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Author Notes: To be honest my favorite mashed potatoes are Robuchon's famous pomme puree, silky smooth and very rich in butter, but given that they are hardly an original recipe, I thought I'd share one from the other end of the texture spectrum. When I'm not in the mood for meltingly smooth spuds I tend to swing way over to the other end of things, and have some with a more rustic texture, and maybe even a little crunch. This dish is an amalgam of some of my favorite flavors, and is perfect with roast chicken, a nice thick steak, or even a braised lamb shank. It was inspired by some fabulously chunky potatoes I had at "Olives" once. —Oui, Chef
- 2 1/2 pounds red skinned or yukon gold potatoes
- 1 cup roughly chopped walnuts, toasted
- 1 bulb fennel, roasted
- 1 cup creme fraiche
- 4 ounces stilton cheese, crumbled
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 bunch chives, finely minced for garnish
- kosher salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 425 F. Wash, core and roughly chop the bulb of fennel. Toss into a bowl with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour onto a baking sheet and place into the oven. Roast for 20-25 minutes, until the fennel is nicely caramelized and has softened. Remove from the oven and reserve.
- Cook the potatoes in their jackets in boiling, salted water until cooked through. Drain them, then return them to the pan and smash them while heating over a low flame to help remove some residual moisture.
- With the potatoes still on low heat, add the butter and stir to incorporate, then add the creme fraiche, fennel, toasted walnuts, and season with salt and pepper.
- Place in a warmed bowl, top with crumbled stilton and chives, and serve.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Mashed Potatoes