Last week, when I solicited suggestions for what to do with all these potatoes we pulled up out of the yard, someone suggested a potato galette. Which I thought was a splendid idea—not only would it use up a ton, but it would display their pretty pink and purple insides. Now, this suggestion was probably intended for someone patient enough not only to layer each slice of potato in an attractive manner, but carefully flip the galette over when it came time to do so. I am so not that person, especially when it comes to the “carefully flip” part. It was just B. and I, so why risk a mess and the whole thing sticking to the pan? So this is what we have here. I’m posting it anyway because it’s still delicious—the top potato-chip-crisp, the middle buttery and soft—cheap, and vegetarian, and you’ll probably do a much better job than I did. In fact, I’m including the link for you to see what it’s supposed to look like. (We paired it with other salad fixin’s from the garden and a quick balsamic vinaigrette.)
Recipe from The Bitten Word (where you can see a picture-perfect, grownup version with Yukon Golds), adapted from Cook’s Illustrated. As below it makes about 4 very generous servings.
• 2 1/2 lbs. waxy potatoes, sliced 1/8 inch thick (use a mandoline or food-processor slicing blade): $0
• 4 T melted butter, plus 1 T melted butter to grease the pan: 30 cents
• 1 T cornstarch: 10 cents
• 1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves (garden): $0
• Salt & pepper: 2 cents
TOTAL: 42 cents/4 = 11 cents/serving
Preheat oven to 450 F.
Place potato slices in a large bowl, cover with cold water, and swish around to get rid of excess starch. Drain, then dry well on kitchen towels. (This is by far the biggest pain in the butt of the whole process, but if you don’t do it, the potatoes will stick together.)
Whisk the 4 T melted butter, cornstarch, 1 tsp table salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, and rosemary in a large bowl. Add the dried potatoes and toss until well coated.
Place the remaining 1 T melted butter in an oven-proof 10-inch nonstick pan (I used a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet) and swirl to coat. Place 1 potato slice in center of skillet, then overlap slices in a circle around the center slice, followed by an outer circle of overlapping slices. Place remaining sliced potatoes on top of first layer, arranging so they form an even thickness.
Place the skillet over medium-high heat and cook until sizzling and potatoes around edge of skillet start to turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Spray a 12-inch square of foil with olive oil or nonstick cooking spray. Place the foil, sprayed side down, on top of the potatoes. Place a 9-inch cake pan on top of the foil and fill with 2 cups of pie weights (tip: I use beans as pie weights and just keep them in a large Ziploc with the rest of my baking supplies). Firmly press down on the cake pan to compress the potatoes. Transfer the skillet to the bottom rack of the oven and bake for about 20 minutes.
Remove the cake pan and foil. Continue to cook until potatoes are tender when paring knife is inserted in center, 20 to 25 minutes. Return the skillet to medium heat on the stove and cook, gently shaking the pan, until the galette releases from sides of pan, 2 to 3 minutes. (I was dubious about this step, but it did seem to work.)
Off heat, place a large plate or cutting board over the skillet. CAREFULLY invert skillet and cutting board together (using potholders, of course). Or, about 90% less artfully, just scoop some manageable-sized pieces out and flip them over as you go.
Gently cut into wedges and serve immediately.