Side Dishes

Pommes Byron

 Potatoes reign supreme in this house. Mashed, shredded, baked….they’re king. So it’s 2am and I’m watching Hubert Keller on PBS and he’s making a beautiful bone-in rib eye but he starts with Pomme Byron. He admits the recipe is obscure as hell. I see some baked potatoes, shredded gruyere, butter and cream on his board. I’m immediately a fan. 

The only problem? The recipe is no where to be found. Thankfully, I recorded the episode so I watched it twice and took copious notes. You’re welcome. 🙂

  

The first step is to bake the potatoes (425 for an hour….be sure to poke a few holes in the fellas).

  
Let them cool, slightly, and then cut them length-wise. Scoop out the innards and add the cheese, salt, pepper, nutmeg and butter. 

  
I also added a little minced garlic and scallions. Using a potato masher, I made sure everything was well blended. As the potatoes continue to cool, add one yolk per potato, and stir well. Make sure your eggs are at room temp!!!

  
You’ll end up with a dense mound of yumminess. This then gets chilled in the fridge for two hours. 

  
Form the potato mixture into a log on a lightly floured surface. You should get four servings for four potatoes so cut the log in half and then each half in half again.

  

Each piece should then be formed into a beautiful little patty. Flip them over (you want the side that was on the counter to be the topside of the potato cake) and fire up the skillet.

  
I used a little olive oil and butter in a cast iron skillet, over medium heat. Once the butter melted, I gently lowered each potato cake into the pan. 

  
After a few minutes, I gently checked the bottoms of the cakes and once they had a nice crust, I flipped them and let them fry for another 4-5 minutes. You have to be extremely gentle with them!

In the meantime, I simmered a little cream, salt, pepper and butter. 
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Let it simmer, gently, for 8-10 minutes. Never, ever let it come to a boil. 

So here’s where it gets even more deliscious. Take a teaspoon (or the pointy end of an egg) and make an impression in the center of each cake. Carefully spoon the cream, into the center of each, to fill the well. Sprinkle on some shredded gruyere and broil for a few minutes. Watch them carefully!! 

  
Let them rest for a few minutes before serving.

  
 Garnish with a little more green onion (or chives) and enjoy!! 

Ingredients:

4 potatoes (baked and slightly cooled)

6 tablespoons of butter 

1/2 cup of shredded gruyere cheese

1 teaspoon of nutmeg

1 tablespoon of minced garlic

 6 tablespoons of scallions, finely chopped

4 egg yolks, room temp

1/2 cup of heavy cream

Salt and pepper to taste

Bake potatoes and let them cool, slightly. Cut them length-wise and scoop out the innards. Add 2 tablespoons of butter, garlic, 3 tablespoons of scallions (or less if you’re not an onion fan), salt, pepper, a 1/4 cup of cheese and nutmeg to the potatoes. Using a potatoe masher, mix the ingredients well. Add 4 egg yolks and continue mixing, 

Cover mixture with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Lightly flour a surface and form a log with the potato mixture. It should be about 6” long. Cut it in half and then each half in half again. Take each potato cake and carefully shape it so it’s round with a flat top and bottom.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet, over medium heat.

Carefully lower each cake into the hot oil and fry each side for 3-5 minutes, checking them carefully to be sure the bottom doesn’t burn. 

Heat the cream with them remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, over low heat. Simmer until the cream starts to reduce and slightly thicken. 

Using a teaspoon or an egg, make a well in the center of each cake. Fill the well with the hot cream and sprinkle the remaining cheese on each.

Broil, on low, for 3-4 minutes, until the cheese is melted. Garnish with remaining scallions.

Tip: They reheat beautifully by warming them in a 320 degree oven, for 10 minutes. Also, to make them a complete meal, add ham, shredded pork or bacon to the ‘well’, along with the cream and cheese.

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