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What starch should I serve with a blue cheese and mushroom stuffed beef tenderloin?

I'm hosting a dinner party for 14. What is an easy starch recipe I can serve along side.

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  1. If you have a big griddle, hash browns.

        1. re: jeanmarieok

          Fondant potatoes ARE delicious! But I just watched the video, and if you want to make them with less fuss simply use ghee (aka drawn butter, clarified butter" as the "oil" from the beginning! It has a high smoke point so you can brown the potatoes in it with no problem AND you don't have to drain/towel out the oil and then slather the potatoes in a knob of butter.

          In the olden days of "classic haute cuisine," which in today's terms means back when Escoffier had more influence on the elite kitchens of the world than Paul Bocuse, it was a tradition to serve filets mignon or tournedos atop a like-sized browned-in-butter "crouton" of brioche or other fine bread. Being the rebel that I can be, with really BIG russet potatoes I used to do fondant potatoes instead of the crouton. They both serve the same purpose: To catch the juices from the steak as you cut it while you eat. In any case I recommend substituting clarified butter for the oil in the linked recipe. It also gives the potatoes a deeper, butterier (if there isn't such a word, there is now!) flavor.

          1. re: Caroline1

            I LOVE a beautifully sauced/flavored-up filet on top of a crouton. It catches all of those juices and is the best open-faced sandwich ever!

            1. re: sandylc

              I have been puzzled for years why that tradition has been dropped. And sauces? Putting them on the plate with an eye dropper or a paint brush just puzzles the hell out of me! My great fear is that I won't have enough to taste! I think you have to have supersonic taste buds with many of today's platings. Pity!

              1. re: Caroline1

                I hate feeling like I need to lick the plate to fully appreciate the sauce!!

                EDIT: Maybe they should paint up the plate all pretty-like, then send out an accompanying ramekin of lovely sauce.

        2. I'ver served darphin potatoes with beef tenderloin twice now at dinner parties and they were big hits. I made them the day ahead and refigerated them. Put them in the oven on cookie sheets the last few minutes of cooking time for the tenderloin and while it was resting for 10 minutes or so. They reheat beautifully.

          http://blogs.kqed.org/essentialpepin/...

          9 Replies
          1. re: ttoommyy

            That looks fantastic and has gone into my "untried recipes" file. Really like that it can be done the day before. Thanks.

            1. re: c oliver

              I first saw Jacques make these on his show and it was very helpful knowing ahead of time what each step looked like. Here's a link to the show. He makes these at about 3:20 in. Happy cooking!

              http://blogs.kqed.org/essentialpepin/...

                1. re: ttoommyy

                  I dearly love Jacques Pepin, and he is a true international treasure, but that is NOT a good risotto! It is far too dry. A well made risotto should "melt" and almost "pool" when placed on a plate, and not stand up the way his does. And he does not stir and allow the rice to absorb the stock before adding more. I STRONGLY object to anyone using a classic name for a dish then making some else and calling it "risotto" or "stroganoff" or whatever. That looks like a nice "Rice Prima Vera," but it is NOT a nice "Risotto Prima Vera!"

                  (rant over. thank you for reading.)

                  1. re: Caroline1

                    While I agree that his method is not the traditional method you speak of, I have had risotto in Italy that is thick like his. Depends on the region in Italy.

                    Also, I did not recommend the risotto; I suggested the Darphin potatoes.

                    Lastly, with his years of experience, training and accomplishments, he can call it whatever he wants to.

                    Edit: Jacques would be the first to say you do not have to stick to all the rules when cooking at home; and we are talking about home cooking on this board. After all, this is the man who used canned peaches in a recipe on his show. Love it!

                    1. re: ttoommyy

                      WOW! You seem to have taken my remarks personally, and to feel I am attacking Jacques Pepin, so you've obviously misunderstood something. My apologies!

                      I suspect you and I do not see Jacque Pepin through the same eyes. He is an excellent cook, and bless his heart, he spent many long years in a commercial kitchen. I have not spent any years in an haute cuisine restaurant kitchen, but I have been well trained by a professional chef, and I'm a strong believer that at the very least, he owed his audience an explanation in that video that he was NOT making a traditional risotto, but was using short cuts.

                      Secondly, I also strongly believe that any short cut should come as close as is humanly possible to the original in texture and flavor. He failed on texture, and offered no explanations. That doesn't make him a bad man.

                      As for your "Edit" remark, I think you're wrong about thinking he would say you don't have to stick to all of the rules if you're cooking at home. I believe he would say that wherever you cook, you need to know the rules if you want to break them SUCCESSFULLY. And that is my point: He did not use enough stock to produce a true risotto texture, so why call it a risotto? It would still taste the same with another name.

                      About you having had thick risottos in Italy... I too have had them from Italian friends who came to America from the old country. For me, it turned out they were just bad cooks. There's a difference! '-)

                      1. re: Caroline1

                        Wasn't it Jacques that took one of the Next Food Network Star contestants to task for making risotto wrong? Maybe it was another competitions show?
                        Anyway, this young lady put the rice and stock in a pot and just cooked and while Jacques intentions were probably good, and his heart in the right place, he embarrassed the crap out of her.
                        Cringeworthy! He took her back into the kitchen for a do-over!

                        1. re: monavano

                          I do recall watching that show, BUT....! I can't remember for sure if it was Pepin who showed the contestant how to make an omelet, or someone else. In fact, I can't remember for sure him ever being on a show with that format. Does anyone else remember for sure? For some reason, Emeril Legasse's face is trying to come through on the fuzzy snowy TV screen of my memory, but I won't say it was him for sure either! Anyone know? I'm too lazy to search youtube! '-)

              1. I would just serve it with some mashed potatoes with green onions mixed in. Pick up a potato ricer though if you don't already have one, it makes the absolutely most perfect mashed potatoes.

                Regarding the Fondant Potatoes, I would suggest doing a trial run on those in advance. I tried the recipe and didn't really care for them at all - although I love his blog and read it regularly and usually love his recipes.

                6 Replies
                1. re: Atomic76

                  I'm not surprised by your disappointment in the fondant potato recipe. He has the mechanics of making them all wrong. When you brown the potatoes in cooking oil instead of butter (drawn or otherwise) you are sealing them against absorbing the butter! The "original" French haute cuisine version of "pommes de terre Fondant" (page 765 of the 1961 English translation of Larousse Gastronomique) calls for cutting the potatoes into the shape of chicken eggs, which is basically what he did without rounding the cut potato pieces into an egg shape, placing them in a buttered sauté pan (this means a good amount of butter), cover, then cook them very slowly until they are browned on one side, then turn very gently to brown on the other side. NO chicken stock! And when a classic haute cuisine recipe says brown slowly, they mean real slow! So the end result was that the interior of the potatoes had the texture and flavor of rich mashed potatoes due to absorbing all of that butter during the slow stove top roasting.

                  Prosper Montagne (original author of Larousse Gastronomique) also offers an alternative method in which the potatoes are browned in LARD (again, no chicken or other stock), then when cooked, the lard is drained off and replaced with butter. If I were going to use this classic "two fat" method, I would use Charolaise beef tallow, readily available in a classic French kitchen of Montagne's time, then drain the tallow and replace it with butter, which would render an intense "mashed potatoes with roast beef" flavor to the finished Fondant potato.

                  Anyway, the recipe in the video is a "modern shortcut." They rarely work well! BUT...

                  This "short cut" recipe will work *IF* you forego the browning in oil, use drawn butter instead, and don't use that much chicken stock if you insist on browning faster and finishing in the oven. The chicken stock WILL sog up the crust on the bottom, but *IF* you just use just enough for the potatoes to absorb a little of the flavor while cooking, then you just have to make sure there is enough butter left in the pan after the chicken stock boils off to lightly re-crisp the potato bottoms. Then the recipe should work. I just wonder which culinary school he went to? His version of Fondant Potatoes sucks! <sigh> But such is the world today.

                  1. re: Caroline1

                    I'm just throwing his question out to you for your opinion.
                    ATK did a segment last year, I think where they showed making 'fries' a 'new way. They took freshly cut room temp. potatoes about 1/4" and put them in a pot of room temp. oil. They brought the pot up to where the oil was softly boiling. They said "do not play with the fries. Leave them alone". After a while the oil stopped boiling so hard and at the same time the fries were a nice golden brown. They used a 'spider' to take the fries out and placed them on paper towel. They were PERFECT! Not stuck together BTW. I've used this method now many times with always excellent results.
                    Question: What if I used this method with 'fondant' only slow simmer the potatoes in the oil until they were almost cooked through then cranked up the heat to brown the potatoes?
                    Btw the AMT method resulted in fries with a perfect interior texture. They were/are not 'oily' at all inside. Nice a fluffy dry.

                    1. re: Puffin3

                      Wonderful fries, method came from a Frenchy 3-star, forgot which one. Too last minute for a large dinner party IMO. I would like to try your idea, placing potatoes (maybe cut square?) close but not touching, then covering with clarified butter. Yes, a lot of butter!

                      1. re: Puffin3

                        What they did with the potatoes on America's Test Kitchen is a VERY old cooking/preserving method that has been used in many countries but is most often associated with French cooking simply because the French word for "preserve" is "confit." See where I'm going? Just about anything can be preserved by slow cooking it submerged fat (animal, vegetable, or mineral, but chances are that amount of mineral oil will give you serious diarrhea, so don't go there!). In addition to confit with oil, fruit confits are traditionally done with sugar and a small amount of liquid, then packed into sterile jars for storage, just as confits of meats and vegetables are packed in the fats they were cooked in for long term storage in a cool pantry. And just because you eat a confit right away does not mean it's not a confit. It only means you know you'll be able to buy that food any time, any place, any where because we now use our freezers instead of our pantry shelves for long term storage. So the perfect French Fries recipe demonstrated on America's Test Kitchen was simply a confit of potatoes, except they weren't packed in their cooking fat in sterile jars and put on the shelf for next winter!

                        After the long way around, now to your question about doing Potato Fondant with that method... Well, you will NOT end up with Potatoes Fondant, but you will end up with confit of potatoes, and your guests might be very impressed by that name for the dish!

                        In the classic haute cuisine version of Pomme de Terre Fondant, the potato "eggs" are never completely submerged in fat. They're cooked stove top at very low temperatures that allow the heat to "eat its way in" to the potato interior and SLOWLY brown/crisp the exterior. But hey, who has an old fashioned commercial stove in their kitchen these days?

                        So yes, your method using oil and mwhitmore's method of submerging them in drawn butter (do not use "whole" butter because the milk solids will burn and make everything taste disgusting!) will also work, but again, the end product will be a potato confit and NOT potato fondant.... Which does not mean they can't be delicious!

                        1. re: Puffin3

                          I have tried this method twice - the first time was fantastic, the second time below average (and I did it the same both times). I'm going to go for a third time though.

                    2. A good creamy polenta would work also.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: cowboyardee

                        This was going to be my recommendation. I am not a huge polenta fan but something about this screamed polenta to me.