Cheesy Potato & Rosemary Galette

Potato Galette

Two year olds are a wonder to behold.

Recently I spent five days in ‘Grandma mode’ marveling as our lil’ grandson zoomed about, climbed, danced (me, too!), made faces, sang songs, jumped, stomped, and figured out more settings on my digital piano than I knew it had.

Between fielding full body hugs (as only a two year old can give) and answering “What’s that?” (as only a two year old can ask), I couldn’t help but think we should all live life with so much intensity and curiosity.

I also took more naps than usual. ;)

After he and his lovely Mama and proud Papa headed home, the house seemed quiet. Too quiet. So did my brain. Since words weren’t readily forthcoming, I decided to poke around in my “idea file.”

When was the last time you looked through your drafts? I mean really looked? I tend to squirrel away recipes and ideas until later. Much later. (This one was from 2012!) Gotta love two year olds…

Earlier I’d published a post extolling the virtues of galettes, and judging by the searches it continues to generate, folks are intrigued by these flavorful layered beauties. (One bite transports me to a French country farmhouse, too.)

Then my friends at Cooks & Books & Recipes featured a potato galette and I knew I had to make it. Spuds in any way, shape, or form are a favorite, but the prospect of thinly sliced potatoes laced with fresh rosemary and cheese intrigued me.

The challenge, however, was to slice ’em without a mandolin. Mandoline?

Whatever works.

Without a Mandolin

Not too shabby for slicing by hand!

Cheesy Potato & Rosemary Galette

(adapted from this recipe)

3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, plus more for the pan & drizzling

6 medium Russet potatoes, unpeeled

2 tsp. fresh rosemary, chopped (reserve some for top)

1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional for sprinkling

1 c. shredded ColbyJack cheese, plus a handful for the top

Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 375° F. Brush the bottom and sides of a spring form pan with oil; place on a baking sheet and set aside.

Thinly slice the potatoes with a mandolin — or a sharp knife and a lil’ patience. :) Place slices in a large bowl; toss with olive oil and rosemary.

Assemble the galette by forming a ring of potato slices around the edge of the spring form pan. Then cover the bottom, overlapping the slices. Season with salt & pepper and sprinkle with 1/3 of the cheeses.

Continue layering twice more — potatoes, S & P, and cheeses. Finish with a final layer of potatoes. (If you end up with extra, reserve for another use.) Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt & pepper and additional rosemary and Parmesan.

Bake 50 to 60 minutes until the potatoes are tender and edges are golden brown. If your heart desires (mine did) sprinkle a handful of ColbyJack on top; return to oven for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Cool 10 minutes on a wire rack.

Run a sharp knife around the inside of the spring form pan before removing the ring. Gently loosen the galette from the base (aided and abetted by a lil’ coaxing with a spatula) and transfer to a serving platter. Slice into wedges and have at it!

Forgot to mention those crispy edges! Ahhhh...

Crispy edges…mmmmmm

Some ideas are worth revisiting… and some visits become etched in our hearts.

Enjoying the wonder of two year olds,

~ Kim

© 2011-2014 Kim Bultman and a little lunch

A Foodie Love Story (Cheeseburger Stuffed Baked Potatoes)

Cheeseburger Stuffed Baked Potato

I’ve been in love with cheeseburgers since I was sixteen years old. (That’s nigh on four decades if you care to do the math.)

Not just eating them — making them.

During my formative years I apprenticed in the fine art of burger flipping at a café not much larger than my dining room is now. (Insert nostalgic sigh here.) Weekdays we catered to retired folks and truck drivers, but on the weekends — particularly after Friday night ball games — we were swamped with teenagers in search of sustenance.

Most of them ordered cheeseburgers.

The café was also known for its daily “blue plate specials” and massive breakfasts on Saturday and Sunday mornings, but there’s only so much room for tender recollections in one post. Suffice it to say that cheeseburgers made a huge impression on me… followed closely by truck drivers. ;)

During my over-the-road adventures years later, I discovered that I’d retained a cheeseburger “frame of reference” from the diner days of yore. Skinny lil’ burgers didn’t cut it for me; I craved classic burgers.

By classic, I’m talkin’ thick, hand-formed 100% beef patties seasoned and grilled to perfection with cheese dripping down the sides, plated with “the works” on a buttered, toasted bun, served with an order of fries (preferably larger than the circumference of a pencil) made out of real spuds.

I can’t begin to count the number of truck stops I bypassed that had succumbed to “fast food frenzy.” At the end of an 11-hour day I wanted (needed) to be served rather than stand in line at a counter waiting to pick up a plastic tray.

And/or plastic food…

To this day, cheeseburgers still set the bar. Whenever I visit a new restaurant (not very often), I’ll look over the menu, debate the selections, and nine-times-out-of-ten end up ordering a cheeseburger.  If they can do that right, things bode well for a return trip to sample the rest of the menu. (Not all in one sitting, of course.)

Fast forward to dinner prep recently.

The Man Of Few Words was due home for dinner in 30 minutes and I had two options: 1) Turn a half-pound of ground beef and a couple of Idaho russets into cheeseburgers and fries, or 2) try something different.

Surprisingly, I opted for the latter.

The ensuing activity included washing, piercing, and tossing the spuds into the microwave (I would’ve preferred to bake them in the oven, but the clock was ticking…), slicing & dicing “the works” (lettuce, pickles, onions, and tomatoes), and sautéing the ground beef in a skillet.

Since time was of the essence, I made a couple of other executive decisions. Part of “the works” (tomatoes and onions) joined the skillet party, while the lettuce went for a carefree toss in a salad bowl. Pickles were reserved for garnish and Cheddar cheese was set aside for future consideration. Sliced or crumbled? Both!

Following a few grinds of the pepper mill and a sprinkle of classic burger seasoning (which, as far as I could I recall, consisted of celery salt, onion powder, and garlic powder) and voila! — dinner was ready. It took fifteen minutes to make with fifteen minutes to spare.

Hmmm… what to do with those extra minutes?

Yup.

Play with the ketchup and mustard…

Cheeseburger Stuffed Baked Potatoes

It’s said that we all remember things differently. Whenever The Man Of Few Words reminisces about our trucking days, he remembers routes. I remember cheeseburgers.

Long live love affairs of the foodie kind.

Enjoying cheeseburgers in paradise,

~ Kimby

Which food do you fondly recall?

Note: Due to apparent popular demand, this post and photos were updated 11/17/13.

Bye, Bye, Miss American Fry

I’ve always loved potatoes — baked, mashed, creamed, boiled, roasted, you name it — but the ones that make me swoon are fried potatoes.

My fondness for sauteed spuds hails back to my roots, when my folks would take us “up north” fishing.  I can still picture Mom cooking Dad’s early morning catch (generally walleye) in a cast iron skillet, adjacent to a larger skillet filled with sliced potatoes sizzling in butter.  Their aroma would waft through the open screen door to mingle with pine, birch, and lake-scented air and beckon me to blaze a trail to the table, where all of the above was served on a Melmac plate with a side of toast.

Breakfast doesn’t get much finer than that.

During “the trucking years” I looked forward to breakfast more than any other meal — particularly breakfast potatoes.  After a day or night of shifting gears across America, I’d search for a good ol’ fashioned truck stop — not one of those huge, hundred-acre mega-plexes, but a “Mom & Pop” joint — neat and tidy, with a little wear and tear around the edges, and a cook who looked like they’d put in a few miles, too.

After perusing the “breakfast section” of the menu, I’d order any combo that came with American Fries (sometimes hailed as “home fries”) and anticipate that mound of crisp-on-the-outside, tender-on-the-inside, hand-peeled, hand-cut spuds, pan-fried to a golden brown.  Depending on which region I was in (and which cook was slinging hash), the spuds would hint of butter, bacon grease, or lard — but, they were never greasy — and they typically sported diced onion or peppers.   Potato perfection.

Then came the convenience food revolution and a noticeable decline in “American fries” — often replaced by mechanically cut, frozen cubes dunked in a deep fryer.   Not the same!  I could almost hear Don McClean crooning, “Bye… bye… Miss American Fry…”

Thankfully, I ran across a recipe in the “good ol’ days” that never fails to deliver the taste and texture I’ve been missing.  Although billed as a ‘salad’ (Warm Irish Potato Salad http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/taste/11445761.html), these spuds are entirely suitable for breakfast, and worthy of their title.
 

American Fries (adapted from ‘The Local’ linked above)

4 c. red potatoes, diced

8 slices bacon, diced

1/2 c. malt vinegar

4 green onions, sliced

4 Tbsp. fresh parsley, minced

Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste

Cook potatoes in boiling water until almost tender; drain.  Rinse with cold water; place in a sieve to drain thoroughly.

In the meantime, fry the bacon in a large skillet until crisp; remove to paper toweling to drain.  Reserve drippings in skillet.

Heat bacon drippings over high heat; add potatoes.  Reduce heat to medium-high; cook and turn with a spatula until potatoes are browned evenly.  Add malt vinegar; stir gently until vinegar is evaporated.  Remove pan from heat.  Add green onions, parlsey, and bacon.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

As I said, breakfast doesn’t get much finer than that.

Enjoying spud nostalgia,

~ Kim

What kind of potatoes do you like?