6 marron, anaesthetized with an ice-slurry/in freezer
For the chips
4 potatoes (Sebago or a local alternative of similar waxiness) washed, scrubbed, cut into chunky chips
1 litre of sunflower or peanut oil
6 garlic cloves
truffle salt (can be pre-purchased, but making it yourself is far more satisfying)
For the aioli
1 egg yolk
juice of ½ a lemon
To make the chips
Place the chipped-up potatoes and oil into a saucepan, bring oil to a rolling boil (medium heat), stir occasionally, monitoring the heat for 15-20 minutes. As soon as you see the potatoes turning golden, whack in whole unpeeled garlic cloves and leave together for an extra couple of minutes. When the chips are ready, drain onto paper towel and toss liberally with a generous amount of truffle salt.
To prepare the marron
Bring a large pot of water to the boil with a bamboo steamer on top. To prepare the marron, spear through the central ridge on the head with a sharp knife, then twist the tails away from the head and steam the tails in the bamboo steamer for approximately 4-5 minutes, or until the shell has turned crimson in colour. Remove the marron from the bamboo steamer, allow to cool slightly, then press firmly on the top of the tail (this should crack the exoskeleton). Remove the digestive tract (poo-tube) and the remainder of the exoskeleton. Reserve until the rest of the recipe is ready.
To make the aioli
Create a well with a tea-towel and insert a clean bowl into it (this will help to keep the bowl from moving around while you whisk!) Add a squeeze of lemon juice, a teaspoon of warm water, a teaspoon of Dijon mustard and an egg yolk into the bowl. Whisk together until everything turns a creamy yellow colour. Add a drizzle of grapeseed oil and whisk in. Keep adding little drizzles of grapeseed until the mixture thickens up to your liking (the more oil you add, the thicker the mix will be). Take the deep fried garlic (from the chips) and squeeze the flesh into the mayonnaise, rendering it an aioli. Season with salt.
If the mayo splits, add a dash of hot water and whisk swiftly – this will help it all come together again.
Making truffle salt or any kind of flavoured salt is as easy as blitzing coarse salt with another ingredient. You can get pretty crazy with it.
If you don’t have marron handy, this can be recreated using any sort of shellfish (just watch the colour of its shell turn for an indicator).
Recipe courtesy of Alice Zaslavsky