Lately I’ve been posting recipes from all over the world: Spanish, Mexican, Moroccan, etc. I thought it is time to get back to some French cooking, which is my specialty! Thumbing though some recipes I learned at the Paris Cordon Bleu school, I came across a recipe for Byron Potatoes (Pommes de terre Byron). These are mashed or puréed potatoes that are made with butter and cream and topped with cheese, usually Gruyère or Parmesan. How French can that be! They can be presented as individual potato cakes or served in a casserole dish. In any case, they make a perfect side dish, but what better way to serve them than as an accompaniment to Grilled Salmon Steaks with Lemon Butter Sauce! (see below)
The Byron Potatoes recipe that I learned at Le Cordon Bleu was more ‘fancied up’, including piping the pureed potatoes onto a baking sheet, however you can skip the piping and just shape the potato cakes with your hands.
So, here is the process for making the delicious French Byron Potatoes:
First, the potatoes are boiled and then passed through a food mill to make them nice and fluffy:
Butter and two egg yolks are then worked into the warm potatoes, then piped into small circles on a baking sheet. A well is made into the center of each potato cake using the back of a spoon, then a creamy white sauce is spooned into the center. Finally, grated cheese is added on top and the cakes are then baked to a golden brown.
Bake the Byron Potatoes until golden and top with some chopped chives:
I served my Byron Potatoes with Grilled Salmon Steaks with Lemon Butter Sauce, but they can be served with just about any type of food: fish, lamb, salads, the sky is the limit!
What are Salmon Steaks (salmon cutlets)?
Salmon steaks are derived by cutting the salmon cross-wise across the bone rather than lengthwise. By including the bone in the cooking of the fish, you get a slightly more juicy flavor and the salmon steak certainly has an interesting shape. You can remove the center bone of the fish prior to serving which makes it easier to eat. However, you could also use thick salmon slices (fillets) rather than the steaks, if desired.
In any case, bon appétit! (Also, I’d love it if you would subscribe to my blog or ‘like’ my G’day Souffle’ Facebook page)!
- 500 g large potatoes
- 50 g butter
- 2 egg yolks
- 15 g butter
- 15 g flour
- 50 ml cream
- 150 ml milk
- Salt/white pepper
- 50 g Gruyère or Parmesan cheese
- Chives chopped
- 4 salmon steaks (cutlets) or thick salmon slices
- Olive or vegetable oil for grilling
- 30 ml water
- Juice of ½ lemon
- salt and pinch cayenne pepper
- 100 g butter, cut into cold cubes
- Chopped chives
- First make the White Sauce; melt the 15 g butter in a small saucepan, then stir in the flour to make a thick paste. Gradually stir in the cream and milk over medium heat until the mixture thickens. Add the salt, white pepper and nutmeg to taste.
- Peel and cut the potatoes into rough chunks. Add the potatoes to cold water and bring to the boil; add salt to water after water comes to a boil; cook until the potatoes are cooked through. Strain water until potatoes are dry. Press the potatoes through a food mill then work the butter through the warm potatoes using a rubber spatula. Now add the two egg yolks and continue to mix with the spatula. Season with salt and white pepper.
- Place the potato mixture into a pastry bag using a nozzle with a round opening and pipe the mixture onto a parchment-lined baking tray; pipe into concentric circles about 3 inches wide. Dip a metal spoon into warm water and use the back of the spoon to make a small well into the middle of each potato circle. Fill each well with a spoon-full of the white sauce and then top with a little grated cheese. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes or until the potatoes turn golden. Garnish with a little chopped chives.
- Brush both sides of each Salmon steak with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat a grill pan or Barbeque grill until medium hot and brush with oil. Lay each steak diagonally across the grill to create a diagonal pattern for presentation. Cook each side for 3-4 minutes then brush each steak with a little of the lemon butter sauce, wrap in foil and bake in the oven for a further 4-5 minutes until the fish is cooked through. The fish will be done when the flesh has turned a light pink inside.
- Combine the water and lemon juice in a small saucepan; heat for several minutes until the mixture reduces a little. Gradually add the cold butter cubes; whisk over medium-low heat until the mixture gradually thickens. Be careful not to add too much heat or the butter may split. Continue adding the butter until the mixture thickens then add the salt, cayenne pepper and chopped chives.
- To plate, remove the center bone from each piece of salmon. Place the salmon steak on top of a bed of cooked spinach, spoon some of the lemon butter sauce around the side of the salmon and add a few pieces of the Byron potatoes on the side.