Day 10: Po-ta-to

Our 13 different potato dishes

We’ve hit the 10-day mark, and I realize I’ve been mimicking Chef Dominique’s French accent in my head. “Minute” is now “min-ewte,” “popular” is “populaire,” and “potato” is “po-ta-to,” as if you’re saying it to the beat of a drum.

I heard this word about 100 times today. And for good reason. It’s potato day, and we learned 13 different preparations for potatoes. Pomme Anna, pomme dauphine, pommes dauphinois, pommes darphin…I basically felt like Forest Gump except I wasn’t trailing on about shrimp, but spuds.

Classmate Armando standing in front of his deep-fryer

Potato day also means we’re introduced to the deep-fryer: An ancient black steel pot that’s pretty cruddy looking. I’ll admit that a pot full of oil raised to temperatures above 300 degrees Fahrenheit terrifies me. But as long as you keep an eye on your temperature and watch out for any splashes, you should be fine. (But my propensity for clumsiness always keeps me on guard.)

After making (and eating) so many starches, my notes got a little muddled. So just a few words about what we made today:

The coolest potato dish: Pommes soufflée. Basically a potato chip that’s perfectly inflated to look like a potato pillow.

Pommes soufflees straight out of the fryer

Chef and Sean peering at pommes soufflees

The tastiest potato dish: It’s a tie between the potato pancake (pommes darphin) and pommes puree (mashed tadders—only because the French add cream, milk, and butter).

Pommes darphin

The most fun to make: Pommes croquettes. You can make them into any shape, and my station partner decided to make hers into candy-themed shapes (Tootsie Rolls, lollipop, etc).

Shikha making candy-shaped croquettes

Chef’s pear-shaped croquettes rolled in almonds

TIP OF THE DAY: When making mashed potatoes, or pommes puree, add a whole garlic clove when mixing in your butter and cream (okay, or milk). Chef Laura does this to her potatoes to give them the essence of garlic without overpowering it.

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4 responses to “Day 10: Po-ta-to

  1. Thank you for the garlic in the pureed potatoes tip! The last time I made pureed potatoes I roasted mashed garlic and just took out a little tiny bit to put it into my mash. It was good but your tip is way easier, lol.

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