Monday, November 19, 2012

Pommes Parisienne

This might be one of our new favorite side dishes and it is just in time for the holidays.  It goes wonderfully with the cherry juice brined pork chops that I grilled tonight but it would be just as great with a prime rib, smoked turkey or ham.

It's a simple recipe.  The prep of the potato balls is the hardest part but it is worth it in the end.  The outer edges get slightly crispy from frying in clarified butter but the insides are fork tender.

Pommes Parisienne

adapted from
Cook Time: 20

Ingredients (serves 4)
  • 5 lb russet potatoes
  • 4 Tbsp clarified butter
  • 2 Tbsp roasted red pepper, diced
  • 2 Tbsp flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  1. Peel potatoes. Use a melon ball tool to remove 1" balls from the potatoes and place the potato balls in a large bowl of cold water. Save the scraps for mashed potatoes, potato soup, hash browns, etc.
  2. Preheat a large saute pan over medium high heat and melt the clarified butter. Note: It is important to use the clarified butter because of the temps and length of time. Plain butter will burn.
  3. Remove the potatoes from water and dry carefully. Add to the pan and cook for 15 minutes. Toss or swirl the potatoes every few minutes to evenly brown all sides.
  4. Add the red pepper and parsley. Season with salt and pepper (Start with 3/4 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of pepper). Toss to coat and cook another 1-3 minutes.
  5. Taste for seasoning and add salt/pepper as needed.
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  • Melon ball tool - I started off using the type of baller that you squeeze a lever and it pops out the ball.  It broke, a potato is much harder than a melon.  Then I used one like this and it worked much better. 
  • Flexible flavor - The original recipe just called for salt and pepper, so feel free to substitute whatever seasonings you like.  I went with the red pepper for flavor and color.
Soaking helps remove some starch and avoid enzymatic browning.

Dry well shortly before cooking.  Water is the enemy of browning during cooking.

While the potatoes and chops rested, I quickly steamed some broccoli.

Cherry Brine
The brine resulted in a nicely flavored pork chop.  The cherry brine recipe was simply 2 cups cherry juice, 1/4 cup Braggs Liquid Aminos (you can sub soy sauce), 3 Tbsp kosher salt, and enough water to make 1 quart.  I soaked the boneless chops for 4 hours and then grilled until the internal temp was 140f, about 5 minutes per side at 375f. 
All-Clad B3 Nonstick Hard Anodized
All-Clad has a new product line out, right now exclusively at Bed, Bath, & Beyond.  I fell in lust with All-Clad when Alexis worked at Williams-Sonoma two years ago, particularly their d5 line of stainless cookware.

So when a rep for All-Clad asked if I wanted to try out their new line, I gladly accepted.  The B3 cookware line is nonstick hard anodized aluminum.  The work horse of my kitchen for the past 4 or 5 years has been a set of Kitchenaide anodized nonstock pans so I have a good frame of reference for comparison.

The B3 cookware line seems to target the mid-range home cook like myself (cooks just well enough to be dangerous, ha ha).  It delivers All-Clad's professional performance, quality, and durability to the cooking enthusiast.  The B3 designation is given because
  • they bond three layers of heavy gauge aluminum to provide even heat distribution
  • they bond three layers of nonstock surfacing to give unequaled release and durability.    

They shipped me a 12" chef's pan to try and right out of the box it had the quality design and feel that I've come to expect from All-Clad.  The stainless steel handles are sturdy and stay cool during cooking.  

The sides are sloped for easy tossing.  

The lid seals tightly.   It has a stainless steel bottom plate to help durability to make it compatible with all cooking surfaces including induction.  

Of course, it comes with All-Clad's lifetime warranty.  It beats my existing cookware on all fronts so far, but how does it cook?

Steaming - The almost wok like shape and air tight lid made steaming 2 heads of broccoli easy.  

Sauteing - I cooked the pommes parisienne with this pan.  I had excellent heat control using it on a gas range.  This is a dish that requires frequent rotation and tossing the potatoes was easy with the banked lip of the pan.  
Excuse the blurry shot, I took this picture while I was tossing the potatoes.

Shallow frying - the heavy gauge steel bottom let me hold a consistent temp for shallow frying hash browns and quesadillas.

Overall, I was highly impressed with the All-Clad B3 Nonstick Chef's pan in terms of design and performance.  Only time will tell about durability but it seems well made.  The line is available in stores and online from Bed Bath and Beyond.

[Standard Disclaimer]  I received the 12" chef's pan for free from All-Clad for the review.