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Pommes Dauphine

By Chef Adina Halpern

Feeds 4-6

These are French fried potato puffs. What else do I really need to say? I love to eat these as canapes with some smoked salmon dip and caviar. Or just caviar. Or just plain. I’ll take them any way I can get them, really. Also a great way to use up leftover potatoes in your fridge!

 

Ingredients

  • 1 pound potatoes, scrubbed clean
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
  • ½ cup flour, sifted
  • 2 medium eggs
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying

Directions

For the Potatoes:

  1. Combine the potatoes and coarse sea salt in a large saucepan, and add enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, uncovered, until the potatoes are tender all the way through when tested with a knife. 

  2. Drain and let the potatoes cool enough to handle. 

  3. Peel the potatoes and pass them through a food mill or ricer. 

  4. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Line a medium baking dish with parchment paper. Spread the potatoes in the dish and bake for 10 minutes, stirring halfway through, to evaporate some of their moisture. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

For the pâte-à-choux: 

  1. Combine the butter, pinch of salt, and 1/2 cup water in a medium saucepan. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.

  2. Remove from heat, add flour all at once and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until fully incorporated. 

  3. Return to low heat and stir until the mixture forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the pan. Stir for 3-5 more minutes to evaporate some of the moisture.

  4. Transfer to a mixing bowl and let cool for 2 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, beat 1 egg lightly with a fork. Set aside. Add the second egg to the potato mixture and stir with a spatula until well blended. Stir in the beaten egg, tablespoon by tablespoon, just enough to make the pâte-à-choux smooth, shiny and elastic; the entire egg may not be needed.

  5. Add the potatoes to the pâte-à-choux, season with pepper and beat with a spatula to combine

  6. Heat 4 inches of oil in a deep fryer or large saucepan until a candy thermometer registers 320 to 340 degrees. Line a medium baking dish with a double layer of paper towels. The first pomme dauphine will be a test of the seasoning and the oil temperature. Using 2 tablespoons of the potato mixture, shape a 1-inch ball and drop it into the oil. It should fall to the bottom and bob up after a few seconds. (If it doesn't, the oil isn't hot enough.)

  7. Fry until puffy, golden and crisp, about 3 minutes, flipping it from time to time with a mesh skimmer. Remove from the oil with the skimmer, transfer to the prepared dish and season with a pinch of salt. Shake the dish lightly so the paper towels absorb excess oil. Let cool for a minute, taste and adjust the seasoning accordingly.