ashed potatoes. The ultimate comfort food? The
dish most likely to evoke home? A go-to when
stressed? Many would agree that this side dish
is all of the above, which gives chefs license to
capitalize on its popularity by kicking it up a few notches
with add-in ingredients.
“We treat mashed potatoes like a mother sauce,” says Jay
Silva, executive chef at Bambara in Cambridge, Mass.
“Depending on what has been ordered, we’ll infuse flavors
in the base mash to complement center-of-the-plate items.”
For a rib-eye, roasted garlic purée is added to the base mash.
If a surf-and-turf entree is ordered, Silva will whip together
a lobster mash pooled with beurre blanc. Once in a while, a
guest at the restaurant’s bar will order mashed potatoes for a
snack, so cheddar or blue cheese will be folded in.”
FAR EAST MASH
“Serving mashed potatoes in a restaurant allows a chef
to take a traditional recipe made by home cooks and play
around with the flavors and textures,” says Jason Kwon,
chef/owner of Joshu-ya Brasserie in Berkeley, Calif.
PHOTO CREDIT: Opposite, Michael Jordan’s Steak House; right, Melanie Blair
Using Idaho potatoes, Kwon prepares Japanese-style
mashed potatoes, which calls for Japanese mayonnaise.
“There’s a big difference compared to American mayo
in that the Japanese version is made with apple cider
vinegar, malt vinegar or rice vinegar and a small amount
of MSG, which gives it a different flavor from mayo made
from distilled vinegar,” he says. “Also, Japanese mayo is
not as eggy, because it’s made with egg yolks instead of
Kwon mashes boiled potatoes to retain good texture, rather
than put them through a food mill or ricer, adding shredded
cabbage and folding in Parmesan cheese.
He also prepares a bacon/dashi potato purée. Diced bacon is
sauteed in butter until the fat is rendered, then, minced garlic
is added and cooked until caramelized. While still warm, the
bacon/garlic mixture is transferred to a food processor and
puréed with Japanese dashi to a silky smooth consistency,
then added to boiled potatoes and puréed again.
OPPOSITE: James O’Donnell offers a trio of mashed potatoes for sharing:
horseradish/Prairie Breeze white cheddar; lobster mash; and sweet potato purée.
CRISPY YUKON POTATO “TRUFFLES” with Truffle Aioli
Jason McClure, Executive Chef | Sazerac Restaurant & Bar
Yield: 12 (1-oz.) truffles
1 lb. Yukon potatoes, peeled,
boiled in salted water, passed
through food mill/ricer
4 eggs, divided
2 T. truffle oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 oz. Sottocenere or other
diced into 1/8-inch cubes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup panko crumbs
Sea salt, as needed
Truffle Aioli (recipe follows)
METHOD: Thoroughly mix
potato with 2 eggs, truffle oil,
and salt and pepper. With 1 oz.
ice cream scoop, form
12 truffles. Press cube of
cheese into center of each;
roll in hands to form sphere.
Whisk remaining eggs. Put
flour, egg and panko in three
bowls. Coat truffles with flour;
shake off excess. Roll in egg,
then panko. Shallow-fry at
350°F until golden-brown
on all sides. Drain on paper
towels. Sprinkle with sea salt.
Serve with truffle aioli.
Yield: 2 cups
¼ cup champagne vinegar
2 T. grain mustard
1 cup olive oil
1 T. truffle oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
METHOD: Put eggs, vinegar
and mustard in blender;
combine on low speed.
Slowly add olive oil. Finish
with truffle oil. Add salt and
pepper, to taste.
“The interesting aspect of this recipe is the customer
tastes the bacon and garlic without seeing them. The flavor
profile surprises the guest, and complements orders of filet
mignon or scallops,” Kwon says. “Oftentimes, restaurants
will serve a filet mignon or scallops wrapped in bacon with
caramelized garlic as a side.”