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Potato Wall, Or Edging. Recipe

Potato Wall, or Edging, is a delightful and versatile dish that adds a special touch to any meal. The concept of creating a decorative wall or edge using mashed potatoes originated as a creative way to elevate the presentation of a dish. This technique has been a favorite among chefs and home cooks for centuries.

Potato Wall offers a visually appealing and appetizing addition to a variety of main courses, such as stews, curries, fricassees, or even vegetarian dishes. The soft and creamy texture of the mashed potatoes beautifully complements the flavors of the main dish, while the golden brown exterior adds a crisp and flavorful finishing touch.

To start, you will need finely mashed potatoes. Choose starchy potatoes like Russets or Yukon Gold, as they yield a fluffy and creamy texture when cooked. Peel and cut the potatoes into evenly sized chunks. Place them in a large pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Cook until the potatoes are tender and easily pierced with a fork, usually for about 15-20 minutes. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot.

To achieve a perfectly smooth and creamy consistency, it is best to use a potato masher or a ricer. Mash the potatoes until no lumps remain, then add butter, milk, salt, and pepper according to your taste preferences. Continue mashing until well combined and smooth.

Now, it's time to create the potato wall or edge. Take a round baking dish or any other oven-safe dish and grease it lightly. Begin by spooning the mashed potatoes around the perimeter of the dish, forming a wall that is two to three inches high. Use the back of the spoon to shape the wall to your desired shape, whether it's round, oval, or rectangular.

To give the potato wall a beautifully golden brown color, brush it gently with beaten egg. This will create a shiny and attractive finish while also adding a subtle richness to the flavor. Place the dish in the oven and bake at a moderate temperature (around 375°F or 190°C) until the potato wall becomes hot and nicely browned. This should take approximately 20-25 minutes. If desired, you can also use a culinary tool called a salamander to give the potato wall a quick blast of direct heat for a more even browning.

Once the potato wall is golden brown and crispy, it is ready to be served. Fill the center of the dish with your chosen main course or side dish. The potato wall not only serves as a stunning visual display but also acts as a delicious container for the accompanying flavors. Its soft and creamy texture adds a delightful contrast to the other elements of the dish.

Fun fact: The technique of creating an edible wall or edge, often called "edging," is not limited to potatoes. Rice can also be used to create a similar effect, especially when edging curries or fricassees. To make a rice edge, simply boil rice until tender, then use the same process of spooning it around the dish to form a decorative border.

Similar recipe dishes that feature a decorative edible border include Shepherd's Pie, where mashed potatoes are spread over a savory meat filling and baked until golden brown. Another dish that showcases a similar concept is Potato Gratin, where thinly sliced potatoes are layered with cream, cheese, and spices, then baked until the top is crispy and golden.

In conclusion, Potato Wall, or Edging, is a classic and delightful way to elevate the presentation of your dishes. It not only adds visual appeal but also enhances the overall dining experience with its creamy texture and golden brown crust. Whether you're looking to impress your guests or simply add a touch of elegance to your meal, Potato Wall is the perfect option.

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