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Cooking with Pomiane

Artichauts à la Juive

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Artichauts à la Juive

6 small artichokes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar

Trim the artichoke stems and cut 2.5 cm/1 inch off the tips of their leaves. You will see the choke in the centre. Remove this carefully with the tip of a rounded knife. Wash the artichokes and put them in a saucepan with enough water to cover. Season with salt and pepper, add the olive oil and sugar and bring them to the boil.

Simmer for 30 minutes with the lid on, then uncover the pan and raise the heat. The water evaporates completely, the oil begins to sputter and the sugar forms a film of caramel on the leaves.

Remove the pan from the heat, let it cool and serve the artichokes sprinkled with a little lemon juice.

Copyright © Edouard de Pomiane, 2007

 
Onion Tart

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Onion Tart

This is an Alsatian dish which might, in Paris, be considered bizarre. A Roman citizen would have called it barbarous, and even I find myself yielding, from time to time, to the temptation of distrusting strange dishes. Whatever you may think, do try this tart and the one which follows.

To make a small tart about 20 cm/8 inches across you will need to make a pâté brisée, the French version of short crust pastry.

Put 200 g/7 oz of flour and 100 g/3 ½ oz of butter into a basin with a couple of pinches of salt. Add a little water and mix rapidly with your fingertips. If the mixture is too dry, add a little more water, mixing until the pastry no longer sticks to your fingertips. (You will need about 4 tablespoons of water in all.)

Roll out the dough on a floured board until it is quite thin and then use it to line a greased flan ring or mould, firming the pastry down with the finger tips and trimming off the edge. The tart will be filled with the following mixture:

500 g/1 lb onions • a good 150 ml/¼ pint double cream • 1 teaspoon flour • 2 egg yolks • 30 g/1 oz butter

Peel the onions and chop them. Heat the butter in a large frying pan until it smokes. Tip in the onions and stir them with a wooden spoon over a high heat until they are browned.

Mix the cream with the flour and pour them over the onions. When the mixture begins to bubble, pour it into a bowl and cool for 5 minutes. Stir in the egg yolks and spread the mixture into the mould. Bake the tart in a very hot oven (230°C/ 450°F/ gas mark 8).

This is delicious with a cup of hot bouillon or a bottle of Alsatian wine.

Copyright © Edouard de Pomiane, 2007

 
Boeuf Mariné à la Crème

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Boeuf Mariné à la Crème

This dish is very economical but has all the glamour of haute cuisine.

750 g/1 ½ forequarter of beef • 120 g/4 oz fat bacon • 30 g/1 oz butter • 150 ml/¼ pint double cream • 1 tablespoon flour • 500 g/1 lb beetroot • 1 tablespoon vinegar

Cut the beef into pieces and marinate it in the following mixture for 48 hours:

3 glasses water • 2 tablespoons wine vinegar • 250 g/½ lb chopped onions • 2 cloves garlic, cushed with salt • thyme • a bayleaf

Melt the bacon, cut into small pieces, with a walnut of butter. Take the meat out of the marinade, dry it with a cloth and brown it slowly in the butter and bacon fat. Add the onions from the marinade and let them colour. This will be a slow business as they have been soaked.

Meanwhile, boil the marinade with the garlic and herbs until it has reduced a little. Pour this boiling liquid onto the meat and cover with a lid. Simmer for 3 hours, adding water if necessary.

Mix the thick cream with a tablespoon of flour in a small bowl. Stir this into the liquid round the meat and let it boil for a minute. Try accompanying this dish with around 500 g/1 lb of beetroot which you have cooked in the oven, chopped roughly and sautéed in butter. After you have salted the beetroot, sprinkle it with a tablespoon of vinegar.

Copyright © Edouard de Pomiane, 2007

 
Bouillabaisse of Salt Cod

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Bouillabaisse of Salt Cod

In Marseilles I watched a fisherman making bouillabaisse with salt cod. First of all he dipped the fillets of morue five or six times into sea water and between each dipping he wrung them out in a cloth. Half an hour later he made a bouillabaisse, using no other fish at all. To my amazement, it was excellent, and not too salty. If you want to try this, you will need:

750 g/1 ½ lb salt cod fillets soaked for 24 hours • 75 ml/⅛ pint olive oil • saffron • 4 cloves garlic • 2 large onions • 2 bayleaves • about 250 g/½ lb stale bread

Cut the salt cod in pieces and put it into a heavy pan with the oil and the garlic and onions, finely chopped. Stir over the heat with a wooden spoon for 5 minutes. Add 1 ½ litres/2 ½ pints of cold water and the bayleaves. Turn on full heat. The water boils. Season it with plenty of freshly milled pepper and a good pinch of saffron.

Boil the bouillabaisse hard for 12 minutes then test the fish with a fork. When it is tender, taste it and judge whether the seasoning is sufficient.

Put the slices of stale bread into a tureen, three for each person, and pour in the bouillabaisse. Serve this immediately, with plenty of white wine – vin de Cassis, if you can get it.

Copyright © Edouard de Pomiane, 2007

 
Crème Ecossaise

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Crème Ecossaise

4 egg yolks
1 teaspoon flour
60 g / 2 oz caster sugar
2 or 3 drops of pure vanilla essence
300 ml / ½ pint milk

Put the egg yolks, flour and sugar into a bowl and mix them with a wire whisk. The egg becomes almost white.

Boil the milk, flavoured with vanilla, for a minute, lift it off the heat and, after a moment or two, pour it, little by little, into the bowl, stirring all the time.

Now empty the bowl into the saucepan and stir it over a low heat. The cream thickens rapidly. There is no fear of curdling because of the addition of the flour. When it is thick enough and almost at boiling point, pour the contents of the saucepan into a crystal dish and let it cool.

Copyright © Edouard de Pomiane, 2007

 
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