini Potato Annas)
8 medium sized potatoes
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
80 gm butter, melted
1/2 cup chopped chives
Salt & Pepper
1) Preheat your oven to 190 deg C or 375 deg F. Grease a 6 hole Mini Pie Pan with butter and place a square greaseproof paper on the bottom of each hole. Ensure that the corners of the paper stick out. If you don't have this Mini Pie Pan, then use large ramekins.
2) Slice the potatoes very thinly and overlap them in a layer in a round flower pattern. Sprinkle a teaspoon of Parmesan cheese, spoon a small amount of butter and season the slices with salt and pepper.
3) Keep on layering the potatoes, butter, cheese, salt and pepper till you reach the top of the Pie Pan hole or ramekin. I needed 4-5 layers to reach the top. Do the same for the rest of the potatoes. Top it with chives.
4) Bake in your preheated oven covered with foil for 30 mins, then remove the foil and bake for another 20mins uncovered to make the potato edges crispier. Top with more chives and serve warm. It is quite heavy because of the butter so 1 should suffice per person in your family or party.