Potato Pie

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I turned 30 two weeks ago. Please. It’s really not a big deal. For my birthday celebration (one of many), I went to dinner with my mom, step-dad and sister at Chazz, a relatively new restaurant in my favorite part of town, where I wish I could afford to live. I was trying to be good all week (read: eat healthy and work out every day) so I could look good at my “friend birthday party” that coming Saturday. Well, so much for that. I ate more that night than I thought was possible, even for me. And that’s sayin a lot. If my intention was to be “good,” who knows why I chose an Italian restaurant. Whatever. I wanted to try it. My parents were paying. You know how it goes.

Everything I ate was good (obvi), although I can’t say I was overly impressed with the creativity of the menu. I’m sure it’s more enticing for a meat-eater (which I am not). But I can’t even get into everything I ate that night because it’s all overshadowed by the potato pizza that we decided to get as an appetizer. Potatoes on a pizza? Sign me up. (I ate two pieces before we even got our entrees, I mean, salads/appetizer round 2.)

I’ve been thinking about that pizza every day since. The cravings were getting intense. I knew I could re-create that potato pie.

My sister makes a mean pizza. She considers herself somewhat of an expert in the pizza pie department. She makes the dough from scratch. And uses seminola flour (which she tells me is what they use in real pizza parlors). And heats her pizza stone for hours. She’s, like, the real deal. She even critiqued the pie at Chazz. So, of course, I wanted her to help me with this endeavor but she was busy celebrating her first wedding anniversary. The nerve. Fortunately, I had had her make a bunch of pizzas for my apt warming party a few months ago. I had some dough leftover, frozen in the freezer. And on Saturday, I bought myself a mandolin (not the musical instrument). So I knew that despite my sister being busy, the purchase of this fine kitchen tool meant that the time for my potato pie had come. I bought some potatoes and fresh rosemary at the farmer’s market on Sunday morning, and as soon as I got home from sleeping at the pool all afternoon, I took my dough out of the freezer to thaw. A few hours later, and I had created my own version of the Chazz potato pie.

Since this is my first recipe that I’ve ever posted, I should probably warn you all that I don’t measure anything. So, forgive me if I’m vague when I say how much to use of something.

POTATO PIE

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Ingredients:

  • Homemade pizza dough. (You can find a recipe from Bon Appetit here. But note that this recipe requires you to make the dough a day in advance.)
  • 3-4 small to medium potatoes, thinly sliced (thank you, mandolin)
  • 1/4 of a white onion, thinly sliced (again, credit to the mandolin)
  • Fontina cheese
  • A few dollops of ricotta cheese
  • Fresh rosemary, about one sprig
  • A few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • A dash of garlic powder
  • Some flour (seminola if you have it. I didn’t. I used regular old baking flour. take that pizza parlor!)
  • Tools: a mandolin, a pizza stone, and a pizza peel (I don’t have one of those. I just used a wooden cutting board with no edges. I told myself I was making a potato flat bread, so it totally made sense.)

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 500 degrees.

Heat the pizza stone in the oven one hour before you are ready to bake your pizza.

Combine the potato slices, onion, rosemary, some olive oil (enough to coat the potatoes), salt, pepper and garlic in a bowl. If you’ve bought your fontina in block form like I did (truthfully, I got my block of cheese from my mom, so I have no idea how it’s actually sold in the store. I’m not even really sure if what she gave me was fontina. It was in an unlabeled zip-loc baggie.), you can use the mandolin to slice it, like I did. The mandolin. So useful. Or use a cheese grater, like a normal person. I’d say I probably sliced about 3/4 or 1 cup of fontina.

Roll out your dough onto a well floured surface. Get it to the size and shape you want. I made sure mine would fit on my make-shift pizza peel. Transfer the dough to the pizza peel, which should also be well floured. (I forgot to do this before I topped the pizza. Big mistake.) Brush a thin layer of olive oil onto your dough. Plop on a few random dollops of ricotta cheese. Cover the dough surface with a layer of fontina. Then neatly arrange your potatoes and onions. Sprinkle with a tad more salt, pepper, and rosemary. I had some leftover slices of fontina, so I threw those on top. Don’t put too much cheese on top of the potatoes though.

Once your pizza stone is well heated and you’re ready to bake, gently slide the pizza from the peel onto the pizza stone (do not take stone out of the oven for this step. that’s why you have a pizza peel). Bake the pizza at 500 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are browned, the cheese is sizzling and the dough is cooked to your preferred level of crispiness. Then very carefully transfer the pizza from the stone (while still in the oven) back onto the pizza peel. Let cool and enjoy! Served best with a nice whopping glass of red wine.

A few notes: It says on the menu at Chazz that they use yukon potatoes, but I don’t know the difference between potatoes, other than sweet potatoes and regular potatoes… okay that’s not true. I know about fingerlings and red potatoes and purple potatoes. But yukon, russett, kennebec… It’s too much. So who knows what kind of potatoes I used here. Just get whatever yellow potato you like… or whatever they’re selling at the farmer’s market.

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