It seems like there are a million Celebrities that want to be chefs and who can blame them? One of the few that I have seen that actually eat – seriously eat is Gwyneth Paltrow. When she did a show on PBS with Mario Batali and Michael Stipe her eating was a throw down-showdown of epic proportions. While in Spain she ate a churro for breakfast with such gusto and enthusiasm I was mildly shocked. Normally women on TV take such tiny bites, then make an orgasmic yummy face/sound which no one believes but themselves. Why not take a huge bite – you know you want to!
While on the Graham Norton Show promoting one of her first books I noticed the Crispy Potato and Garlic Cake which made my salivate. Don’t judge – you know you’ve been there. I had to make it. Now I don’t have a person styling my food – it’s just me in my kitchen. But I think it came out really well. If my dad were alive today he would have called it “The Irish Candy Cake”. He always referred to potatoes as Irish candy.
Crispy Potato & Garlic Cake
2 large baking potatoes (2/3 pound peeled)
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon duck fat (tablespoon for the pan) or butter
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves peeled garlic, 2 crushed, 1 finely minced
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
1. Preheat the boiler.
2. Boil the potatoes for 20 mins and let them cool before slicing them into 1/8 inch thick slices. Heat a spoonful each of the duck fat and the olive oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Add 1 of the crushed garlic cloves and as many potato slices as can fit in one layer. Cook for about 3 mins a side, or until lightly browned. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and repeat with the remaining fat and potatoes, switching out the garlic cloves when they get too brown.
3. Coat a small (6-8 inch) cast-iron skillet with the tablespoon of duck fat. Line the bottom with a single layer of potato slices, sprinkle with salt, and add another layer. Repeat this process, pressing each layer down hard with the back of a wooden spoon and lightly salting as you go until you’ve layered all your potatoes. Pressing them down is what will keep the cake together, so don’t be too gentle. Stick the cake under the broiler until really browned and crispy, about 5 mins. Invert it onto a plate and scatter with the 1 clove of finely minced garlic, parsley, and bit more salt if you like. Cut into wedges and serve.