August 30, 2012

Potato Galette

potato galette


I love potatoes for many reasons, one being that they are so wonderfully delicious, they are comforting, they are satisfying, they are economical and they can be prepared in rustic dishes to very fancy dishes.  Potatoes were a mainstay on my family's table growing up.  My father would put a cast iron pan on the burner and douse it with a generous amount of oil, then large rings of onions, and thick sliced potatoes.  He would turn the heat up and vigorously turn the potatoes taking samples every so often until they were done. Those potatoes filled us up and stretched the grocery budget.  I serve my family of hungry teenagers potatoes at least 2 to 3 times a week, mashed, hash browns, baked, boiled, au gratin, and now a galette.  The extra effort  of drying the potatoes makes this dish delicious but also lovely enough to serve on a buffet or at a dinner party.

Potato Galette
Serves 6 

2½ pounds (5 to 6 large) potatoes (russet, Yukon, red), scrubbed and sliced 1/8 inch thick
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon table salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1½ teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary and/or thyme leaves

NOTE: 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 using a mandoline slicer or the slicing blade of your food processor, and to make sure the slices are thoroughly dried before assembling. Lay your potatoes slices singly on a lint free towel laying another lint free towel on top of the slices dry of your potato slices. This is the only super fussy bit about the whole recipe.

Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 450 degrees.
Place potatoes 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 (if using) together in large bowl.
Add dried potatoes and toss until thoroughly coated.
Place remaining tablespoon butter in heavy bottomed 10-inch well seasoned cast iron pan or an ovenproof nonstick skillet coat the pan well.
Place 1 potato slice in center of skillet then overlap slices in circle around center slice, followed by outer circle of overlapping slices.
Place remaining sliced potatoes on top of first layer without disturbing the top decorative layer (or the bottom layer in the pan - top when you unmold the galette), arranging so they form even thickness. 
Place skillet over medium-high heat and cook until sizzling and potatoes around edge of skillet start to turn translucent, about 5 minutes.
Butter or oil a 12-inch square of foil and place foil, oiled side down, on top of potatoes. Place 9-inch cake pan on top of foil and fill with 2 cups pie weights or dried beans.
Firmly press down on cake pan to compress potatoes.
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 stove top 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. Cut gently with into wedges and serve immediately.
Recipe seen on Cook's Illustrated

potato galette with rosemary and thyme

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