I first tried this interesting dish back in in spring 2003 when i saw the recipe in Cuisine et Vins de France, a french food magazine. Came out quite good and i made salmon parmentier on several occasions, and then as it usually happens forgot about it. Until recently when i was contemplating variations on Hachis Parmentier (see the blog entry on Mashed Potatoes). So today i pulled the magazine and made it again.
Archive for December, 2006
The usual story of our life: long drive home discussing different ideas for dinner, and eventually agreeing that dumplings are in our thoughts; resulting in a swing by asian grocery for wonton skins, ingredients for filling, and some sides. This time we were extremely lucky – elusive chinese leeks were in stock, so it would be Meat Boxes!
Our first encounter with chinese leeks happened about three years ago (they usually available during the winter season). I don’t have a picture but they look like a young garlic, with a wonderful fresh smell that reminds of ramps.
I was meaning to make rice and pork steamed in lotus leaves for as long as i have Dunlop’s Land of Plenty cookbook, guess about two years. The seeming fragility of dried lotus leaves was a main intimidating factor though.
But somehow yesterday this sounded like a perfect dinner so i took a plunge…
This dinner was created from a vague memory of the picture in Red Cat cookbook, the chef Bradley reimagining a classic Portuguese dish by preparing clams with a large patty of pork sausage. No clams in my version but Rancho Gordo’s marrow beans cooked in a lot of olive oil (fagioli al fiasco mentioned in some other post here).
And another twist – the aromatics for the bean stock were dill and scallions, like in a typical greek stew. And with a small head of escarole chopped and added towards the end when beans were practically done. I searched for linguica recipes to make pork patties but ended up fusing several of those found mostly from Emeril and Mario (ok he didn’t have the linguica recipe just a good idea of using pancetta).
Just a sneak preview: sa far we had two blissful days of skiing at Stowe, Vermont. More later.
Rancho Gordo is begging to cook his Good Mother Stallard beans simply and he’s right – i slowly boiled them with just couple of garlic cloves and some olive oil, and the beans and their so called pot liquor came out incredibly rich, and beautiful.
The beans were accompanied by Zuni’s romesco cooked shrimp over wilted spinach: the season of Maine shrimp is started and i used them for the dish – it came out totally unphotographable but very tasty, although the romesco sauce is quite involved – i probably spent about an hour roasting this and pounding that…
After the dinner we had an excellent Basilisco wine and Malvarosa cheese, and Jet Li’s movie.
I was craving something basic like meat and potatoes, like the russian dish i grew up with – zapekanka, of cooked and ground beef meat baked between layers of mashed potato. On the other hand it sounded too plain to bother, so i started raking through my culinary memory (i was driving with nothing better to do anyway): of course Moro potato cakes stuffed with lamb and pine nuts was exactly the idea i was looking for.
and the middle eastern hachis parmentier was born. Followed the Moro recipe but didn’t use any flour for the top – just crushed yukon gold potatoes. Baked it covered in cazuela for about a 45 mins. To finish, i mixed some creme fraiche with an egg and an egg yolk, brushed it over the top, and broiled until browned and slightly puffed.