Crispy Potato Pancake

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My daughter kindly refers to my husband, her dad, as a “french fry monster” or a “french fry guy” because he it is his preferred side in restaurants and at home.  He has yet to meet a potato he didn’t like.  I, however, am not a lover of potatoes, in any form (other than chip) – I would much rather have a nice piece of crusty bread slathered with butter or dipped in olive oil.  Or an extra serving of meat.  🙂  But when I saw Anne Burrell making this one day on her show, I was intrigued…  It looked delicious.  I could hear the crunch as she cut through it.  I could see the softness in between the two crunchy layers.  And I felt compelled that I had to try it.

It was easy.  And pretty.  And amazingly delicious.  It was like two layers of crispy potato chips sandwiching delicate, pillowy potatoes.  As I bit through the crunch and was met with the softness in between, it was indescribably yummy.  I modified her original recipe slightly because I wanted a little more flavor, but it’s really about the technique.  You could layer anything in this dish.  In fact, next time I make it, I’m going to try very thin layers of onion and maybe sprinkle some bacon on top.  Or maybe some extra cheese.  Or maybe scallion.  Darn, now I want some again.  🙂

  • 3 Idaho or Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced very thinly with a mandolin or by hand
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 C. grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper

Heat oven to 425 degrees.  Combine garlic and olive oil.

Coat the bottom of a 9 inch skillet (with oven proof handle) with olive oil.  Arrange potatoes in two layers in a circular fashion.  (note: if you hand sliced the potatoes, you will probably want to do only one layer).  Brush with the garlic oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Arrange another two layers of potatoes, brush with oil and season with salt and pepper. Repeat until potatoes are gone.  In layers 4 and 5, sprinkle with parmesan cheese.  Press firmly to make sure the potato cake is compact.

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Heat skillet over medium high heat.  Cook until you hear a good sizzle and the bottom of the potatoes are light golden brown.  Remove from stove and place in oven.  Cook for 20 minutes.

Remove from oven.  IMPORTANT: you need to drain the oil from the bottom of the pan and it is incredibly HOT!!  Take your pan lid and drain the oil into a bowl.  With that lid (if yours has a lip to it like mine, use a large plate instead), flip the potato cake out and then gently slide it back into the pan, so now the side that used to be up is now down.  Return to oven for another 15 minutes.

Slice into wedges and serve.

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