Archive for October, 2011

Anthony Bourdain’s Pommes en croutes de sel

October 18, 2011 3 comments

Pommes en croutes de sel

Dear Chef Bourdain;

So, my self-imposed deadline of Nov. 1st to cook everything in your book is basically fucked. Short of a last minute cash (and interest by readers) infusion, I’m not going to make it. I’m in hand grenade range – close enough to be dangerous but not right on target. So I’m going to adapt, improvise, and overcome – I’m giving myself as much time as I goddamn need. What am I, getting paid for this or something? (Don’t let that stop literary or screen agents from contacting me, I would love to be paid for this or something!)

So here’s the latest – I made dinner for some friends. I whipped up some chicken Basquaise, which was as good as last time, colorful, easy and delicious. I barely looked at the recipe, it’s such a good one and so easily modified to taste. Along side, I served pommes en croute de sel, or potatoes in a salt crust, for you non-Francophones. (A Francophone is a speaker of French. For you idiots.)

If I’ve learned one thing, Tony, it’s not to fuck up my meez. I feel like I’ve mentioned that here once or twice. That, and more butter means more love. (Which means my lovely wife, who’s birthday it is today, get’s ALL THE BUTTER. Tell her that anonymous internet ninnies!) So this was interesting take on potatoes – no butter.

One meez, sans fucked-upness.

So here we’ve got a dish full of potatoes, four egg whites whipped to stiff peaks (much like a gay S&M club) and a pound of rock salt.

I mixed up the rock salt and the egg whites, and slathered it over the potatoes.

Pommes en croutes de bukkake

Then I baked them. The crust firmed up and kept the potatoes moisture in while they baked. The nice thing was that once they were done, I just turned the oven off and left them in there to keep warm. This is a nice touch when you’re cooking multiple dishes.

When the chicken was ready, I pulled out the dish.

Pommes, still en croute.

Interesting that the whites turned yellow, even in the absence of butter or yolk. So I cracked open the crust, and brushed it away from the potatoes. One thing I discovered – or rather, Mary, one of my guests did – was that you have to be really careful brushing off that crust. ‘Cause rock salt is hard on the teeth,  yo. Next time I do it like this, I’ll be sure to be more diligent about rock-salt removal.

Basically this was a low-stress, delicious way to do potatoes. They were moist and fluffy and cooked all the way through. They broke up nicely and soaked up the  sauce Basquaise. The added bonus that you can do-ahead and keep them warm and fresh in the crust is another point in their favor. Whipping egg whites isn’t my favorite thing in the world, but it didn’t take that long. And anyway I’ve been working out a lot lately, and am becoming thoroughly mighty – so much so that no egg white stands a chance against my mighty thews. Thews are important for a chef, right Tony?

Thanks for a definite hit, Chef. Easy utility dish, and delicious.


Categories: Cooking, Eating, Prep
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