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Saturday, September 3, 2016

Darphin, Paillasson, Dauphine and Dauphinois on French Menus.

Behind the French Menu
Bryan G. Newman

Pomme de Terre Darphin - Potatoes Darphin
and Pommes Paillasson.
Darphin or Paillasson Potatoes. A dish originally only made with thickly grated potatoes. The traditional Pommes de Terre Darphin are grated potatoes are dipped in egg, flavored with salt, pepper, and herbs and fried like a thick pancake. In the South-West of  France, these Darphins  may be fried in duck fat. T The thickness and extra crispy finish make the final potato pancake clearly different to Röstis and Latkes.  Pommes de Terre Darphin will be on many menus and are not to be confused with other dishes using the slightly similar sounding name of Dauphine. The same dish may be on another menu as Pommes Paillasson or Paillasson de Pomme de Terre which translates as a door-mat of potatoes; that name refers to the desired thickness of the grated potatoes.
Darphin recipes have moved on

Today’s Darphin dishes are no longer restricted to thickly grated potatoes. A menu may now offer a Darphin de Celery made with thickly grated celery.  Other menus may offer a Darphin de Topinambour, a dish made with thickly grated Artichaut de Jérusalem, Jerusalem artichokes. I have been told that this dish was originally a specialty of Lyon but who initially gave the name Darphin to this recipe I have still not discovered.
Darphin and Paillasson on French Menus:
Darphin de Saumon –  Salmon cooked together with the thickly grated potatoes,
Carré D'agneau au Thym et Miel, Pommes Darphin et Son Fagot d'Haricots Verts –  Rack of lamb prepared with thyme and honey and served with potatoes Darphin and a bundle of France’s favorite fresh green beans.
Esturgeon, Sauce Vin Rouge, Pommes de Terre Darphin et Topinambour. - Sturgeon, the fish, prepared with a red wine sauce and served with potatoes and Jerusalem artichokes Darphin.
Galette de Légumes Anciens Façon Darphin –  A thick vegetable pancake made in the traditional manner of Darphins..

Faux-Filet et Pomme de Terre Darphin
Le Filet de Bœuf, Darphin Pomme-Céleri et Crème Noisette- A beef fillet steak, a beef tenderloin, accompanied by a celery and potatoes Darphin served with a creamy hazelnut sauce.
Maigre Poêlé Pommes Darphin, Sauce Bacon Meagre, Salmon Bass lightly fried with potatoes Darphin and served with a bacon flavored sauce.

Mignon de Veau Rôti, Pomme Paillasson, Beignet de Fleur de Courgette et Crème de Parmesan – A cut from a roast veal tenderloin, the French Filet Mignon, served with Pommes Paillasson, deep fried stuffed courgette flowers (the USA zucchini), all served with a cream of Parmesan sauce.
Pommes de Terre Dauphine
A Dauphiné  is a Dolphin
The Dauphiné  on the menu is not the mammal or even the dolphin fish. Dauphiné on French menus indicates recipes that originated in the departments of Savoie and Isère in the Rhone-Alps along with others from the department of Alpes-de-Haute-Provence in the region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur.

More than eight hundred years ago Dauphine was an independent state in the Southeast of modern France. There the ruling Counts, under the banner of the Holy Roman Empire used the title Dauphiné.  At the end of the 14th century, the Dauphinés sold their land and their titles to the French King. I believe they received an offer they could not refuse!

The centerpiece of their flag, the dolphin then became the hereditary title of the eldest son of the King of France and part of his standard (flag).
During the French Revolution, the province was divided into three departments: the Drôme and Isère in the Rhône-Alpes and  the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur.Later some of the Province's lands  were added to the department of Rhône also in the Rhône-Alpes.

The standard (flag) of the French King’s eldest son,
the Dauphiné.
The French King’s standard remained the fleur-de-lis, the flower, the lily of the valley. France ended up with more territory, and French restaurants ended up with Pommes de Terre Dauphine and other dishes.
Pommes de Terre Dauphine  -  Potatoes Dauphine are potato croquettes mixed with choux pastry, and fried.

Pommes de Terre Dauphine
Gratin Dauphinois – This is baked sliced potatoes cooked in milk and cream, flavored with nutmeg, garlic, thyme, and shallots and then browned under the grill usually with Gruyere or Parmesan cheese.

Gratin Dauphinois

Ravioles du Dauphiné – Small squares of pasta stuffed with white cheese, Comte, and Emmental cheese and served sautéed in butter. This ravioli while made in restaurants and private homes is also available commercially. The ravioli is made by a group of six producers who have been awarded a Label Rouge, the red label, for their consistent and unique quality and use of the original recipe.

Preparing Ravioles de Dauphine
Photograph courtesy of
Dauphine dishes on French Menus:
Entrecôte Sauce au Poivre, Gratin Dauphinois et Salade Verte. -  A rib-eye steak in North America,  in the UK a rib-eye or fore-rib. This is a pepper steak served with Gratin Dauphinoise and a green salad. Pepper steaks are usually made with green pepper corns; they give the chef more control over the pepper taste.

Filet de Truite Saumonée Locale, Sauce Vierge, Ravioles du Dauphiné et Légumes.- A filet of local rainbow trout served with a sauce vierge, Dauphine Ravioli and vegetables.   Sauce Vierge  means a virgin sauce. The name comes from the use of virgin olive oil. Sauce Vierge will most usually be on your menu with fish dishes as is this.  As its name suggests it includes virgin olive oil and with the oil will be fresh tomatoes, garlic, lemon juice, basil, red wine vinegar, salt and black pepper. The sauce will be served slightly warm but not cooked as olive oil loses flavor when cooked. The sauce will be poured on the fish just before it is served.
Magret de Canard au Vinaigre de Framboise, Gratin Dauphinois Duck breast prepared with raspberry vinegar and served with Gratin Dauphinois
Ragoût de Lotte à la Crème Areilladou aux Ravioles du Dauphiné – A monkfish stew served with a cream of Areilladou sauce and Ravioles du Dauphiné. (Areilladou is a traditional fresh goat ‘s milk cheese from the Ardèche, the department in the region of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes).
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Bryan G. Newman
Behind the French Menu
Copyright 2010, 2016.
For information on the unpublished book behind this blog contact Bryan Newman

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