Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Potato Chronicles

Have you ever had an experience where you ask yourself why something so obvious is so completely unknown?

The CC is going to discuss roasted potatoes and French fries and what they have in common.

It's a well-known fact among connoisseurs of the humble potato that the best way to fry it is in various versions of animal fats. Goose fat, duck fat, chicken fat and horse fat. Expensive but mind-blowingly awesome.

What also makes the perfect fry is that the surface is crispy and brown (tastes come from the Maillard reaction) and the insides perfectly soft and creamy. It's the contrast that makes it work. Here's a refresher to the science.

The potato has been a staple in many cuisines once the New World was discovered. It rapidly spread across the globe. Roasting it aside the meat which shed its fat was a common and delicious idea.

The innovation which surprised the CC last night was simple. Instead of letting the potato roast, the chef took a medium-sized potato, peeled it, sliced it vertically into thin sections that were still attached at the base — leaving the potato whole —  and roasted it. It's simple knife-work. This thin slicing meant that the edges of the potato were completely crispy while the insides were completely creamy. The potato was clearly roasted with some goose fat and served with the roasted goose giving the dish a coherent feel.

It's such a simple idea and yet so radical.

1 comment:

macavity said...

Great technique. I'm going to try it out.