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Souffle Potatoes

SOUFFLE POTATOES


These are similar to crisps but more impressive. The potato slices should be cut marginally thicker than for crisps and they are not washed. Like chips they are cooked twice and on the second cooking they puff up like balloons.


In a traditional French kitchen crisps and souffle potatoes are made in a large oval cast iron pot called a negresse. In the case of souffles, two regresses are on the go at the same time and it falls to the most junior trainee-chef to learn this very hazardous skill. The negresse has to be manually rotated with a very fast action to get the air circulating in the oil. This has to be done with one hand while the other is cooking the potatoes and scooping them out with a special slotted spoon called a spider. Fortunately, on a domestic level souffle potatoes can be prepared very easily in a chip pan.

 

Serves 4

  • 3 medium-sized floury-variety potatoes oil for frying

  • salt

  1. Peel the potatoes and cut into 1/8-in (0.25-cm) slices. Do not put into water, but wipe dry.

  2. Preheat the oil to 300F/150C and cook the potatoes in small batches (they will have a tendency to stick together because of the starch).

  3. Put the slices in the oil and gently shake the pan while they begin to blow. This takes a couple of minutes.

  4. Drain on greaseproof or absorbent paper while you cook the rest. The souffles will deflate and can be left in this state indefinitely.

  5. When required, bring the oil up to 360F/185C and throw in the baggy crisps, cooking a handful at a time. They will puff and brown. Drain and serve sprinkled with salt.

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