I have three potato recipes for you today – two are French classics - Julia Child’s Gratin Savoyard, and a French potato salad with shallots and fresh tarragon, plus an awesome stuffed baked potato from Brennan’s of New Orleans. These are some of my favorite potato recipes and I have been serving in my home for years. We don't eat potatoes as often as we once did, but when we do, I want them to be really good. When I was recently asked if I would like to try a new variety of potatoes, I thought why not put them to the test with tried and true recipes?
The potato is the Rooster and Albert Bartlett has been growing and selling them in the United Kingdom for years. Recently Albert Bartlett partnered with independent farmers in the US to plant, cultivate and harvest the Rooster potato varietal. The potatoes themselves look very much like a large pink/red skinned potato, but during cooking their flesh turns a lovely light yellow, as you see in the photo. For more information on the potatoes, visit their website, link here.
Of course I was happy to try the potatoes. I was very pleased with how they held up in each case and highly recommend them. Rooster potatoes are available nationwide in selected Walmart stores across the US. Let’s take a look.
Adapted from Julia Child’s The Art of French Cooking
This is the non-cream version of Gratin Dauphinois, that rich and decedent dish also known as Potatoes Au Gratin or Scalloped Potatoes. This goes particularly well with beef dishes. Sometimes we have this dish for lunch with a green salad – delicious.
2 pounds peeled potatoes, I used Rooster potatoes
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 clove of garlic
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 cup beef broth
1 cup Gruyere cheese, grated
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Cut potatoes in thin slices and place in a bath of cold water. Butter an oven-safe dish with a tablespoon of butter (a 10” oval au gratin dish is perfect) and rub with a cut clove of garlic. Drain the potatoes and dry well with a kitchen towel. Spread half of them over the dish in a decorative pattern and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Divide over them half of the butter and cheese. Repeat with the second layer. Add beef broth to cover by three quarters, bring to a simmer * on top of the stove, and then bake in a preheated 425 degree F oven about 40 minutes, until the potatoes are tender and nicely browned on top. Serves 4, or 2 if they are very hungry.
*You can also boil the broth in a separate pan, and then add it to the potatoes right before they go in the oven, if that works best for you.
French Potato Salad
From My Carolina Kitchen
This is my favorite of all of the potato salads. Like anything else, I’ve changed it through the years. The secret of this one is to toss the hot potatoes with the wine, vermouth or hot beef broth before adding the dressing. If you are using dried tarragon, add a good handful of finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley for color. Since this recipe contains no mayonnaise, it can stand at room temperature for several hours and is perfect for picnics. You can see again that the potato is yellow.
12 oz. small potatoes, unpeeled, I used the Rooster potatoes
5 – 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped shallots
Splash of white wine, dry vermouth, or hot beef broth
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon, or 1 teaspoon dried, or to taste
Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water until done. Drain and when cool enough to handle, peel and cut into small slices. Toss the hot potatoes immediately with a splash of white wine, dry vermouth, or hot beef broth. Quickly whisk together the oil and vinegar and toss on the potatoes. Add the shallots and tarragon. Toss again. Let stand about 30 minutes, and then serve at room temperature. Serves 2 - 4.
Brennan's of New Orleans Stuffed Baked Potatoes
I have been making these potatoes for years from a very old Brennan’s cookbook that contained this recipe with a list of ingredients, but no exact proportions, so I’ve been winging it, always with great results. The recipe below is how much I use, but you can change it to your taste. I recently discovered that this recipe is all over the internet if you want a more complete recipe. I use less bacon fat and more Parmesan cheese than some recipes. However, beware of what you read and do not try to mash the potatoes in the food processor as one recipe recommended. The manufacturers of food processors have cautioned for years to not mash potatoes in the processor because the potatoes will likely turn to glue. If you wish to kick it up a notch, as Emeril would say, you can add slivers of smoked salmon as a garnish as above. Serves 2, easily doubled or tripled.
2 large potatoes, washed & scrubbed, I used Rooster potatoes
2 strips bacon, more if you like
1/2 cup chopped green onions, green tops included
1/2 cup sour cream (we use low-fat), or more as needed for moisture
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, about 5 – 6 tablespoons
A couple of pats of butter, optional (I did not use butter)
Hungarian paprika for garnish
Slivers of smoked salmon for garnish, optional
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. With a small sharp knife, cut a few punctures in the top of each potato and bake for 1 hour or until done. Don't wrap the potatoes in foil or the skins will get too moist.
Cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon to a plate lined with paper towels to drain and when cool enough, crumble. Drain off bacon fat from the skillet except for about 1 tablespoon, or more if you like the bacon flavor. Add chopped green onions and sauté slowly until they soften. Set aside with the bacon.
When the potatoes are done, cut them in half lengthwise and turn the oven temperature down to 350 degrees F. Scoop out the insides of the potatoes and place in a large mixing bowl. Salt and pepper the potatoes generously and mash with a potato masher. Add the green onions with the bacon drippings, the crumbled bacon and sour cream to bind. Mix well with a spoon. Add freshly grated Parmesan cheese, stir to incorporate. Taste for seasonings and adjust as necessary. Add more sour cream if mixture is too stiff. Stuff mixture into potato skins and sprinkle with Hungarian paprika. Bake 15 to 20 minutes at 350 F or until heated through. Garnish with smoked salmon slivers if desired.
Disclaimer: I was given a box of Rooster potatoes to try. I was not compensated for this post and the opinions here are my own.