One Potato, Two Potatoes – by Debbie Ambrous

Bacon is sizzling.  One potato, two potatoes, maybe more in the oven…  Through La Florista’s door into the kitchen where Chef Jim cooks delicious dishes, I will share a recipe or two.  The recipes were finds, one copied from an old magazine at the doctor’s office and the other rescued from a magazine discarded into the trash at the edge of a beautiful, tropical, leafy lane in Coconut Grove when I rambled by on my turquoise bicycle.

Pommes Chef Jim
From our kitchen to yours

Pommes Chef Jim

3 med. Russet potatoes scrubbed

3 Tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil

¾ cup shredded Parmesan or grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (2 1/2 oz.)

Sea salt

1 – Preheat oven to 425 degree Fahrenheit

2 – Cut potatoes with a mandoline or very sharp knife into 1/8 inch thick slices

3 – Coat an 8-inch ovenproof nonstick skillet with 1 ½ teaspoons olive oil.  Start in center of the pan, lay potato slices in circles, overlapping slices.  Add more oil on top and arrange another layer in circles.  Continue with this layering and then sprinkle half the cheese and ½ teaspoon of salt.  Repeat layers with and the remaining cheese and ½ teaspoon salt over top layer.  Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper.  After each layer, use spatula to press down on potatoes.

4 – Heat skillet on medium high.  Cook 4 to 5 minutes and then transfer to oven and roast 20 minutes.

5 – Carefully remove pan from oven and place lid on top.   Tilt pan and drain excess oil, then flip pan over to release potato cake onto lid.  Carefully slide potato cake into pan with browned side up.

6 – Roast 20 to 25 minutes longer.  Drain excess fat again if necessary.  Slide potato cake onto serving plate.  Cut into wedges to serve.

Symbol of hospitality centerpiece for Chef Jim’s tasty meal. The small fabric-covered apples, stuffed with cotton, flew from France across the Atlantic to me as a gift from my friend Louise.

The dinner plate is Gien, bought in France on my solo trip some years ago. The napkin ring is from Ecuador. Don’t you just love the little girl with her lamb? That’s another beautiful story to tell.

Papa Jim’s Warm Potato – Crispy Bacon Salad

3 lb medium boiling potatoes, scrubbed

3 tablespoons white-wine vinegar

¼ lb bacon (5 slices)

2 tablespoons olive oil

¼ cup chopped fresh chives

–         Cover potatoes generously with cold salted water (1 tablespoon salt for 3 quarts water) in a pot and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes.  Drain potatoes.

–         When potatoes are cool enough to handle but still warm, peel and cut into 1-inch pieces, then toss with vinegar and ½ teaspoon salt in a large bowl.

–         Cook bacon in oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-low heat, turning occasionally, until crisp.  Drain bacon on paper towels, reserving fat in skillet.

–         Add ¼ cup of hot bacon fat to potatoes and toss.  Coarsely crumble bacon on top, then add chives and salt and pepper to taste and toss.

(This recipe is almost always a winner!)

Papa Jim’s Warm Potato – Crispy Bacon Salad
Displayed on a “trash find” from Coconut Grove – an old piano stool with a broken leg – Jim repaired it and now it’s at home in Alabama, nice enough for my amateur photo shoot.

Chicken is grilling on the France Pictures and Storytelling page.  It’s mouthwatering.  Don’t lick the page, but Click over to see.

A few recipes, more laughter and some tears are in “A French Opportunity”
You can find your copy on Amazon and Barnes & Noble websites. Kindle version is available in LIVING COLOR.



2 thoughts on “One Potato, Two Potatoes – by Debbie Ambrous

  1. Sorry I haven’t replied lately. I just finished reading you book and enjoyed it immensely. Wish you were still here so you can share your stories in person. I learned so much about you and Jim. I had no idea he was a fellow Trekkie! Looking forward to trying the recipes posted here and in the book. Also loved the pictures from “Belle of the Ball”. I have picture of you in your fascinator hat in West Palm Beach.

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