One of the many things that I’ve learnt from Nigel Slater is that food photography needs to be quick, because if what you have cooked is really delicious you’ll want to eat as soon as possible. So it happened last night. I was spending an evening alone, cooking for the following day. As I finished my work, I was very aware that I had not thought of my own supper for that night. There wasn’t a lot in the kitchen that hadn’t been spoken for, as we try to shop for ingredients that I have planned to cook over several days. Potatoes and eggs, however, were in abundance together with a large piece of Parmesan that had fortuitously come my way. During the evening’s cooking, in quiet moments, I had been sipping a glass whilst flipping through the pages of “Tender” – the one about vegetables – and I remembered seeing a recipe called “A thin cake of potatoes of Parmesan”. It is, I can assure you, absolutely wonderful, which is no surprise, considering its provenance. I added an egg, as I had some.
Waxy potatoes, butter, garlic, and parmesan…..the book suggests amounts for 4 people. Just use the amount you need.
Peel the potatoes and slice them thinly, ideally on a mandolin.
Melt the butter in a small pan. Peel the garlic and slice or crush it, according to your preference.
Pour a little of the melted butter over the base of a shallow baking dish or a cast iron frying pan, and cover it with a layer of thin potato slices, overlapping them slightly.Pour on a little more butter and season with salt, garlic, black pepper and a good dusting of grated Parmesan. Proceed with layers of potatoes and seasoning until you have used all the potatoes. Finish with butter and a light dusting of Parmesan.
Bake in the oven at 220C, pressing the cake down very firmly with a fish slice every now and then. After about 45-50 minutes you should have a deep golden potato cake sizzling around its edges.