This is one of those situations where I knew the recipe was going to be delicious (it was!), and I knew I wanted it posted on the blog so I could have the recipe on hand so I could make it again, but I also knew we didn’t have time to get set up to take a good photo. The one we ended up with is not so great, but the photo brings back excellent memories of a delicious side dish which I will most certainly make often. I love potatoes in almost any form: boiled, sauteed, baked, covered in cheese, etc. This recipe pairs very thinly sliced potatoes with a fair amount of pepper, some butter and Romano cheese. This is another one of those recipes where the final product is definitely greater than the sum of its parts. The recipe is great right out of the oven, and it’s fantastic as a leftover too. You can reheat it for 15 minutes in a preheated oven, or you can choose to heat it in the microwave. That’s what I did and it was still delicious.
You definitely need a mandoline for this recipe. It will create potato slices that all have the same thickness, which is key to having them all finish cooking at the same time. If you like your potatoes crispy, almost like chips, cook yours a little longer than I did. You can cook it until it’s nice and brown and crispy on top. Yum!
Cacio e Pepe Potatoes Anna
Recipe from Smitten Kitchen
1/2 cup (65 grams) finely grated aged Pecorino Romano
1 tablespoon (10 grams) potato starch or cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon fine sea or table salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper, or a larger amount coarsely ground
3 tablespoons (45 grams) unsalted butter, melted, or olive oil
2 pounds (roughly 1 kg) Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/8-inch-thick, ideally on a mandolin
Heat your oven to 375°F. Combine the cheese, potato starch or cornstarch, salt, and pepper in a small dish. Taste a bit; you want it to have a strong salty-peppery kick, because it’s going to be distributed all over the galette.
Pour 1 tablespoon butter or oil into the bottom of a 9-inch-diameter cast-iron or ovenproof skillet (or pie plate if you don’t have the right pan), and swirl it up the sides. Arrange the potatoes in overlapping concentric circles in a single layer at the bottom of the pan. (This will use approximately a quarter of your sliced potatoes.) Drizzle with 1 teaspoon butter or oil, and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the cheese-pepper mixture. You’ll need to repeat this three or four times to use up your potatoes (depending on their size). At the end, you should have about 1 tablespoon cheese-pepper mixture left over; reserve this. Drizzle any remaining melted butter over the top.
To bake: Lightly coat a piece of foil with nonstick spray and cover the skillet tightly with it. Put in heated oven for 35 minutes, at which point the potatoes will be almost tender. Use potholdered hands to press firmly on the foil to compact the potatoes a bit. Remove and reserve the foil and bake for 25 to 30 minutes more, until lightly brown all over. Press again with the foil, remove, then briefly run under the broiler for an even golden-brown finish.
Yield: 6 servings as a side dish
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