Francis Mallmann’s potato domino recipe elevates potatoes to something other worldly. He turns an ordinary potato into a crisp yet tender, super savory, glorious thing. It’s like eating an awesome hot potato chip with the softest insides and the crispiest outsides. Mailman’s recipe solidifies my ongoing love for the potato. Is there anything this tuber can’t deliciously morph itself into? Unless your name is Jiro Ono, you will need a mandoline slicer to make perfect potato cuts. Also, I used Yukon Gold potatoes instead of Russets. I am sure the Russet is used because it’s larger and turning it into a perfect rectangle will still leave a good sized hunk of potato per person. I did not perfectly trim my Yukon Golds, but instead left some imperfect sides and skin for a rustic (read: messy) shape and more texture. Serve this at your Easter brunch, step back, and wait for the oohs and ahhhhhs.
The first step is to clarify the butter. The potatoes I used were small, so I used half a stick of butter. If your potatoes are bigger, or you are using Russets, use the whole stick of butter. Melt it over low heat in a small saucepan. Once completely melted, using a spoon, skim off the milk fat solids from the top of the liquified butter; they are the white floating parts. After skimming, strain the melted butter, helping to trap any remaining solids which you should discard. Place the clarified butter into a container in the refrigerator. Let chill for at least 30 minutes or until hardened. Next, preheat the oven to 400 and begin trimming your potatoes into rectangles. Imperfect is totally fine unless you feel otherwise compelled for o.c.d. perfection. (Save your potato scraps for tomorrow’s hash browns!) After your potato is trimmed into a rectangle, set your mandoline slicer to 1/8″ and slice your trimmed potato, taking care not to slice off your fingertips!
Once the potatoes are sliced, try to form them back into their original order. Hold them in your hand and try to shape the potatoes back into their original state. Place them on a foil or parchment-lined baking sheet and fan them in a straight angled fashion, like fallen dominoes. Divide the solidified clarified butter into fourths and top potatoes equally with pats of clarified butter. Finish the potatoes with fresh sprigs of thyme, generous pinches of coarse sea salt, and freshly cracked pepper.
Bake at 400 for 40 minutes.
After 40 minutes, flip and bake for another 5 minutes on the opposite side. Flipping the potatoes ensures both top and bottom sides are well crisped. Serve warm out of the oven. Collect accolades and marriage proposals.
(Slightly adapted from Francis MallMann’s Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way)
Prep time: 45 minutes
Bake time: 45 minutes
Serves: 4 people
- 4 Yukon Gold potatoes
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 sprigs thyme
- Coarse sea salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- Melt butter over low heat in a small saucepan. Once completely melted, using a spoon, skim off the milk fat solids from the top of the liquified butter. After skimming, pour the melted butter through a fine mesh strainer, which will help trap any remaining solids. Discard the solids and place the clarified butter into a container in the refrigerator and let chill for at least 30 minutes or until hardened.
- Preheat the oven to 400 and trim potatoes into rectangles. Set mandoline slicer to 1/8″ and slice the trimmed potato. Once the potatoes are sliced, put them back into their original order. Hold them in one hand and try to shape them back into their original state with the other hand. Place potato dominoes on a foil or parchment-lined baking sheet and fan them in a straight angled fashion, like fallen dominoes.
- Divvy the hardened clarified butter into fourths and top potatoes with pats of clarified butter and fresh sprigs of thyme. Finish with pinches of coarse sea salt and freshly cracked pepper.
- Bake at 400 for 40 minutes. Flip potatoes and bake on opposite side for another 5 minutes.