Although the term Parmentier refers to any dish that includes potatoes as a main ingredient, it also refers specifically to a cream or mashed potato. So it is a fantastic garnish to a multitude of dishes, as well as the base of many recipes. So join us to see how to make a delicious parmentier, as well as how to flavor it and give it more flavor.
The term originates from Antoine-Augustin Parmentier, a French agronomist and nutritionist of the 18th century, who played an important role in promoting the consumption of potatoes in France. At the time, this food was not considered fit for consumption. And Antoine Parmentier worked hard to raise public awareness of the benefits of eating this food. Which, moreover, could save the population from starvation. At that time, any dish that included potatoes was called Parmentier, in his honor.
The most popular dish with this name is the “Hachis Parmentier”, a preparation very similar to meat pie. It consists of minced meat, cooked with onion, garlic, and different spices, and covered with mashed potatoes, all baked au gratin. But today we are going to talk about parmentier. That is, mashed or cream potatoes, ideal as a garnish for any recipe or as a starter.
How to make super creamy potato parmentier
To make a very creamy potato parmentier we are going to use milk and butter. It is also important to use the right variety of potatoes. Each variety is different, for example, for a mashed, cream or parmentier, the best ones are those with a high starch content. And these are the russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, so our mashed potatoes would be creamier. Another way to get extra creaminess is to cook the potatoes whole. This will make them juicier.
So let’s start the recipe by washing the potatoes very well, we can use a scouring pad that we have reserved for food to remove all the dirt.
Once cooked and tender, we wait until they do not burn to be able to peel them, and we cut them. Add the milk, previously tempered, and the butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste and blend well until a creamy and homogeneous texture is obtained.
This is how easy it is to make a creamy parmentier, perfect to accompany a multitude of dishes; or even as a starter or first course in any meal.
Potato Parmentier Recipe
- 600 g Potatoes
- 3 Tbsp Butter
- 120 ml Milk
- First we are going to wash the potatoes very well. Well, to make them juicier and with a better texture, we are going to cook them in their skins. Remove the dirt very well and put them in a pot with water. Bring to the boil.
- When it starts to boil, cook for about 30-35 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes. Check that they are ready if, pricking with a toothpick or fork, it enters easily. Then, they are ready.
- Let them cool down so as not to burn yourself while handling them. Continue peeling and mashing them.Add the warm milk and mash the potatoes until you get a smooth and homogeneous texture.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and, before it cools, mix with the butter so that it melts and integrates well. Now you have a wonderful potato parmentier ready.
Tips and Tricks to make it look great
Although it is a very simple preparation, we will make the difference if we follow some simple advices. The result will be a much juicier, creamier and full of flavor parmentier.
- Although we have already mentioned it before, the variety of potato we choose for our recipe is fundamental. If we choose varieties with a higher starch content, the parmentier will be creamier and juicier. Some options would be russet potatoes, Yukon Gold or Maris Piper. These varieties also tend to have a more floury texture and break down easily, which contributes to a smoother, creamier texture.
- Do not cook peeled or cut potatoes. If we cook them whole, with the skin on (even if it takes a few minutes longer) they will be juicier and more tender, as you will prevent them from absorbing too much water during cooking and they will have the ideal texture for the parmentier.
- Add the hot or warm milk when you have mashed the potatoes. This will prevent it from getting cold and, in addition, the milk will incorporate better, giving a creamier result.
- Don’t forget the butter, as it is key to add extra creaminess. Add it when you have the parmentier already mashed, while it is still hot, so that the butter melts.
- For best results, use a potato masher or potato masher. This way, you will obtain a very well mashed puree, with a very homogeneous texture. But avoid at all costs to use blender or mixer, because, if we overwork the potatoes in excess, they will acquire a sticky and gummy texture, not at all pleasant. So, as soon as your mashed potatoes are ready, do not continue mashing them.
How to flavor the Parmentier and give it an extra touch of flavor.
Now that we have seen some tricks to make it perfect, let’s see how we can give a twist to this recipe and add an extra touch of flavor. Since it is such a simple dish, it is going to be very easy to flavor this dish with different ingredients, spices, etc.
If you are going to prepare the parmentier as a garnish, choose the seasonings that best match the main dish.
- With garlic, either garlic powder or fresh garlic. If you choose the second option, cook the garlic with the potatoes and then mash it with them. It will add a nice extra touch of flavor. You can even sauté the garlic in a splash of oil before cooking it, so that it is lightly browned and provides a milder flavor, just as we do when we cook pasta.
- With fresh herbs, such as chives, parsley, thyme, rosemary… Add these finely chopped fresh herbs to the puree after mashing it and mix well to incorporate a very good flavor and aroma.
- Drizzle with a splash of flavored oil, and here you also have an infinite number of options.
- With cheese, for a more unctuous texture. Cheese goes well in any recipe. Add grated cheese before mashing and while the potatoes are still warm to help it melt and incorporate well into the parmentier. Choose cheeses that melt well such as cheddar, gruyere, parmesan….
- Spices, for example, nutmeg, pepper, paprika, a touch of turmeric, which will also add color… Here you have a wide range of possibilities.
And with this we finish our parmentier recipe, a simple but delicious garnish that can be used for a multitude of dishes. Or even as a base for many other recipes that include cream or mashed potatoes.
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