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Golden Sides: Potatoes Times Two

Meat and potatoes are a classic combination, similar to chocolate and vanilla, salt and pepper, peanut butter and jelly. They just go well together. Instead of serving up the standard French fries or the typical baked potato, why not get a little creative? For the Governor's Ball, Wolfgang Puck will be serving up two spectacular spud sides: wasabi mashed potatoes and mini gold-wrapped baked potatoes with French farm-raised Osetra caviar and crème fraiche. Talk about jazzing up your regular old mashed and baked taters: wow Wolfgang! To use these dishes the next time you want a lively and golden side (when you serve it you can stun your guests by saying the dish was also offered at the Oscars after-party),

Wasabi Mashed Potatoes
From Wolfgang Puck

1 pound russet potatoes, peeled
Salted water
4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup heavy cream, heated
1 tablespoon roasted garlic puree (recipe below)
1/2 pound spinach, stems removed
1 teaspoon wasabi mustard powder
Wasabi oil, to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. Cut the potatoes into large pieces of equal size. Cover with salted water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender.
  2. Drain thoroughly. Pass through a food mill and whip in the butter, hot cream and roasted garlic puree.
  3. Blanch the spinach in boiling salted water for 10 seconds. Refresh in ice water. Drain thoroughly.
  4. Transfer to a blender and add wasabi powder and wasabi oil. Process to a puree.
  5. Stir into warm mashed potato. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 4.

Roasted Whole Garlic
From Wolfgang Puck

4 whole heads of garlic
About 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Arrange the garlic heads in a small roasting pan and toss with the olive oil, coating them well.
  3. Roast garlic until very tender, 50 to 60 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool.
  4. When cool, cut the heads in half, crosswise, with a serrated knife and remove the softened garlic pulp. This can be done by squeezing each half or by scooping the garlic out with a tiny teaspoon or small knife.
  5. Transfer to a container, cover, and refrigerate. Use as needed.

Makes about 1/2 cup.

Roasted Yukon Gold Potatoes with Creme Fraiche and Iranian Osetra Caviar
From Wolfgang Puck

12 medium Yukon Gold potatoes
2 ounces Iranian osetra caviar
Crème Fraîche:
2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 cup heavy cream

  1. Make the Crème Fraîche: Stir together the ingredients and let sit at room temperature, covered, until the mixture thickens, usually overnight. Scrape into a container, cover, and refrigerate until needed.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. Wash and dry potatoes. Wrap individually with aluminum (gold if you can find it!) foil.
  4. Place on baking sheet and bake for 1 hour.
  5. Remove potatoes from oven and set aside.
  6. Score and pinch each potato. Dollop with a little bit of the crème fraîche and osetra caviar.

Serves 12.

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