Sunday, August 21, 2005

Potato Galette or Gratin or Pie? Another Kitchen Toy and Wasabi Tilapia

I had some baby spinach that was starting to wilt, a sweet potato, some Yukon Gold potatoes and a Mandoline. Two of my favorite cookbooks came to mind - Jacques Pepin's Table and Bonnie Stern's Essentials of Home CookingJacques calls his a galette and uses potatoes and spinach. Bonnie Stern calls hers a gratin, but there's no cheese or milk. She uses Yukon Golds and sweet potatoes in hers. Since I love them both and can never leave well enough alone, I combined all three ingredients, called it a pie (no crust, but if Bonnie can make a gratin with no cheese or cream, then I can make a pie with no crust) and here it is.

Potato, Spinach & Sweet Potato Pie

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Baking Time: 1 hour
Serves 4

4 large Yukon Gold Potatoes (or whatever your favourite is)
1 sweet potato
150 g baby spinach, wilted, drained & coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
Sea salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tbsp olive oil

2 sheets of parchment paper

1. Preheat your oven to 400 - 425 degrees F/220 degrees C

2. Line a round oven-proof dish that is 1 1/2 - 2" deep with a round of well oiled parchment paper and sprinkle with some rosemary, salt & pepper.

3. Slice potatos into 1/2" rounds and arrange in a circular fashion to cover the bottom of the dish. Arrange as prettily as you can as this will really be the top when you serve it. Make two layers, sprinkling with rosemary & pepper between each layer and drizzle a little olive oil.

4. Slice the sweet potato and repeat as for potatoes.

5. Make sure the spinach is well drained after you steam it for a few minutes to wilt it, toss with garlic, coarsely chop and cover the sweet potatoes evenly.

6. Add the last two layers of potatoes and season as above. Cover with another layer of oiled parchment and place something heavy on top. (I use a nest of clay souffle dishes).

7. Bake at 400-425F/200/220C for one hour.

8. Loosen the sides and invert the dish over a plate - don't forget to remove the layer of parchment first!

9. Remove the top parchment, sprinkle with more rosemary, slice in wedges and serve.

I like to use my Mandolinefor slicing the potatoes and sweet potatos. There are many varieties out there, some costing in the $100's others for as little as $10. Mine is an inexpensive one made by Star-Frits. I love it, but of all my kitchen toys, it is the one I treat with the most respect. It is sharper than any knive you could ever own. So please keep it out of reach of children and ALWAYS, I mean ALWAYS use the guard. Warning aside, it does the job of even slicing better, faster and more evenly than anything. My Cuisinart (food processor) is fine if I don't care about slices coming out perfect every time, but not for a presentation piece like this.

I also picked up some tilapia today so I thought I'd make a variation on a recipe that's in my cookbook. That one combines horseradish root with panko bread crumbs for a coating and it's delicious. So I thought I'd try something a little simpler and use some Gold's Wasabi Sauce that I have. It's really like mayonnaise, so if you can't find Gold's just add some grated fresh ginger root and some wasabi powder to your favorite mayo and you should be fine.

Sometimes more IS better - like with the potato pie, but sometimes one should just stick with a winner. Although it tasted fine, it looked terrible. You can't really tell from this picture, but the wasabi sauce leaks through the panko crumbs and gives a greenish hue is spots that makes it almost look moldy - well forget the ALMOST. I guess this would be fine for a romantic candlelit dinner (not too many candles though). I'm not sure you'd want to serve it in the light though. The taste was lovely, I must admit - a little kick but also some sweetness somehow.

I will share the recipe if anyone requests it.


Joycelyn said...

hi ruth, visiting your site is always such sweet torture - i always leave ravenous! your crustless potato pie looks awesome - what's in a name anyway ;) re:recipe funny, i tried the same thing, creating a detailed "index" but it soon drove me to drugs and i gave up...

Ruth Daniels said...

Thanks J, and right back at you. Yours is always awesome.

Joe said...

The potato pie looks so good. I love how it all holds together so well. I like using panko too... I crust comes out much better than breadcrumbs imo!

Ruth Daniels said...

The pie tastes as good as it looks and, as for Panko crumbs, nothing gives a better crunch - imo too!!!

Shauna said...


I just love the calming pace of your writing. And how inventive you are in the kitchen. Actually, I'm just looking at some spare yukon golds on my kitchen table. And I have a jar of Spectrum wasabi mayonnaise in the fridge. Hmmmm....

Okay, I just have to figure out a gluten-free substitute for panko.

Ana said...

Do you like your mandoline? I used to have a Star-Frit one, long time ago, and then gave it to the Salvation Army.

Enthused by one of Clotilde's posts I bought myself another, this one a more expensive one (about $70.), but I still find it a confusing contraption. Mine does not have a receptacle, so trying to use it over a bowl is somewhat frustrating. I am not going to purchase the more expensive one to find out if it is worth it. Too afraid the problem is me, not the mandoline.

Ruth Daniels said...

Ana, I do love my Star Frit mandoline. It has it's own container so you don't have to balance over a bowl. It also has a dial to turn so you don't have to figure out which blade, etc. Just turn the knob until you have the thickness you like. It even does julienne for fries etc.