This wafer-thin, feather-light ring of potatoes became extremely popular in the old days of nouvelle cuisine
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1 large russet potato (about 1/2 pound), peeled
coarse salt for sprinkling the galette
1. To clarify butter, melt in a small pan and let sit for 5 minutes. Skim off the foam on top and discard. Then carefully pour off the buttery liquid (this is the clarified butter), discarding the milky solids in the bottom of the pan.
2. Using a mandoline or a similar device made from plastic, slice potato into 1/8 inch slices. Dry well on a towel, preferably terry cloth. (Do not rinse the potatoes; the starch helps hold the potato slices together.)
3. Coat the bottom of an 8-inch nonstick skillet lightly with clarified butter and heat over moderately high heat. When butter is hot, make a ring of potatoes with overlapping slices, leaving the center open. (There will be about 8 potato slices in the ring, and the ring will be about 3 to 4 inches in diameter.) Gently push down slices with a spatula as the galette is cooking; this will help the slices stick together. Cook for about 5 minutes, until underside is golden brown and crispy. Flip and cook for about another 5 minutes. (Watch carefully so that the galette does not get too dark.)
4. Remove to a sheet tray lined with paper towels. Sprinkle with coarse salt immediately. Keep warm in a 250 degrees oven while the others are being cooked.
Note: If the galettes are to be held longer than 15 minutes, they should be recrisped. Lightly coat bottom of skillet with clarified butter. When butter is hot, cook galette for 1 minute per side, remove to paper towels, and sprinkle with coarse salt.
This wafer-thin, feather-light ring of potatoes became extremely popular in the old days of nouvelle cuisine. Approximately the size and thinness of a CD, the potato ring is used as a garnish. Typically, a serving of red meat -- say, a fanned-out display of rare duck breast slices -- is topped by the galette, which typically slants against the meat casually arranged. It is very crispy, deep in potato flavor, and soaks up meat juices beautifully when it sits next to them on a plate. Makes 8 galettes