Lucky Comestible 6(4): Potato Terrine with Apples and “Goat Cheese”

[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.]

potatoterrinewhole

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.

potatoterrineslicetop

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*. “

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potatoterrinewcans

Last Year at this TimeCurried Root Vegetable Chowder with Dumplings

Other Posts in this Series:

Other Apple-Based Recipes You Might Enjoy:

Other Lucky Comestibles:

© 2009 Ricki Heller

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Comments

  1. Ricki,

    I have had terrine on the brain lately too. However, I couldn’t have come up with potato and apple. That is quite creative!

    Alicia

  2. I totally get why you needed to warm it up – eating such a dish cold at this time of the year isn’t appealing at all… though once warmed up, your version of this recipe is quite tempting!

  3. I dunno, does a forecast of rain, gloom, rain, gloom and more gloom with a bit of torrential downpour thrown in sound good to you? Didn’t think so, I want me some snow. Although I do agree, gloom is no fun, I will take my snow with sunshine please! 🙂
    You must have read my mind; the other day I was thinking about how I really wanted to remember where I had read about that vegan goat cheese. Thank you for solving that problem for me! Now to try it out in my prospective recipe (making that cranberry covered goat cheese you can get around christmas time)
    Here’s hoping you get a repreive of the lousy weather (and me too!).
    -K

  4. WOW! You are so incredibly creative! This thing would be such a hit at a party or for a fun night with friends. I love all the flavor combinations, it would make my taste buds REALLY happy!

  5. Haha definitely DON’T apologize! 😀

    Fun creation there!

  6. Vegan Epicurean,
    I’m glad I saw that recipe, or I wouldn’t have thought of this, either! And it made a really yummy dinner. 🙂

    Josiane,
    Maybe it was the weather! Though I think I would prefer it warm in the summer, too.

    K,
    Actually, I’d prefer no gloom, no rain AND no snow–just summer and spring all year round! Enjoy the cheese 😉

    Voracious Vegan,
    Yes, a great thing to serve at a party–looks good on a platter!

    VeggieGirl,
    I was just kidding about the apology. . . I do love that soup! 😉

  7. another interesting dish – I am not so sure about this one but it does sound very posh – and I am sure E would agree it tastes better warm – he is not one for cold food – especially in chilly toronto – actually have started to pack for scotland and am cursing the amount of winter clothes I have to take when I haven’t even worn a jumper or cardigan for the last few weeks because it has been too hot

  8. This has got to be one of the most elegant Thanksgiving sides I have ever seen! I can only imagine the gasps that would come after unveiling this beauty… And vegan goat cheese with potatoes, man, what a treat!

  9. That terrine would be perfect to wow some nonvegan friends with, especially this season!

  10. This sounds spectacular!

  11. You’ve made the weather here sound good. (And you already know what the weather here is like!) The terrine is so lovely I might need new plates to serve it on.:) And I totally agree with your decision to heat it up — it sounds so much better warm.

  12. What an original recipe. I really do have to give that “goat cheese” a try.

  13. Ohhhh, gorgeous!!! I too can’t abide the cold, so I especially love how you warmed up the cold terrine! 🙂 The layers are so breathtakingly beautiful, too…

    In my humble opinion, one can never say too many wonderful things about soup… 🙂 Soup is the ultimate dish, in my mind! 🙂 I’ll stand with you in support of soup any day! 🙂

  14. This terrine looks spectacular.

    I adore your recipes and your veggie blog is a wonderful read. Care to join a veggie food-fight hosted by me and shesimmers.com and submit a fennel recipe? More details: http://www.bouchonfor2.com/beet-n-squash-you/

  15. What a divine looking terrine!! I so love your delcious flavours!!

    and it is good for you too,…MMMMMMMMMMMM!!!

  16. This sounds incredibly tasty!

  17. very interesting! potatoes are an odd beast, glad you figured out this one was a winner 😉 cute pic on the thanksgiving roundup, too!

  18. Mmm, I really need to try that goat cheez!

  19. Sorry to burst your West Coast weather perfection bubble! 😉 To be fair though, having green grass year round is kind of novel and when it’s not raining, or too hot, the weather is quite nice. I have to admit that I am kind of partial to Prarie weather, yes it gets cold but the sun shines!!
    -K (who is entertained by the ridiculously typical Canadian topic of her comment :))

  20. Whooaa…cool!

    I like my meals like I like my hair: Layered.

    Looks another great holiday dish, Ricki! I think the goat cheese would go really well with the red wine in that soup. You know the soup I’m talking about…THE ONE.

  21. Hey if I’m in the area I may take you up on that offer of cooking for me. 😉 This terrine looks so awesome! Interesting how temperature can really affect how things taste.

    Yaey I’m so happy you got most of the Epicure stuff! =)

Trackbacks

  1. […] Potato Terrine with Apples and Goat  “Cheese” […]

  2. […] batter, why not just use the actual potato? (Why not, indeed?). Plus, y’all know how much I love potatoes. And how much I believe they can be part of a healthful diet (even an anti-candida diet). […]

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