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The dish, also called pommes Darphin, after the chef who created it, is similar to what the Swiss call rösti potatoes.
These fillets are cooked in a shredded potato crust. The crisp crust keeps the fish juicy and provides a nice balance to the tender flesh.
Brandade is a puree of salt cod, garlic, and potato emulsified with olive oil. You can prepare the brandade ahead and reheat it in a gratin dish at serving time until hot, bubbly, and brown on top.
Fresh mackerel is nutty, fleshy, and moist — but it has to be fresh to be good. It’s excellent broiled to release its fat.
My mother always served these puff potatoes in her small restaurants. They are made with a combination of cream puff dough (the same as for profiteroles) and mashed potatoes.
This dish is my version of a classic from my youth. My mother always makes her gratin exclusively with milk and tops the potatoes with grated Gruyère cheese before baking.
These stewed potatoes recall summer for me, when our garden in Lyon gave forth the tiny fingerling potatoes that are particularly good in the dish.