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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Potato-Leek Galette

I tried this recipe for the first time a few years ago in a tiny apartment kitchen.  I served it with rack of lamb.  Though the rack of lamb was excellent, it's these potatoes that have been requested over and over again by the man of the house.  The potatoes are crisp, the cheese is creamy, and the leeks give just enough flavor to keep things interesting.  A mandoline slicer makes quick work of the potatoes but, as demonstrated below, they can also be cut by hand to excellent results.  Martha Stewart gets all the thanks for this one.

You'll Need:

6 Tb butter, melted
3 pounds baking potatoes, peeled
1 leek, white and light-green parts, thinly sliced crosswise, well washed
6 ounces Gruyere cheese, coarsely grated (about 1 1/2 cups)

Getting Started:

Line bottom of a 9" cake pan with a round of parchment paper.  Do not use a springform pan unless you want to clean your oven after dinner.

Wash leek of any visible dirt and slice thinly.  Put leek slices into a bowl of cold water and break up rings with your fingertips.  Set aside.  The leeks will float to the surface and the dirt will say behind.

Melt butter and pour into a large bowl.  Or, if you're the chef AND the dishwasher in your house, do what I do and microwave your butter until melted in a large Pyrex bowl.

Peel potatoes and slice to 1/8" thickness with either a mandoline or your favorite knife.   Add potato slices to bowl with butter.  Season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat.

Grate Cheese

Now You're Cookin':

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In prepared pan, layer 1/3 of the potatoes.  You can place the potatoes into the pan in an even layer or, like me, arrange them into concentric overlapping circles.  It depends on your level of OCD.  When it comes to potato slices mine is high.

Sprinkle with half the leek and half the cheese; season with salt and pepper.

Repeat with another layer of potatoes and remaining leek and cheese; season with salt and pepper.

Top with remaining potatoes.

Using a spatula, press galette down firmly.

Bake until potatoes are tender, 70 to 80 minutes, pressing down firmly twice with a spatula during cooking.  Run knife around edge of pan.  Carefully invert galette onto a plate, remove parchment, and reinvert onto serving plate.  I know all of this inverting of the galette is making you think that a springform pan is the way to go.  It isn't.

Cut into wedges, and serve.

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