Home > Cooking, Eating, Maundering, Prep > Pommes Puree, Just a Little Bit Better

Pommes Puree, Just a Little Bit Better

November 29, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Dear Chef Bourdain;

For MLF’s family Thanksgiving feast, I volunteered to make the mashed potatoes, since pommes puree is one of the recipes in the Les Halles Cookbook.

Just as you promised, they were indeed “just a little bit better’ – no doubt because of on of the great alchemical secrets of your method of French Cooking – copious amounts of cream and butter. When my inevitable coronary occurs, and my doctor asks if I’ve made any changes in diet or activity lately, I’m just going to refer him to this blog.

The buffet, groaning with food. The potatoes, groaning with lard!

By the by, chef, I’m reading “Medium Raw”. It’s a vastly different book than “Kitchen Confidential”. In KC, you were telling your story, but this one feels like you’re justifying your success as a media figure…plus settling the hash of a few jerks worthy of your poison pen. But hey, Tony – can I call you Tony? You don’t need to justify anything. You got where you are because you tell a good story, you’re snarky as hell, but you’re honest. Just do that, Chef. We like it. You don’t have to support an empire like Emeril or Bobby Flay or whatever – tell the truth and make it as funny as much as it stings, and you’ve got your audience. At least, that’s my opinion.

So your Just a Bit Better Pommes Puree are dead simple. I got my meez ready – one of the invaluable lessons I’ve picked up from your book – and set about crafting a potato dish to make the gods weep.

Boss, the meez! The meez is here, Boss!

These are actually Washington potatoes, by the way. But they’re definitely Idaho-style, and worked perfectly both for the mash and the fries. As instructed I put them in cold water cut in half lengthwise, and brought it to a boil (skins on) and left it to boil for fifteen minutes.

It's hard to make a picture of potatoes sexy.

After that, it’s just a matter of slipping the skins off while boiling some cream and butter together – then mashing ’em up and smooshing in the butter and cream. I seasoned to taste, and this time kept adding kosher salt until they were just right – which was quite a bit more salt than I’d have thought. But what a difference a bit of truffle oil made – oh, the delicious, earthy aroma! The whole aura of Winter earth and rustic goodness permeates the potatoes and elevates them from a delicate and wholesome dish into something really sublime.

Black truffles or white, that’s the question, right? Well, I went with both! Ok, maybe that’s like playing the Stones and the  Beatles at the same time, but in this case, the “mash up” really worked. (See what I did there? Pop culture reference about those crazy song mashes these kids today are doing, as well as a little play on the pommes puree!)

Definitely a “hit” – easy to make and really quite a bit better than your run-of-the-mill spuds. This is going on my list of things I’ll keep in my back pocket just for whenever. They went over very well at Thanksgiving, too – I heard folks at the other table oohing about the truffles and the cream and the goodness. There was precious little left over at the end of the night, but they made truly superb leftover sandwiches the next day, too.

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving, too, Chef.


Categories: Cooking, Eating, Maundering, Prep
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  1. December 16, 2010 at 10:17 PM
  2. February 25, 2011 at 7:21 PM

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