I love new toys!
I decided I wanted to get these rings for making fancy stacks and gratins and things….
I thought I would have to go to a fancy food shop.
I was wrong.
They were hanging right there with all the other standard kitchen utensils in my regular little supermarket.
Some things are easy to find in France.
On the other hand, one of the reasons I wanted to go into Andorra to shop after Christmas was to buy soy sauce and Listerine.
In France I can get little tiny bottles of mediocre soy sauce for a lot of money and no Listerine anywhere.
In Andorra I can get litre bottles of excellent, authentic soy sauce for very little money and Listerine in 6 flavors (who knew?).
When the douane (customs guards) inspected our car on the French border I had 3 litre bottles of soy sauce, 3 five litre bottles of olive oil and 7 litre bottles of Listerine.
I would love to know what he was thinking….
Oh, and 2 bottles of this discovery: Balsámico de Vinagre de Manzana – Apple Vinegar made in the Balsamic style. I can't wait to use it in salads this spring!
In the meantime, I tried it on our Pan-Seared Foie Gras last night…. And it was a good thing….
Of course, I run the risk of not having any left by spring…. I'd have to go shopping again.
When I was still part of the hose and briefcase brigade we had an expense account. This strudel recipe is based on a recipe from Pru Leith's Cookery School book. We've
eaten at her restaurant, Leith's, in London; wonderful food but we were
happy to be on that expense account!
Spinach Strudels with Carrot Tomato Sauce
6oz (175gr) fresh or frozen spinach
2 sheets of filo dough
1/2 cup (2oz, 60gr) shredded cheese
1 tsp dried marjoram
2 tbs butter
The Spinach:If fresh, take any thick stems off of the spinach. Rinse well with cold water – even if it doesn't need it, we want the water. Put the rinsed and drained, but not dry, spinach into a large saucepan. Heat over medium heat about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it wilts. Remove, squeeze dry and roughly chop.
If using frozen, thaw and squeeze dry.
Put spinach, cheese, marjoram and nutmeg in a bowl and mix well, separating the squeezed spinach and fluffing it to combine with the cheese.
The Strudels: Melt the butter. Remove 1 sheet of pastry and re-wrap the rest. It's important to keep filo covered at all times or it will dry out very quickly. Lay the sheet out flat and brush all over with melted butter, starting with the edges (they dry out fastest) and working in. Lay the second sheet on top and brush with butter all over. Spoon the spinach mixture about 2" (5cm) from the narrower edge. Roll the end over the top and continue rolling it up, like a jelly roll. Carefully lift or roll onto a lightly oiled baking sheet. Brush the top with the remaining butter and bake at 400F (200C) for 12 – 15 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown.
When done, remove to a cutting board. Cut in large slices and serve, with Carrot Tomato Sauce on the side.
Carrot Tomato Sauce
The carrots add a slightly sweet flavor to the sauce, nicely offset by the yogurt.
1 medium carrot 3oz (90gr)
1 rib celery
1 tsp dried basil
1 cup (8oz, 250ml) tomato sauce
4 tbs Greek or plain yogurt (2oz, 60ml), crème fraiche or sour cream
Roughly chop the carrot and celery, if using. Cook in rapidly boiling water for 12 – 15 minutes, until tender. Drain. Put carrots, celery, basil and tomato sauce in a blender. Purée until smooth. Pour into a bowl, stir in yogurt and set aside until ready to use.
In addition to this, for the weekly menu for January 1 we have Salmon and Smoked Salmon Lasagne, Braised Chicken with Tarragon Cream, Hungarian-Style Pork Chops, Cuban Beef and Beans….
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For more recipes visit my internet cook book: Easy Gourmet Dinners.