Crêpe Savoyarde

crepe savoyarde

El viatge virtual gastronòmic d’avui ens porta a la falda del Mont Blanc, a on segur que no hi fa la calor enganxosa horrible que fa ara mateix a Barcelona. No sé si recordareu que fa uns mesos us vaig parlar d’una crêpe que em vaig menjar en un viatge a França i que mai he oblidat. Doncs bé, després d’anys recordant aquella crêpe als meus somnis, l’altre dia em vaig decidir a tornar-la a fer. Tampoc podia ser tan complicat, només necessitava el formatge adequat: el reblochon.

Reblochon

Aquest formatge, que té una indicació geogràfica protegida des del 1958, va néixer al massís d’Aravis, a l’Alta Savoia.

alta savoia

Diu la llegenda que per allà el s.XVI els agricultors de la zona feien la primera munyida de la vaca al matí per donar-la al propietari i que a la nit, quan ningú mirava, en feien una altra per quedar-se-la ells (pot semblar una mica lleig això de robar la llet d’un altre, però estic segura que les condicions de vida dels agricultors eren molt més dures que les dels senyors propietaris, per tant no em sap greu que els hi prenguessin part de la llet). D’aquesta segona munyida en va sortir el terme reblocher, que vol dir agafar la mamella de la vaca per segona vegada (una mica literal, sí), i d’aquí en va sortir el reblochon.

I del reblochon en va sortir la meva crêpe. Anys després, va ser exactament com la recordava: cruixent per fora i màgicament bona per dins, amb la combinació perfecta de bacon, ceba caramel·litzada i reblochon fos.

Crêpe Savoyarde

Prep time: about 1,5 h

Servings: 2

You will need:

  • For the dough:
    • 1 egg
    • 65 g flour
    • 125 ml milk
    • a pinch of salt
    • 1 teaspoon butter
  • For the filling:
    • 2 medium-sized potatoes
    • 150 g bacon
    • 1 onion (if you’re a true caramelized onion lover, make it 2 or 3, depending on the size)
    • about 150 g reblochon
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • a pinch of salt

Mix the ingredients for the crêpe dough in a bowl until the batter is nice and smooth. Cover it with plastic film and let it stand in the fridge for an hour.

Meanwhile, cook the bacon, and chop up and cook the onion over a very low flame until brown and soft. Wash and peal the potatoes, cut them into slices and put them in a pot with a pinch of salt. Cover them with water and let boil for 5 min.

When your dough has rested enough, choose the best frying pan you have (the size doesn’t matter, but it has to be really non-sticky or your crêpe will end being a scrambled-like thing) and put a teaspoon of butter in it. When melted, carefully pour the amount of dough necessary to cover all the pan with a very thin layer. We’re not making pancakes, we’re making crêpes, so when I say thin I mean really thin. Cook both sides and let them cool. The amount of crêpes depends on the size of your pan, but don’t worry, even if you make two big crêpes or a hundred little ones, when filled they’ll taste like heaven.

crepe savoyarde prep 1

Preheat your oven to 180ºC and get ready for the crêpe-assembling party. The optimal order is potato-onion-bacon-cheese-butter, which should be something like this:

crepe savoyarde prep 2

crepe savoyarde prep 3

crepe savoyarde prep 4

crepe savoyarde prep 5

crepe savoyarde prep 6

crepe savoyarde prep 7

Now carefully transfer your crêpe on a baking sheet lined with baking paper and bake until crunchy on the outside and your cheese is completely melted.

crepe savoyarde 2

Enjoy!

Annie

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Potato Dauphinoise

potato dauphinoise 1

Per si encara no us n’havíeu adonat, sóc especialista en coccions al forn. Trobo que és la cosa més pràctica de la història, perquè tu ho poses allà i va fent i mentrestant pots mirar tots els capítols atrassats de Game of Thrones que tens pendents, per exemple, i veure el King Joffrey liant-la parda mentre se’t fa el sopar tot sol. O la Sansa Stark cagant-la com sempre i el Tywin Lannister que és com dolentíssim (com tots els Lannisters, de fet) i la psicòpata de la Daenerys cremant ciutats i tal. Molt educatiu tot plegat.

A més, el forn et permet aconseguir una cosa que et no dóna cap altra tècnica culinària: Sa Majestat el Gratinat. Qualsevol cosa és més bona amb formatge al damunt, estem d’acord, però qualsevol cosa és immensament més bona si el formatge està calent, mig fos mig torradet, allò que fa crec-crec quan el talles. Espectacular.

potato dauphinoise 2

Doncs bé, avui el gratinat ve en forma de dauphinoise de patata, que és una forma fashion de dir “patates gratinades”. En principi la recepta és amb crema de llet però per estalviar calories, que últimament no estic fent gaire exercici per culpa dels Lannisters , l’he substituïda per quark, que a part de tenir molt menys greix és un formatge (i en principi d’això va el blog).

I ja ho veieu, si encara no sabeu com acabarà el pobre Bran allà perdut per les muntanyes anant cap Castle Black i ho voleu saber, aneu engegant el forn!

Potato Dauphinoise

Servings: 6

Prep time: about 1h 30 min

You will need:

  • 1kg potatoes
  • 250g quark
  • 1 cup milk
  • 250g mozzarella (like the one we used for our cannelloni)
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • salt and pepper

Wash and peel the potatoes and cut them into thin slices. Be careful if you use a slicer! The only thing we want to slice are potatoes; not fingers, nor fingernails, nor any other part of your anatomy you happen to have near the slicer.

potato dauphinoise prep 1In a large bowl mix the quark with the milk and season with nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste. Add the potatoes and stir until well coated. Pour the mixture into a baking dish and sprinkle as much mozzarella as you can/want on top.potato dauphinoise prep 2Now it’s time to bake it at 200ºC. The baking time is difficult to say, it depends on the thickness of your potato slices, the type of potato, the size of your baking dish… I’d say about 1h, but keep an eye on it and check the potatoes for doneness by stabbing them murderously with a knife from time to time. If the mozzarella starts turning brown and your potatoes are far too uncooked, cover your baking dish with aluminum foil until well cooked and then uncover it to let the mozzarella achieve the perfect crispiness.

potato dauphinoise 3Enjoy!

Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd's Pie 29

Back when I was studying in Germany, I had this friend whom I loved dearly. We lost contact after I moved back to Barcelona, but I still think of her often. We had many a crazy adventure in the dark wilderness of the North, and I still remember snippets of a secret language, nicknames for most everyone we knew, and laughing, a lot. One thing in particular has stuck to my mind, though: She had terrible eating habits. So did I, mind you. Oh, to be a young cheesecake-devouring fiend all over again… So many fond, sugar-coma memories.

The one thing she did know how to cook, however, was Shepherd’s Pie. Well, that, and eggs on toast. While she taught me the secret winding paths that lead to the latter, we never did get around to cooking the pie.

Thus, I gathered all my knowledge and wisdom and considerable resourcefulness and hit google. Then I tweaked it a very little bit, and shazzam! I got myself a Shepherd’s Pie recipe that is to die for. If I do say so myself. I’ve made this countless times since, and it never fails to transport me back to those endless, cold winter nights spent longing for a fireplace, or the college equivalent… vodka.

Well, hey, we all have a past. Let this pie be atonement for my college devilries.

Now, I do realize the cheese is not strong with this recipe. In fact, you might even leave it out altogether, should you feel so inclined, but why in the world would you want to do that?

Shepherd's Pie 26

Shepherd’s Pie

Servings: about 5 0r 6 people, preferably half frozen to death

Prep time: aprox. 1’30h

You will need:

  • 1kg potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 500gr ground beef
  • 2 large diced carrots
  • 2 diced onions
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 corn
  • 3 or 4 tablespoons tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, or soy sauce
  • grated cheese to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste

Shepherd's Pie 1-horz

Start with the mashed potato layer. Place the potato chunks in a deep pan and cover with water (I used broth for extra flavor). Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 20 minutes, or until completely tender. Drain the potatoes and mash them thoroughly with a fork (or if the 21st century has reached your kitchen, use a potato masher). Stir in the butter and milk while still hot, and season with salt and pepper.

 

Shepherd's Pie 11

Shepherd's Pie 13

While the potatoes are boiling away, start preparing the filling. Cook the ground beef in a large skillet until thoroughly browned and no pink bits remain. Transfer the meat to a plate or bowl, but reserve some of the drippings in the pan.

Shepherd's Pie 3

Add onions and carrots to the same pan, and cook until tender.

Shepherd's Pie 6

Then stir in the peas, corn, tomato sauce and Worcestershire / soy sauce.

Shepherd's Pie 7-horz

Shepherd's Pie 18

Cook for a few minutes, or until the peas have thawed, then return the ground beef to the pan.

Stir well to mix the ingredients evenly.

Shepherd's Pie 4-horz

Transfer the filling to an oven-proof dish. Dollop spoonfuls of mashed potatoes evenly over the filling and smooth into an even layer.

Shepherd's Pie 20-horz

A word of caution: The mash and the spoon will have formed a deep bond of friendship. They will be loath to part, and it will take quite a bit of coaxing, shaking, scratching and/or cursing to get the mash to drop on the filling. If you feel like it and don’t want to toss the whole thing out of the window, create little peaks on the mashed potato layer to get crispy edges later on.

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Bake on medium-high for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with some shredded cheese and return to the oven for another 10 minutes, or until the cheese has begun to brown.

Cool for 10 minutes, then serve immediately.

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Enjoy! 🙂

Parmesan Potato Wedges

parmesan potato wedges

Ara us faré una pregunta existencial, i en funció del que respongueu podreu seguir endavant o us demanarem molt amablement que abandoneu aquesta pàgina.

Pareu atenció! La pregunta és: t’agraden les patates fregides?

Si la resposta és un sí rotund, felicitats! Seguiu llegint, que aquesta recepta és especial per a vosaltres. Si la resposta és que no, o bé sou una aranyeta de google que heu caigut a aquesta pàgina per indexar-la (en aquest cas, endavant! com si fossis a casa teva!), o bé sou un àlien. De fet no, jo crec que fins i tot un àlien respondria que sí. A no ser que fos un àlien fet bàsicament de patata; en aquest cas seria canibalisme, i això sol estar socialment poc acceptat. Així que, si sou àliens de patata com cal, que no voleu ser rebutjats per la vostra societat feculosa i patatil, sisplau deixeu de llegir aquesta pàgina. En tenim d’altres que no feriran els vostres sentiments ni els de la vostra comunitat. Moltes gràcies i disculpeu les molèsties.

La resta, tornarem a la qüestió que ens ocupava: les patates fregides. Hem quedat que a tots els que estem llegint això ens agraden les patates fregides. Tinguin la forma que tinguin, en qualsevol moment del dia, acompanyant qualsevol cosa. Sí, acceptem-ho, fins i tot com a plat únic. Són un valor segur per a sopars amb amics, sessions de cine, partits de futbol, reunions familiars i festes diverses, però, com tot, tenen un inconvenient: els qui n’hagueu fet per algun d’aquests esdeveniments més o menys multitudinaris haureu descobert que pelar, rentar, tallar i fregir patates per a molta gent, si no tens una fregidora industrial i un exèrcit d’ajudants, és un martiri.

Doncs bé, per alliberar-vos d’aquest suplici avui us proposo una manera més original, menys oliosa i, sobretot, mooolt més còmoda d’oferir als vostres convidats unes patates amb glamour.

parmesan potato wedges 2

Parmesan Potato Wedges

Servings: difficult to say. No matter what quantity you make, they’ll always want more! It’s like a magician’s vanishing act: Now there’s a truck load of potato wedges. No there isn’t. Houdini would be proud.

Prep time: about 1 hour

You will need:

  • 6 potatoes
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1 cup Parmesan, grated

Preheat your oven to 230ºC. Wash your potatoes (the skin is staying on, so make sure you scrub them well) and cut them into wedges. Actually, the exact shape makes no difference whatsoever, so go ahead and cut them into any shape you like. Half moons, match sticks, orchids, panda bears, anything will do. Mine ended up looking like this:

parmesan potato wedges prep 1

Now place your cut up potatoes in a bowl and cover them with cold water. Let them stand for 15 min, then strain and dry with paper towels.

Place the salt, garlic powder, paprika, and black pepper into a large ziplock bag. Add potatoes and shake them like it’s 2013. You know the drill; Harlem Shake and all that.

 

Now add the olive oil to the bag and shake it all over again. You want your potatoes to be all nice and coated in spice and olive oil goodness.

 

Line a baking sheet with baking paper, then place the potatoes on it and bake for about 30-35 minutes, until they are all brown and cripsy. Because there really is nothing better than brown and crispy potatoes. Right? Wrong. Just wait for it.

While the potatoes are baking to brown and crispy perfection, place the chopped parsley and Parmesan in a large mixing bowl.

Now the magic begins. Place the potato wedges in the parsley-Parmesan mixing bowl and gently fold them in. You want the Parmesan to coat the potatoes. You know you do.

Serve it with ketchup, barbecue sauce, some homemade-style tomato sauce or whatever you want. Or you can do what I did: ditch sauces, just eat them on their own and let Parmesan be the king of the party!

Enjoy!

parmesan potato wedges 3

Gorgonzola Soup, or Confessions of a Gorgonzola Addict

Gorgonzola Soup_2

Let me sing you the song of my people.

My people are intense and flavourful. My people are creamy and smooth. White and blueish and greenish, in that dodgy mouldy way. They have mysterious customs and are known by many a name; but around here we address them only by one –

Gorgonzola.

No, seriously. If Gorgonzola were a man, I’d marry him. If it were a woman I’d marry it. Hell, I think I might just go ahead and marry it anyway. If I told you how many recipes of mine contain Gorgonzola, you’d be pressing that panic button under your desk PDQ.

Oh, the many joys of Gorgonzola… I shall not – cannot possibly – list them all here, so I will let the crowning jewel of my Gorgonzola recipe collection speak for itself.

Now, this recipe masquerades as a cream of vegetable wannabe, what with the onion and all that, but do not be fooled. This is not a light summer dish. This is so, so much more. This is roasted onions and molten Gorgonzola and crispy bacon, and you will hear your arteries sigh resignedly while your soul sings with bliss. It might even dance a little jig, if you add enough bacon. Because, you know, everything is better with bacon.

And Gorgonzola.

Gorgonzola Soup

(This recipe originally came from Culinary Concotions by Peabody‘s blog, which is awesome on so many different levels.)

Servings: aprox. 5 – 6

Prep time: a little over an hour

You will need:

  • Olive oil
  • 2 small potatoes, or 1 medium, peeled & diced
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 3 cups (aprox. 700ml) chicken broth
  • 1 cup cream (aprox. 250ml)
  • 120-150gr Gorgonzola cheese
  • bacon to taste, I recommend 200gr, cooked

Heat some olive oil (I just eyeball it, but I’d say you need about 2 or 3 tablespoons) and add the chopped onions and potatoes.

Gorgonzola Soup Prep 1

Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and translucent. It should look somewhat like this:

Gorgonzola Soup Prep 2

At this point, you want to add your chicken broth, wait for it to boil and then reduce the heat to low. Cover your pot and simmer gently (I repeat, gently. You do not want to boil the living daylights out of this little baby) for about 30 minutes. Use a fork to check whether your potatoes are nice and soft. Simmer a little longer if necessary.

Gorgonzola Soup Prep 3

Proceed to take the pot off the heat source and carefully puree with a hand blender. I say carefully, because it’s hot, and you don’t want the soup splashing on your hands. Or on your face, for that matter. It will hurt. I speak from experience.

Now, once you’ve stirred around a bit to catch any stray bits of potato that have eluded the mortal knives of the blender, and your soup is nice and smooth, return the pot to low heat and stir in the cream. At this point you seriously want to avoid any boiling, because the soup now contains cream, and cream is a joyful creature prone to boiling over. If you’ve ever tried scraping burnt cream off your stove, you know the nightmares I speak of.

So, to preserve your sanity, keep the heat low and stir. All. The. Time.

And now the games begin.

Add tablespoons full of Gorgonzola to the soup and stir continuously until they have melted into the onion and potato base. Taste as you go, because some brands of Gorgonzola are milder than other, and you don’t want to overdo it.

Divide the soup among the bowls and top with a light sprinkling of crumbled bacon. Or, you know, dump a truckload on it.

Gorgonzola Soup

Enjoy!