We were invited to an Auberge Espanol the other night…. aka a French potluck.
It was a mixed group of about 16 people – French, English, Belgian….
I was asked to bring Orange Cake with Orange Glaze, which I, of course, did… two of them, actually, so people could have seconds.
And they did.
One of the French woman brought the starter, or I should say, starters.
She had made four verrines. In case you are unfamiliar a verrine is both the name of the tiny glass and the food that goes into it. They can be either savory or sweet; first course or dessert.
Here is one of mine, with a teaspoon in it. Think of a largish shot glass.
Anyway, this lovely lady had four verrines for each of us: Chilled Zucchini Soup, Beet Mousse, Banana Soup, and Seafood with Horseradish.
She inspired me…..
And I had all those oranges….
First, the recipe:
Verrine of Red Beet and Cream Cheese
Total time: 15 minutes
- 7oz (210gr) cooked red beets (beetroot)
- 3.5 oz (100gr) cream cheese
- 1 tbs Balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbs good olive oil
- 1/4 tsp celery salt
- 1/4 tsp lemon pepper
- To garnish:
- 2oz (60gr) cream cheese
- a few chives, snipped
- Put all ingredients, except garnish, in a food processor
- Purée until smooth.
- Spoon into 6 verrine
- Stir remaining cream cheese to soften, then top each verrine with a dab.
- Top with chives and serve or chill for later.
I’ve seen recipes for verrine on French recipe sites and I’ve seen the cute little glasses but I’ve never been inclined to try them as I assumed, for small quantities of something thick, one really needed a food processor rather than a blender.
Then I made the two orange cakes and ended up with a dozen, naked, zest-free oranges.
The cakes use a lot of zest but very little juice.
I decided to juice the oranges and have fresh orange juice for breakfast for a few days.
When we lived in Andorra we usually squeezed oranges fresh every morning, Juice oranges from Spain were cheaper than buying cartons of juice and so much better.
I knew exactly where the juicer was.
Except it wasn’t all there.
I found the top but I couldn’t find the base – you know, the part with the motor.
We went in search.
We got out the ladder and searched higher.
There, on the top shelf of a high cabinet over the freezer in the corner of the pantry was a box with a food processor in it.
I have a food processor?????
Could this be the base for the juicer?
We got it down and opened it. It was still taped from the move…. Obviously I hadn’t missed it.
I vaguely remember buying it, shortly before we moved.
Regardless, I had a new toy! Or a newly found new-ish toy.
So the next night, when we were at the party and had all those lovely verrines I decided to give the food processor a try and make one.
Mine wasn’t as light and fluffy as the one made by my French friend, but I didn’t have her recipe and it was my first try.
I was happy.
Mon mari liked mine better.
He’s a smart man, mon mari.….
We never did find the juicer.