Monday, June 25, 2012

Crispy Potato & Garlic Cake (Please don't judge it's shape)

What a surprise – Gwyneth Paltrow is in the kitchen with me this evening.


Well, in spirit…………. (I'd love to have that kitchen...we can dream, right?)

Tonight I am making her version of the Paris restaurant L'Ami Louis dish Crispy Potato & Garlic Cake.

There must be some Irish in me somewhere because I LOVE potatoes. Politically incorrect statement, yes….but I am about as un pc as you'll meet. Probably.

THIS did not turn out as aesthetically pleasing as the photo in her book. Nor in anyone elses photos who have made this dish. I did not press down hard enough with that wooden spoon.

The taste was excellent though, in spite of not being able to cut a slice as you would a pie. Very garlicy, quite pleasing.

Here we go...even without duck fat, I made the effort.

Crispy Potato & Garlic Cake
Adapted from My Father's Daughter, by Gwyneth Paltrow
2 large baking potatoes (each about 2/3 pound), peeled
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon duck fat (or butter is a substitute)

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves peeled garlic, 2 crushed, 1 very finely minced
Coarse salt
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley

The recipe states you ought to preheat the broiler. As a first step. But it’s too early for that. Just keep it in mind… will be firing up the broiler.

Boil the potatoes for 20 minutes and let them cool before slicing them into 1/8-inch-thick slices. Heat a spoonful each of the duck fat (or butter) and olive oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Add 1 of the crushed garlic cloves and as many potato slices as can fit in one layer. Cook for about 3 minutes a side, or until lightly browned. Remove to a paper-towel-lined pate and repeat with the remaining fat and potatoes, switching out the garlic cloves when they get too brown.

Coat a small (6-8-inch) cast-iron skillet with the tablespoon of duck fat. Line the bottom with a single layer of potato slices, sprinkle with salt, and add another layer. Repeat this process, pressing each layer down hard with the back of a wooden spoon and lightly salting as you go until you've layered all your potatoes. Pressing them down is what will keep the cake together, so don't be too gentle. Stick the cake under the broiler until really browned and crispy, about 5 minutes. Invert it onto a plate and scatter with the 1 clove of finely minced garlic, parsley, and bit more salt if you like. Cut into wedges and serve.

Alas…… duck fat in the house (shocking, I know) so I used butter. It was not only fine, it was wonderful. So, if I find duck fat in the market I will give it a whirl using that instead.

Anyone else a fan of this cookbook? I am enjoying it immensely.

That's about it for now. See ya later..........


  1. looks delicious! i love a good potato dish! yum!

  2. I never judge anyone's shape, or that of their food. LOL
    I made homemade tortilla's once that looked like starfish.

    (I love a good potato too!)

  3. Wow, you made quite many changes from the last time I was here. I love the new looks of your blog and this savory cake looks perfect for me although I am not from Ireland lol.

  4. Thank you so much!

    Debbie...a starfish? You crack me up.

    Katerina, thank you. I am still puzzled why the format and script appear different in Firefox vs. Internet Explorer...and I totally knew you weren't from Ireland!!

  5. I've wondered about this cookbook but don't have it yet. Maybe I should get it ... Happy weekend :-)

  6. CJ, I usually "preview" a book by looking at it in a bookstore or checking it out of the library first. This helps me determine if I want to drop my money on it. I really enjoy this one though. I was fortunate enough to have it given to me as a gift!


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