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
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.
I am a father of five, who recently completed a two year professional hiatus during which I indulged my long held passion for cooking by moving to France to study the culinary arts and immerse myself in all things French. I earned “Le Grande Diplome” from Le Cordon Bleu, studied also at The Ritz Escoffier and Lenotre cooking schools, and completed the course offerings of the Bordeaux L’Ecole du Vin.
About six months ago started "Oui, Chef", which is a food blog that exists as an extension of my efforts to teach my children a few things about cooking, and how our food choices over time effect not only our own health, but that of our local food communities and our planet at large. By sharing some of our cooking experiences through the blog, I hope to inspire other families to start spending more time together in the kitchen, cooking healthy meals as a family, passing on established familial food traditions, and perhaps starting some new ones.