A vintage potato dish with a couple of twists!
Years ago, I was served beautiful little Pommes de terre fondant at a fancy, albeit a bit old fashioned, restaurant in New York City. These classic little cylinders of potato were beautifully browned and then baked in the oven in thyme, chicken stock, and butter until they were fluffy and soft on the inside, but still kept their crispy crust. The “melting” texture of the insides is the fondant part of the name. They were simple, but insanely delicious, and, being a lover of all things potato, I made them now and then for a time, but sort of forgot about them.
Classic potato dishes for a reason
This potato dish may have fallen out of fashion along with so many others, but it remains a classic and for good reason, they are still absolutely delicious, easy to make, and well received whether a simple family supper or divine dinner party!
Now, the twists…
Of course, there has to be a twist or two! After having both black truffle mashed potatoes and some extraordinary pommes frites with black truffle oil and Parmesan cheese recently, I have started adding just a few drops on potato dishes of all sorts. It’s a wonderful and addictive combination, but you have to be careful with this ingredient; like toasted sesame oil, black truffle oil is best used sparingly, start off with less than what you think you want, taste, and adjust if necessary. A little is great; a little too much is horrid!
Let’s used mushroom stock!
I also swapped out the chicken stock for an earthy mushroom stock and this added even more flavor. Easy to make, just steep dried mushroom in boiling water for 15 minutes and strain.
Use Russet potatoes for this recipe. If small, you can just cut them in half. For larger ones, cut them into fat slices. For a pretty presentation, peel the potatoes, trim them into a cylinder and make large slices, or use a small biscuit cutter. After prep, it is important to let them soak for at least 15 minutes to remove some of the starch for the best texture.
Fondant Potatoes with Rosemary and Black Truffle Oil
- 6 small Russet potatoes
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 4-5 cloves garlic, smashed
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 4 tbsp. unsalted butter
- ¾ cup mushroom stock
- ½ to 1 tsp. black truffle oil
- ½ tsp. fresh rosemary
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Peel the potatoes and cut them in half at the equator. If you want to make a special presentation, cut them into a cylinder shape with a small biscuit cutter. Place them in water and let soak for at least 15 minutes.
After soaking, pat dry and place on toweling.
Heat a large cast-iron or heavy skillet over medium high heat. Once hot, add the olive oil and place the potatoes cut-side down in the oil. Season the potatoes, and let brown undisturbed for about five or six minutes, or until nicely browned. Turn.
Add the garlic, rosemary, and butter to the pan and continue cooking for another 3 or 4 minutes, until the bottom side browns.
Immediately add the stock and place the pan in the oven on the middle rack.
Roast for 30 minutes and check. They should be nicely browned and tender on the inside. If the potatoes are large, they might take an additional five minutes or so.
Remove from the pan to a plate or bowl. Spoon a bit of the sauce over, don’t forget the crispy garlic, along with the truffle oil (add a little then taste) and a last sprinkle of salt and pepper and the fresh rosemary.
If you like, add a sprinkling of Parmesan as well!
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