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.
Moravian sugar cake
My Aunt Nellie used to get Moravian Sugar Cake from a bakery in North Carolina when we had Christmas at her house in Tennessee, and later my mother made a tradition of baking it for Christmas morning. This isn’t exactly her recipe (which made 7 cakes!), but is close enough and makes a more manageable 3 cakes.
flickr photo by ted_major shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license
- 1⁄2 cup mashed boiled potato
- 3⁄4 cup reserved potato water
- 1 tsp yeast
- 1 egg
- 1⁄4 cup butter
- 1⁄2 tsp salt
- 1⁄3 cup sugar
- 31⁄2 cups flour
- 1⁄4 cup butter
- 1⁄3 cup brown sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
Peel and boil a small potato until soft. Mash potato and reserve 3
cup of the water.
Rehydrate yeast in the reserved potato water.
Combine egg, butter, salt, mashed potato, and sugar in a mixer and mix with a paddle for 4 minutes. Switch to the dough hook, add the remaining ingredients, and knead for about 10 minutes.
Turn the dough into a large buttered bowl and let rise until doubled in size, about an hour and a half.
Punch down, divide dough into three equal portions, and press each portion into a buttered 8 x 8 foil pan. Cover and let rise until doubled.
Mix together topping ingredients in a small saucepan and heat until melted, stirring occasionally. Poke indentations all over the top of the dough—my mother uses the handle of a wooden spoon; I use my fingers. Pour the melted topping over the cake, spreading with a pastry brush as needed.
To bake immediately, let rise for another half hour or so. Otherwise, refrigerate overnight. Can also be frozen after rising. Thaw overnight in the fridge before baking.
Bake at 400F for 18 minutes or until done.
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.