You might think that haute cuisine requires lots of time, money, and at least 50 different difficult-to-obtain ingredients, like truffles, guanciale, or squid sperm. But a true master chef knows how to make a delectable dish with the most humble of ingredients.
Alain Sailhac is just such a master. After nine years as head chef at Le Cirque, one of New York City’s finest restaurants, and decades more as a chef and teacher, Sailhac can turn a simple potato into a masterpiece. He explained how in the January/February 2001 issue of Saveur magazine with his recipe for potato galette. Take a read, and you’ll be able to turn a potato, some butter, olive oil, salt and pepper, into a side dish so beautiful your guests won’t want to cut into it. When they take their first crispy bite, they’ll be glad they did. The recipe’s after the break.
Alain Sailhac’s Potato Galette (Saveur, Jan/Feb 2001, p. 53)
- 1 tbsp melted butter
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 peeled medium russet potato
- salt and pepper
Melt the butter and mix with the olive oil in a medium bowl. Thinly slice the potato and add slices to the bowl. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Gently rub slices until evenly coated with butter, oil, and seasonings. Arrange 12-13 largest slices, overlapping slightly, into a circle radiating from the center of a nonstick skillet. Cook over medium heat for about 12 minutes. Lift edge with a spatula, then shake skillet until galette slides freely. Carefully flip galette, and cook other side until golden, about 6 minutes. Continue flipping galette every 30 seconds or so until both sides are deep golden and crisp, about 3 minutes more. Sprinkle with salt. Serve hot.