Oven-Roasted Potato Galette
This recipe is an adaptation of Julia Child's recipe for Giant Straw Potato Galette from Julia Child & More Company ~ one of two companion cookbooks to her PBS series, Julia Child & Company. This variation is a little easier to prepare than her original, but still produces a delicious finished product. Julia's recipe called for the potatoes to be cut into matchstick pieces, pressed into a non-stick pan and cooked on top of the stove like a pancake. She also used clarified butter to help prevent sticking. Check out the original version: Giant Straw Potato Galette.
- 4 good-sized Idaho baking potatoes (about 2 lbs)
- 3 to 4 tablespoons butter or your favorite substitute (I used Smart Balance Organic)
- Salt & freshly ground pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 425°. Coat a 10-inch pie plate or shallow tart pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Place the butter in a glass measure and microwave it for a few seconds until melted.
Slice the potatoes into very thin slices (a mandoline is good for this task), and distribute them in the bottom of your pie plate in a spiral fashion, 2 layers deep. Season with salt and pepper and brush with melted butter, then repeat the process, 2 layers at a time with the remaining potatoes. Try to be speedy because the potatoes start to discolor rather quickly when sliced so thin and be sure to cover your top layer completely with the melted butter so it browns up nicely in the hot oven.
Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, keeping an eye on the degree of browning. When done, the potatoes will shrink away from the sides of the dish slightly and be fork-tender in the middle. Allow to cool slightly and cut into wedges for serving.
It's important that your potatoes be sliced paper thin because you are relying on the starch they release from all those cut surfaces to hold the galette together. A mandoline works well to produce slices that are about 1/16-inch thick. Once the potatoes are cut, it helps to keep the slices you are not working with covered with a damp cloth to help prevent discoloration.
About Julia's menu:
Julia's Giant Straw Potato Galette recipe is part of a feast for six she called "UFOs in Wine." It included Steamed Mussels with Hot French Bread, Rock Cornish Game Hens Broil-roasted with Garlic, Cheese and Wine, Cherry Tomatoes Tossed in Butter and Herbs and a Fresh Orange-Blueberry Bowl for dessert! The "UFO" part meant you could use any kind of game bird you wanted, not just the cornish hens.