19 August 2008

Perfect Pomme Puree


While browsing through my latest cookbook "Anita Stewart's Canada" I came across a photograph of a menu from a retreat by renowned Canadian chef Michael Smith. In 2006 he was instrumental in orchestrating a retreat where chefs cooked, ate and lived communally for a weekend. I was intrigued by what the chefs would choose to share and eat themselves if given this opportunity. This small photo had me Googling to see if I could come across any recipes for these dishes such as Berkshire Pork, Chanterelle Risotto, Pan Roast Tuna with Summer Succotash, Taboulleh Roll, Cardamom Peach "Flipjacks"and Basil Pesto Pomme Puree. Anita's cookbook is filled with breathtaking photos and inspiring recipes which I will feature on these pages in the near future, but,when I saw the menu in this small photograph I was more than a little curious.

In my Google search I came across a recipe for Pomme Puree from chef Gordon Ramsay that had several variations. This is not a recipe that can be altered or changed except to add your own flavour combinations, so, the instructions are just as chef Gordon Ramsay has written....the recipe is afterall on how to create the perfect Pomme Puree.....Shhhhh...I'll let you in on a little secret I made a small alteration and it was still good....shhh!!!! "Gordon says, "The potato may have humble origins but there isn't much to beat a beautiful bowl of mash."
The third Wednesday of every month has been designated Potato Ho-Down Wednesday. Two of my fellow potato Ho's Cathy of Noble Pig and Krysta over at Evil Chef Mom say it is so. Every Wednesday we will all be cooking up those scalloped potatoes, mashed potatoes, fries, curries, poutine......if potato is in the name we will be there!!! Being the Ho that I am and since there is no AA group for potato Ho's I am submitting this recipe of Gordon Ramsays. This potato dish is certainly not the only potato dish I have created this month being the Potato Ho that I am!!!

In a restaurant menu I saw that they presented a similar dish in a martini glass with a layer of basil at the bottom. You could swirl the basil through to create an interesting pattern or perhaps create several layers or even just mix it together completely.

**Perfect Pomme Puree**

"Making a perfect potato purée starts with choosing the right potato that holds its texture and absorbs a lot of cream and butter without “splitting” - when I worked for Joel Robuchon he was famed for his pomme purée, and it was only 30 per cent potato. For the best flavour, boil the potatoes in their skins, peel while hot wearing rubber gloves, then push them through a wire drum sieve. You could also achieve a similar texture with a mouli or old-fashioned potato “ricer”. Don’t be tempted to whiz the potatoes in a food processor, though, or you’ll end up with a gluey goo. Whichever method you use, the secret is to work it when it’s warm and starchy - it’s when it goes cold that it will become lumpy. So if you are running a bit behind, don’t be afraid to wrap it up in a warm cloth or put clingfilm over it - anything to keep it warm."

**Perfect Pomme Puree**

1 kg medium Desiree potatoes, unpeeled but washed
200ml double cream (heavy cream)
Up to 90g butter, cut into small cubes
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
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Boil the potatoes in lightly salted water for about 15 minutes until tender, then drain. Allow to cool a little, then, wearing rubber gloves, peel off the skins and cut the potatoes into large chunks.

Return the potatoes to the heat to dry off a little, then press through a drum sieve with a bowl scraper or push through a mouli or ricer into a bowl.
Meanwhile, boil the cream in a medium pan until reduced by half to 100ml. Beat this cream into the potatoes then gradually mix in the butter, depending on how rich you want it. If you’ve used good-quality spuds you should get the full amount in before it starts to look curdled, ie split. Add flavourings if you want.

Check the seasoning. Spoon into a warmed dish, cover and keep warm in a low oven for a few minutes before serving.

FLAVOURINGS TO ADD:

1) Truffle: Add a few drops of truffle oil, and, if you have some, about a teaspoonful of finely chopped fresh truffle.
2) Fresh basil purée: Blanch a fistful of fresh basil in boiling water until limp. Drain and run under cold water to cool, then squeeze dry and whiz in a blender with cream.

3) Coarse-grain mustard: Simply beat in mustard a teaspoonful at a time to taste.

4) Horseradish: As for coarse grain mustard.

Serves 4 - 6
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21 comments:

  1. Wow. Look at all that cream and butter! I can't imagine these would taste bad and I'm far from a potato ho.

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  2. oooo - I don't know how I missed the Potato Ho-Down!

    Could this possibly be the best mash ever??

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  3. That retreat sounds like my type of weekend away Val! Also, trust Gordon Ramsay to have the perfect pomme puree recipe...whatever they say about him he always cooks to perfection. Thanks for the recipe..I might have to give it a shot in the near future.

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  4. Beautiful photo Val!I'm sure the truffle will make it more interesting.

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  5. great recipe. its so versatile with all the add-in options. my husband will love the mustard addition!

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  6. HO HO HO Val...another yum HO entry! It's got everything that makes it ROCK! Potato, cream & butter! Can't go wrong here. My DH loved a good mash...looks like he's gonna get lucky soon. i also have a good crop of basil outdoors...YAY!!

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  7. So Gordon Ramsey said not to alter his recipe, eh? I say pfffft to him. And his recipe. But not to you and the other hos...never to you. I love a good hot mash. Mmmmm...

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  8. Hey Ho, you've outdone yourself! Ho's like over-acheiver's! He-he!

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  9. Guess its time for this Ho to come outta the closet...I love it and your dish has me salivating!

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  10. Ooo.... and it's potato season. This looks amazing!

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  11. Lovely picture sis. I could say ho to this, looks like a poshy mash with the basil and truffle oil.

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  12. I would like to have this now, please!

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  13. I had to do a double take at the tile of this post, because I keep throwing the word "Ho" into everything lately. Kinda like "would you like some cherri-hoes for breakfast?"

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  14. Hello, my name is Sylvie and I'm a potato Ho, too. Looks wonderful!

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  15. Bring on the potatoes!

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  16. I missed the Potato Ho again! I have a good post to put up but keep missing it! Your mash looks super!

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  17. Mashed potato....is there anything more comforting????? I mentioned you in my post today. Hope it is OK!

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  18. Some times, its the simplest things that are the best, and I've certainly come to trust Ramsay on these things. I'll have to try this for my mash the next time I have it on the menu

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  19. you can turn it greek in this way: if you add some fish roe, it will make a great taramasalata; if you add some garlic, you'll have an oil-free version of skordalia.

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  20. This sounds so good and I love the idea of serving it in a martini glass.

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Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

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