Culture: Simply sensational from Maison Bleue's Pascal Canevet
With the first glimpse of windswept leaves this week there’s definitely a slight chill in the air and we are already welcoming the new season here at Maison Bleue with seasonal dishes full of flavour and the rich palette of autumn colour. My recipe this week celebrates the season with a simple and often overlooked vegetable – the potato.
There are so many different varieties, each with their own characteristics that add depth, comfort and warmth to a dish. I’d like to introduce you to the French Ratte potato. It has a unique nutty flavour, a waxy buttery texture and is easy to identify by its long thin shape and yellow skin.
Originally grown in France, this humble root vegetable gained worldwide recognition when the late Chef Joël Robuchon created his renowned Pomme Purée dish that gained his first Michelin star. Joël held 32 Michelin stars, opening award-winning restaurants around the world; each serving his signature potato dish.
It’s wonderful to celebrate the simplicity of good cooking; present a seasonal dish expertly cooked with a delicate balance of flavours. This has become my signature style with new season menus boasting locally-sourced produce artfully and innovatively presented. There is no need to overcrowd a plate or overwhelm our tastebuds. Chef Joël Robuchon ‘mashed potato’ is the perfect example of this.
I hope you enjoy this simple recipe; in homage to inspirational chef Joël Robuchon, it’s easy to prepare and has a good texture and flavour, making it the perfect light supper as these golden September days announce the arrival of autumn.
Ratte Potato with garlic & rosemary hollandaise
12 Ratte potatoes
1 sprig fresh rosemary
15ml white wine
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1 slice streaky bacon
4 cloves crushed garlic
Pecan nuts and rocket salad leaves to garnish
3 free-range egg yolks
50ml of white wine vinegar
250g of butter, melted
Heat the oven to 180C/Gas mark 4. Place the streaky bacon flat onto a baking sheet and place another baking sheet over the top to act as a lid. Place in the oven and cook for 15 mins.
Break the garlic into four cloves, crush with the flat of a knife and the heel of your hand then remove the peel and set aside.
Wash and gently dry the potatoes. Cut lengthways in half. Add the butter to a heavy-based frying pan and gently melt. When the butter is bubbling add the sliced potatoes face down and cook on a medium heat.
Strip the leaves from the sprig of rosemary and add to the pan with the crushed garlic and sea salt.
Keep on medium heat for 2 mins, agitating the pan to gloss the potatoes in butter and ensure the butter doesn’t burn. Slowly add the white wine and allow the mixture to cook. The wine will reduce to leave delicious buttery roast potatoes. Check the potatoes are cooked by inserting a knife, if they are soft they are perfectly cooked.
Remove from the heat and set aside.
For the hollandaise sauce:
Place the egg yolks into and white wine vinegar into a metal bowl and place over the pan of barely simmering water.
Whisk the mixture until it foams and doubles in size – this may take up to five minutes; you want a luxurious creamy texture and a gentle heat.
Remove from the heat and reserve for plating.
Slice the streaky bacon diagonally, add the potatoes and bacon onto the plate and spoon the creamy hollandaise sauce. Add pecan nuts and salad leaves to garnish.
Pascal Canevet is chef-patron of award-winning Maison Bleue, an intimate fine-dining restaurant serving a modern French menu.
Churchgate Street, Bury St Edmunds.
You can read more about Chef Pascal, Maison Bleue events and recipes at maisonbleue blog.co.uk