Pommes Souffle

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by thetincook, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. thetincook

    thetincook

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    Was just going over the upcoming function sheets and found this:

    For 55, guaranteed

    Baskets of crostini. Tomato (Bruschetta) topping, roasted eggplant topping.

    Caesar Salad

    Petite fillet w/ Bearnaise Sauce

    Green beans amandine

    Pommes Souffle

    Flourless Chocolate Torte w/ fresh berries and whipped cream

    Start making some notes. Maybe we can use long beans instead of haricot vert and pocket the difference. Probably be ok on the salad croutons and dressing with our pars. Etc. Wait... pommes souffle??!?!

    [​IMG]
     
  2. panini

    panini

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    Do you do souffled potatoes a lot? do you hit em once or twice?

    I dispised these comin up. Had a Swiss butt put all the older potatoes at my station and grab his from the cellar.

    Me making puffs was their American humor. The Frenchie who trained me used to pluck them out with his fingers.

    I would be so burned I could not hold a cigarette.
     
  3. highlander01

    highlander01

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    I have never made these but from the recipes that I found aren't these a fancy form of a twice fried kettle chip or am I royally missing something here?
     
  4. thetincook

    thetincook

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    Panani- I've only done them in school. As far as I know, this is a first for the establishment. You gotta do them twice. First to seal the surface. It's a weird race between temp, doneness, and thickness. But I wouldn't trust my advice. My success rate was only ~40%. I've found an essay by Herve This, the french food scientist, on pommes souffle that I'm going to read later tonight.

    I'd trade doing your pommes, for you doing my turned veggies any day. I sucked so hard on tourner. Even practiced on my off time. Even with a birds peak.

    Speaking of your old mentor, is it true they used to test caramel and boiled sugar by dipping their finger in? That's insane! Always reminds me of that Vietnam protest chant about napalm sticking to kids.

    Highlander- Pommes souffle are more then just a kettle chip. For one thing, they are thicker cut. For another, and most importantly, they puff up like a balloon. Hence souffle. Invented in the 1830's or so, they are considered something of a core of classic cuisine, but they are notoriously finicky during the puffing phase.
     
  5. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    Wow that's no easy task.  Maybe try to figure out a way to stage cook them and then puff them later.  Is that even possible?

    Maybe set up two burners?
     
  6. thetincook

    thetincook

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    I double checked, and it is indeed the poofy chip they want, not a souffle made with potatoes.

    I think you can safely do the first step in advance, as long as you don't let them get dried out. Seen at least one account online where they said the par cooked potato can be held for several hours. I'm planning on using one of the deep friers and a spider, swimming method. Will I need more surface area? I guess I could use a rondou.

    I've read a couple sources now that say older potatoes are better suited for the task.

    How many do think for a serving? I think we spec 100ct potatoes. so sliced longwise, 3 or 5 pieces?
     
  7. thetincook

    thetincook

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    Heh, there is a place online where you can buy frozen pommes souffle in a variety of shapes. ~US$230 for a case of 800 pieces. The fish shaped ones run 250.

    More grist for the mill http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?/topic/139314-modernist-pomme-souffle/

    I'm starting to get excited. This could be start of something. Been looking at some online reviews, people liked having these, but pretty much nobody offers them. Pronouncements of doom now downgraded to pessimistic.

    Gonna ask the sales people if they would start offering pommes Berny or pommes Lorette. Feeling decidedly old school.
     
  8. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Although I never sa one come already made or come in frozen, I believe it could be done. I would not dream of serving them on banquet or large volume. It is like a 5 step process. Wash, peel cut, fry once, refrigerate on flat plans fry again and hope they all blow up. A load of work.

       Turned veges someone mentioned can be purchased already done and fresh daily.

       To beat labor factor try mixing baby carrots and patti pan mini squash in assorted colors, and mini zuchinni. Nice color and a lot easier to handle.

       And how about mushroom shaped red or mini yukon potato also easy. Or stuffed tomato Monte Blanc, hollowed out stuffed with a florette of broccoli and cauliflour

       or zuchinni boats stuffed with julianne of fresh veges.?
     
  9. chefross

    chefross

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    There are no shortcuts nor any convenience product available with regard to Pomme Souffle.

    It's a time consuming, frustrating, multi-directional and sometimes futile test of ones patience.

    I dread it when they come up on the menu and chances are that out of 100, I'll get 35 passable examples.
     
  10. chefross

    chefross

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    There are restaurants in N.Y. that have them on their menus daily.....
     
  11. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Yes but they make them large and give 3 to the order.
     
  12. panini

    panini

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    Tin,

    Was not my mentor. I was staging at a small place in montparnase Fr. 1973?

    Be careful with the older spuds, that's why the guys set me up, they didn't work as well. What I meant by 1 or 2 was doing them all at once or holding.

    I got myself off plounger by making a batch of brownies one day. Owner loved them/img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif

    I would buy in the frozen pomme if I were you. If you're going to make them use a mandoline, and you can't stack them to cut, they will bust.

    Jeff

    I still check my sugar that way. Mostly to test the thermometer if someone else is boiling. corse I wet my fingers first. I think most still do for softball etc.  

    I had invisioned you to look something like that!
     
  13. thetincook

    thetincook

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    Thanks for the advice. Hard to know who to trust on the net. I wasn't sure about the age of the potatoes, but a couple of accounts I read suggested it. Herve didn't mention it, so I think your on the side of the angels. Then again some people suggested laminating two slices of potato together.

    One guy suggested testing them in the hot oil, so you can cull the ones that won't puff. Leaving you with only the puffable ones before service. Seems to me like that would be more convenient only if you're doing it for ala carte service.

    I think I may have found a technique that will increase the yield of puffed chips. Credit to Jeffery Steingarten and the guys at the Cooking Issues blog. You do a poach at ~65 deg C before frying. This activates the pectin methylesterase inherent in the potato. This enzyme strengthens the outside crust, and promotes hollowness (at least in french fries).

    I don't know about buying them in, and it's not really my decision. Russet Burbank 100s are going for about US$17 per case according to the AMS report for Los Angeles. Still seems cheaper, even with a extra labor and terrible yield. OTH, Gourmet Potato Works is in the next county. I found a youtube video they did demonstrating their product. They got 100% poof, but who knows in how many takes.

    Not sure what you mean by stacking them on a mandoline. We don't have a full fledged mandoline anyway. We got a benriner and a deli slicer.

    Ross and edb- I checked the menus of restaurants that the blog post's had identified as serving them, and with pics. BLT Fish in NTC, and LB Steak out west. They didn't have them on their menu as of yesterday. The prices quoted were like 8-9 US$ a side.

    When you say baby carrots, do you mean the peeled things with round ends you get at the market? Or true baby carrots? Personally, I don't like working with true baby carrots. Too often they get all 'limp willy' on you and it's almost impossible to peel.

    Montparnasse? Like near Rue de Rennes? I had no idea you were such a bohemian.

    HA! You're a brownienoser!!! Sneaky patissier batard!.

    My Personal Potato Trepidation Score upgraded to:

    [​IMG]
     
  14. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    I still can't believe they sold something like this.  Tell you how I used to do it is stand there with a pan of potatoes and swirl it around in oil.  Then I'd turn up the heat and make them souffle.  I cannot tell you what the temperatures were.
     
  15. left4bread

    left4bread

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    Never went to school, never worked in a hotel that made them.

    I did watch Jacques Pepin make them not too long ago on that show.

    He used a mandoline and blanched them in warm oil, pulled them out, turned up the heat, and then finished them.

    Can't quite remember his story, but he said something about his chef giving him hell when some of them didn't turn out.

    Sounded like they brought back bad memories for him.  lol.

    As a customer, if this was a buffet function, I can tell you that I would fill up on them.

    I mean, I'd definitely hit the tenderloin, but I'd eat the crap out of your fancy potato chips.

    Good luck.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. thetincook

    thetincook

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    YES! Insanity Wolf!!!

    Gonna test a batch soon.

    Thank good it's a plated service, and not a buffet.
     
  17. thetincook

    thetincook

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  18. left4bread

    left4bread

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    Doh!

    Looks like I exaggerated his story.

    I was drunk?

    Made you a meme if that helps make up for my inaccuracy.

    Yeah, that's the video.

    God, I love the hunchback of Notre Dame and Frenchie!

    The way they kinda argue about stuff.  Cracks me up.
     
  19. thetincook

    thetincook

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    Haven't watched it yet, lol. Used to watch them with my grams before she passed. Great stuff.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. chefedb

    chefedb

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    When mixing with other veges, better with the belgian type peeled rounded. The whole true baby carrot is usually steamed, tossed in butter and served with the short stem on by itself.