If you’re a food blogger, you regularly get invited by publishing houses to review cookbooks and I always have fun trying new recipes. This cookbook, Ally’s Kitchen – A Passport for Adventurous Palates, was different – I was invited by another blogger – my good friend Kim Bultman from A Little Lunch for Alice Phillips from Ally’s Kitchen. Kim edited the cookbook and she did a brilliant job. I was given an advance copy so I’d have plenty of time to peruse every page.
Ally has written 240 pages of delicious recipes from around the world and each one is tried and tested so you won’t buy the ingredients and have a flop. I’m not the only one reviewing this cookbook – Kim and Ally invited other bloggers who are cooking and baking recipes from this book. Check out Ally’s Kitchen cookbook blog tour.
Did I mention there are 240 pages of recipes? How do you choose which one to make when there are so many wonderful recipes to choose from and many are from exotic locations? I’m sure there are many efficient ways to do this but I went with two things I love. Dukkah and potatoes. Not in the same dish, although… I might think about it.
The other day I had a big lunch and for dinner I had Turkish bread that I broke apart and dipped in good olive oil mixed with some balsamic vinegar and then into the dukkah. I have to agree, it’s as close to heaven as I’m going to get. The recipe makes about four cups of dukkah – enough for us and 3 gifts.
Then there are these potatoes. When I saw Ally’s recipe for Rosemary Red Potato and Leek Galette, I knew I had to try it even if it didn’t go in the blog post. Butter, leeks, potatoes and sour cream – I don’t need anything else to make me happy.
These are NOT red potatoes. Could I find any? No. So I made these with small white ordinary potatoes and they were delicious. I did find that the leeks I used must have released a ton of liquid because the potatoes, while cooked through, had a bit of liquid instead of a dry potato stack I was expecting. Maybe American leeks aren’t as large as big fat Australian leeks?
Everyone who came to the kitchen and said, “What smells so good?” I did what any good host would do, I poached eggs and served it with these potatoes and said, “Welcome to lunch.”
- 8 cups thinly sliced potatoes (red potatoes - skin on)
- 2 thinly sliced leeks
- 8 tablespoons butter, melted
- ¼ cup fresh rosemary, chopped
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F and coat a heavy non-stick skillet with cooking spray or rub with shortening.
- Layer half the potatoes in the bottom of the skillet, overlapping the potatoes in a circlular pattern ending in the center of the pan.
- Drizzle the potatoes with ½ the butter and sprinkle half the salt and pepper before scattering half of the leeks.
- Dollop all the sour cream and sprinkle with half the rosemary.
- Using the same method, place the remaining slices of potato on top of the first layer.
- Add the remainder of the salt and pepper, sprinkle the rest of the leeks and then drizzle with the remainder of the butter. Sprinkle the remainder of the rosemary and place uncovered into the oven for about 30-35 minutes.
- If the galette begins to brown too soon, cover it with foil.
- Let it cool for about five minutes before serving right from the skillet.
So who is Ally? Alice Phillips began life in West Virginia and when she was ten, her father died leaving her Croatian-born mother to raise four children on her own. Ally’s named after her grandmother and Ally credits her grandmother with passing on her love of cooking. As kids do, Ally grew up, went to college, married, worked as a teacher and psychologist specializing in learning disabilities, divorced and remarried – but she never lost her love of cooking.
At the age of 58 she found herself living in Boston and decided to to take acting lessons and one day saw an ad for MasterChef and in the first year she made it to the semi-finals and in season 2 she made it to the top 100. She’s a good cook!
I really admire Ally – she’s a woman in her 60s who was a child of the 60s and has the courage to reinvent herself when she tires of what she’s doing. She’s also brave enough to admit she’s in her 60s – something another blogger is afraid to do for fear nobody will visit her blog. She shall remain nameless.
Ally’s cookbook, just released on May 12th, has recipes for dishes from around the world as you’d expect, but there are also small stories to go along with each one. Ally has had a very interesting life and she shares it with us on the pages of this book
. This video is her book promo and gives you an idea of her Bohemian personality.
My Kitchen Stories says
Looks like a very interesting book Maureen.Love her house!
Kim | a little lunch says
Maureen, your Dukkah makes me want to get dipping 😉 and I can practically smell your galette! I love that you made it in a cast iron skillet, too — very “boho.” I’m also glad you used regular ol’ spuds (cuz that’s what I tend to have on hand, too) and showed yet another variation on adapting Ally’s recipe to YOU. Thanks so much for your review, and also for the mention and kind compliment. Much appreciated, xo!
Maureen! You’re totally brilliant! I love that you used the Dukkah as a dipping spice mixture with bread soaked in wonderful olive oil…I must say, I’m totally loving your boho’ing and will definitely do it myself!! This is such a beautiful post…I feel very special, Maureen, to have you talking about it and then sharing it with friends…those white taters certainly work, and I’ve used them, too, when I’m out of the red…and, like you, I’ve had the sweating of the leeks and the liquid…w/leftovers I’ve found that that liquid is actually re-absorbed by the taters…but, I’ve also drained off a little if serving immediately. You’re just one special person, and I’m very grateful Kim brought you on board the magic carpet…she was totally INDISPENSABLE in this entire process…no way I could have found anyone more perfect to co-pilot this w/me b/c she was one tough task master!! Sending love, hugs, peace & namaste ~ally
Maureen! I wrote a long comment, but don’t see it here… :(…let me know otherwise I’ll reconstruct!! xo ~ally
Mary - All Thing Food Cooking with Mary and Friends says
GREAT review Maureen, Orgasmic Chef! I love what you wrote and the recipe.
Maureen! I’m stalking you w/comments…first of all, this review is fabulous!! I’m just so honored and thrilled to have you in the throes of not one, but two recipes! And, your use of the Dukkah as a dipping spice w/olive soaked bread is just brillant! I love love it…and I’ll be do doing it! Like you I have had the sweating of the leeks and some liquid once the galette is done…if there’s any leftover I leave that liquid b/c I’ve found that the taters reabsorb it…if serving immediately, yes, I’ll drain off a bit. And, any kinda tater works! I just liked the red w/skins cuz they be purrrdeee! Very grateful for your friendship, for Kim, my INDISPENSABLE editor who kept this magic carpet steering for 13 months, asking you to jump on the magic carpet! Hugs, love, peace & namaste~ ally
Mary Frances says
Looks like a fascinating book, Maureen. I’ll have to check it out–thanks for sharing! And yes, those leeks do look especially big and tasty!
The potato dish sounds tasty. I’ve never tried dukkah.
John@Kitchen Riffs says
Sounds like a fun book! I love cookbooks — always learn something from each and every one I’ve read. This sounds like a winner — thanks for the heads up.
Rachel (Rachel's Kitchen NZ) says
Looks like a lovely book and I love Ally’s story – will have to look out for it – thanks Maureen.
Fabulous stuff! I knew “our” Kim edited this, so it had to be good! 🙂
Amanda (@lambsearshoney) says
Oh, there’s not much more I enjoy than a good potato dish – and this one looks great. Lucky friends to get those spuds for lunch.
Congrats to Ally on the release of her cookbook! Bill would love these potatoes, too. I love the aroma of potatoes and onions (or leeks) cooking together. Thanks for the review and happy weekend to you!!! xo
pamela hayward says
Love the video and to hear about her reinvention of her life. She certainly proves age is no barrier to life. will check out her cook book. Thanks for sharing…..
Lizzy (Good Things) says
Thank you for the introduction to Ally and her beaut book! And how exciting that Kim edited it! xox
I love dukkah! I also love potatoes – so you pretty much double scored with me on this one! The cookbook looks amazing, I will definitely go check it out! 🙂
Hotly Spiced says
I do like the sound of leeks and potatoes. What a wonderful galette even if there was a little too much liquid. Ally sounds like an amazing cook and a woman who has accomplished a lot in every stage of her life xx
Veronica (Roni) says
The book looks brilliant Maureen (& Ally) as do your nuts & spices. You gotta love a good dukkah!!!
(You’ve also gotta love a woman in her 60’s…they tell me it’s the new 40’s )
Mmmmm, potatoes & leeks, sounds like I’d love a wife who cooks lunch like you too, lol.
I love Ally & her Bohemian personality. Thanks for sharing her….
PS. Where do you get a GOOD olive oil around here? Just asking…:))
How to Cook has some good ones – in Cotton Tree and so does Be Fresh in Kawana.
LaQuita Haynes says
Curt, my resident chef (aka my son) loves to cook. I love to eat. Pass the recipe for Rosemary Red Potato and Leek Galette to him and I have a place in Food Heaven! Thanks…..
I love this comment! Thanks so much for stopping by and caring enough to leave a comment. 🙂
Hey… Thanks so much for your review, and also for the mention and kind compliment. Much appreciated & Looks like a very interesting book, I love that you used the Dukkah as a dipping spice mixture with bread soaked in wonderful olive oil and no way I could have found anyone more perfect to co-pilot this w/me b/c she was one tough task master. 😉 🙂
Fran @ G'day Souffle' says
Every day I think of whacky things I did in the ’60s which I then try to forget- but hey, I won’t be forgettin’ about that rosemary and leek gallette- it’s on my To Do list!
Tricia @ Saving room for dessert says
Love these recipes Maureen! I could live on olive oil, vinegar, bread and spice/nuts – dips. Maybe some cheese too 🙂 The potatoes are gorgeous! Nice review.
Vicki Bensinger says
I love her video and it’s so inspiring it makes me want to go out and pick up a copy. I’ve never been to her site, but will have to check it out. Thank you for sharing it.
Thalia @ butter and brioche says
As someone that adores trying out new cuisines, ethnic dishes and flavours, this sounds like the kind of book I would LOVE.. and that galette is perfect Maureen!
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
That looks like a real labour of love. 240 recipes is amazing! 😮 And yay for no flops 😀
An interesting cookbook . Ally really seems like a very confidant fun person to be with. Loved your dish, I should look for this book soon.
Simply Sweet Justice says
This looks like such a fun cookbook. I will check it out!
Carrie|Carrie's Experimental Kitchen says
Maureen I couldn’t resist those potatoes either…fantastic! Great review and I can’t wait to dig into more of Ally’s recipes myself.