There is no denying the universal appeal of potatoes cooked until crisp and golden. This is a version of an irresistible old-school French dish called pommes Anna, heavenly with a steak, a roast chicken, or just about anything. The key to success is to slice the potatoes very thin and not skimp on the butter. Start the galette in a cast-iron pan on the stovetop and finish it in a hot oven.
1 pound russet or large Yellow Finn potatoes, peeled
4 tablespoons butter, melted
Salt and pepper
Heat the oven to 400°F, with a rack in the top third. Using a mandoline or sharp knife, slice the potatoes as thin as possible, about 1/16 inch. Do not rinse or cover with water — the potatoes’ starch helps keep the galette intact.
Swirl 2 tablespoons of the butter to coat the bottom of a 10-inch cast-iron skillet. Beginning at the center of the pan, arrange the potato slices in a closely overlapping circular pattern, spiraling outward with each row until the pan is completely covered with slices, all in one layer. Continue until all the slices are used. Season the top with salt and pepper to taste, and drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of melted butter, making sure all the slices are well coated.
Set the pan on a burner over medium-high heat. When the potatoes start to sizzle, let cook for another minute or two, then transfer the pan to the oven. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes, or until beautifully browned. To serve, invert the galette onto a cutting board and carefully cut into quarters; alternatively, invert directly onto a serving platter, leaving in one piece.
Uploaded: Mar 10, 2014