Thursday, August 10, 2017

Sous-Vide Smashed, Fried and Baked New Potatoes

Oh no not another Sous-Vide Potato Dish. Yea but this one is over the top and unique. What makes this potato dish unlike the others is the multiple cooking techniques needed. By cooking them via the SV we get the flawless buttery internal texture we need. This softened texture is necessary to properly smash the pots into the correct shape. The frying adds another level of flavor which we call the maillard effect. What brings it all together is the baking which infuses all the flavors. 

A little tidbit from me. After writing the above paragraph someone on FaceBook asked me what a New Potato was and if I grew them myself. Before we move on I want to touch on what a New (Small) Potato is and what sets them apart. A New Potato has been freshly dug up and brought to market without curing. What is curing? Curing "cures" allows any cuts or bruises on the Pots to heal. They do this on a large scale which is nothing more than placing Pots in a dark cool spot 55-60 f with high humidity for a period of time. After the elapsed time they are moved to a dark colder environment for winter storage.  

Place all of the Pots (similar size hopefully) in vac bags. Make sure they're not stacked on eachother or they will not cook evenly. Sous-Vide at 186 f for 2 hours. This will make them softer than normal but will make them easier to smash. After 2 hours, shock in an ice bath and refrigerate. I prefer to work with cold pots for the next couple of steps. 

Place Pots in colander and set a fan in front of them. Wet Pots will not fry very well. You need these skins be completely dry in order to get a crusty dark skin to form.

Using the back of something flat (spray with oil to prevent sticking) press down gently until potato flattens a bit. Don't be too aggressive other wise you will destroy the potato. 

Coat with some starch such as flour to help aid in the frying. The starch will absorb the excess water. 
Fry until golden brown. I use Schmaltz  as my fat. You can use any fat you want but using rendered chicken fat is the bomb. Chicken fat brings tremendous flavor to the dish. Click the link to learn how to make your own. If you're like me you have a lot of potatoes so you will have to do them in batches. Drain on paper towels and set them aside making sure not crush. You want to try to keep the shape of the potato as much as possible so be gentle. While frying make sure to add the salt, pepper and what ever spices you wish. 

At least one large Onion and 4-7 cloves of garlic chopped up. 

A bunch of chopped up green onion and cilantro.

A bunch of Thyme tied up. The Zest of one lemon and the juice standing by.

These are gribenes. Gribenes are the by product of Schmaltz.  These are basically the cracklings of the fried chicken. Chop these babies up. This ingredient is optional but it takes the dish to a whole new level so if you have them use them. I always have them on hand. 

Sun Dried Tomatoes are just an optional ingredient. Sometimes I like to add a few tablespoons to the dish. Sometimes packed in olive oil and sometimes dried. Make sure to chop them up. A little goes a long way. 

Get ready go.........

Saute the onions for a few minutes in your favorite fat. Toss in garlic. Add the Gribenes if you have any. Now toss in Sundried Toms if you using. Saute for a few minutes. Don't forget to season!!

Pour in chicken stock and some heavy whipping cream. The ratios for stock and cream are about 6 to 1. I didn't measure because I never know how many pounds of Potatoes I will be using. Add some grated parmesan cheese to taste. Toss in cilantro and green onion. Wrap the Thyme up in butcher's twine and toss in sauce. Cook the thyme in the sauce for at least 5 minutes. keep tasting and adjust from there. When you think it tastes good remove the bundle of thyme. Now add the zest. Add about a 1 tsp of lemon juice to start out with. The citrus will help cut through the fat.

Keep tasting..... And when you're happy move on to the next step.

Gently fold in Potatoes making sure not to crush. Make sure all the Pots get covered in sauce. Keep tasting.... I added more cheese, green onion and black pepper.

 Now add everything to a baking dish and top with more cheese, green onion, cilantro and a little panko bread crumbs....
Bake at 350 f until bubbly.... all done.