Part II: The Kitchen Strikes Back
One of our favorite shows on cable-less TV is the Create channel’s “America’s Test Kitchen”. This potato galette recipe is based on theirs. Before this show, I had never heard of the word galette. It is generally defined as a classic flat, round cake. (The King Cake is actually considered a galette “galette des Rois”.) The one in this recipe contains potatoes and butter and looks impressively neat and pretty when its done.
In order for the potato cake to hold together, it is important to slice the potatoes no more than 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick and to make sure the slices are thoroughly dried before assembling the cake. They recommend using a mandolin or slicing attachment of a food processor to get the slices thin enough, so I finally got to use M’s mandoline.
Make sure you use a skillet you can also place in the oven. We have many old school pots and pans in our house with plastic handles that get a little hinky even when we use them on the stove too long. The oven would melt them in a minute!
This recipe serves 6 to 8 and takes about 30-40 minutes to complete. It’s a nice change from mashed or baked potatoes (or even French fries). The basic seasonings of salt, pepper, and butter were simple and effective for giving this a very rich flavor. It looks very fancy when it’s done, but, as you can see, we didn’t have a plate flat enough or big enough to fit it!
America’s Test Kitchen’s galette:
M and m’s:
Not too shabby.
I know, if Ham Solo were here, he’d tell me not to get cocky…which would of course lead me right into a chicken joke…and my nerdiness would outshine my desire to look cool… and he’d still end up with Leia. Sigh.
- 2½pounds (5-6 large) Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and sliced ⅛ inch thick
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1½ teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves (optional)
- Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 450 degrees.
- Place potato slices in large bowl and fill with cold water.
- Using hands, swirl to remove excess starch, then drain in colander.
- Spread potatoes onto kitchen towels and thoroughly dry.
- Whisk 4 tablespoons butter, cornstarch, salt, pepper, and rosemary together in large bowl.
- Add dried potatoes and toss until thoroughly coated.
- Place remaining tablespoon butter in heavy bottomed 10-inch ovenproof nonstick skillet and swirl to coat.
- Place 1 potato slice in center of skillet then overlap slices in circle around center slice, followed by outer circle of overlapping slices.
- Gently place remaining sliced potatoes on top of first layer, arranging so they form even thickness. (Only the bottom layer has to be neat and tidy- it will be the top when flipped. The rest do not need to be perfect, just get the layers as even as you can.)
- Place skillet over medium-high heat and cook until sizzling and potatoes around edge of skillet start to turn translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Spray 12-inch square of foil with nonstick cooking spray.
- Place foil, sprayed side down, on top of potatoes.
- Place 9-inch cake pan on top of foil and fill with 2 cups pie weights. (A pound of dried beans, rice, or coins can be substituted for the pie weights.)
- Firmly press down on cake pan to compress potatoes. (That plus the cornstarch will help the potatoes stick together.)
- Transfer skillet to oven and bake 20 minutes.
- Remove cake pan and foil from skillet.
- Continue to cook until potatoes are tender when paring knife is inserted in center, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Return skillet to medium heat on stovetop and cook, gently shaking pan (use potholder—handle will be hot), until galette releases from sides of pan, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Off heat, place cutting board over skillet. With hands protected by oven mitts or potholders, using 1 hand to hold cutting board in place and 1 hand on skillet handle, carefully flip skillet and cutting board together. Lift skillet off galette.
- Cut into pie wedges and serve immediately.
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