We’d just gotten back from our trip, and, as usual, our refrigerator was pretty much empty. We like to clear out a bunch of food before we leave and avoid those wilted, limp vegetables upon our return. Of course, that can leave us with a challenge: what to make for dinner.
Well, we rummaged around in the kitchen and found a few potatoes, a bit of Mascarpone Cheese from when we made Maple-Kahlua Tiramisu, and figured we could make some sort of potato dish. We also knew that we’d be picking up some greens in our weekly share that day, specifically arugula, so, on the way down to collect our food, we discussed the possibilities for dinner and came up with this dish. Therefore, this is another of our 100% Scratchin’ It dishes.
Red potatoes, Yukon Gold potatoes, or other potatoes, will it make a difference? We suggest red potatoes because they’re not as floury as russets or other baking potatoes, but another boiling type of potato will be fine. We do suggest either using organic potatoes, or, failing that, peeling the potatoes, though. Mascarpone cheese — we’ve never really looked for it in a store, but we’d guess that it’s expensive. It’s so easy to make, we just whip up a batch when we need some for tiramisu. Try it as your first foray into cheese-making; otherwise, go with another very soft, creamy cheese. For honey, if you can get it, buy local and support the hardest-working insects on the planet.
Procedure in detail:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. We choose parchment instead of silicone mats for these as we wanted more heat to come up through the bottom of the pan, making for a better-baked galette.
Mix oil. In a medium bowl, mix together the olive oil, about 1/4 tsp of kosher salt, and as much black pepper as you’d like. We’ll be using this to add a bit of flavor to the potatoes as they bake and to help keep nice layers in the galette.
Slice potatoes. If you have a mandoline, now’s the time to break it out. We don’t have one — it seems like a sure way to end up with stitches — so we use a sharp knife and slice the potatoes as thinly as we can, ideally less than 1/16 of an inch thick. Place the potato slices in the oil mixture and toss to coat.
Layer. Once the slices are coated with the oil mixture, use them to make six layered potato rectangles on the baking sheet, each about 2×3 inches in size. When you finish, each stack of potatoes should be about 1/2 inch thick, maybe even a little less than that. If possible, make the edges of your rectangles slightly higher than the center. These will be the crusts of your galettes.
Bake. Slide the potatoes into the oven and bake until they’re tender. You can test with a skewer, but it shouldn’t take more than about 30 minutes.
Make honeyed cheese. While the potatoes are baking, mix together the cheese, honey, and about 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt in a small bowl. Keep mixing until smooth and creamy, and no lumps of cheese remain.
Top potatoes. Once the potatoes are done, top each galette with about 1 1/2 teaspoons of the cheese mixture. Follow this up with about a tablespoon of sliced almonds.
Bake again. Return the galettes to the oven and bake until the almonds are toasted and light brown, about 15 minutes.
Serve. To serve, place galettes on plates using a thin spatula, top with a bit of arugula, and a small amount of additional almonds, if desired. Serve hot.
For something that we made up, this turned out well. Very well. In fact, while we were eating, we remarked that we wished restaurants would serve something like this as part of a meal; instead, they all seem to be stuck serving slight variations on standard fare that they’ve served for ages. We’ll admit that this would be more difficult than something like mashed potatoes, or french fries; however, it’s not all that hard to make, although slicing the potatoes is challenging (a great way to work on knife skills). Four stars.