Saturday, 3 October 2009

They Go Really Badly Together - Potato And Orange

Let's face it. We all know that when it comes to being the ultimate arbiter of taste, there's no-one to beat the French. There's cooking and there's classical cooking... and classical cooking at top level means French cooking. And when it comes to artistic brilliance on the plate - there's absolutely no competition. Well, leastways... that's what a Frenchman told me.

They Go Really Badly Together

The other day I watched a hapless contender on British TV cooking show Masterchef: The Professionals stand in front of Michel Roux Jr. (he of the Michelin 2* Le Gavrôche) and have the audacity to knock up a dish in which pieces of orange were plated alongside potatoes.

Quelle horreur! Quel dommage! Luckily, capital punishment has been abolished in France as well as Britain, or it might well have been Madame la Guillotine for the unfortunate contestant.

Here's an edited version of the reaction.

Having recently hosted a round of They Go Really Well Together, my thoughts turned immediately to the prospect of They Go Really Badly Together. I'm not intending this to be a serious meme and I hope Martin Lersch won't take offence at my French colour co-ordinated version of his logo. But I simply couldn't resist inviting everyone to come up with dishes that successfully combine potato and orange.

Ensalada Valenciana, courtesy of Apple Pie, Patis, PâtéThere's one dish you are not allowed to submit and that's Ensalada Valenciana. Now I must point out that, just to be confusing, there are two different salads with this name. Once is a lettuce and pimento salad with olives, tomatoes and anchovies or other fish. The other - more relevant to this post - is a simple salad of potatoes, oranges and pimentos, with a light vinaigrette. You can find Ensalada Valenciana on the menu at many roadside cafés and restaurants near to where I live and work.

The dish was created about 500 years ago when, the orange-planting Moors having earlier been vanquished by James I of Aragón, the Conquistadors brought back the potato from the Americas. Recipes are kindly offered by Cook It Simply, Apple Pie, Patis, Pâté and the combination is noted on Spain-Barcelona. There are even some recipes that combine the two varieties of Ensalada Valenciana to produce a fish, orange and potato salad, such as these from Madreshaymasdeuna and from Elbocaito. Being relatively novel, I can understand why French chefs haven't heard of these dishes. It's quite a long way from València to Paris, and even further to London, so maybe the news didn't arrive yet.

Given the response I received to TGRWT #18, I'm sure there are chefs and foodies out there who can really crack this one by describing dishes they've cooked recently or experienced in restaurants, that will leave M. Roux with a good dollop of orange and potato on his head. I'm especially keen to hear about classics from non-European cuisines that combine potato and orange. Maybe there's something from one of the world's top non-European producers of both oranges and potatoes - China, India or the US? Suggestions by comment, please. Unless, of course, you really want to publish a post and send me a link by comment.Potato and orange "on yer 'ead, son"

Please don't take the title "They Go Really Badly Together" literally and suggest saffron potato mash with kidney & orange velouté and pomegranate foam, thanks.

Photo of Ensalada Valenciana and material for composite photo kindly provided by Jude of Apple Pie, Patis, Pâté.


Chennette said...

I find it interesting that the comparison to the orange and fennel salad on the side of a potato dish is dipping potato chips in orange juice! Very imaginative indeed. He didn't taste it did he? He kept talking about how it looks!

The Boston Foodie said...

This is brilliant. Are you inviting us to dream up grotesque food combinations? Because that is a melee, a real gutter brawl I could totally have fun with!

pierre said...

hello this is pierre from Paris In france I am a food blogger and amateur and for me all combinaisons are possible i don ot take care pf what is politically correct !
and if you want to see some french creative cuisine come and see my blog you are very welcome !! cheers Pierre

chefstales said...

Dear Chef Aidan,

Great blog!!

Please visit my blog and see if it is something that you would be willing to be linked too.

I was born in Harrogate and am currently working in Penang, Malaysia.

I will of course reciprocate.

Warm regards,


Tri2Cook said...

Sounds fun. I'll see what I can come up with.

Trig said...

Chennette - quite right. He didn't taste anything, but always criticises contestants for not getting their seasoning right because they don't taste it.
William, Larry - maybe I wasn't clear. I want recipes that genuinely work, not ones that don't work. And especially classical ones like ensalada Valenciana. William - maybe a Boston recipe from the famous Boston Orange Party of 1773 when the locals sank Spanisgh ships and Oswego Americans made bergamot-flavoured chips. Or something like that.
Pierre - I'll check your blog out. I'm sure not all French chefs are narrow-minded bigots. It's just that some of them really p**s me off.
Chefstales - I'll check you out, my friend. Anyone from Harrogate working in Penang has got to be of interest.

Tri2Cook said...

I think I got it wrong too. I understood that the point was to show that the combination can work but I didn't catch that you wanted classics and proven dishes. For some reason I got the idea that this was a creative exercise. I'll dig around and see if I can find any references to the pairing that originate from Canada.

Trig said...

No - you're right. Make something creative that will work by all means. I just thought there must be plenty of classics already out there, if you look outside the French borders.
Happy Chef (Chelsea 2 Liverpool 0)

Tri2Cook said...

I'm thinking this one would put a twist in Chef Michel's knickers if anything would...

Vichyssoise with a Hint of Orange:

...pairing orange with potato in a French classic!

Trig said...

Now you've definitely got the idea!

Mike said...

I thought I'd have a look around on-line for recipes with potato and orange. There's loads of them! BBC Food seems to lead the way, although everyone from Jamie Oliver to Rachael Ray is in on the act. Even some French recipes. Here are a few... I got bored after this lot
Andreas Viestad's Pork Rib Roast with Cloves from RecipeZaar, Autumn Pork Stew from GroupRecipes, Baudroie Lou Marques from Cook Eat Share, Beef and Vegetable Kabob from Kraftfoods, Beef Casserole with Spice from RecipeZaar, Beetroot Gnocchi with Butter, Sage and Orange Sauce from Gennaro Contaldo on BBC Food, Butternut and Apple Curry Soup from RecipeZaar, Caneton a l'Orange from epicurious, Carrot and Orange Soup from RecipeZaar, Carrot Orange Soup from VegWeb, Carrot, Orange & Cumin Soup from RecipeZaar, Chocolate and Orange Potato Cake from BBC Food, Chocolate and Orange Potato Cake from RecipeZaar, Chocolate and Orange Potato Cake from Riverford Organic Farm, Confit de Canard with Pommes Sarladaise from Nibbledish, Confit of Duck with Sautéed Potatoes, Cabbage, Swede Mash and Orange Sauce from Galton Blackiston on BBC Food, Coriander, Carrot and Orange Soup from BigOven, Crawfish Boil from Recipe4Living, Crisp Red Snapper with Onion Agrodolce from AOL food, Curried Broccoli Soup from RecipeZaar, Dublin Corned Beef and Cabbage from BigOven, Duck Breasts with Hazelnuts and Orange Potato Balls from Cookitsimply, Florida Gulf Coast Newspaper Shrimp Dinner from RecipeZaar, Fruity Potato Wedge Salad from BigOven, Funky Stovetop Crawfish Boil from Food Network, Gingery Carrot and Orange Soup from RecipeZaar, Grilled Potato Salad from Rachael Ray, Italian Roasted Chicken With Cumin Potatoes from GroupRecipes.

Mike said...

Some more recipes:

Jamaican Jerk Chicken from GroupRecipes, Lentil Soup with Sausage from RecipeZaar, New Potato, Cashew Nut and Orange Salad from BigOven, Orange Baked Chicken from Allrecipes, Orange Potato Bread from Recipe Center, Orange Potato Salad from The Kitchen Witch, Orange Scented Bourride of Spring Vegetables from BigOven, Orange, Potato and Rocket Salad from James Martin on BBC Food, Orange-Roasted Turkey Pot Roast And Vegetables from cdkitchen, Orange-Scented Broth of Winter Vegetables from BigOven, Pan-Fried Salmon Steak with Peppercorn Sauce and Potato Net from BigOven, Papas con Mojo from Food Network , Peppered Pork with Citrus Garlic Sauce and Potato and Bean Mash from Lesley Waters on BBC Food, Potato Mussel Soup from AOL food, Red Cabbage from AOL food, Red Pepper Purée with Smoked Trout from myrecipes, Roast Goose with Potato Stuffing and Apple Sauce from BigOven, Roast Norfolk Duckling with Orange Served with Bubble and Squeak from Galton Blackiston on BBC Food, Roast Potatoes with Sage and Orange from Jamie Oliver, Roasted Wild Boar with Sage and Honey from GroupRecipes, Rosemary Lamb Shanks Valencia from BigOven, Rosemary Orange Potato Salad from Chef2chef, Salmon Burgers with Oven-Fried Potatoes from BigOven, Seared scallops with Manchego and Spring Onion Mash and Orange Butter Sauce from Richard Phillips on BBC Food, Spanish White Rice and Beans from AOL food, Spiced Corned Beef from cdkitchen, Steak Diane with Cheesy Mash and Swede and Orange Purée from Brian Turner on BBC Food, Sunset of Artichoke from Nibbledish.

Roberto N. said...

Great idea!

Roberto N. said...

BTW, I've seen a couple of dishes with Potatoes and Oranges:
Duck Confit with Mashed Potatoes and Orange Sauce
And a friend of mine likes to fold in some orange zest into his mashers...

Trig said...

A modern take on Duck a l'Orange, I guess, Roberto. There are several versions on the list that my dad sent me, including Caneton a l'Orange, Confit de Canard with Pommes Sarladaise and Roast Norfolk Duckling with Orange Served with Bubble and Squeak.

I rather liked Rosemary Lamb Shanks Valencia. It unifies Yorkshire, where dad lives and where lamb shank is still all the rage and Valencia where I am, with our local orange-based dishes.

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