Friday, October 3, 2014

Potato Galette

MasterChef was harder than anyone could ever imagine.  The pressure, being away from your family, the psychological warfare......it's unreal.  So when you get even the smallest victory, it's a HUGE victory in reality.  

Winning a Mystery Box is a giant advantage, because you don't have to cook in the next elimination challenge and you get to set someone you want to go home up for elimination.  Some people would relax and experiment with the Mystery Box because there was no elimination involved.  I never did.  I cooked my best with every test, it made me stronger.  

I believe my Potato Galette actually won me this particular mystery box challenge, where we had to basically create a high end steak dinner with only a few choices of ingredients.  I knew it was ballsy, and if I didn't pull it off, it could make me look bad to the judges, but I went with it anyway.  

It's a beautiful concept with only a few ingredients and BIG flavor.  The extra preparation won't go unnoticed when you prepare this for everyone you know.  Enjoy my winning Potato Galette recipe!!

Potato Galette

Ingredients:

3 large russet potatoes, sliced in 1/8 inch slices
1 cup of pecorino cheese
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Kosher Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 clove garlic

Method:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Wash potatoes.  Using a mandolin or a grater, slice potatoes into 1/8 inch slices.  Put slices in a bowl of salt water to soak for 10 minutes.  

Remove slices from salt water and dry thoroughly between 2 paper towels.  

Take a non-stick oven safe 10 inch skillet, and using a pastry brush, brush with olive oil liberally. Smash a clove of garlic and rub all over the inside of the oiled pan and then discard.  

Organize your potato slices so that the nicest looking pieces go in first (We will be flipping this onto a plate to serve, so you really want a nice flower pattern like shown above).  

Starting in the center of the pan, lay potatoes in a circular motion, working outward until you can no longer see the bottom of the pan.  Press down firmly with your hands.  Brush this layer lightly with olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper lightly.  

Add another layer of potato slices, starting from the sides of the pan and working inward.  Press down firmly.  Brush this layer lightly with olive oil and then sprinkle a nice layer of pecorino cheese.  (These layers don't have to be visually perfect, because you won't be seeing them, but they do need to be even, so that the galette cooks properly)
 
Continue building layers alternating each layer with the salt/pepper and the pecorino, remembering to press down each layer very firmly, almost packing it.  Keep building layers until you run out of potatoes.  Sprinkle both salt and pepper and pecorino on top and drizzle with a little olive oil.  

Over medium high heat, cook galette for 5 minutes and then place uncovered into an oven for about 25-30 minutes, or until a knife pieces through the center easily.  

VERY IMPORTANT!!!  The galette will be VERY HOT and there will be oil in the bottom of the pan.  I place a dinner plate on top of the galette and press down while tipping the pan upward to drain the oil.  DO NOT FLIP YOUR GALETTE UNTIL YOU HAVE DRAINED THE OIL!!!

Once you have drained the oil, allow to sit for 2-3 minutes and then you are ready to flip and serve.  Enjoy!!!

Krissi Biasiello is a native of South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Cooking since she was a little girl with her large Italian family, she decided to leave her paralegal job and shoot for the stars on FOX’s cooking competition show, MasterChef.  She beat out 33,000 homecooks across America and came in 4th place.  Under the scrutiny of Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot and Joe Bastianich, Krissi has made her mark in the culinary world.  She now shares her recipes with all of you!  Her rustic, homestyle take on everything will win you over and will definitely “get your asses in the kitchen”. 

To contact Krissi for appearances, in-home demonstrations, catering and more, you can find her below.  





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