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Old 01-28-2006, 05:36 PM   #1
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Souffle potatoes won't puff

I am trying to duplicate the souffle potatoes that are famous at Galatoire's, Arnaud's and other New Orleans restaurants. After varying the thickness and oil temp, less than one fourth of them puff.

If you have done souffle potatoes succesfully, I would love to know the secret to your success.

Paddy

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Old 01-28-2006, 06:13 PM   #2
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Try this site http://www.emerils.com/recipes/by_na..._potatoes.html Good luck!
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Old 01-28-2006, 07:17 PM   #3
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Thanks, Dina, but that isn't the recipe I'm working on. It is pommes soufflees, or souffle potatoes, 1/8th inch slices that are double-fried. They puff out to a paper-thin crisp, and you dip them in bearnaise sauce. I mastered bearnaise sauce, but the souffle potatoes still aren't behaving.
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Old 01-28-2006, 07:27 PM   #4
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Paddy, can you post your recipe for us, so perhaps we can help troubleshoot?
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Old 01-28-2006, 07:49 PM   #5
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After the first time of frying them, are you drying them and then letting them get completely cold before frying again? What is the temp of your oil, that can account for part of this or if you are trying to fry too many at a time.
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Old 01-28-2006, 09:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marmalady
Paddy, can you post your recipe for us, so perhaps we can help troubleshoot?
Here's the recipe:

Russet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8th inch with mandolin
Peanut oil (3-5 inches deep,set at 325F (monitored with high-grade candy thermometer)
Rinse and dry the slices, fry one serving at a time (6-8 slices)
Cook until light brown (4-5 mintes)
Remove and set aside on paper towel
Increase oil temp to 375F
Place one serving at a time in hotter oil for about 30 seconds until crisp

The potatoes are at room temp when I place them in the hotter oil.
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Old 01-28-2006, 09:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shunka
After the first time of frying them, are you drying them and then letting them get completely cold before frying again? What is the temp of your oil, that can account for part of this or if you are trying to fry too many at a time.
I just posted my recipe to describe how I do it. I have tried lowering the initial temp from 325F to 300F but that has not changed the results. A few of them turn out perfectly but the rest are half-puffed or not at all. The potatoes are back to room temp before I place them in the 375F oil.

Could it be the potatoes? I read that Arnaud's sometimes cannot offer them because the potatoes are too new or too old. The russets I am buying have a green tint, and I wonder if letting them "age" for a week or so will help.
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Old 01-29-2006, 06:57 AM   #8
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The green on the potatoes doesn't mean they're 'young'; it just means they've been exposed to air, I think; produces solanine, which is actually toxic if eaten.

Went to the source for your questions (Jacque Pepin and Julia Child's 'Julia & Jacque Cooking at Home'); here is what they say (A summary only - there are pages of description in the book!:

The age of the potatoes does seem to make a difference; I would think newer potatoes have more moisture in them, which would make it more difficult to puff up.

They recommend cutting the potatoes thinner than 1/8"; '3/16' is what is called for in the recipe, making sure the potatoes are uniform thickness.
Place the slices in a bowl of cold water, then right before you're ready to cook, dry them well on paper towels.

Heat the oil in a wide, deep skillet to a depth of at least 1 1/2 inches, to a temperature of 300 degrees. Heat a second skillet with at least 1 1/2 inches of oil to a temp of 350-375. Place the slices in the pan with the lower heat, being careful not to overcrowd. Shake the pan, very lightly, to move the slices around; slide in a rhythm that will keep the slices moving, but not excessively agitate the oil. Adjust the heat to maintain a 300 degree temp. Cook the slices for 5-6 minutes, until small blisters begin to form on the surface of the slices. If they're browning, take the pan off the heat for a few moments and allow the oil to cool a bit, then return to the heat.

NOTE: This is different from your technique: "The slices will stay in the 1st pan until you remove them in batches, for the 2nd frying."

With a skimmer, scoop up 4-5 slices from the first pan, allow the oil to drip off; lower the skimmer slowly into the hotter oil in the second skillet, allowing the slices to puff in the oil for a 2nd or two, then lift them out immediately.

NOTE AGAIN: "Some slices mya inflate evenly, some may bubble up a bit, and some not at all. " Put the slices that puffed fully on a parchment-lined cookie sheet for the final frying. Cover with a towel; at this point they can be held at room temp for several hours before the final frying.

For final frying, heat the skillet again to 350-375; place the slices in the oil; they will inflate again and start to brown. Keep turning them over and over and stir with the skimmer for about 1 minute, til they are crisp and evenly browned all over. Remove to a tray lined with paper towels. The finished puffed potatoes will not deflate. Sprinkle w/salt while warm.

Bon appetit!
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Old 02-28-2006, 11:07 PM   #9
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Pommes Souffles

As a native of Louisiana, I am very familiar with pommes souffles. First, the oil temperature is extremely important! Don't use a pot and candy thermometer. Invest in a good quality deep fryer with digital temperature control. Slice the russet (baking) potatoes 1/8 inch thick, round the corners to create an oval shape. Do not wash or soak. Do not put more than one layer in the oil, otherwise the oil will cool. When the outside of the potatoes start to bubble that means that the inside has cooked. Do not let the potatoes cook past a very, very light gold color. It sounds to me like you may be cooking them too long during the first frying. You should cook them just until the exteriors start to bubble. Remove, drain, and let cool completely, for at least an hour if you have the time. This step is very important. If they potatoes are still too warm they will not puff. You can do this step several hours before and cover the potatoes so that they don't dry out. They should become limp. Raise the temperature of the oil in the deep fryer to 375 degrees. Immerse the cool, limp potatoes one layer at a time into the 375 degree oil. Again, only one layer or the oil will cool below the proper temperature. Most of them should puff immediately. Cook until they are browned and hold their shape. Not all will puff; it is like making popcorn when all of the kernels do not pop. Serve with bearnaise sauce.
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Old 02-28-2006, 11:14 PM   #10
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Forgot to mention one thing. I have been to Galatoire's on a Sunday evening when we ordered pommes souffles and the waiter returned to our table to tell us they were out of pommes souffles. This indicates that they fry enough during the first frying to last through the day. In other words, they let them become totally cool and limp. So, again I cannot emphasize that the potatoes need to totally cool, and a minute or two is not enough. They should really be soggy and limp after the first frying before proceeding with the second frying.
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