Today is the culmination of many months work. And the culmination is this very inconspicuous special: Fermented Potato Bread by restaurant Amass (København, DK), with leek spread.
Nick frequently gains inspiration for new specials when we go on vacation and eat at restaurants in other cities and countries. Last time Nick and I were in Copenhagen (May 2015 for Copenhagen Beer Festival) we ate at a number of restaurants where the chef spent some time at Noma. Amass was one of these restaurants. The chef, Matt Orlando, is actually American and worked for Rene as a Sous Chef for two years and later as a Chef de Cuisine for another several years.
The fermented potato bread was served on the side to be the accompanying bread with the multi-course meal. It was a touch sour and tangy the way a good sourdough loaf is, but underneath you could taste the richness of the potatoes. The texture was unusual, more like a dense pancake than a loaf with crumb, but when topped with the accompanying leek spread, it was unspeakably addictive.
I watched in amazement as Nick, who usually takes a polite bite or two of bread to try it, ate not one, not two, but three fermented potato breads! And this was at the beginning of a twelve-course meal!
When the Chef came by to personally deliver a course, Nick asked him how he makes the potato bread. Good naturedly the Chef described the process as such, “Make mashed potatoes, weigh them, add 1% salt, vacuum seal them and then ferment them in a warm place for up to ten days. When you have the desired flavor add yogurt and flour.”
The chef then said the record for the number eaten was seven. I later teased Nick he only needed to eat four more to meet the record!
Once we returned from Copenhagen Nick set out to re-create the fermented potato bread, but he was unable to get the yogurt and flour ratio right. After several failed attempts Nick instead used the fermented potatoes to make gnocchi, which have been on the specials menu several times since last May.
Finally Nick discovered Matt Orlando unveiled the recipe on a blog. Using the exact ratio Nick was finally able to re-create the fermented potato bread of our dreams and saving you, dear guest, a trip to Copenhagen.
The Fermented Potato Bread is made daily and will be available for the next two weeks every day until we sell out!
This year we are sending Christopher Sanders, our General Manager with Nick to Copenhagen for the beer celebration. They will eat at Amass and compare the original Fermented Potato Bread to Nick’s version. Stay tuned for pictures from that dinner and more inspiration from Denmark!
Stay tuned as we begin a new blog on how Nick gets his ideas for our ever changing specials menu along with details on the process of developing those ideas into the actual dish you eat!
I have something to shameful to admit. I have hidden it for years, but now in this world of full admissions via social media, I feel that I can be honest with my tiny (probably non-existent) blog audience. I can’t cook.
Yes, I worked in the kitchen of several acclaimed restaurants for short periods of time, and yes I cooked for my family quite often as a teenager. I can follow a recipe, I know what most of the basic cooking terms mean and I am serve safe certified (like that has anything to do with cooking.)
Ask me to make a red sauce, though, and I’m likely to pull out a jar of Classico. Ask me to fine dice and you’re likely to get cuts in a variety of shapes and sizes.
When I worked in restaurant kitchens it was because I wanted to be a food writer. I was there to learn how restaurants were organized and functioned; I was not trying to climb the culinary career ladder.
Like most things becoming a great cook comes with practice and discipline. Practice allows you to gain the muscle memory to become confident in your actions. Discipline allows you to work on achieving the same results each time and not cutting corners for speed or laziness.
While I am not lazy, I am a get-it-done kind of girl. I do not have the patience for fiddling about and searching for perfection. While this attitude has mostly served me well in life, this kind of impatience makes for a terrible cook.
Now at age 34 I am for the first time in my adult life going to have a kitchen that’s conducive to cooking. Nick and I are renovating our tiny 1920 craftsman bungalow into a slightly less tiny bungalow with a Viking stove.
You might ask, why doesn’t Nick just cook? After all Nick is a great cook and has all the necessary skills to make the perfect dinner every night. That’s true, but Nick is a Chef, he cooks all day long and it is not relaxing for him to come home and have to consider dinner. Also when you are a chef anyone’s food that is not your own tastes better because it tastes different.
While we are gutting our house, we are staying in my mother’s home which has a fully functioning kitchen. My goal is to be able to cook six dishes perfectly by the end of the 6 month renovation (might be longer, but let’s be optimistic shall we?)
So stay tuned as I update you next week on Cacio, Pepe, e Pancetta.
Truly there is no off season for beer, but when those cooler nights that hint at fall start then folks start to feel the siren’s call of beer. Maybe it’s because there are so many delicious fall beers!
First let’s talk Pumpkin. Weyerbacher Pumpkin is my favorite, but I know lots of people think Southern Tier’s Pumpking is the jam. Dogfish Head Punkin, Terrapin’s Pumpkinfest, there are so many good ones, it just depends what you want, lots of spice? Buttery like pumpkin pie? High alcohol or easy drinking?
Then there’s Oktoberfest, the ancient German fall festival that has been absconded by frat boys. I personally like German Doppelbocks better than Oktoberfest Biers, but they have their place for drinking in the sun as brown leaves blow past.
And before you know it, it’s stout season! Old Rasputian always calls my name, but Cherry Street’s Coconut Porter has been blowing me nutty coconut kisses!
The bestest part of the Porter’s brunch (besides the food and breakfast beers) is that’s there is almost never a wait!