i’m going to provence, france, again this summer! it’s my happy place, so i can’t wait. there will be a lot of strolling around markets (both food and antiques), cooking fresh, french inspired, summery food, enjoying the sun and the beach, doing yoga on the porch (i honestly will), enjoy the beautiful scenery with a typical french drink, like pastis.
one thing i will never forget that’s associated with the south of france is dinner at bruno clément’s. his truffle menus are wooing. my favorite dish was the truffled potatoes: crispy-outside-soft-inside sweet little baked potatoes on a truffle cream sauce that’s been reduced to the max (literally) so that its flavors are super intense. and of course, don’t skimp on the shaved (real) truffle on top. it’s a divine composition, made for only the best of occasions. so, obviously, i only make this once or twice a year, like last christmas (again
). then i forgot about the pictures… so here they are; slightly out of place on a not really festive (okay, at the least it’s sunday today) occasion, but making me drool, already…
truffled potatoes à la bruno clément (revised)
6 medium sized potatoes (not the ‘floury’, dry kind; but the sweet, compact ones are much better – i took charlotte)
30 g butter
1 cup (heavy, preferrably) cream
1/2 cup veal stock
1 (or more, if you can afford it) fresh black truffle of about 20-30 grams
20 g pickled truffle
1 cup parmesan (note: i’m sure bruno hasn’t used it, but i quite like the combination of it with truffle)
1 tbsp. truffle oil
1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg
2 tsp. fleur de sel de guérande
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
utensils: truffle grater
preheat the oven to 150 degrees c or 280 degrees f. tear apart six aluminum foil squares. wash and peel the potatoes. smear some butter on them, salt lightly with fleur the sel and then wrap with the foil. place in the oven for 45 minutes or more, until the potatoes are tender, slightly crispy outside and soft inside.
grate the truffle, and separate the crumbs and tiny pieces that came off from grating to put in the cream reduction. heat the cream and veal stock with the pickled truffle and the real truffle crumbs. simmer on low heat for 10-15 minutes, until the liquid is ‘reduced’. add the parmesan if you like and heat through again. season with fleur de sel, pepper and nutmeg. only at the end, stir in a few drops of the truffle oil, for extra flavor.
place some of the cream reduction on the plate, then arrange the potatoes on top. sprinkle with the truffle slivers, some more truffle oil, and a bit more fleur de sel. serve immediately, and love every bite of the divine truffled creaminess.