Serious Eats: Recipes

Sunday Brunch: Potatoes Macaire

[Photograph: Robin Bellinger]

I don’t often eat brunch in restaurants. As a thrifty person who is perhaps unhealthily devoted to baking at home, I have neither the money nor the calories to spare for mediocre pancakes. The big draw at a restaurant brunch for me is hash browns or homefries, since I don’t usually get motivated enough to make breakfast potatoes myself. Now that I’ve made pommes de terre macaire, however, I might get into the habit.

This is supposed to be a crisp brown disk that slips right out of the pan, but I had gone cast-iron instead of nonstick and found that my bottom crust had to be chipped out of the skillet. (But it was worth the work—delicious!) What my cake lacked in good looks, it made up for in taste and ease of preparation. Since this recipe uses pre-baked potatoes, you could have them ready to go the night before, leaving little for you to do in the morning besides preheating the oven and grating some nutmeg. (I’m not sure Jacques Pepin would endorse this overnight potato aging, but I’m fairly confident the resulting gâteau would still taste mighty fine, even if it had to stay in the oven a few minutes longer.)

As you can see, we ate potatoes macaire with a green salad and a leek vinaigrette, but they would play just as well with any egg dish.

Pommes de Terre Macaire

Adapted from "Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home"

-serves 6 to 8, according to recipe; 2 adults and 1 baby, according to my experience (!)-

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