Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Garden-Cook-Event: Topinambours a la boulangere

When I was living in Paris, one of my favorite things to do was to buy a previously untasted vegetable and then devise a way to eat it for dinner. Usually, with the help of the internet, this proved to be a successful adventure. And, every so often, I'd find a vegetable that I not only loved but that was easy to prepare and to find in the US.

One such vegetable was Jerusalem Artichokes. We first had them when at a market in Bayeux where we thought they looked like a cross between Ginger and Potatoes. We bought 1/2 kilo, brought them home, cleaned them and boiled them a few days later. They were delicious--lighter than Potatoes and considerably sweeter, but still with a pleasant crunch. They are one of the few winter vegetables I look forward to eating. For the Boy's birthday about a month ago, we had a wonderful dinner at Perilla, Harold Dieterle's restaurant, where they served a Sunchoke-Creamed Spinach that was absolutely divine.

Unfortunately, sunchokes aren't carried at the Food Emporium near me, so I hadn't yet cooked with them this season. However, when I saw Paulchen's Foodblog announce that the theme for this month's Garden Cook Event was Jerusalem Artichokes, I knew I had to take part.

What I ended up making was my take on a popular French Potato recipe--Pommes de terre a la boulangere--which were traditionally made by cooking potatoes underneath roasts so they could catch all the tasty drippings. The only meat I used in my lighter version is Chicken Broth, but, if I have time, I might try it again using Smoked Bacon and, perhaps, Beef Stock.

Unfortunately, it didn't come out quite as well as I had planned, so I tweaked the recipe a little more and came up with this one, which I much prefer. This time, there is no meat involved; just homemade Vegetable Broth, for which I promise to post a recipe very soon. Enjoy!

Topinambours a la boulangere

Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Add Butter to a saute pan and melt over a medium flame. Add Red Onions and saute until soft, about 5 minutes.

Lightly grease a baking pan. Add Jerusalem Artichoke Slices and Onions, combing well. Pour Broth on top. Season Generously with Salt and Pepper.

Bake for 1 hour, until Onions and Jerusalem Artichokes are soft and tasty. Serve with slices of Lemon and instruct diners to squeeze generously. Yum!

Reve: Why are broken cars called Lemons? I quite enjoy the Citrus; it seems a shame to name an abnormal car after it, no?

Update: Check out Astride's fabulous round-up as well as the voting. The prize is 50 Euros, so choose carefully!


Astrid, Kashim & Othello said...

Thanks for your submission!
The round-up and the voting are online now!

blessings, astrid

Rachael said...

Sounds good to me!

Lady Amalthea said...

Thanks, Astrid! The round-up is beautiful.

Rachael--It was good. Especially the second time, when I tweaked it just a little.