Yugoslavian vegetable dish

From Ruth Wessels.

Can be made several days ahead (without the cheese on top) and frozen after cooking.  Then return the casserole to the oven, to reheat 30 minutes.  Spread the cheese and brown just before serving.

1 potato, diced
1 medium zucchini, unpeeled and diced
1 medium eggplant, unpeeled and diced
2 green peppers, diced
2 small carrots, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1 inch strips
1 Bermuda onion, coarsely chopped
1 cup of shelled fresh peas
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
1/3 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp Tabasco (or soy) sauce                
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
5 large tomatoes, sliced
1/3 cup raw rice
1/2 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese 

  • Combine potatoes, zucchini, eggplant, green peppers, onion, carrots, peas, and parsley with 1/3 cup of olive oil, salt, Tabasco, and pepper.
  • Line an oiled 9 x11 inch (deep) baking dish with half of the vegetable mixture.
  • Layer with half the tomato slices, sprinkle with rice, and add the other half of the vegetable mixture.
  • Top with remaining tomato slices.
  • Mix the remaining 1/2 cup olive oil with vinegar and pour over casserole.
  • Bake, covered at 350°F for 1-3/4 hours.
  • Sprinkle with cheese and place under broiler until cheese is melted.

Tomates provençales

Unless you can find some good vine tomatoes that are nice and red, do not attempt this recipe in winter. The tomatoes are not tasty enough.

6 tomatoes
salt, pepper and olive oil
garlic and parsley, chopped

  • Cut the tomatoes in half, salt them and put them upside down on a paper towel to drain some of their juice.
  • Arrange in a gratin dish.
  • Cover the top of the tomatoes with olive oil, add salt and pepper.
  • Cook for 1-1/2 hours at 375°F.
  • Spread chopped garlic and parsley on top of the tomatoes for the last half hour of cooking.

Tian d’aubergines

Tian is a provençal word often used to describe a casserole of vegetables which can include meat or fish as well.  Eggplant and tomato is a favorite combination of vegetables in the South of France.

It is a good idea to use a covered casserole dish that can go from oven to the refrigerator or even to the microwave, since this dish can be served hot, cold, or reheated.

2 medium eggplants (or 4 small ones)
4 tomatoes, sliced
2 onions, peeled and sliced
6 Tbsp of olive oil
2 Tbsp of balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp of Dijon mustard
salt and pepper

  • Lightly oil a gratin dish and spread the sliced onions at the bottom.
  • Slice the eggplants but do not cut all the way through.
  • Put a slice of tomato between each cut of the eggplants.
  • Slicing the tomatoes in a slant will permit a better fit when layering them into the cuts of the eggplants.
  • Make sure that the top of each tomato is flush with the top of the eggplant to make a nice presentation.
  • Arrange both eggplants, layered with the tomatoes, on top of the sliced onions.
  • Make a vinaigrette sauce sauce by mixing the mustard and vinegar and add the oil.  Season with salt and pepper.
  • Dribble the vinaigrette all over the eggplants.
  • Cook, uncovered, for an hour.
  • Then cover with aluminum foil or with the cover of the dish, and cook for another 45 to 50 minutes.

Spinach Timbale

The custard mixture can be prepared hours in advance of cooking and the cooked mold may be kept warm or reheated. One mold (6 cup soufflé mold) or individual cups can be used.

3 cups of cooked spinach, squeezed dry
1/2 cup of finely minced onions
grated Swiss cheese
2/3 cup of stale white bread crumbs
5 eggs
1 cup of boiling milk
4 Tbsp of butter
salt, pepper, nutmeg 

  • Preheat oven 325°F
  • Cook spinach in 2 Tbsp of butter for 2-3 minutes and season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
  • Oil the inner surface of the mold or cup and cover with bread crumbs.
  • Cook the onions slowly in butter for 10 minutes not allowing them to brown.
  • Scrape the onions into a mixing bowl and stir in the cheese, bread crumbs and seasonings.
  • Beat in the eggs. In a thin stream, beat in the hot milk and butter.
  • Fold the spinach into the egg mixture, correct seasoning (if needed).
  • Turn the custard into the prepared mold and set it in a pan of boiling water.
  • Place on lower third of oven and bake for 45 minutes.
  • Custard is done when a knife, plunge through the center come out clean.
  • Make sure the water does not boil.
  • Remove mold and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  • Run a knife around the edge and reverse on a serving platter.

Quick cumin hollandaise sauce

3 egg yolks, room temperature
1 teaspoon of cumin
salt, pepper
1 Tbsp of lemon juice
1 cup of butter

  • Prepare sauce a short time before serving.
  • Combine egg yolks, cumin and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice in the food processor.
  • Process until lightened in color and well blended.
  • In a saucepan set over medium heat, cook butter until it sizzles.
  • With blades running, gradually pour in the butter.
  • Add the remaining lemon juice and correct seasonings.

Spinach gratin

Spinach mixed with a béchamel sauce is the French counterpart of creamed spinach. The fresh spinach could be replaced by frozen spinach, but the resulting dish wouldn’t be comparable in lightness to the one prepared with fresh spinach. This serves 4 people.

16 oz package of fresh spinach
1 large onion, chopped
a pinch of herbes de Provence
1 cup of milk
2 Tbsp of butter
2 Tbsp of flour
1/2 cup of grated cheese such as gruyère
salt, pepper, nutmeg

  • Wash spinach leaves carefully.
  • Cut off the stems and discard them.
  • Put the leaves in a pot with just a little bit of water.
  • Cover and boil for 2 minutes flipping top to bottom once.
  • Drain and squeeze the cooked spinach dry.

 Make the béchamel

  • Bring the milk to a boil.
  • In another saucepan melt 2 Tbsp of butter and add the chopped onion.
  • Sprinkle some Herbes de Provence and cook until slightly brown.
  • Add 2 Tbsp of flour and mix well.
  • Slowly add the boiled milk and whisk briefly for a smooth sauce.
  • Mix in the cheese, season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
  • Add spinach to the sauce and reheat just before eating.
  • Or, sprinkle additional cheese on top and cook in the oven until nicely browned on top.

Sherried mushroom rice

For 8 people.

 2 cups of Uncle Ben’s rice (cooked according to directions)
3/4 lb of pork sausage
1 medium spanish onion, chopped
3/4 lb of mushrooms
1/2 cup of dry sherry
salt and pepper
1/2 cup of cream 

  • Sauté and drain of all fat the pork sausage. Deglaze the pan with the sherry.
  • Sauté the onion in olive oil until gold.
  • Add the sliced mushrooms and cook until tender.
  • Combine with the rice, add the sherry.  Correct seasoning.
  • Just before serving add the cream.

Ratatouille

This recipe is better when done the day before and reheated.

1 medium eggplant, cubed
4 or 5 small zucchinis, sliced
1/4 cup of olive oil
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1 lb of tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 green pepper, cored, seeded and sliced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tsp basil
sprig of thyme
1/2 tsp of coriander
pinch of crushed aniseed
chopped parsley

  • Sprinkle the eggplant with salt and put let the water drain for 30 minutes.
  • Dry on paper towels.
  • To get the best flavor, you can cook each vegetable separately in a frying pan before proceeding with the recipe.
  • Heat half the oil in a large casserole, add the onion and cook over low heat until soft.
  • In a large pot put the eggplant, zucchinis, tomatoes and pepper.
  • Sprinkle the garlic, herbs, salt and pepper on it.
  • Mix gently.
  • Spoon the remaining oil on top.
  • Cover and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes until vegetables are tender.
  • Sprinkle with parsley and serve hot.

 

 

Pommes Anna

1/2 lb unsalted butter
3 lbs of potatoes
salt, pepper 

  • Preheat oven to 450°F.
  • Set one rack in very bottom level, and another just above it.
  • Clarify the butter: melt it, skim off scum, and spoon the clear liquid butter off the milky residue.
  • Peel the potatoes, trim into cylinders to have uniform slices. Do not wash potatoes after peeling.
  • Slice cylinders into even rounds 1/8 inch thick (about 8 cups).
  • Dry thoroughly in paper towels.
  • Pour 1/4 inch of clarified butter into the pan and set over moderate heat.
  • When hot, start rapidly arranging the first layer of potatoes in the bottom of the pan.
  • Starting with one potato slice at the center of the pan, overlap a circle of potato slices around it.
  • Overlapping in the other direction, arrange a second circle around the first, and so on until you reach the edge of the pan.
  • Pour on a spoonful of clarified butter, salt and pepper.
  • Starting at the circumference of pan and reversing direction again, arrange another layer of potato all the way to the center.
  • Continue filling the pan in that fashion, filling completely and allowing the potatoes to form a 1/4 to 1/2 inch dome in the center.
  • You should have enough butter so that it bubbles up the sides of the pan.
  • Butter the bottom of a heavy saucepan and press it hard on the potatoes, forcing the layers together.
  • Butter the underside of a cover, place it on the pan of potatoes and cook in the oven for 20 minutes.  Put a pan under the potato pan to catch any dripping butter.
  • After 20 minutes, uncover, press the potatoes down hard again and continue baking 20 to 25 minutes more, uncovered.
  • Press down hard again just before the end of cooking.
  • Gently draw an edge of the potatoes  away from side of dish to verify that it is brown and crusty. Bake more if necessary.
  • Drain out excess butter.
  • Shake pan gently to make sure potatoes are not stuck to bottom, run a spatula gently to loosen them if necessary.
  • Invert a serving dish over the potato pan, reverse the two, and potatoes will fall into the dish.
  • They should look like a brown cake.
  • To keep the cake for at least half hour before serving time, cover loosely with foil and set in 120°F oven.

Petits pois à la parisienne

2 onions
2 Tbsp olive oil
6 carrots sliced
2 packages of tender tiny peas
1 clove of garlic and some chopped parsley
lettuce leaves

  • Brown onions in 2 Tbsp of olive oil.
  • Add the sliced carrots and cook until tender.
  • Add the defrosted peas, the garlic and parsley and a few leaves of lettuce.
  • Cook gently, covered, for about 10 minutes.

Petites tomates farcies

7 or 8 small tomatoes
6 Tbsp of butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1/2 cup of soft bread crumbs
2 Tbsp of chopped parsley
salt and pepper 

  • Cut tops off tomatoes, scoop out the pulp and reserve.
  • Salt the inside of each tomato and invert on a paper towel to draw some of the juice.
  • Melt 3 Tbsp of butter in a small pan and cook onions and garlic until transparent.
  • Stir in the reserved pulp and cook over high heat for 10 minutes.
  • Add bread crumbs, parsley, salt and pepper.
  • Fill the tomatoes, dot with the remaining butter and cook in the oven for 30 minutes or until brown.