Serves 6 to 8
Do not slice the potatoes until you are ready to start assembling. Remember to start timing when you begin arranging the potatoes in the skillet—no matter how quickly you arrange them, they will need 30 minutes on the stovetop to brown properly.
3 pounds russet, Yukon Gold, or white potatoes,
peeled and sliced 1/16 to 1/8 inch thick
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup vegetable or peanut oil, plus additional
for greasing baking sheet
Salt and ground black pepper
1. Toss potato slices with melted butter in large bowl until potatoes are evenly coated. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Pour oil into 10-inch heavy-bottomed ovenproof nonstick skillet; swirl to coat pan bottom and set skillet over medium-low heat. Begin timing, and arrange potato slices in skillet, using nicest slices to form bottom layer. To start, place one slice in center of skillet. Overlap more slices in circle around center slice, then form another circle of overlapping slices to cover pan bottom. Sprinkle evenly with scant 1/4 teaspoon salt and ground black pepper to taste. Arrange second layer of potatoes, working in opposite direction of first layer; sprinkle evenly with scant 1/4 teaspoon salt and ground black pepper. Repeat, layering potatoes in opposite directions and sprinkling with salt and pepper, until no slices remain (broken or uneven slices can be pieced together to form single slice; potatoes will mound in center of skillet); continue to cook over medium-low heat until 30 minutes elapse from time you began arranging potatoes in skillet.
3. Using bottom of 9-inch cake pan, press potatoes down firmly to compact. Cover skillet and place in oven. Bake until potatoes begin to soften, about 15 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake until potatoes are tender, when paring knife can be easily inserted in center and edge of potatoes near skillet is browned, about 10 minutes longer. Meanwhile, line rimless baking sheet or back of rimmed baking sheet with foil and coat very lightly with oil. Drain off excess fat from potatoes by pressing bottom of cake pan against potatoes while tilting skillet. (Be sure to use heavy potholders or oven mitts.)
4. Set foil-lined baking sheet on top of skillet. With hands protected by oven mitts or potholders, hold baking sheet in place with one hand and carefully invert skillet and baking sheet together. Lift skillet off potatoes. Carefully slide potatoes from baking sheet onto platter. Cut into wedges and serve immediately.
The America's Test Kitchen Cookbook
by the Editors of Cook's Illustrated
Boston Common Press
Hardcover, 352 pages
Recipe reprinted by permission.
This page created November 2002
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