Shaping Pommes Soufflées
Making perfect pommes soufflees (click here for a full recipe) comes down to careful shaping and slicing. Cutting the potatoes into football shapes with a sharp paring knife makes them easier to slice and cook and yields elegant-looking fries.
1. Start with a sharp paring knife and a large russet potato weighing about 12 ounces.
2. With the knife positioned about 1/2" into the potato, slice off a piece.
3. With the knife positioned about 1/2" in from the potato's end, slice off another piece.
4. With the knife positioned about 1/2" into the potato, slice off a piece.
5. With the knife positioned about 1/2" in from the potato's other end, slice off another piece.
6. Rest the potato on one of its long sides and, with the knife positioned about 1/4" into its flesh, slice off a piece.
7. Repeat step 6 with the other long side of the potato so that it takes on a rectangular shape.
8. Starting at the short end of the rectangle, slice a diagonal piece off one corner.
9. Continue slicing diagonally on the three remaining corners of the rectangle.
10. You should now have a potato shaped roughly like a diamond.
11. Round off the sides of the potato.
12. You should now have a potato shaped roughly like a football.
13. Using a plastic Japanese-style mandoline, slice the potato lengthwise into 1/8"-thick slices and transfer them to a bowl filled with cold water.
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