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Potatoes Rissolee--Knife Work
If you take some time with some nice fingerling potatoes you can carve up a French classic sauteed/roasted potato dish called pommes de terre rissolees. The dish calls for small potatoes carved into little six-sided footballs--all pretty much the same size regardless of the potato you start out with. It takes practice to carve these potatoes so that they look quite alike, but you will get the hang of it soon enough.  Use a sharp paring knife.  The so-called bird's beak peeler knife works best but is not required.  Carve each one and drop it in a bowl of water to prevent discoloration.  When ready, dry the potatoes and then sauté them in a very hot pan with EVOO, salt and pepper.  The potatoes must be well browned on all sides, which means, even after some tossing, each potato has to be turned with a tong. When browned, add some butter and maybe some herbs to the pan and then place it in a 375F oven to roast the potatoes until they are fork tender, maybe another ten minutes. 

If you find these shaped potatoes on your plate in a restaurant, you will know that the chef appreciates traditional fine cooking and will pay to create it.  When doing a stagiaire at The George Town Club one afternoon, I prepared some pommes rissolee.  The chef placed two potatoes on each plate as an amuse-bouche to delight the eye. 



 

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