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Who would guess that the humble potato—a vegetable that grows in dirt—could be transformed into a side dish that’s basically a work of art? The French is who. Meet pommes Anna, a classic Française recipe that requires little more than butter, salt and spuds once you grasp the technique.
This deceptively simple dish relies on a few secrets: For starters, you’ll want to use a well-seasoned skillet so the potatoes don’t stick. We prefer carbon steel because it holds heat like cast iron but has sloped sides and is easy to flip. (Non-stick would work too.) And a mandoline will give you uniform thin slices, essential for even cooking. A sharp chef’s knife will work in a pinch, but you’ll want to set aside some time for slicing and make sure your slices are as consistent as possible. Lastly, we call for a combination of butter and olive oil so nothing burns—traditionally, the French use clarified butter for richness, but we’re all about a shortcut. (Shhh.)
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