Potatoes are my favorite vegetable and starch for that matter!!!! Many of you know that potatoes are a "new world" find, but did you know that they come from Peru? They are also part of the nightshade family; when they were brought to Europe in the 1500's they were originally thought to be poisonous. That is until a French pharmacist, Auguste Parmentier, came to their rescue. Or rather they came to his. While being held captive during the Seven Years War he subsisted basically on potatoes. Upon his return to Paris he used his influence in the French Royal Court to introduce the use of potatoes as an edible vegetable. It took a few years and the dire striates of the Revolutionary War to "encourage" the French to embrace the potato, but once they did Parmentier's name became synonymous with the vegetable.
Today, we made Anna Potatoes, Roesti Potatoes, Duchesse Potatoes, and Pommes Dauphine These are all French classical preparations of potatoes. I had never had Pommes Dauphine, here is a cheesy Video on how to make it. It was funny that I had been dealing with Pate a Choux at work last weekend in the pastry department and here it popped up again a few days later. I really love how my job and school are complimenting each other so well.
In general, things are getting much easier each day we do cook, so nothing earth shattering to report today. We are still getting moved around each day to form different groups. I worked with another girl, Rachel, today and we seem for the most part to be on the same learning curve, so it is helpful to have someone who you can ask questions to and not feel dumb. It is getting easier to move around, basically if we can help out someone who is struggling with a procedure we do. If they don't catch on or aren't trying sometimes they just get left behind and we'll go back and pick them up if we have time at the end of class. Thus is life in the kitchen.
Here are my results and finished product.
Anna- Flavor, very good. Could have been more brown on top.
Roesti: Very Nice size and shape (Ava was very surprised that I knew this as I was the only one who got this part right. I saw Christoph make them a few weeks ago at work ;0)- it is not supposed to be a hashbrown...).
Duchesse: Forgot the nutmeg and needed more egg wash to have them brown appropriately.
Dauphine: VERY Good! Nice color & texture. Light and airy, but a bit more salt. I was one of three people to complete this project and was very proud of the result, they were amazing. Sorry no picture, I was rushing to finish them and forgot.