Aphorisms from the Professor: Brillat-Savarin

Monday, November 30, 2009

Fish & Chips

I recently finished reading The Man Who Ate Everything by Jeffrey Steingarten. Although I had thought that the whole book would be about how Steingarten overcame certain food aversions to become the man who eats everything, really the book is a collection of his articles (published mainly in Vogue, I believe), where this is just the opening piece. Anyways, one of the last pieces was about French fries, and it included a recipe from world-renowned Italian chef Cesare Casella. Theoretically, the secret here is that frying the potatoes in oil at varying - but carefully monitored! - temperatures (i.e. you let the oil re-heat gradually after adding the potatoes) is supposed to mimic the effect of doing the "double fry" that defines the French fry: one long fry to cook the inside, one fast, hotter fry to crisp the outside. The other secret is to add deliciousness like garlic cloves, salt and fresh sage to the oil at specific points during the frying process.

Long story short, we attempted this method with sweet potatoes, and as we should have realized from the get-go, this method is probably potato-specific - different potatoes differ in density, starchiness etc. So although the fries came out okay, we didn't achieve the crisp exterior we were hoping for. We'll have to try this again with the "all purpose boiling potatoes" specified in the recipe.

Pan-fried crab-cake with grape tomatoes
Canape with chanterelle mushroom & nori cream sauce, horseradish and smoked trout
Lobster bisque
Sweet potato fries with grated Parmesean

1 comment:

  1. In spite of the sweet potatoes not been as you expected, the crabcake looks delicious :-)