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To many this dish defies logic and it is always amusing to witness a first encounter with pommes soufflés, which are literally fried wafers of potato puffed with air. This is a simple dish though mastering the cooking technique will take a bit of effort. Practice on your own before serving this to guests. Their reactions will be well worth the effort. Bearnaise sauce is the perfect accompaniment.
March 14, 2007
1 gallon vegetable oil 6 Idaho potatoes, scrubbed salt to taste 1 recipe béarnaise sauce
In a large, heavy bottomed pot suitable for frying, heat the oil to 325 degrees F.
While the oil heats, slice the potatoes lengthwise 1/8 inch thick using a mandoline or very sharp knife. Trim the square corners from either end of the strips of potato. The result will be a long oval shape.
Place the potatoes into the oil, not more than two layers at a time. Overloading the pot will cause the temperature to drop.
In order to maintain a consistent temperature, move the potatoes constantly with a slotted spoon.
Cook the potatoes for 4 to 5 minutes, until light brown. Some will form small air bubbles. This is an indication that the meat of the potato has cooked away.
Once the potatoes have become inflated, remove them from the hot oil and set aside to cool until just prior to serving.
To prepare this dish in advance, cook the potatoes until the puff and immediately remove them from the 325 degree F oil and lay flat on a sheet pan. Place the wax paper between the layers of potatoes.
When you are ready to serve the potatoes, increase (or reheat) the temperature of th oild to 375 degrees F. Place the potatoes back into the oil and they will puff instantly. Cook for an additional 30 seconds, stirring continuously until they are golden brown 0on both sides and crispy enough to hold their form without deflating. Remove the potatoes from the oil and drain them on paper towels. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt while hot. Repeat with remaining potatoes. Serve immediately.