Three-ingredient potato galette

Three-ingredient potato galette // Dinners for Winners

Our dog has been eating our food!

So not cool.

He is not allowed to have human food, he gets to eat dog food. No scraps from the table, period. I mean, if I drop a piece of something I’m chopping onto the kitchen floor, he is QUICK, and that’s fair game, I get it. But recently while I was out having coffee with my sister, he climbed his little self up onto the kitchen counter and took some nibbles from the Irish soda bread I’d made that morning. I could tell immediately because the loaf was scooted well off the cutting board.

A week or so later, I returned home from the gym to see he had gotten into a dish of mini Herseys (THAT COULD HAVE KILLED YOU, WALLACE!). Thankfully, he seemed to enjoy shredding the wrappers more than eating the candy. There were five or six scattered across the counter, a few on the couch, and several near his favorite sunny spot on the floor, shredded foil everywhere.

The worst of all was Sunday afternoon, after my long swim. I was SO HUNGRY and my blood sugar felt way too low to take time to cook anything. With an upscale local grocery on my way home from the gym, I decided it would be the perfect time to finally try their salad bar that tempts me every time I see it. I’ve never eaten a kale salad that I didn’t make myself so I was very interested in theirs. I got home and I set the clamshell container on the coffee table and went to fill a glass with water. I turned around and WALLACE HAD HIS FACE IN MY SALAD. I was furious! I smacked his butt and yelled quite a bit. Some profanities, I confess. Our neighbors probably thought the worst of me right about then.

I was so angry and so hungry. That little turd!

Three-ingredient potato galette // Dinners for Winners

It seems ridiculous that this keeps happening, but I am unused to him being so brazen…. which I think is keeping me from taking proper preventative measures. He has never really been one to be aggressive about stealing food and I didn’t think he would change now at six years old. You know?

Last night I was getting out of the shower, and our stinky dog met me at the bathroom door happily licking his chops. “What did you do, Wallace!” I cried and ran downstairs. Yep: potato galette took a hit.

Good thing I’d already shot photos.

Three-ingredient potato galette // Dinners for Winners

I know turning on the oven doesn’t seem very summery, but this is such a wonderful cookout or picnic side dish, I just had to share. Potatoes have always been at home alongside summer dishes, from smoked sausages to grilled chicken or hot dogs. Why does it have to be chips from a bag? A wedge of stacked, delicately sliced potatoes is a tasty grown-up variation. And if you’re picnicking or attending a potluck, a dish equally delicious served at room temperature, chilled or hot from the oven is always great to have in the arsenal. (And I think little slices wrapped in parchment and string would be welcome in anyone’s lunch bag at work.)

Three-ingredient potato galette // Dinners for Winners

This freeform galette takes about 10 minutes to assemble, especially if you have a mandoline to make quick work of the slicing. Slice, layer and bake. The onions positively melt into the layers of paper-thin potatoes, which become velvety and flavorful, greater than the sum of their parts. I love the crisp edges and top of this galette, deep-brown and crunchy. In cooler months, I enjoy spicing up this dish with dried rosemary, some fennel seeds or smokey paprika. Shredded cheeses such as Gruyere or Parmesan are wonderful additions, too. But salt and pepper are all it needs to be something special.

Just don’t let our dog near it!

Three-ingredient potato galette // Dinners for Winners

Three-ingredient potato galette

serves 10 as a side
 
Note: the potatoes will weep liquid when sliced, but let it be; once I tried to be smart and patted everything dry before baking, which yielded a tough, chewy galette that no one dug. The moisture is totally necessary.
  • 8 waxy potatoes such as Yukon Gold (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, halved lengthwise
  • 5 tablespoons butter or olive oil

Pre-heat oven to 425F and line a baking sheet with parchment.

Melt the butter in a large mixing bowl, or place the olive oil. Slice the potatoes into rounds and the onion into half-moons, very thinly, and toss with butter or oil in the bowl. Layer potatoes in concentric circles on parchment-lined baking sheet, letting onions mingle throughout. The galette should be roughly 10 – 11 inches in diameter. Every two layers of potatoes/onion, season generously with salt and pepper, including lastly on top. Use a little more salt than you think you might need; the potatoes need it.

Alternatively, arrange this in a cast-iron skillet — a layer of parchment helps it come out easily, but that’s up to you.

Bake for about 50 minutes or until tender throughout. Ten minutes before it’s done, take the galette out and brush or spray the top with butter or oil to finish baking. If top is browning too quickly, cover with foil.

Slice into wedges and serve hot, at room temperature or chilled.

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Pizza with tahini, lemon and za’atar

Pizza with tahini, lemon and za'atar // Dinners for Winners

Earlier this year while planning my sister’s baby shower, I arrived at FedEx Kinko’s to print invitations and found a typo in my design. And I’d only brought the PDF with me! My ears burned a little (I was a proof-reader in a former job), but I knew that the Word document was hiding somewhere in my email since I had sent it to myself. The very (…very) friendly Kinko’s employee asked if I wanted to log into my web email on his computer, pull up the file, edit it there, then print proofs, none of which he charged me for doing.

Ok, sure.

Howeverrrrr,

in the email attachment next to my invitation document was a giant 58-page file — my cooking journal.

I jot down recipes I’ve made, what I liked about them, what I changed, or how I’d tweak things as I develop my own. It’s nice to go back and remember what I made last summer for cookouts this year, or brainstorm menus for dinner parties or occasions. The first dish I typed ages ago when I started this file was shakshuka so that’s what I named the document.

“What’s ‘shakshuka?'” Mr Kinkos asked as the invitations slipped one by one from the humming printing press.

“Uh…….. well. –It’s eggs cooked in tomato sauce,” I answered quickly, suddenly uneasy at the thought of someone having access to my journal as soon as I left the building.

Pizza with tahini, lemon and za'atar // Dinners for Winners

You guys! Seriously what if he started reading this thing? Journals are kinda private, I mean Kurt Cobain knows that. And mine maybe contains a rant about a terrible blog post that I started as a polite comment on the icky/confusing/ridiculous recipe, but when I realized that there was no way I could post it graciously I just let it become a typed record of HOW I REALLY FEEL ABOUT ILL-INFORMED RECIPE WRITERS WITH SIX THOUSAND REPINS STEERING FOLKS WRONG and pasted it into my journal. No one needs to read that. What would he think of headlines such as “Vacation-beach-house fish-fry top choices” or my thirteen hacks at patatas bravas? Or of entries such as “Saturday: Amber’s birthday bash! I totally food-destroyed at Crafternoon with Deb’s rosemary flatbread and Alexandra’s homemade ricotta — so easy and good!”

oh em gee.

It was hard not to picture him at his computer, 24-hour Kinkos lights flickering overhead, killing time and reading my “I think I added lime? I don’t remember because bourbon. But IT WAS SUH GOOD”

For some reason it made my skin crawl.

Pizza with tahini, lemon and za'atar // Dinners for Winners

What I wanted to be when I grew up was someone who wasn’t bothered by what others thought of her.

So you know. That still needs some work.

If Mr Kinkos did dig into my cooking diary I’d like to imagine he was impressed. Because homemade ricotta is a dream to eat and a breeze to make. The batch I made the other weekend was added to a pizza that has been on my “to cook” list in my journal for way too long, inspired by the lovely Alexandra, who writes one of my most-beloved blogs. Her methods never disappoint, from the aforementioned  homemade ricotta to preserving my own lemons to putting them together on dough and making a really wonderful pizza.

We loved this dinner… starting with a familiar no-knead pizza dough that I spruced up with a little spelt flour — nutty and delicious. For a base, a heady slick of roasted garlic smashed with tahini and olive oil, and since I made two pies, I tried chopped preserved lemon for one and thinly-sliced fresh lemon for the other. You know, just in case you don’t have preserved lemons sitting around. Both were winners!

Za’atar sprinkled the top of the pizza, perfuming everything with oregano, thyme and citusy sumac. (At least the za’atar I used contained oregano…. all versions of this spice mix do not, but there is no wrong version.) We loved the bittersweet lemon with salty feta cheese (you could even swap cotija) and creamy ricotta. In my cooking journal: “I am SO proud of myself, this is one of the best pizzas that ever came out of my kitchen!” So there ya go. Enjoy!

Pizza with tahini, lemon and za'atar // Dinners for Winners

 

 

Pizza with tahini, lemon and za’atar

Inspired by Alexandra Cooks
Scale as needed. For each large pizza:
  • 1 head garlic, roasted and peeled
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt
  • half a preserved lemon, seeded and chopped –or– half of an organic lemon, very thinly sliced and seeded
  • thinly sliced red onion
  • a few dollops ricotta, homemade or purchased
  • grated parmesan or crumbled cotija or feta cheese
  • za’atar for sprinkling

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees (or use your favorite pizza-baking temperature and method). Gently stretch the dough into a 14-inch round or fit to a half-sheet pan, letting it rest as needed to avoid tearing. Once it’s sized, sprinkle your pan with cornmeal and gently arrange the dough on the pan.

Smash the roasted garlic in a small bowl with tahini and olive oil; season with salt and spread over dough. Sprinkle with lemon pieces or slices, red onion, ricotta and then crumbled or grated salty cheese of your choice. Sprinkle generously with za’atar and bake until crust is browned and cheese is bubbling.

*note: I subbed 1/3 of the flour for spelt. If you do this you will need to add more water than called for.

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