Perhaps it should be no surprise that Christian Dior was a gourmand. A man so passionate and committed to producing the finest couture, drawing the perfect line of a garment, creating designs considered works of fine art, would surely have refined tastes in many aspects of life. And Dior, it turns out, loved simple, elegant dishes—scrambled eggs with truffles, roast chicken stuffed with fromage blanc and flambéed in Hennessey cognac, banana sorbet—humble base ingredients elevated by the manner of their cooking, or by the addition of a splash of luxury.
To celebrate their founder’s love of such epicurean delights, Dior has released a digital excerpt of the 1972 limited-edition cookbook La Cuisine Cousu-Main (Tailor-Made Cuisine), including the foreword by the late, venerable French chef Raymond Thuilier and artwork by revered fashion illustrator René Gruau.
Take the humble potato. Dior loved them royally: his favourite way to eat them were duchessed or dauphined—no simple mash or roast spuds for him. Pommes dauphine, in particular, require real commitment, combining the boiled and sieved tubers with choux pastry and egg yolks, before they are formed into balls, rolled in breadcrumbs, and deep-fried.
Such painstaking care, attention, and devotion to a simple ingredient is unusual, impressive—and, in the joy of eating, totally worth the effort.
Roast a chicken well, toss a carefully selected bowl of green salad leaves in a simple dressing, and serve them with these Christian Dior–endorsed potatoes. Just add a bottle of chilled Chablis, and you have a supper fit for a king.
Serves 6 to 8
2 ¾ pounds potatoes
⅔ pound choux pastry (find a recipe here)
4 egg yolks
salt and pepper
oil for frying
Boil the potatoes in salted water. Drain the potatoes, put them in a warm oven for a few minutes, then sieve them.
Season with salt and pepper and place in a dry frying pan, on high heat, stirring constantly, until the potatoes are thoroughly dry.
Remove from heat and mix in the choux pastry and the egg yolks. Pour the mixture in a buttered dish and let cool.
Form balls the size of a pigeon egg. Roll the balls in soft breadcrumbs.
Fry the balls in oil until they are well cooked and look golden.
Set on a paper towel to drain excess oil and season lightly with salt.
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