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Joel Robuchon's Mashed Potatoes

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#1 fresh_a

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Posted 08 August 2003 - 10:27 AM

For the Initiated Only!!
Anti-alcoholics are unfortunates in the grip of water, that terrible poison, so corrosive that out of all substances it has been chosen for washing and scouring, and a drop of water added to a clear liquid like Absinthe, muddles it." ALFRED JARRY

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#2 fresh_a

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Posted 08 August 2003 - 10:31 AM

Actually, they're not bad, by far the best microwave frozen mashed potatoes I've eaten. The potatoes come in small blocks of roughly one centimeter and 1/2 in diameter. Milk is added, then 7 minutes in the microwave. Tasty and buttery...
Anti-alcoholics are unfortunates in the grip of water, that terrible poison, so corrosive that out of all substances it has been chosen for washing and scouring, and a drop of water added to a clear liquid like Absinthe, muddles it." ALFRED JARRY

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#3 Bux

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Posted 08 August 2003 - 08:01 PM

Meanwhile the NY Times reports that Spain is the place to go to eat. No doubt however, that in a few years Adria will be selling frozen air. :biggrin:
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#4 Louisa Chu

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Posted 09 August 2003 - 02:19 AM

fresh_a, where did you buy and about how much was it?

#5 John Whiting

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Posted 09 August 2003 - 02:23 AM

This tells me all I need to know about the "new" Robuchon. :sad:
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#6 Louisa Chu

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Posted 09 August 2003 - 03:42 AM

John, this is not new. It's kind of like how A-listers do TV commercials in Japan.

#7 Bux

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Posted 09 August 2003 - 10:44 AM

John, this is not new. It's kind of like how A-listers do TV commercials in Japan.

It's worth noting here that Arthur Lubow, in the upcoming article on Adria and Spain [Article here. Discussion here.] in this Sunday's NY, asks "How can a French chef turn a profit?" given the taxes and laws in France. He mentions Robuchon's chain of L'Ateliers and goes on to say "As it is, El Bulli just breaks even. Adrià supports the operation with product lines, ..."
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#8 hollywood

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Posted 09 August 2003 - 11:54 AM

John, this is not new. It's kind of like how A-listers do TV commercials in Japan.

Louisa, the Gap is now running a Madonna & Missy Elliott ad endorsing a new line of jeans. Plus ca change....
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#9 Louisa Chu

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Posted 10 August 2003 - 02:33 AM

Bux, it's too funny to me sometimes how everyone falls for this quaint idea that superstar chefs are so removed from the reality of money. When I met Albert this summer we talked about all kinds of product endorsements. And yes, yes, before you ask - more on meeting Albert coming soon.

hollywood, I read about that online! But that's different - they've always been more about the marketing than the product.

#10 John Whiting

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Posted 10 August 2003 - 06:39 AM

. . . funny to me sometimes how everyone falls for this quaint idea that superstar chefs are so removed from the reality of money. . .


There has always been a dividing line in the arts and crafts between those who are ambitious for reward and recognition and those who want to do the best they can without making a fuss. There is of course a continuum between those extremes.

It's not a matter of moral superiority but of temperament. Those chefs who spend their lives in quiet little restaurants with a loyal clientele are not failures, or lazy, but have certain priorities and have chosen a particular life style.

Their regular patrons are likely to be people of a similar disposition who dine there regularly, not because they're poor or stingy, but because they too enjoy a quiet (or noisy :biggrin: ) simplicity.
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#11 Bux

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Posted 10 August 2003 - 09:16 AM

The problem is not that people are putting down the chef content to stay in his kitchen and cook, but that some people are implying that there's something wrong with the cooking of the chef who does endorsements. They're also saying that the same person couldn't possibly cook a fine hot dinner for some fifty people in a restauant and develop a recipe for a canned soup that's better than others on the market. It is in fact, possible to be a poet and a journalist and be good at both and it's possible to paint a great painting and design an outstanding corporate logo. We live in the age of specialization, but we need to respect the da Vinci's when they arise. It's quite possible for one man to devise a better canned soup, paint a better painting and build a better mouse trap, although I would not argue that we live in the age of specialization because our temperment has changed. It's a fact that every aspect of life seems to require undivided attention attention to succeed, but let's judge the results of others on the basis of the results.
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#12 John Whiting

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Posted 10 August 2003 - 10:39 AM

There is a pressure on the chef "content to stay in his kitchen and cook" that has never been there before. In previous eras, success at the highest level took place within a narrow stratum of society which did not reach down into the local community. (I assume we're talking here about French cuisine, and so I make no effort to generalize into the wider world.)

But when a great chef devotes himself to mass-produced cuisine, he is creating a product which invades every stratum of society. What he invents that comes out of a package is reaching millions of consumers, including the patrons of small local restaurants, and telling them in effect, "This is how it should be." (I am talking about effect, not intention.)

The result is that "celebrity" chefs dictate not only what is consumed by the well-to-do in their own restaurants, but what is bought in supermarkets and carried into the home, even in France. Soon a series of commercial norms is established, and the local chef in his kitchen may well feel the hot breath of Robuchon on the back of his neck.
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#13 Bux

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Posted 10 August 2003 - 05:29 PM

The result is that "celebrity" chefs dictate not only what is consumed by the well-to-do in their own restaurants, but what is bought in supermarkets and carried into the home, even in France. Soon a series of commercial norms is established, and the local chef in his kitchen may well feel the hot breath of Robuchon on the back of his neck.

My guess is that the average guy in the Intermarche is not going to feel all that intimidated by by Robuchon's package, so to speak, and will opt for the cheaper brand more often than not. I would agree that the economics of the 21st century bodes poorly for the local chef in his local kitchen in France as for the mom and pop in their little restaurant in America. Chains need not represent mediocrity, and I think it's chains not canned soup or packaged mashed potatoes that spell the greatest threat, but they surely represent homogeneity and I'd agree than a constant diet of the same food, even if it's good, is boring and undesirable.
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#14 fresh_a

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Posted 22 August 2003 - 06:43 AM

Sorry guys, I've been offline to a bug in my system, and had to wipe my drive! Lou- I got it at my local G20 supermarche in the frozen food section, and have been eating it on and off for 6 months or so...they're not always well-stocked, so it either sells out really quickly , or they have a limited supply. It's pretty good, though, and buttery...
Anti-alcoholics are unfortunates in the grip of water, that terrible poison, so corrosive that out of all substances it has been chosen for washing and scouring, and a drop of water added to a clear liquid like Absinthe, muddles it." ALFRED JARRY

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#15 getxo

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Posted 19 November 2005 - 04:49 PM

Had a sudden craving for J Robuchon's famous mashed potatoes.

Does anyone have a recipe or an educated guess of the ingredients?

Thanks in advance.

Henry

#16 molto e

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Posted 19 November 2005 - 06:03 PM

2 pounds potatoes-russets
3/4 to 1 1/4 cups whole milk brought just to a boil and set aside
16 tablespoons chilled butter cut into pieces
sea salt to taste

boil unpeeled potatoes until cooked then peel and food mill or tamis (sieve)potatoes into pot, stir until dry then add butter by vigorously whipping into potatoes until incorporated then add 3/4 milk in slow thin stream while stirring vigorously ( if you are not sweating-not fast enough), then tamis (sieve) again and adjust with milk or butter and salt to taste

Good Luck,

Molto E

Thomas Keller tells his cooks that this is the hardest recipe to do RIGHT

If you want to go totally crazy you can do a two part boiling process( not Robuchon's method) and one boil of 30 minutes with water at 160 degrees and then cool potatoes under cold water let cool for about 30 minutes and then cook potatoes at 180 degrees for 30 minute until tender. Degrees in Fahrenheit

edited to add measurement of milk

Edited by molto e, 19 November 2005 - 07:57 PM.

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#17 Margaret Pilgrim

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Posted 19 November 2005 - 07:29 PM

3/4 to 1 1/4 whole milk brought just to a boil and set aside


3/4 to 1 1/4...what measurement...please?
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#18 Della

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Posted 19 November 2005 - 07:54 PM

I am going to jump in and guess "cups" is the measurement.

#19 getxo

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Posted 19 November 2005 - 08:59 PM

Molto e,

You rock.

But I could have sworn there was cheese or some secret ingredient (like goose fat) thrown in.

Best,

Henry

#20 molto e

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Posted 19 November 2005 - 09:48 PM

Molto e,

You rock.

But I could have sworn there was cheese or some secret ingredient (like goose fat) thrown in.

Best,

Henry

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Henry,

If J.R. throws in a secret ingredient you will have to ask him, but this is what he goes on record with. When I was shown Keller's recipe, more liquid was added and it was cream not milk-one pound potatoes to one cup cream. The end product would fall off the spoon not completely stick for whatever that is worth and you really beat the heck out of them as you are adding the butter and cream. When I did it right, usually I was wearing some on my face.

Good Eating,

Molto E

Edited by molto e, 19 November 2005 - 09:48 PM.

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#21 Mayur

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Posted 19 November 2005 - 10:07 PM

Yup; no secret ingredient. You will observe, of course, that the recipe is essentially 50% potatoes/50% butter; that's the "secret," if you will.

I do it with cream and using a hand blender on low speed for incorporating the butter. It works great.
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#22 MobyP

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Posted 19 November 2005 - 11:27 PM

2 pounds potatoes-russets
3/4 to 1 1/4 cups whole milk brought just to a boil and set aside
16 tablespoons chilled butter cut into pieces
sea salt to taste

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A few changes to this.

First, Robuchon uses a type of potato much much higher in starch than a russet - a variation of a ratte potato. If you're in the states and you have access to a good farmer's market, look for variations of fingerling style potatoes. Best to experiment with those to find what you want. If you can't find them, Tom Collichio substitutes Yukon Golds.

Second, unless you're a very experienced cook, check out the double boil method in Jackal10's potato primer egci class. No need to run it under cold water if you have enough ice around.

Third, the amount of butter Robuchon uses is up to half the weight of the potatoes. No, I'm not kidding. Obviously you'll use less (everone does). The point is, it should be the best unsalted butter you can find. It should also be very cold.

Fourth, the milk comes last. Once you have a sufficient emulsion with the potato and butter, you can actually let it cool for a couple of hours until you need it. Cooks in Robuchon's kitchens (and Heston Blumenthal's for that matter) then reheat it over a flame, whipping in scalding hot milk until they have the temp and texture they want.

Edit to add: avoid at all costs using a blender. It can shear the potato cells releasing the liquified starch, leaving you with wallpaper paste. For explanation, check out the egci thread.

Edited by MobyP, 19 November 2005 - 11:29 PM.

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#23 degusto

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Posted 20 November 2005 - 12:37 AM

This is the recipe as described in several of Robuchon’s books and how he has prepared it on French television.

The amount of butter is 200-250 grams for 1 kg of potatoes. The steps are almost as described in the thread. After the potatoes have been passed through a food mill, the mash is stirred in order to dry in a pot on very low heat for five minutes. The butter should be incorporated little by little and it is not whisked vigorously at this point. Before the milk is added, the seasoning should be rectified. The milk should be incorporated little by little after which the pure is beaten with a whisk in order to incorporate air. Finally, it is passed through a tamis, which gives it the right texture.
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#24 jackal10

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Posted 20 November 2005 - 01:17 AM

Potato primer is here: http://forums.egulle...showtopic=31701

If you don't fix the starch first, all that beating will make the potato into a sticky mess of wallpaper paste.
To fix the starch you need to go through a process called "retrograde", wich fixes it in its granules, rather than leaking out. Cook the potato slices at 70C/160F for 30 mins, then cool quickly to room temperature, under a running tap, for example.
You can then cook them normally and beat the sh*t out them without getting glue.
You can also reheat them with a little more hot milk.

You can always tell the ignorance of a kitchen that just dumps the unfixed potatoes in a food processer adds enough butter and cream and serves the resulting disgusting "pommes puree", even in very high rated establishments. I usually send it back.

#25 molto e

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Posted 20 November 2005 - 05:23 AM

This is the recipe as described in several of Robuchon’s books and how he has prepared it on French television.

The amount of butter is 200-250 grams for 1 kg of potatoes. The steps are almost as described in the thread. After the potatoes have been passed through a food mill, the mash is stirred in order to dry in a pot on very low heat for five minutes. The butter should be incorporated little by little and it is not whisked vigorously at this point. Before the milk is added, the seasoning should be rectified. The milk should be incorporated little by little after which the pure is beaten with a whisk in order to incorporate air. Finally, it is passed through a tamis, which gives it the right texture.

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Degusto,

Check out the Simply French Cookbook, the recipe is different than the one that you give.

Peace,

Molto E
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#26 MobyP

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Posted 20 November 2005 - 11:48 AM

This is the recipe as described in several of Robuchon’s books and how he has prepared it on French television.

The amount of butter is 200-250 grams for 1 kg of potatoes. The steps are almost as described in the thread. After the potatoes have been passed through a food mill, the mash is stirred in order to dry in a pot on very low heat for five minutes. The butter should be incorporated little by little and it is not whisked vigorously at this point. Before the milk is added, the seasoning should be rectified. The milk should be incorporated little by little after which the pure is beaten with a whisk in order to incorporate air. Finally, it is passed through a tamis, which gives it the right texture.

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Degusto,

Check out the Simply French Cookbook, the recipe is different than the one that you give.

Peace,

Molto E

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Patricia Wells has changed a few of the recipes in the book in order to make them accessible to an American market. If you look at the recipes which Robuchon publishes under his own name, there are differences.
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#27 Mikeb19

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Posted 20 November 2005 - 11:59 AM

Not Robuchon's recipe, but one method I've used to great success (at home and at work).

Use starchy potatoes (don't peel them), boil in salted water until they are half done, then throw into the oven on a bed of salt to finish the cooking process (this dries them out). Scoop out the insides, pass through a tamis or a ricer.

To finish them, warm up the potatoes in a pan with some milk or cream, and then add cold, cubed butter (quite a bit). Season, and serve. Best potato purée I've ever had.

#28 pim

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Posted 20 November 2005 - 01:25 PM

Patricia Wells has changed a few of the recipes in the book in order to make them accessible to an American market. If you look at the recipes which Robuchon publishes under his own name, there are differences.

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Bingo
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#29 Mayur

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Posted 20 November 2005 - 02:59 PM

Edit to add: avoid at all costs using a blender. It can shear the potato cells releasing the liquified starch, leaving you with wallpaper paste. For explanation, check out the egci thread.

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True, unless you're very careful and use the right configuration of hand blender on a VERY low speed. Doing this, you can combine the rigid power of a fork with the whippiness of a whisk. But yes, that method's not for everyone.

Also, for an interesting variation, check out David Bouley's version. He uses a combination of milk, cream, olive oil, and pistachio oil heated and incorporated into the riced potatoes first, and then puts them through a tamis (gently!) into a bain-marie and incorporates the butter at that point. I've tried this, and it actually yields a decent facsimile with a wonderful nutty accent and about 1/2 the butter.

Edited by Mayur, 20 November 2005 - 03:04 PM.

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#30 cmling

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Posted 20 November 2005 - 03:59 PM

Patricia Wells has changed a few of the recipes in the book in order to make them accessible to an American market. If you look at the recipes which Robuchon publishes under his own name, there are differences.

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Bingo

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Which I find quite almost mendacious, unless she says what she is doing.
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