Thursday, October 4, 2012

Young And Innocent Days -- Two More Plats Du Jour Recipes

Bratwurst Museum, Holzhausen Germany (Link)

It’s funny to be posting these when I’m trying to cut back, be abstemious – transition into veganism, in fact.  But there is a new chill in the air and these Plats du Jour recipes by Patience Gray and Primrose Boyd are both so appealing and fit our regional Pennsylvania larder and local cuisine so perfectly.

I’ve read that the Boerenkool Met Rookworst recipe is a sort of “essence of Holland” dish.  I think I will need to try it before completing my virtuous monk-transformation.  I have a couple of Dutch friends, but mostly whenever I think of Holland I remember my late friend Gil Power, who moved to Amsterdam a long time ago (temporarily), financing the venture with sale proceeds from his childhood coin collection.  He initially tried to teach himself Dutch by reading a translated copy of Mutiny On The Bounty, a book he felt he knew almost by heart.  

Funny memory, that.  When Gil returned to Swarthmore, I mostly remember learning about how the Dutch ate their french fries with mayonnaise and, of course, about the wonders of rijsstaffel and nights spent at the Paradiso.

I’ve never visited The Netherlands, but I would like to a lot.

Kale painting by Lisa Foster (Link)


Curly kale with smoked sausage and potatoes

     8 leaves curly kale, 1-1/4 pound smoked sausage, either 1 large or several small Frankfurters, 4 pounds floury potatoes, salt and pepper to taste, and a piece of bay leaf.

     Remove the hard stalks from the curly kale, wash the leaves well, and put them to boil in salted water. At the end of 3 minutes, strain the kale and chop it finely.  Clean the pan in which it was cooked and put in the bottom of it the peeled potatoes, which have been cut into pieces about 1-1/2 inches square. Add a little salt and some black pepper to them, and mix the chopped kale in with the potatoes. Put in the piece of bay leaf and then lay the smoked sausage on top.  Just cover the potatoes with water, put the lid on the pan, and bring the contents to the boil. Reduce the heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are well done and the sausage is cooked. It may be necessary to add a little water. The final result should be a rather thick stew, a good dish for a cold winter’s day.

Julia Child's hands and whisk preparing quiche Lorraine.


     This is the veritable quiche lorraine.  A number of recipes for it include small pieces of gruyere placed on the bottom of the pastry with the bacon.  But the simplicity of the cream and bacon mixture on its own is very good indeed.

    In this dish, the pastry and contents are baked together in the first instance.

    Line a shallow baking dish with paté feuilletée, which can have been made with: 8 ounces of plain flour, 6 ounces of butter, 2 ounces of beef dripping, and about ½ gill of cold water.  A pinch of salt if necessary.

    For the filling:  4 rashers of bacon (green bacon is very good for this), 1 good sized fresh egg, ½ pint of fresh cream, some black pepper (a very small pinch of salt if the bacon is not highly salted), and about ½ ounce of butter.

   Cut the bacon into dice, fry them until they are crisp, and let them cool.  Beat up the egg with salt, if you think it necessary and some freshly ground black pepper, and then add the cream and mix it well.  Put the fried bacon at the bottom of the pastry case and pour on the egg and cream mixture.  Put very thin pieces of the butter over the top of the filling and bake the quiche in a low oven for about 25 minutes or until it is set and golden on top.

Note None of the egg and cream or milk should be cooked in too hot an oven as, if the mixture boils, it spoils.

Additional Note:  “Green bacon” is fresh or undried, unsmoked bacon.  It is cured in salt or brine or in a dry packing.  ½ gill is the equivalent of 1/8 US pint.  “Fresh cream” means heavy cream.

Third Note:  Apparently, quiche lorraine was Alfred Hitchcock's favorite meal and a dish he liked to cook for company.  HERE (link) is a very interesting, amusing story about that.

From:  Plats du Jour, or Foreign Food by Patience Gray and Primrose Boyd (Penguin Books, 1958).

I actually remember this magazine cover from a childhood doctor's office visit in Lawrence, New York. 

Link:  Young And Innocent Days: The Kinks

Dedicated to John Gilbert Power (1950 - 2007) (Link)

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