Adapted from Molly Stevens
From BON APPÉTIT, November 2012
This side dish is a very simple deconstruction of that classic French casserole potato dish, Pommes Anna, consisting of of thinly sliced potatoes that are layered and cooked in a generous amount of melted butter. This version is presented as a single-serve dish with the classic French attitude.The more carefully you arrange the potato slices, the prettier the results and the better the individual-size cakes will hold together.
They are perfect side dish to go along with baked chicken or even a slab of braised short ribs and they will be sure to impress your guests at the dinner table.
1 stick unsalted butter
12-24 small tender fresh thyme sprigs plus 2 teaspoons coarsely chopped leaves
1 garlic clove, minced
1 3/4 pounds small Yukon Gold potatoes, each slightly larger than a golf ball
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
A standard 12-cup muffin pan
Preheat oven to 350°F. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Brush muffin cups all over with butter. Line bottoms with parchment-paper rounds. Arrange 1-2 small thyme sprigs in center of each round. Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon butter into bottom of each cup.Add chopped thyme and garlic to remaining butter in saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.Using mandoline, slice potatoes crosswise into very thin rounds (less than 1/16″ thick), placing them in a large bowl as you work. Pour herb butter over and season with salt and pepper; toss to coat well.Divide potato slices among muffin cups, layering overlapping slices to create a circular pattern. Lightly press center of each to make compact. Drizzle any remaining butter and seasoning from bowl over.
Cover muffin pan tightly with foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake until potatoes can be pierced easily with the tip of a knife, about 35 minutes. Remove foil; invert a rimmed baking sheet over pan. Turn, lightly tapping on counter, releasing potatoes onto sheet. Rearrange any slices that may have fallen out. Using a metal spatula, carefully turn cakes, thyme sprigs facing down. Discard parchment. DO AHEAD: Potatoes can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.
Increase heat to 425°F. Uncover cakes if needed. Bake until bottoms and edges are golden and crispy, 25 to 30 minutes. Carefully turn cakes, thyme sprigs facing up.