Classic French Recipe: sauteed potatoes with persillade

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I have an unapologetic addiction to potatoes in all their forms, and one of my favourite dishes is simple sautéed potatoes, but I had never made them with a persillade before. I don’t know why, as it doesn’t get more ‘classic French recipe’ than potatoes and parsley.

Before you start worrying about how complicated this recipe is likely to be, let’s look at what ‘persillade’ actually means. It comes from the French word for parsley, ‘persil’, and in its most classic form it is a simple mixture of parsley and garlic. There are a few other ingredients you can add depending on what dish it means to complement. Its freshness and crunch lends itself well not just to potatoes, but also to fish, meat and vegetables.

French recipe for Sautéed Potatoes with Persillade

Ingredients

1 kg waxy potatoes, cut into 2 cm pieces

2 tbsp vegetable oil

300 g smoked bacon lardons (optional)

25 g butter

For the Persillade

Small pack of flat-leaf parsley, chopped

1 tsp/1 sprig tarragon leaves, chopped

1 echallion/banana shallot (or 2 small round ones), finely chopped

2  garlic cloves, crushed

Method

  1. Boil the potatoes for 5 minutes so they are nearly cooked. Drain and leave in the colander for a minute to steam out.
  2. Mix all the persillade ingredients together in a small bowl. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the lardons and cook for 8 to 10 minutes until they are slightly caramelised. Add the potatoes, then the butter.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 10 minutes, stirring regularly until they turn golden brown. Spoon out any excess fat and stir in the persillade. Adjust the seasoning for taste and eat!

We had roast chicken with our sautéed potatoes with persillade but you can serve them as a side dish to just about anything. Bon appétit!

Classic French recipe: Gratin Dauphinois {day sixteen}

{day sixteen} Classic French Recipe- Gratin Dauphinois

I love a good Gratin Dauphinois, I mean, what’s not to like about potatoes and cream with a hint of garlic and a beautiful melted cheese on top? It is one of my favourite comfort foods and works brilliantly as a side to most types of roast meat, especially beef. I usually serve it as a treat as part of a ‘favourites’ dinner so it always ends up being served with steak, a blue cheese sauce and a simple green salad with shallot vinaigrette (see last week’s recipe to make your own vinaigrette).

‘Gratin’ refers to the browned topping, usually made of either breadcrumbs or melted cheese. In this case, we are definitely NOT putting breadcrumbs on top of potatoes, because that would be wrong.

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Ingredients

  • 800g floury potatoes like Maris Piper
  • 200 mls milk
  • 200 mls crème fraîche (I like crème fraîche because it is the nearest to the original French taste, but single or double cream both work fine)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 150g grated cheese (ideally gruyère or emmental but I’ve had to make do with cheddar and it’s perfectly suitable if not quite the same – just make sure it is a cheese that melts well)
  • 100 g butter
  • salt, pepper and nutmeg

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Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven at 180°C. Peel the potatoes, wash and dry them, and cut them into thin slices. Place the potatoes into a large bowl.
  2. Peel the garlic cloves and crush them over the potatoes; add the milk and season with salt, pepper and a little nutmeg. Mix well together.
  3. Butter an oven-proof dish generously and spread the potatoes and milk in it. If you are using crème fraîche, add it in between layers of potatoes; if using single or double cream, you can just pour it over the top.
  4. Scatter the grated cheese on top, add a few knobs of butter and put in the oven for 1 hour.
  5. Serve hot.

Gratin Dauphinois Collage

Note 1: if you like the smell and taste of garlic but don’t actually want to eat any, here’s a neat trick. Don’t rub your dish with butter, instead, cut a clove of garlic in half and rub each half over the dish instead. It works just as well to stop the food sticking and infuses the dish with garlic without leaving the taste in your mouth.

Note 2: If you’re wondering why the knife on the ingredients’ photo is white, that is because it is a ceramic knife. I’ve only seen ceramic knives in France, where they are popular and readily available in cookery shops and supermarkets. The best thing about them is that they never become dull, as I discovered a couple of years ago when I gained another scar.

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An Award of Awesomeness

Would you believe it but I have been nominated for the Tell Me About Yourself Award by the inspired author of pint-sized rants. It’s all very exciting, because she has such flawless taste, she even gets hate mail from Daily Mail journalists. So this is a momentous occasion for this frog blogger, as you will see below, I don’t usually win much.

Of course, I do need to earn the right to display this cool badge, and so I have to tell you seven secrets about myself, and pass it on to 15 other bloggers. 15? You have got to be kidding me. The pressure is on.

1. I have never won anything in any competition I have ever participated in (I told you, this award business is a Big Deal!). I occasionally enter online competitions, especially if there is food or gadgets involved, but all I get for my efforts is regular spam emails about their wondrous products. It is all very disheartening. My ultimate win has got to be the Gadget Show Competition, as it would solve all my Christmas shopping conundrums for the next 10 years.

2. I kill plants. Whatever I do, I cannot keep a plant alive. I have a blind spot when it comes to green things, they don’t register in my line of vision at all. I once had a cactus that died. I left it to its own devices, which is what you’re supposed to do with cacti. Every so often, I’d give it a few drops of water, as you do, to stop it shrivelling. What can I say, it rotted.

3. I am also not very good at car maintenance. I become extremely self-conscious if I have to stand outside my car with oil and water, poking the wheels or whatever. It doesn’t feel right, although I cannot explain why I should feel this way, as I am by no means a hopeless woman. I can build wardrobes and set up TVs. I know how to work out the remote control. I am a self-taught WordPress user for goodness sake! But I will do anything, anything, to avoid this awkward feeling that I should not be going anywhere near the working parts of an engine. So I do nothing, I just leave it be. What happens eventually if you continue in that vein is that the poor neglected car literally blows a gasket.

4. I hated maths at school; I wasn’t bad at it, I just couldn’t see the point beyond the basics needed for everyday life. I count with my fingers. I also used to have a t-shirt that said ‘I Hate Maths’. Then I married a maths teacher, who thinks there is nothing funnier than to ask me how much Panettone I want to eat for breakfast by handing me a protractor so I can tell him how big an angle I want.

5. When I was a teenager, I went to a summer camp in deepest darkest France. Someone told me the lights we could see flashing in the countryside were made by an alien ship, and for a few minutes, I actually believed him. Until I remembered that it was most likely laser lights from a nearby club.

6. I love potatoes so much I could eat them every day. I love them chipped, fried, dauphinoises, roasted, boiled, in Spanish omelette, rosti, jacket, mashed (especially with cheese and fried onions), ad infinitum. Hubby told me he can never look forward to them and that they’re a bit boring. What is WRONG with the man?

7. I used to bite my nails, and had to put nasty-tasting nail polish on to stop myself. I got so used to the taste I stopped noticing it (I have since stopped).

Phew, that wasn’t so bad! Apart from the bit when the computer crashed and I had to re-write everything, but let’s not linger on that detail Die Firefox, die!

And the lovely bloggers I nominate for this award because they are brilliant and you should check them out are (and yes, there aren’t 15 of them, but what can I say, I hate maths):

Loved

Mummy In Provence

Multilingual Mum

Girl On The Contrary

Tee’s blog

Blogging The Tiredness

Piglet in France

A French Frye in Paris