What follows is lengthy. Excuse me in advance.
For this challenge I chose to make pomme dauphine, which is French for potatoes duaphine. Since we aren't considering butter, salt and oil as "ingredients", we have three: eggs, potatoes, and flour.
The flour is gluten free, which is scary, because this dish requires making a pate a choux as the base, and I've never attempted that before with wheat flour, let alone its retarded cousin. Anyway, I tried.
To begin, water and butter are brought to a boil.
After boiling very briefly, the mixture is removed from the heat and all the flour is added and incorporated by mixing vigorously.
The mixture is returned to low heat and mixed constantly until the starches in the flour are cooked through, roughly 5 minutes until a shiny dough is formed.
Eggs are mixed in one at a time until a smooth, almost batter-like consistency is obtained.
Finally, after four eggs, our pate a choux is complete
Meanwhile, the potatoes were boiling, but peeling them was a huge pain, since I used baby golds, as my grocery store didn't carry full sized yukons.
The potatoes are passed through a food mill and then mixed into the pate a choux.
The dough is then scooped out into tablespoon sized balls and dropped into hot oil. A lot of guesswork was involved, because I couldn't find a candy thermometer anywhere near me, and didn't have time to go to the mall. Therefore, I had to rely on my line cook experience and just drip some water into the oil and listen to determine the temp. Water makes a very distinctive sound when dropped into oil that is hot enough.
The finished product couldn't have been better. You'll notice lighter colored ones and darker ones. The lighter color was from the first batch, when the oil wasn't quite to temp.
The dough puffed up perfectly; when finished with salt, they were amazing.
I regret not taking a photo of one broken open. They're almost hollow, as the water in the dough quickly evaporates upon cooking which expands them into spheroids. When finished, they are a crispy ball with a mashed potato center. I will definitely be making these again in the near future.
With some extra pate a choux, I made cream puffs onto which I added melted dark chocolate bar mixed with confectioners sugar. Technically that's four ingredients, but still...