Cook Naked: Fingerlings to Give Picnics a French Twist

26 Aug

152/365 Death is the sound of distant thunder at a picnic

Ah, fingers drizzled in fragrant oil. What’s not love? Close your eyes, picture this. Breathe the scents.

Does it make your tongue twitch? Your mouth water?

Ah, wait. My sweet one, Sarai, she is like the backseat driver, reading over my shoulder when I blog. Une minute.

Pardon, fingers, this is the wrong word. πŸ™‚ Sorry. I give the wrong impression. We’ll have more than tongues twitching out there.

Fingerings. This is what I mean. Today I teach you to use fingerings in a special way to give a French twist to a picnic favorite.

She laughs now. What? Perhaps we need to put troublemakers someplace where they won’t distract me! Une minute.

Oh, sorry. Forgot the “l”. This language is tricky. Fingerling is right? She is nodding. Still laughing. That, she will pay for later.

So, as I was saying, the secret French twist is the delicate blend of fingerlings and fragrant oils for the potato salad. You want romantic for your picnic, yes? I know, I know German potato salad is the traditional favorite. Forgive me, mes amis, but big chunks of cold potato, slathered with mustard, mayonnaise, and pickle relish — this is not sexy.

So, we make a few changes.

French fingerlings are a good start. The skin of these potatoes has a sexy red blush like a nicely warmed bottom. Now if you cant find these, substitute your favorite fingerling. The purple fingerlings are nice — they say passion.

We cook the potatoes gently, a soft simmer. We want the flesh to warm slowly, soften and moisten. La pomme de terre we call the potato in French — apple of the earth. Mm, I love this idea, the earthy body slowly simmering. When it is ready, you can penetrate with the knife, but we want a little resistance here — a tightness — no gliding right in and out. Don’t overcook.

When they are done, you can undress them fully or partially, depends on your preference. Sarai, she tells me I don’t mean undress. I think I do. She says skin the potato. Skin??? I think no. What do you think? We need a better word. You tell me in the comments. Unwrap, perhaps? They are like small presents from the earth to you. Unwrap the goodness.

Next, you part them down the middle.

Une minute. Another interruption. She laughs at me now, but soon she will beg. Count on that.

You know this, what I mean. I know you know, like parting thighs. But she say to me it must be “slice them”. When I want her open for me I don’t slice!

She insists we are slicing fingerlings. Shudder. I will separate them gently. You have to bring a respect and reverence to technique and preparation to yield exquisite results. Lean close, breathe the sweet vapor rising to greet you when you part tender flesh with your blade.

Now we can’t leave these as they are, uncovered, un-topped. And yes, “topped” is the word I want. More than fingerlings need topping today, but we will start with them and see to the troublesome lover shortly. *Glaring over shoulder*

Chop some fresh thyme, enough to yield a few small spoonfuls, more or less, you have to taste your way to it. You understand? The herbs will let you know what is right. The seasoning depends on how fresh, how strong are the natural oils.

You add good extra virgin olive. There should always be extra virgin in the kitchen, n’est-ce pas? πŸ˜‰

Here we don’t rely on a specific number. I could say use a third a cup, a quarter cup, but these are not things you can just cut from a recipe and paste onto your food.

If there are many potatoes, if yours are particularly dry or moist, adjustments must be made. So you mix a little less than you think is right, then add more as you need it, until you discover the perfection. So in your big bowl, mix the potatoes, the thyme, and then drizzle oil.

Maybe you have a taste for a different flavor, like fennel, or rosemary instead of thyme. This is fine. Experiment.

Mix with your fingers, go skin to skin, this is how you know what balance is right. Feel the dish respond to your touch, the textures change.

Taste often. In cooking (and also lovemaking) the tongue is your compass. Instead of the four directions, we have the four elements — temperature, moisture, texture, and something I can only describe as electricity. There is a spark you feel against your tongue when blend is right, a tiny zap that makes you want to stick your tongue back in again and again and again. Learn the art of the compass, mes amis. If you learn nothing else from me, learn to let your tongue be the guide. Taste everything. Make a change, then taste again. You will know when it works.

There you have it. French Fingerling Potato Salad. Serve this warm. Warm releases the essence, the scent, makes you crave her.

Experiment, mes amis. Find your taste. In the kitchen and out, find a life flavored to satisfy your desire.

~Bond

~~~~~~~

Le Marquis de Bond is the kinky French Chef from Nara Malone’s novel, The Dungeon Gourmet. This is a weekly column blogged at Passionate Reads by the character and future posts will include guest authors and characters.

The Dungeon Gourmet is available here from Ellora’s Cave, and yes Bond blogs in the story.

9 Responses to “Cook Naked: Fingerlings to Give Picnics a French Twist”

  1. Nessa August 26, 2010 at 10:38 pm #

    Potato salad has never been more fun and I never thought of it as sexy before.

    • Jacques Bond August 26, 2010 at 11:44 pm #

      Thank you for stopping by, Nessa. With the right ingredients food is always sexy. Don’t you think?

  2. Kelly Jamieson August 26, 2010 at 10:40 pm #

    Whew! Worked up some heat reading that! Cooking has never been so sexy! Looking forward to more, Monsieur Bond!

    • Jacques Bond August 26, 2010 at 11:42 pm #

      Thank you, Kelly. You come back sometime. We’ll cook something up together.

  3. Kaily Hart August 27, 2010 at 1:18 am #

    LOL. I admire anyone who can cook anything (says Kaily who doesn’t ‘do’ the kitchen).

    • Jacques Bond August 27, 2010 at 10:57 am #

      I could teach you to love the kitchen. You have to come cook with me sometime, Kaily.

    • Nara Malone August 27, 2010 at 11:02 am #

      You should take him up on that. He certainly gave me a whole different perspective on cooking.

  4. brian August 27, 2010 at 3:22 pm #

    i dont think i caught that first time…can you show me again…smiles.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Cook Naked: Fingerlings to Give Picnics a French Twist (via ) « Nara Malone - August 26, 2010

    […] Ah, fingers drizzled in fragrant oil. What's not love? Close your eyes, picture this. Breathe the scents. Does it make your tongue twitch? Your mouth water? Ah, wait. My sweet one, Sarai, she is like the backseat driver, reading over my shoulder when I blog. Une minute. Pardon, fingers, this is the wrong word. Sorry. I give the wrong impression. We'll have more than tongues twitching out there. Fingerings. This is what I mean. Today I teach yo … Read More […]

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