Monday, December 7, 2009

Yo Yo MA

My husband and I recently met our good friend Sarah's grandmother, Ma. We have heard a lot about Ma over the years and were excited to finally meet her. She is an 80 something year old spitfire who still lives alone in Northern Maine. As you can probably imagine, Norther Maine isn't the most conducive climate to navigate but Ma does just fine. Her husband was a potato farmer and she still lives on the land they owned while he was alive and she continues to benefit from the crop.

We had a lovely visit with her and when we left she sent us on our way with a care package as grandmothers often do. It was a little Christmas bag that weighed a ton. When Forrest and I peered inside we were tickled with our gift. She had given us potatoes from her farm in Maine - I was elated. I couldn't wait to cook with them. I put a lot of thought into what I should make with them. I thought about Ma and how many potato dishes she has probably eaten over the years. I doubt there would be any potato dish that I could find that Ma hasn't tried.

But then I found this recipe and I was really intrigued. It seemed a little strange, but equally delicious. So I figured it was worth a shot. And it was! It was amazing! Take my word and try this no matter how strange it may seem.

Potato Pie with Tomato and Fontina
Adapted from Food and Wine 1998

Yield: 4 servings

  • 2 1/2 pounds baking potatoes (about 5), peeled and halved
  • 4 ounces of pancetta, diced
  • 1 28-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes, drained and chopped fine
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • Fresh-ground black pepper
  • 3/4 pound grated fontina (about 3 cups)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan

1. Heat the oven to 450°. Put the potatoes in a medium saucepan of salted water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, put the tomatoes in a strainer set over a medium bowl. Toss with 3/4 teaspoon of the salt and let drain for 20 minutes.

2. Cook the pancetta until crisp in a small skillet; drain on paper towels and set aside.

3. Drain the potatoes and mash them in the saucepan with a potato masher or a fork.

Cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until the potato starts to stick to the pan, about 5 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the oil,

the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of pepper. Remove from the heat.

3. Oil a large baking sheet. Spread the potato mixture onto the baking sheet, forming two 6-by-11-inch rectangles pressing down with the back of a measuring cup sprayed with cooking spray

for an even thickness.

Top the potato with the fontina,leaving a 1/4-inch border.

Sprinkle the garlic and pancetta over the cheese.

Top with the drained tomatoes

followed by the red pepper flakes,

oregano and Parmesan. Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil.

Bake the potato pies in the lower third of the oven until the cheese is bubbling and the edges are golden brown, about 25 minutes.


Kerstin said...

What a unique recipe - I so thought I was looking at a piece of fish at first! Sounds so comforting with all that fontina.

Sherrie said...

That looks great.

Victor said...

I love potato pie, this looks great!

MaryBeth said...

This must be the best looking potato pie I have ever seen...Fantastic !!

Woody said...

This was an awesome breakfast before work.

Unplanned Cooking said...

That is so sweet. I love cooking when there is a story behind it, like grandma's potatoes.

Krista said...

Gotta love those care packages from a grandma! This was an excellent way to use the Christmas potatoes! It looks delicious!

Electra Maven said...

Hi, How are you? I came across your Blog and I really enjoyed reading it! I found it very interesting! I'm a new blogger so I'd like to invite you to have a look at my blog and feel welcome to give me any kind of feedback and comments on my posts! :) I would really appreciate it! Thanks for sharing information and yr experiences! I wish you all the best! Kind Regards ;)

thanks for the recipes I'll try one of yours this week ;)

Don said...

wow @ that meal. admired.

i originally stopped by cause i saw where you were a saints fan. #whodat