This is a heavenly combination of potatoes and cheese.
2 Pounds yukon gold potatoes -- peeled & cubed
2 Pounds celery root -- peeled & cubed
12 Cloves garlic
6 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons creme fraiche
3 Cups coarsely grated (with a box grater) Tomme de Savoie -- or other cheese with elasticity, ask your cheese monger (a Michelin-starred Chef friend of ours uses shredded mozzarella)
salt and pepper -- to taste
- Boil your potatoes, celery root and garlic in salted water until tender.
- Drain the potato mixture and rice it or put it through a Food Mill.
- Return the riced potato mixture to the pan you used to boil it and put it over a very low flame to dry it a little.
- Stir in the butter and cream.
- Gradually add the cheese a handful at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon as you go. According to the more traditional recipes we've seen, you are supposed to make figure eights in the pot, but your pot might not be big enough for this to be effective. Stir it. Draw the spoon up every once in awhile to admire the long strings you are making.
- Once you have incorporated all the cheese, taste for salt and pepper and serve immediately.
At L'Ambassade d'Auvergne in Paris, where we first had this dish, they make a great show of pulling this highly elastic mixture 1-2' from a large copper bowl!
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