An old-fashioned mandoline (an attractive wooden device recalling the musical instrument—now sometimes fabricated in stainless steel), by means of which slices of a regulated thickness—paper-thin if desired—may rapidly be obtained, is valuable for many potato and other vegetable preparations.
It is impractical to give precise proportions for this kind of preparation: Count approximately a pound of potatoes, preferably non-mealy and yellow-fleshed, to a third of a cup of butter, using a heavy
Use large potatoes; peel them and slice them lengthwise in order to obtain the largest possible slices, cut thinly as for potato chips, rinse in a large basin of cold water, rubbing them gently between your hands, drain rapidly, spread them out on a towel, and pat them dry with another towel.
Melt the butter, turning the omelet pan around in all directions in order to coat the sides as well as the bottom, add the potatoes, arranging those on the surface neatly in an overlapping design, press the mass compactly with the palm of your hand, season the surface, and cook, covered, over a low flame, gently shaking the pan in a to-and-fro motion from time to time to make certain that they are not sticking, for about 20 minutes or until the underside is crisp and forms a solid block. Turn the flame up or down slightly after 10 or 15 minutes if the potatoes seem to be coloring too little or too rapidly. Shake the pan to be certain that the mass slides freely and toss them over (or unmold them onto a plate and slip them back into the pan, to which has been added a small lump of butter). Finish cooking, uncovered, for another 15 or 20 minutes, seasoning the surface lightly just before slipping them from the pan to the serving dish.
Copyright © 1974 by Richard Olney. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.