Stuffed potatoes. Is there anything more glorious sounding.
START WITH THE RIGHT POTATO
The potatoes here are a sweet, tender baking potato called Ramos, which is similar to a Yukon Gold. We get them year round. Now, of course, along with the last of the 2016 harvest, which is still firm and delicious, we’re getting tiny new potatoes too. Choose the larger ones of those to stuff with spring onions, bay leaf, and an ample amount of garlic. To sweeten it all, add some maple syrup.
THE MAGIC OF MAPLE SYRUP
Maple syrup may seem like a changeling here, but it really isn’t. French chefs discovered – or made popular – maple syrup more than a decade ago. A typical upscale restaurant dish was soft-boiled egg with a generous drizzle of syrup poured over it.
That was the beginning. There has always been a love affair between the French and the Canadian state of Quebec; history and the old French spoken there attest to that. Since one of Quebec’s signature ingredients is maple syrup, plenty of it came to France in suitcases after visitors tasted it there. So the French have every reason to include it in their cuisine. And it’s surprisingly easy to find – I can get it at any supermarket, and there’s even an organic variety at our local organic grocery.
CLASSES FOR FALL AND SPRING ARE NOW OPEN FOR RESERVATIONS. COME JOIN US IN THE KITCHEN
FRESH BAY LEAVES ARE KEY BUT YOU CAN USE DRIED
So, all of the ingredients here are simple to find. If you don’t have a bay tree (laurus nobilis) and can’t procure fresh bay leaves, then use the dried version, from Turkey. Just add one instead of three to each potato, as their flavor is more concentrated. Then, remind yourself to purchase a bay tree – grow it on a balcony, on a terrace, in a garden in almost every climate. The flavor of the leaves in indescribable.
I like these smoky potatoes, and use aluminum foil to protect them from too much browning. If you’re using a gas grill, put some wood chips right on the burners to create the smoke effect.
I serve these potatoes with pork chops dressed with olive oil and Herbes de Provence