Saturday, June 11, 2005

Dutch Oven Potatoes with Dried Cranberries

I baked Grady Spear's Dutch oven potatoes with dried cranberries this afternoon at the 21st annual Carson City Rendezvous. I have to say that they were a refreshing change from standard scalloped potatoes. The cranberries and Parmesan cheese formed an unique flavor that I enjoyed.

I've watched Grady prepare these potatoes on a Food Network show several years ago. They looked interesting, so archived the recipe on my Palm Pilot and forgot about it. (I use PDA Cookbook on my Tungsten E in case anyone's interested.)

I could never get past the potato-fruit connection in his recipe. I feel that potatoes should only be covered by three condiments--gravy, catsup or hot sauce. Fruit doesn't belong anywhere near potatoes in my book.

My plan tonight was to taste the potatoes to make sure they were properly seasoned. Nothing more. So, when it came time to test the potatoes, I was pleasantly surprised. The sweet cranberries complimented the starchy potatoes. I'm going to make this one of my signature dishes for Dutch oven cookouts.

It's easy, especially if you have a mandoline laying around. Lacking a mandoline, use a sharp chef's knife to slice the potatoes as thin as you can get them. All you need to do from this point is layer the potato slices in a Dutch oven with the cream, Parmesan cheese and cranberries. Heat and about two hours of patience will do the rest.


Grady Spears is a cowboy turned chef who owns four restaurants in the Southwest and has written four cookbooks on regional cuisine.

2 pounds russet potatoes, scrubbed
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, divided
2 cups dried cranberries
Salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
2-1/2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Preheat 10-inch Dutch oven lid to approximately 300-degrees with 12 charcoal briquettes. Slice potatoes 1/16-inch thick with a mandoline, or paper thin by hand. Layer 1/5 of sliced potatoes in buttered 10-inch Dutch oven, making 2 thin, overlapping layers.

Sprinkle 2 teaspoons Parmesan over potatoes. Top with 1/2-cup cranberries, salt and pepper to taste, and 1/2-cup cream. Repeat this step 2 more times, ending with potatoes. Top potatoes with remaining cream and dot with butter. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Place lid on oven and bake for around 2 hours with 12 coals on lid and 5 under oven. Replace coals as needed at the 1-hour point. For a darker brown potato, heap coals on lid for that last few minutes (check potatoes first--this may not be necessary due the long baking time.) Set lid ajar and let potatoes sit for 15 minutes before serving. Cut into squares with a sharp knife. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

No comments:

Post a Comment