flickr photo shared by ted_major under a Creative Commons ( BY-SA ) license
J. Kenji López-Alt says it, so it must be true. I skipped the garlic-herb infused oil and didn’t happen to have duck fat on hand (imagine that!), and they were still fantastic. I’m also a little more loosey-goosey with quatities—check the original if you’re more into precision. A parboil in alkaline saltwater before roasting seasons them and creates a starchy slurry that mixes with olive oil to create an amazing crust. It’s definitely worth the extra effort and extra 15 or 20 minutes or so if you have the time.
- 2 TBS Kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut approximately 1-inch chunks
- Olive oil
- Preheat oven to 400F with convection (or 450F without)
- Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil and add the kosher salt and baking soda.
- Peel the potatoes and cut into chunks. López-Alt describes them as two-bite chinks and that seems about right.
- Add them to the boiling water and cook for 10 minutes after the water comes back to a boil.
- Drain the potatoes and add to a mixing bowl; toss with a drizzle of olive oil.
- Spread them on a baking pan (I line mine with non-stick foil ’cause I’m too lazy to clean), and put them in the oven.
- Roast 20 minutes, then turn and roast for another 30 minutes or so, until they’re crispy and golden.
Until recently, I’ve never really been able to make great home fires. I mean, they were okay–you can’t really go too far wrong with fried potatoes as long as you’re somewhere between under-cooked and burned. Thanks to this technique from Cook’s Illustrated by way of Smitten Kitchen, I have accomplished sublime home fries. (Unlike Smitten Kitchen, I think mine come out better in cast iron than nonstick; YMMV) The keys are to pre-cook the potatoes and cook the onions separately.
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 4 Yukon gold potatoes, diced
- 3 Tbs butter
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Optional: 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
Put the potatoes in a microwave-safe bowl with 1 Tbs butter and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave about 5 minutes, shaking halfway through. Beware the steam build-up under the plastic wrap.
Meanwhile, sauté the onions in 1 Tbs butter over medium heat. When they’re soft and just starting to brown, turn them out of the pan into a bowl. Add another 1 Tbs of butter to the pan and cook the potatoes over medium heat until browned, stirring occasionally. Add the onions, salt, pepper, and optional smoked paprika.
Delicious with poached eggs.
On Claire’s suggestion, we brought these back into the rotation after a long absence, and wow, they were delicious (and easy!). Julia Child steams her potatoes before grating, but I don’t bother because a) I’m a slacker and b) it doesn’t seem necessary.
To make 4 gallettes:
- 2 baking potatoes
- olive oil
- salt & freshly ground white pepper to taste
Peel the potatoes and shred with a mandoline or grate with a box grater. Heat a small (6-inch) skillet over medium and film with a generous layer of olive oil. Add 1/4 of the shredded potatoes and press flat with a spatula. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until browned and then flip and cook the other side until browned. Keep hot in a 350F or so oven until ready to serve (I usually have 2 skillets going at once). If you’re an omnivore like me, serve with slices of pan-seared steak and deglaze the pan with a little water or wine. Plate up slices of steak on top of a gallette and pour the sauce over the steak so that some of it soaks into the gallette. Omnomnom.