[I thought it would be fun to run a little series over here at DDD: I’ll profile one one of my favorite foods, or a food that I’ve recently discovered and enjoyed, over several days. The series is presented on an occasional (and entirely arbitrary) basis, before I move on to the next lucky comestible. This is the fourth entry on apples.]
After reading all your comments about the Apple and Red Wine Soup the other day, I began to wonder if perhaps I’d been a tad hasty in my panegyric to the soup. Was I too effusive in my praise? I mean, it’s just soup, right? And soup is just food. So what if it has caramelized onions in it? Onions, soft and browing at the edges, infusing the room with their sweet, enticing aroma. And apples, sautéed to golden, yielding perfection, tart and tender and melding with those onions. Oh, and let’s not forget the added piquancy of red wine–a good, hearty, robust wine that would be great on its own, but added to the soup, it creates a rich, thick, beguiling first course—heck, forget that apology! I LOVE THAT SOUP.
Okay. I am now done with the soup. Promise.
But before I move to the main course, I wanted to say “THANKS” for an award from Ashley at Eat Me, Delicious–I’ve been so focused on apples that I forgot to mention it last time! Thanks so much, Ashley, for the “One Lovely Blog Award”! It is much appreciated (and you know I’d love to cook meals for you–come visit!) 🙂 I’m supposed to pass this along, but there are so many blogs I love to read that I really can’t choose. I mean, that would be like choosing between Elsie and Chaser. And isn’t “demure, gentle and sweet” just as appealing as “wacky, hilarious and in-your-face”? Each has its own charms. And so, you are all Lovely Blogs!
I know, you’re thinking, “Okay, so now can we eat that main course?!” Mais, oui, bien sur!
To be honest, this dish was originally intended as an appetizer or side dish, but the “real” main course I attempted a few nights ago was, shall we say, never going to earn a star on the Culinary Wok of Fame. I’ve got a new one in the works, and if it’s a success, we’ll relegate today’s recipe to the back of the table and I’ll post about a new main. Otherwise, it’s time to dig in to terrine!
Whenever I take to whining and whinging about the frigid winters here in Toronto, some smart aleck inevitably pipes up, “But you’re from Montreal! How can you not like winter?!” Well, take it from me, bud, just because you’re born somewhere doesn’t guarantee that you love the climate. (Do you think the polar bears at the Florida Zoo feel like sunbathing?)
And it’s not just the weather (though for the life of me, I will never understand the appeal of minus 30C, snow up to your waist, icicles dangling from your scarf, or having to wear those metal cleats on the bottom of your boots to prevent falling flat on your derrière when you walk two dogs every afternoon). No, it’s also the unrelenting gloom (today’s forecast: gray. Tomorrow: dark gray. After that: whitish gray. Next day: deep gray–etc.), the ridiculous quantity of layers required to prevent frostbite of the extremities; the woolen toques that flatten your hair in thin, swirly wisps that adhere to your forehead; the traffic at a near-standstill every time it snows; the ever-shorter window of daylight, when darkness slams down in a matter of seconds, like a guillotine.
So it’s not an exaggeration to say that I seriously dislike cold. Which works out pretty poorly for me every year between, say, mid-October and the beginning of May. But it worked out extremely well, on the other hand, for this potato terrine.
A while back I spied a recipe for a layered potato terrine with apple and camembert cheese and decided to create my own version, with potato, apple and my favorite goat “cheese” (since, as you may have guessed by now, I’m a little bit obsessed with that cheese). So far, so good.
While the process was fairly involved, it wasn’t difficult, and I had no trouble assembling all the ingredients, layering them in the pan, allowing them “settle” overnight or unmolding the terrine the next day. I was pleased with the fairly compact slices, even without the inclusion of melty camembert to bind them together.
The HH and I sat down, ready and eager to dig in to our (cold) first course. A tentative first bite, and then. . . I pushed the plate away. It wasn’t awful; just nondescript: white on white on off-white on beige (well, it did sort of resemble snow that way. . . ). Curses!
But then it occurred to me–maybe it was those cold potatoes? Great in a salad, but in a terrine. . . well, not so much. I grabbed the plates and popped them in the oven to heat through. Ten minutes later, the HH and I were digging in to a wonderfully warm medley of sweet and salty, with tender spuds offering a perfect base for rich cheese and tart apple. Warmed up, this dish really excelled, appealing to the palate in a way that was entirely lacking in the cold version.
The terrine could serve as a delicious main course alongside a crisp side salad (maybe something like the first one in this post), or some bright, barely steamed broccoli or green beans to add color and textural interest.
And while I know the dish was really intended to be served chilled, I much prefer my version. Like everything else at this time of year, I simply couldn’t abide the cold.
To all my American readers and friends, HAPPY THANKSGIVING! 🙂
“Um, Mum, what did you mean by ‘in-your-face’? That sounds annoying to me, Mum. As if I keep badgering you when I want to play ball, or as if I whine a lot when I want to play frisbee, or as if I howl at you when you sit at your desk trying to blog because I want you to toss my pull-toy, or as if I nip Elsie’s face and ears when I want her to play with me, which is pretty much all of the–”
“Just zip it, Chaser. *sigh*. “
Potato Terrine with Apples and “Goat Cheese”
adapted from Homestyle Vegetarian
While it does require a bit of advance preparation, this is a lovely dish to wow the guests. Unmold the whole terrine on a platter, then slice in thick pieces at the table.
1 recipe Cashew Goat Cheese (or your favorite cheese–one that melts would, in fact, be even better in this recipe)
about 2 pounds (1 kg) new potatoes, peeled
3 granny smith apples
2-4 Tbsp (30-60 ml) coconut oil or other light-tasting oil, preferably organic
2 Tbsp (30 ml) chopped fresh parsley
freshly ground pepper
Line an 8″ (20 cm) loaf pan with waxed paper and set aside.
Boil the potatoes in a large pot of salted water until just soft, about 15 minutes. Drain and cool.
Once the potatoes are cool, cut them into thick disks about 1/2″ (1 cm) thick. Heat about 1 Tbsp (15 ml) of the oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat; cook the potatoes until just golden, then turn and cook the other side, adding more oil as necessary. Remove to a plate that has been lined with paper towels to drain.
Core and slice the apples into 1/4″ (5 mm) thick rounds. Heat another 1 Tbsp (15 ml) coconut oil in the pan and cook the apple until golden but not mushy. Drain on paper towel.
Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Arrange a layer of the potatoes in the pan, then top with a layer of apples and a layer of cheese (you can try to spread the cheese over the apples, or just place dollops of it evenly across the surface). Sprinkle with half the parsley. Repeat the layers, then finish with a final layer of potatoes.
Cover the pan with foil, sealing well. Bake in preheated oven until heated through, 30-40 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
Place a piece of cardboard on top of the foil covering the pan, and put weights over the cardboard (I used cans of tomatoes) to compress the layers. Refrigerate overnight. Unmold and slice into thick slices to serve cold. To serve warm, remove cans, cardboard, and foil; reheat in 350F (180C) oven for about 20 minutes, until warmed through before slicing. Makes 4-6 servings as a main course, or 6-8 as a side dish. Best eaten within 2 days.
Last Year at this Time: Curried Root Vegetable Chowder with Dumplings
Other Posts in this Series:
Lucky Comestible 6(1): Roasted Red Pepper and Apple Dip
Lucky Comestible 6(2): Classic Waldorf Salad
Lucky Comestible 6(3): Apple and Red Wine Soup (with anti-candida variation)
Lucky Comestibel 6(5) Giant Baked Upside Down Apple Pancake
Other Apple-Based Recipes You Might Enjoy:
- Tofu Omelet with Sautéed Apples and Sweet Curry Sauce
Earth Bowl Breakfast (yikes! Getta loada that photo!)
Other Lucky Comestibles:
- Lucky Comestible 1: Sweet Potato
- Lucky Comestible 2: Quinoa
- Lucky Comestible 3: Avocado
- Lucky Comestible 4: Coconut
- Lucky Comestible 5: Cilantro
© 2009 Ricki Heller
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