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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Potato Skillet Pie

First of all, it is a great time of year to be in Fairbanks. There is just enough snow for skiing and there is still a little daylight. This week the moon has been absolutely beautiful. Winter has definately set in. The temperature this morning at work was -5 degrees fahrenheit. Brrrr....
In many ways it really feels good to just sit and relax by the woodstove after dinner. The crazy days of summer are over. Preparing for winter can sometimes be harder than the actual winter. Now that we have our wood in the shed and the greenhouse and yard cleaned up, we can spend our evening reading and relaxing.
A few weeks ago our neighbors invited us over to get what was left of the potatoes in their garden. They "only" had two rows of reds left is what they told us, but we were welcome to take what was left. So we ended up with a wheelbarrow full of the most beautiful red potatoes I have ever seen. We estimate there to be somewhere between 70-90 pounds of potatos. Our dog weighs 70 lbs and there appears to be more potatoes than dog here.... So, I figure we will need to eat an average of 3lbs. of potatoes a week between now and June. Each week I am going to try and make one recipe that is primarily potatoes.
When I posted my "New Cookbook Challenge" Alison from Alison's Lunch wrote to say the Vegetarian Suppers from Deborah Madison's Kitchen was one of her favorite cookbooks. Last night I decided to make Potato Skillet Pie. There are many adaptations to this recipe in the cookbook and I would highly recommend them as this would have been pretty plain without some spicing up. I added cheddar cheese and topped the pie with Honey Chipotle Sauce. This recipe calls for Yukon Gold or other yellow potatoes, so I did not tap into my 90 lbs of red potatoes yet. I still had some beautiful yellow potatoes from the Farmer's Market. Also, this is recipe #8 in my new cookbook challenge. Stay tuned and help me choose my next cookbook purchase and maybe win one for yourself as well!
Potato Skillet Pie
from Vegetarian Suppers from Deborah Madison's Kitchen

4 tablespoons of butter or oil
1 cup breadcrumbs or 1/2 cup grated parmesean cheese (I used a little of both)
2 lbs of Yukon Gold, or Yellow Finn Potatoes peeled and cut into chunks
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 garlic cloves
4 eggs lightly beaten with a little water
3 tablespoons of chopped fresh sage

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Put a 10 inch cast iron skillet ( I used a small glass baking dish as I do not own a cast iron skillet) in the oven with a tablespoon of butter until melted. Brush it around, then scatter bread crumbs or parmesan cheese to make a crust for the potatoes. Put the potatoes in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Add a teaspoon of salt, bring them to a boil, then simmer until the potatoes are soft, about 20 minutes. While they’re cooking, smash the garlic in a mortar with ½ teaspoon of salt until smooth. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot. Add the garlic and remaining butter and mash. Taste for salt and pepper, making sure the potatoes are highly seasoned. Then stir in the eggs and sage, transfer the mass to the skillet, and smooth the top. Bake until golden and pulling away from the sides of the pan, about 45 minutes. Remove and let stand for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edge and unmold onto a serving plate.

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