Chef Nicolas Poelaert works at Melbourne’s Embrasse and is from a small village in Northern France. He tells us about one of his favourite recipes. Aligot is a dish traditionally cooked in Aubrac, in the south of France. It is composed of melted cheese blended into mashed potatoes, often with garlic.
800 g potatoes
50 g butter
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp creme fraiche (or 2 tbsp cream)
600 g tomme d'Auvergne cheese (or a good-quality sharp cheddar), cut into cubes
salt and pepper, to taste
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender and drain. Mash the potatoes or put them through a potato ricer. Return the potatoes to the pan over a very low heat. Stir in the butter, garlic and cream. Gradually add the cheese a handful at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon as you go.
Once all of the cheese has been evenly stirred through, season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.