CRISPY POTATO ROAST
3 tablespoons salted or unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 to 1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes (optional)
6 -10 potatoes, peeled (smaller diameter potatoes are great, if you can find them)
4 shallots, peeled & sliced(or 1 Onion)
8 sprigs thyme
Garnishes (optional): Bits of goat cheese, crumbles of bacon and/or bits of crisped pancetta
Preheat oven to 180°C.
In a small bowl, combine butter and oil.
With a sharp knife or mandolin, slice potatoes crosswise very thinly. Keeping the potato intact as you proceed. .
Pour a tablespoon or so of the butter/oil mixture in the bottom of your dish and spread it evenly.
Sprinkle the oil mixture with a few pinches of coarse salt and red pepper flakes, if using; this will allow you to season both the top and underside of the potatoes.
Arrange your potato slices vertically in the dish.
Thinly slice shallots with your mandolin and slide shallot slivers between potato wedges, distributing them as evenly as possible.
Brush with remaining oil/butter mixture.
Generously season your dish with salt; go easier on the red pepper flakes, if using.
Bake 1 1/4 hours, then arrange thyme sprigs on top and bake until potatoes are cooked through with a crisped top, about 35 minutes more.
If casserole seems to brown too fast, cover it with foil to slow it down.
Add any garnishes, if using, and serve immediately.
Photo: Melissa Ann Vermeulen