hile we love our protein, there’s something awfully nice about starches on the side. Potatoes, roasted, mashed or creamed make the perfect companion to a rare steak. Corn, that uniquely American staple, comes in the form of chips, grits and fresh, on the cob. All have their rightful place at the table, and here, we give center stage to a few of our favorite comforting dishes.
Gilding the Potato
Everything tastes better with truffle butter, especially potatoes. Whether for Thanksgiving dinner or a weeknight dinner, Celery Root and Potato Mash with Black Truffles is a creamy dish that’s sure to make an impression. Dress it with fresh truffle slices in season, or canned truffle peelings when you can’t get fresh to send this dish over the top.
The Hasselback potato has been around since the 1700s when a Swedish hotel debuted the dish. The appeal lies in the texture, which is baked and crisp on the outside and creamy on the inside. In our version, the delicately sliced potato is slathered with black truffle butter and adorned with thin, crunchy slices of jambon de Bayonne for what can only be described as the ultimate baked potato. Once a white-tablecloth restaurant staple, the Hasselback potato is ready to be embraced as the comfort food that it truly is.
For a tasty variation on sweet potatoes, try Glazed Yams with Hickory Smoked Bacon. The complementary flavors of the tart Granny Smith apples and the sweet golden yams merge together with the smoky and salty bacon kick in this scrumptious dish. Do share the recipe, because this will become a classic for holiday dinners and pot lucks.
Nothing says comfort food like grits. Call them polenta or corn porridge; you already know that grits are a southern staple in the United States. In Southwest France, where they like to spice things up with a dash of piment d’espelette, they’re called escaoutoun. In our version, we whip black truffle butter into the cornmeal along with cream and demi-glace, and generously stud it with diced ham. If there’s any piment d’espelette around, we sprinkle some on top. Now that’s grits with a French accent.
For a more traditional take, Tasso Ham & Grits is a dish that’s great to make in summertime, when fresh corn is at its peak. The grits are complemented by plump kernels of corn in this easy recipe that takes no time to make. Top the grits with sliced tasso ham to bring all the heat and flavor of Cajun country home.
When it comes to entertaining, chips and dip are ubiquitous at parties. Your guests will go wild for our smoky and creamy mushroom bacon dip. Serve it with carrots, celery and crisp Belgian endive leaves as well as thick-cut potato chips and toasted pita for dipping. Looking for cream-free dip? Our truffled white bean dip offers the heady taste of black truffles balanced with the earthy flavor of Tarbais beans.
Who doesn’t love buttered popcorn? We like it popped the old fashioned way (in a pot) with duck fat and slathered with melted black truffle butter. Once you’ve tried this recipe, you will find yourself reaching for the truffle butter every time you make popcorn. You’ve been warned.
If you like truffles, give this heavenly truffle mac-n-cheese, baked in a large dish or individual ramekins, a try. We love the zone where haute cuisine meets humble, home cooking. This dish is surely the perfect example of this delicious trend.
And for something a little sweet, our bacon brittle will be a sensation at your dessert table. Break it into small pieces and serve in a deep tray. With the first taste, your guests will struggle to recognize the flavor of bacon buried in caramel and nutty crunch. And when they do, they’ll reach for another piece. And sigh.