Potatoes Anna with Cinnamon and Coriander

Potatoes Anna with Cinnamon and Coriander

from my Tampa Tribune column

I’m sure that a vow to eat healthfully was at the top of most New Year’s resolutions lists. Sigh. It certainly was on mine, but I’ve been doing a lousy job of fulfilling my goal of losing 15 pounds.

I even made it super-easy by limiting myself to just ONE resolution. I typed in my journal that if I could get there by the end of the year, I would pamper myself with a spa day at The Met in Sarasota.

It’s May, and I’m so not there yet. Maybe I need to re-evaluate my prize because, as we all know, a change in behavior is only sustainable with a promise of good loot at the end. The words “losing 15 pounds,” even the thought of a haircut and four-hour massage, is not enticement enough to turn away that decadent swirl of chocolate frosting or the irresistibly curious bacon toffee. Sugar? Butter? Bacon? Cannot resist.

So I’m thinking that my newly revised prize should be grand, like one in which hordes of people are holding me accountable for my success. Hmmm … maybe a massive food/wine/music-filled block party to which you are all invited? You’re welcome to e-mail me ideas as long you’re not selling me diet pills.

But, hey, I did find a nutritious recipe for Potatoes Anna from Cooking Light magazine that I simply love. The super-thin overlapping slices of potatoes are baked in a skillet. The top and bottom layers peel off like crisp potato chips. I’ve seasoned my version with a combination of ground cinnamon and coriander. At 200 calories per serving, I could almost eat, like, the whole thing.


My favorite mandolins

Having a mandoline slicer really helps with cutting the potatoes into thin, even slices. My favorite is one by Pampered Chef for $60. It’s beautifully designed for the clumsy in mind, with a food holder on safety rails and an unexposed blade. You food (and hands) slide effortlessly guided by the safety rails. It also folds up nicely and the 4 blades (crinkle, V-shaped, regular and grating) are stored in a plastic holder that also slides onto the mandolin for storage. The blade is triggered by a spring action – each time your food guide passes over, it triggers the blade to be exposed. Food passes, blade flush. Simply beautiful. Limitations: no blade for cutting shoestring fries and the wide food holder is 3 1/2″ oval shaped and your food has to fit in there.

If you’re the daredevil sort and don’t use the food gripper anyways, then get the Oxo brand. While it has a massive food gripper that keep your knuckles and fingers away from the blade, it does not have safety rails. It does cut nicely and is very sturdy. One time I went slicer-bezerk and slid off the “runway” and, well, you know what happened. BUT – it cuts shoestring fries! And you get to watch a nifty video of Mario pimping out the product. I own both the Pampered Chef and Oxo – and would never give up either one of them.Unless you offered large sums of money. Or an evening with Rocco. Or my very own Darth Vader voice changer mask. I’m easily bribed by evil temptations.

You know those thin, plastic Japanese style mandolines by Benriner? I wouldn’t recommend them unless you are adept at handling juggling knives on a unicycle. Without a stand that holds it erect, you will be balancing the mandoline with one hand at an odd angle and sliding the food back and forth with just a plastic holder doohickey the size of a credit card.

Spend $10 more and get a good quality mandoline.

Cooking Light magazine gave me three gorgeous Cooking Light The Complete Cookbooks to give away! Would you like one? Come over here to enter. The random drawing takes place Saturday (May 10th) morning. It’s got 1,200 recipes with 630 color photographs and a companion DVD.

It is an awesome book, and my copy is littered with Post-it notes of recipes I want to incorporate into my, ahem, healthy lifestyle, like this recipe for Potatoes Anna!

Potatoes Anna with Cinnamon and Coriander

Potatoes Anna with Cinnamon and Coriander

1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon coriander

3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, divided

3 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch thick slices (russet or yukon gold)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or chives

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine salt, pepper, cinnamon and coriander. Swirl just 2 tablespoons of butter in a 10-inch cast-iron or ovenproof heavy skillet over medium heat. Arrange a single layer of potato slices, slightly overlapping, in a circular pattern in the pan; sprinkle with 1/4 of the salt and spice mixture. Use a pastry brush and lightly brush 1/2 teaspoon of the melted butter over potatoes. Repeat layers 5 times, ending with butter. Press firmly to pack. Cover and bake 450 degrees for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 25 minutes or until potatoes are golden. You can serve the potatoes in the skillet or loosen edges with a spatula and turn over onto a plate. Sprinkle with parsley or chives.

Makes 8 servings at 208 calories each.

Source: adapted from “Cooking Light Complete Cookbook”


Did not load Widget Area 5

Comments 42

  1. Andrea

    This sounds divine!! I have a crappy mandoline. Seemed like a good idea at the time, but it’s been a bear to use.

    Oh, and guess what? I’m on a weight loss thing too!!! Need to finally lose the last of the baby pounds…I’m almost in my skinny jeans! My reward will be a new Canon Digital Rebel so I can finally have a decent lens to work with.

  2. Sowjanya

    I think it’s time to get my mandoline out of the storage room and dust it. I found something to use it for :).

    This sounds like an indian recipe with cinnamon and coriander πŸ™‚

  3. courtney

    Yumm. I wonder how this would work with parsnips. I hear they are ven lower in calories.Ilove my Oxo mandolin. I need to use it more however.

  4. jay

    Hey, thanks for the heads-up on the differences between mandolins. I’ve never coughed up the money to get one, mostly because I just wind up throwing some different things together for dinner. I think, based on your recommendation, I’ll finally get one. It seems like it would take a lot of hassle out of trying to get things “just right.”

  5. bb

    You’re going all low-cal on us?? I guess that’s a good thing, but why do I have this sudden urge to wander over to my local taco cart and indulge in a carnitas burrito? Must be something about keeping the culinary karma in balance. You get thinner, I get (even) bigger!
    I LOVE my mandoline, too. To think i used to try to slice by hand. What a sucker I was! I have the OXO too, but I’ve also been using the cheap ($30 at amazon) and handy Zyliss Easy Slice 2. Compact, sharp, and safe.
    Finally, you are getting serious about your photo equipment JH…but as always your stuff looks awesome! Thanks for sharing!!

  6. Kitt

    Delicious! I love crispy potato dishes (and whoa, way fewer calories than my potato gratin).

    I have the Hoffritz mandoline, which has mixed reviews on Amazon. I don’t love it, but one thing I do like is that it fits on top of an accompanying stainless steel bowl with little feet, so everything you slice just falls in there.

    I haul it out for potatoes and if I want to slice a lot of onions for French onion soup. I also used it to make fennel apple salad to go with your salted steak. Very handy when you want super-skinny, even slices.

  7. Erin

    I love that you gave a shout out to the Pampered Chef mandolin. I’m always slightly embarrassed by the Pampered Chef products I own, but seriously a lot of them are pretty great (all things considered). I’m a huge fan of their baking stones.

    Thank you for making a light recipe. It looks delicious!

  8. katy

    that looks great! my fiance *almost* bought me a mandolin for my birthday last year, but changed to something else because he was worried i would slice my fingers off. but guess what i want this year??

  9. Artsygal

    Oh my. This looks like it will feed my potato cravings. I confess.. I have given in to betty crocker potato scalloped potato deals when I need my tater fix in a hurry. But this not only looks yummy, but healthy too? I can live with that! Good luck on the 15 lbs. I’ve been working at it since November and reached 15. That many more to go and I’ll be a happy girl!

  10. Toni

    You can NOT eat the whole thing, because I’M going to eat it!!! I took one look at that photo and started salivating. And the best part? I’ve already got the mandolin!

  11. mimi

    i love potatoes. and this looks like potato perfection. but f*ck the resolution, i will eat the whole thing too.

    btw … do you ever just use one lowel light and a bounce? and do you take any photos with just a speedlite flash (if you use canon, which i think you said you do)?? i’m still not happy with my lighting issue, so i’m just curious.

  12. cookinpanda

    Thanks for the mandolin information. The pampered chef ones sounds great. I need to get one as soon as possible. I’m tired of chopping everything, in a ragged manner, with my dull knives. I guess I should add getting better knives to the list too…

  13. daphne

    Love anything carb! I wonder if spray oil will make this lighter?

    Speaking of which, mine mandolin is USELESS (bought the cheap version)! Till today, I have no idea how to slice a piece of root vegetable on it. Either that or it’s not idiot proof.

  14. Ann

    Very confused about Mandolins, and this helps. Also, Cooks Illustrated just did this pedantic review of a bunch of them. I just love the details you share about the photography. You really didn’t have to name these potatoes after me though!!! πŸ˜‰

  15. Meg

    Those potatoes look incredible, but I’ll stick to improving my knifework over a mandoline. A long time ago, I was considering the merits of one, and as it happened, a friend of mine was using hers and chopped off the tip of her finger by mistake. Since I am something of a klutz, I decided to stay away from the finger guillotine. And on the weight loss… you could start training for a 100 mile bike ride? You know, in your spare time? I hear you. I’ve been trying, but at the end of a crazy day, chocolate and/or wine just looks so, so good.

  16. michelle @ Us vs. Food

    thanks for the mandolin run-down…i was actually thinking of getting the benriner, b/c it seemed like a good deal.

    i want a great big pile of these potatoes next to some piping hot eggs benedict.

  17. rebecca

    I guess it’s time to break down and finally buy that mandolin. Thx for the information.

  18. Katie

    I could eat the whole thing no problem b/c this looks DELICIOUS! I love potatoes…big weakness of mine. mmm….

  19. Mal Carne

    I’ve got these pills, I’m not sure what they are, but they could be for diets. I’ll sell them, cheap.

    I haven’t thought about pommes Anna in years. Now, they are all that I can think about.

  20. Luna Pier Cook

    Remember, according to Weight Watchers you can eat all the taters you want … and I’d probably have a couple pounds of these puppies. They look fantabulous!

  21. LandLocked

    I am on a weight reduction program just now and can’t have potatoes. I think I’ll try this with beets.

    Oh, and I am in desperate need of a new mandolin, so THANK YOU for the review!

  22. finsbigfan

    Oh my I will be making the potatoes TONIGHT. Don’t have a mandolin (not yet) but will run the taters through my slicer. As for the playroom, ahhh the memories, we have 2 sons, 22 months apart, they are 18 and 20 now, but back in the day our family room became the “kid debris” room. One day my husband brought home a dust pan–an 18 inch dust pan. It became my go to tool to clean up the “debris”. Just run that sucker along the carpet and those legos and tiny cars didn’t stand a chance! They would follow me around pushing the toy boxes and the room got cleaned up for 15 minutes…until the next mess……………

  23. Ric

    In a fit of extravagance a couple of years ago, we splurged on a top of the line de Buyer mandolin. It _is_ better than the lower quality ones I’ve tried (sturdier, cleaner cut, smoother for lots of repetitions – once you get momentum on that thing, its amazing how fast you go) but it was nearly twice as expensive as them as well. It is good, but just not twice as good and would not recommend it unless you’re looking to burn that Williams Sonoma gift card.

    I seem to recall that Alton once demonstrated a mandolin wearing one of those oyster shucking chain mail gloves instead of the hand guard. I always thought that was a great idea…I see that although they go for $12 on some web sites, you can easily spend more one one than on the mandolin!

  24. kimberleyblue

    I saw these potatoes today, and had to make them – so they were part of tonight’s dinner. Absolutely delicious!! (and even without a mandolin)

    Thanks for the recipe! πŸ™‚

  25. Nan

    Those potatoes look crispeh and goooood. Thanks for the advice on the mandolines, too…I’m always looking for product info.

  26. Iris

    I imagine this will go well with sweet potatoes too. Might need to adjust the time a bit, since sweet potatoes are usually “mushier.” But I once had sweet potatoes chips with cinnamon sugar sprinkles and it was delicious. Half savory, half sweet.

  27. Lore

    That’s one gorgeous photo and I can finally see how a pro setting looks like. I must try that cinnamon twist, it sounds delicious

  28. Mar

    Yay! Cast iron cooking!

    As a person who frequently accidentally cuts herself in the kitchen, (I dropped a rubber-handled knife one time while washing dishes. It bounced off the counter and stuck in my wrist.), I say get as many safety features as you can and then go ahead and use your knife because who wants special equipment for every single thing you do in the kitchen? You can learn to slice thin but you will have to take some blood with it. And perhaps some stitches. If the mandolin can’t protect you, then just slice slowly and carefully with a knife.

    Also I’d recommend that you not try to lose 15 pounds in six months. Just try to lose five pounds this month and see what happens from there. Eat lots of veggies…add them to everything. Good luck!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *