Wednesday, January 28, 2015

roasted garlic fondant potatoes w/ homemade mustard aioli

What is a Fondant Potato? Fondant potatoes are potatoes that are trimmed into the shape of eggs, fried in butter, and then baked. I made mine into the shape of, what I like to call, half of a potato. French cuisine purists, this is where you stop reading. For the rest of you, this new/old potato cooking technique is a tasty and unique way of serving potatoes at the dinner table, while avoiding the commonly mashed, boiled, and baked culprits.  

Traditional fondant potatoes are served plain as a side dish, but, I wanted to put the ol' Chow Creations' spin on the thing and make a homemade mustard aioli to dip them in. My inspiration for this dip is the Spanish dish, Patatas Bravas, which are fried potatoes served with a Tomato Aioli. I thought, though, that a tomato aioli would be too safe, and the combination between garlic and mustard would be perfect to cut through that rich garlicky potato. I'll explain what an aioli is below and how you can turn this delicious side dish into a killer Superbowl Party hors d'oeuvre. Chowtinue Reading. 

1. For this specific recipe, we do not want to leave the skin on the potatoes because they will shrivel up and look bad in the final presentation. Although, normally I am one who prefers the earthy flavor that the skin imparts on the potato as it cooks. Peel and halve your potatoes. Soak the potatoes in cold water for five minutes to extract some of the starch. Dry them thoroughly on a heavy duty power towel. This will make sure the potatoes get a nice crust as they fry. Season with salt and pepper. 

2. In a heavy-bottomed frying pan (that can also go into the oven), add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and heat it until the oil shimmers. (do the shimmy shimmy.) The pan should be large enough that you can fit all of your potatoes in a single layer. 

3.  Carefully place the potatoes cut-side down. Turn the heat down to medium-high and do not touch the potatoes until you can see a golden brown crust start to creep up the edges, about 6 minutes. If your potatoes aren't browning it means one of two things, or both of them. The first explanation is that your pan isn't hot enough. The second explanation is that you have too many potatoes crowding the pan. Either way, both dilemmas can be solved by just turning up the heat and letting your potatoes develop that glorious crust. You just have to be patient, and don't stir them. Cooking potatoes is all about patience. (and yes...i did have to have my hands tied behind my back during this part of the recipe)

4. After approximately 12 minutes, your potatoes should be nicely browned. Scatter the largest cloves of garlic you can find, and dollop the butter over the potatoes. Add water, or stock if you have it, just until it comes halfway up the sides of the potatoes. Bake the potatoes and garlic for 15 minutes in the oven uncovered. Basically, the potatoes will be cooking in a garlicky, buttery sauna, of which they will be done when you can slide a knife through the thickest part without any difficulty. 

In the meantime, we should make the aioli. First of all, what is an aioli? An aioli is basically a garlic mayonnaise. In this recipe, I'll teach you how to make your own aioli from scratch, without the need for a store-bought mayo. 

5. In a food processor, or a tall cup with an immersion blender, pulse together the egg yolks, lemon juice, and garlic cloves. With the blender on, slowly drizzle in the olive oil being carefully not break the emulsion. As the aioli gets thicker you can drizzle the oil in quicker. It's actually really cool to see. If you see it start to break you can add the mustard, if not you can just add it at the end. The mustard is to taste. If you like your sauce a little spicier, add more mustard. If you like the sauce sharper, add some more lemon juice. Don't forget to season well with salt and pepper. There's nothing worse than an underseasoned sauce. (i live in a good neighborhood so that's really not a hyperbole.)

6. If there is still some liquid at the bottom of the pan after you take the potatoes out of the oven, you can put the entire pan back onto the stove and boil the liquid off. Don't forget to grate some fresh parmesan over these potatoes for an elegant winter-y presentation. Although this fondant potato recipe is not traditional, it is unique, and is an awesome recipe to pull out of your back pocket after two weeks of mashed potatoes. The combination of the smooth and buttery potato works amazingly well with those creamy pods of roasted garlic and sour and spicy mustard aioli. You guys have to give this one a try! 

The Superbowl is coming up, and with this recipe you can make amazing baby fondant potato and roasted garlic kebabs. Not only do they sound fancy, but everyone including mother-in-law Margaret will be so impressed at how good they taste. She might even want your aioli recipe, in which you politely ask her if she knows want an aioli is, shaming her in front of the entire dinner table. It'll be great. People will be holding and enjoying their kebabs, and you won't have to do any dishes. Your vegetarian friends thank you in advance. 

I really encourage you guys to give this international potato dish a try. If my picky family liked this dish so will yours. Even this guy liked. I'm not really sure who he is, but he kind of looks like me. Anyways, don't forget to comment below. I always like to read your comments. They let me know what I'm doing right and how I can improve. They also inflate my ego to the point where I can't leave any rooms, but it's all worth it. 


for Roasted Garlic Fondant Potatoes

4 medium red-skin potatoes
4 tablespoon olive oil
8 cloves of garlic, the largest ones you have so they don't burn
2 tablespoon butter
optional 1 sprig of rosemary

for homemade mustard aioli

4 garlic cloves, crushed
3 egg yolks
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoon mustard 
salt and pepper

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