Monday, January 28, 2008

Potato Cocottes

Here's a useful skill (ha!).

Some of you may ask why we do such detailed work with our food products. The most obvious answer is; it looks pretty! And it's true, it looks a lot nicer than if I just peeled it. Also, if I was serving these potatoes, and not just peeled red potatoes, I can charge a few dollars more for the cost of the plate. This is what the chefs at school have to say about these skills; "People can have peeled potatoes at home, when they go out they want to be wowed, and this is an easy way to wow everyone."

Any paring knife is good for this.

I tried it with the regular paring knife (left), and then I tried it with the Tournai knife (right), and both gave me the same result.

Start by cutting off the ends, just a tiny bit so you can have a flat side to work with.

Then hold the potato in your non-knife hand between your thumb and forefinger.

Holding the knife in your fingers, with your thumb on the bottom of the potato, use a curving motion; turning your hands in opposite directions.

Rotate your left wrist away from you while at the same time bringing the paring knife towards your right thumb.

You should be able to peel off a nice curved piece.

Make sure when you start a slice, you finish it; you don't want to stop mid slice, because then the sides aren't smooth.

Rotate the potato just a little so your next cut is about halfway into your previous slice, and do it again.

Continue the motion, rotating the potato after each peel.

When all the peel is gone, I like to flip the potato around; starting my cut on the side I finished on to even out the thickness.

Continue to rotate the potato, making the sides as even as possible.

(the potato should have around seven sides)

Here we go again . . .

Don't those look nice?

And you can mash up all the scraps if you don't want to waste them.

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