Travelers’ Choice Restaurants represent the most delectable fine-dining venues across the globe, according to millions of traveler reviews and opinions on TripAdvisor. To celebrate the awards and inspire your next culinary adventure, we’re sharing recipes from some of this year’s winners to give you an at-home sampling before you book your reservation.
Travelers’ Choice Restaurant Winner: Joel Robuchon Restaurant – Las Vegas, Nevada
“Every ounce of the food from the foie gras to the gorgeous steak to the melt-in-your-mouth mashed potatoes that are a must-try was amazing.”
Reviewed by TripAdvisor Traveler AVNieves from Cheshire, Connecticut
- 2 lbs. (900 g) baking potatoes, such as Idaho Russets
- ¾ to 1 ¼ cups (180-400 ml) whole milk
- 16 tbsp. (240 ml) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into pieces
- 3 to 4 tbsp. (45-60 ml) salt
- Sea salt, to taste
- Scrub the potatoes, but do not peel them. Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover at least 1 inch (2 ½ cm) with salted water. Ratio should be 1 tbsp. salt per quart (15 ml salt to 1 l water).
- Simmer, uncovered, over a moderate heat until a knife inserted into a potato comes away easily, 20 to 30 minutes. Drain the potatoes as soon as they are cooked. If they are allowed to cool in the water, the potatoes will end up tasting reheated.
- Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, bring the milk just to a boil over high heat. Set aside.
- As soon as the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel them. Then, pass the potatoes through the finest grid of a food mill into a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan set over low heat.
- With a wooden spatula, stir the potatoes vigorously to dry them, 4 to 5 minutes. Now begin adding about 12 tbsp. (180 ml) of the butter, little by little stirring vigorously until each batch of butter is thoroughly incorporated. The mixture should be fluffy and light. Slowly add about ¾ of the hot milk in a thin stream, stirring vigorously until the milk is thoroughly incorporated.
- Pass the mixture through a flat fine-mesh (drum) sieve (see note below) into another heavy-bottomed saucepan. Stir vigorously, and if the purée seems a bit heavy and stiff, add additional butter and milk, stirring all the while. Taste for seasoning.
- The purée may be made up to 1 hour in advance. Place in the top of a double boiler, uncovered, over simmering water. Stir occasionally to keep smooth.
- The keys here are potatoes of uniform size (so they are uniformly cooked), and a strong arm for drying the potatoes with a flat wooden spatula. Be sure that the butter is well chilled, for it will help make a finer, smoother purée. Also follow the proportions of salt to water when cooking the potatoes. You won’t be able to make up for it with additional salt at the end. For exceptionally rich potatoes, the quantity of butter may be doubled.
- One of the most miraculous and effective of kitchen tools is the drum sieve or tamis, a round, wooden-edged fine-mesh sieve shaped like a drum or embroidery hoop. Its fine, flat metal screen is easier to work with than a round-bottomed sieve. It allows you to press or force solids such as mashed potatoes through the screen with a pastry scraper. The drum sieve is also practical for adding a touch of refinement to pastry creams or when preparing vanilla butter.
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See the full list of 2015 Travelers’ Choice Restaurant winners at www.tripadvisor.com/TravelersChoice-Restaurants