Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Culinary Experiment: All I got Was Aligot & It Was Enough!

Many a moon, I have been musing about making aligot. Consisting of potatoes, butter,  crème fraîche, and cheese, it's a redolent-with-garlic speciality from the L'Aubrac region in southern France. If there is one dish whose taste and texture comes together in perfect harmony, it's aligot.

Not quite mashed potatoes, not quite a fondue

An early-season potato, Artemis, recently gave a decent harvest. Because its moisture content is moderate, this all-purpose variety is suitable for most recipes.

Freshly harvested taters smell so good!

As usual, a few got damaged when being removed from the soil. Since they couldn't be stored, the undamaged bits were set aside for making a test batch of aligot.

Cook four, peeled medium potatoes (about 500 grams/17.6 dry ounces) until fork-tender. Drain and then dry them by shaking the pan over low heat for a minute or so. Remove, rice, and reserve the potatoes. While ricing, heat one tablespoon of butter and one heaping tablespoon of crème fraîche in the same pot. Toss in a smashed, peeled garlic clove and simmer for a few minutes. Remove garlic. Add the riced potatoes. Beat with a wooden spoon until fluffy, about a minute. Stir in gradually via four increments a total of 237 ml/eight fluid ounces of grated cheese. Some recipes called for a much greater amount of cheese which I suspect would make the texture even more satiny. So add more if desired. Cheddar worked a treat in mine, but French cheeses like Cantal or Laguiole would be great choices.

Salt to taste (mine didn't need any). Beat until stretchy, shiny, and smooth.

Yes, that is a fork. Only because it wasn't possible to inhale the aligot and still live. Otherwise, I would have! Traditionally aligot is served with Toulouse sausages or roast pork. However I can't think of many things that wouldn't go with this. Perhaps making a well and filling it with chopped ham and wilted arugula? Or a juicy, broiled chicken breast plonked right on a pile of aligot? 

It was superb down to the last smidgin

In the flower garden, there is ample fragrance from lavender and lilies. Their heady perfume is accentuated on hot days.

Front garden : lavender, lilies & Box Elder/Maple trees

Daylilies and dahlias cheer up the path flanking one side of the house.

Red daylilies followed by taller pink ones & red dahlias in the background

Daylilies take several years to get established, but when they do, they are spectacular. Though each flower lasts just one day, the plants put out many buds.

Close-up of the taller pink variety

Shasta daisies shining in the sun announce summer in that bright, friendly way of theirs.

À la prochaine!

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