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I’m always up for trying something new in the kitchen – a new technique or recipe, something that catches my eye and I think, “I have to try this!” When I saw a beautiful Potato Galette in the April Cooks Illustrated, I knew I had to try it. The recipe seemed straight-forward enough and that old plastic mandoline I had in the implement drawer would finally get some use.
A galette is generally a loose flat cake and in this case it was composed entirely of potatoes arranged in a layered swirl design.
After washing and peeling five large Russet potatoes, I sliced them into 1/8″ slices with the mandoline. I then transferred them into a large bowl with cold water for 30 minutes to allow the starch to leech from them. Next, I laid them out in a single layer on a large kitchen towel and dried them well. In a large bowl I mixed 5 tablespoons melted butter with a tablespoon of cornstarch, added salt and fresh ground black pepper, and tossed the potatoes well with this mixture. The purpose of using the butter and corn starch is so that the galette will hold together well when finished.
Heat a cast iron skillet with a little oil and butter to coat the bottom. Place one potato slice in the center of the pot and then begin layering slices in ever-widening circles until you reach the edges of the pot and then layer back in toward the center, overlapping each circle by about a half an inch. Overall, I ended up having a total of about four layers.
Over a medium heat, cook for 7-8 minutes until the edges turn transparent. At this point the galette will have to be turned (and this can be tricky). I used a large spatula and carefully flipped/slid it over to the other side. It held together perfectly. Brown the other side for about seven minutes and then it’s ready to go into the oven.
Spray a sheet of foil with cooking spray and lay it oil-side-down on top of the galette. Using a heavy pot that will fit on top of the galette easily (I used a cast iron dutch oven for the weight), place it down firmly on the galette and place the whole thing in the oven at 450 for about 40 minutes until the top is crispy and golden brown.
5-6 Russet potatoes
5 tbsp melted butter
1 tbsp corn starch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1. Peel and slice potatoes 1/8″ thick. Any thicker and they will not stick together.
2. Allow them to sit in water to release the starch for thirty minutes and then drain well. Place on towel in single layer and dry each one well with another towel on top.
3. In a large bowl, mix together butter, corn starch, salt, and pepper. Toss potatoes in this mixture until they are well coated.
4. In large oiled skillet, place one potato slice in the center and then begin building th galette by layering slices in an ever-widening circular fashion all the way out to the edge of the pot and then circling back in again until you have approximately four layers.
5. Heat over medium heat 7-8 minutes until the edges are transparent then flip it over and brown the other side.
6. Spray a sheet of foil with cooking spray and place oiled side down over potatoes. Place a heavy pot on top of the foil to keep potatoes pressed together for baking.
7. Bake at 450 for about 40 minutes. To remove, place an inverted platter on top of the pot and tip over to release galette onto platter.
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