Thanksgiving is just a couple of weeks away. Christmas decorations are in the stores. The world's gone crazy over a red paper cup at Starbucks. Yikes. Let the seasonal pressures begin.
On this rainy day I choose simplicity.
I choose to stay grounded.
I choose to make this Galette de pommes de terre—Crispy Potato Cake. It's a savory cake, made with the simplest root vegetable of them all. It reminds me that a light meal, based on fresh ingredients, is as good as it gets. Humble potatoes are sliced into paper-thin slivers, then arranged in layers in a hot pan coated with ghee and olive oil. Cooked gently on the stovetop for a short time, the potatoes come together like a pancake that is crispy around its edges but holds creamy soft, potatoes inside. Enjoy it hot, straight from the pan, while reading a good book. Or, consider adding a glass of wine to the meal. A fresh herb salad would go quite well with it, too.
How do you stay grounded?
I look forward to seeing you in my kitchen, gathering flavors, soon.
Crispy Potato Cake (Galette de pommes de terre)
Yield: 1 ten-inch cake, 4 servings
- 1 ½ pounds potatoes
- 1 tablespoon ghee or butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Peel the potatoes and slice them very thinly and evenly. Wash them in plenty of cold water.
- In a thick skillet, preferably cast iron, heat the ghee or butter and the oil. (The oil and butter are ready when a drop of water added to the pan sizzles.)
- Put the potatoes in the pan and spread them evenly. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper.
- Turn the heat down to low as soon as the potatoes start to cook, cover the pan and leave them cooking gently for 15 minutes; by this time the undersurface will be browned and the potatoes coagulated in such a way as to form a pancake. Using a heat proof spatula, carefully turn the cake over and leave the other side to brown for 10 minutes mores.
- Allow to cool slightly. Serve either turned out onto a flat dish or cut into quarters.
- This recipe is from on Vegetables by Elizabeth David. I made a few modifications.
- Any type of potato will do for this recipe.
- A mandoline works well for slicing the potatoes. If you do not own one, use a very sharp knife or slice them in your food processor using the slicing blade.
- An alternate method for flipping the pancake is to place a large plate over the skillet. Carefully invert the skillet over the plate. Then slip the pancake back into the hot pan. Be sure to when oven mitts when doing this.