Monday, August 11, 2008

That Cookbook Thing II: Julia's Rapee Morvandelle

That's "Gratin of Shredded Potatoes with Ham and Eggs and Onions". Don't ask me how those two little words mean all that - it's one of the idiosyncrasies of the French Language.

It's time for another recipe from Julia Child's The Art of French Cooking!
The participants, as always, are: Mike of Mel's Diner, Ruth of Once Upon A Feast, Sara of I Like to Cook, Breadchick Marye, Kittie of Kittens in the Kitchen, Mary of Cooking for Five, Elle of New England Kitchen, and Shaun of Winter Skies, Kitchen Aglow.

This time, we have the most labor-intensive recipe (for me) so far. I shredded those potatoes by hand with my little box grater, since I don't have a food processor with a grating blade (Don't I sound so...deprived? Aren't you thinking "poor little ole me"? NO? Oh. Ok).

And here's my biggest insight: It's messy. Potatoes have a lot more water in them than I ever dreamed. And, since I've never shredded them before, I got a little freaked out when they started turning this pinkish color as I worked on the next potato. After I ate a few bites of the finished product and didn't die, I looked it up online and discovered what scores of people already know: It's natural, dummy.


My thoughts on this dish:

This recipe didn't wow me like the sauce au curi did. It didn't taste bad, it just didn't have a lot of flavor. I would definitely up the amount and variety of herbs if I ever make this again - basil, chives, or whatever is within reach would give more flavor than parsley.

I substituted Gruyere for Swiss cheese. Why? Because I can. And "Gruyere" sounds cooler than "Swiss". So there.

I wasn't that enthusiastic about the ham (please don't take away my carnivore credentials!). Kittie used chestnut and porcini mushrooms, and I think that would taste way better.

Ok, enough talking already. On to the recipe:

Julia's Rapee Morvandelle (Gratin of Shredded Potatoes with Ham and Eggs and Onions)
  • 1/2 cup finely minced onions
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/3 cup (3 ounces) finely diced cooked ham (Note: I used about 6 ounces)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 clove crushed garlic (I used a whole clove - and wanted more)
  • 2 Tbsp minced parsley and/or chives and chervil
  • 2/3 cup grated Swiss cheese (I used Gruyere)
  • 4 Tbsp whipping cream, light cream, or milk (I used 1/2 & 1/2)
  • pinch of peper
  • 1/4 tsp sat
  • 3 medium sized potatoes
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 Tbsp butter cut into pea-sized dots
Preheat oven to 375F.

Cook the onions slowly in the oil and butter for 5 minutes or so, until tender but not browned.

Raise heat slightly, stir in ham, and cook a moment more.

Beat the eggs in a mixing bowl with the garlic, herbs, cheese, cream or milk, and seasonings. Then blend in the ham and onions.

Peel the potatoes and grate them, using large holes of grater. A handful at a time, squeeze out their water. Stir potatoes into egg mixture. (May be prepared ahead to this point).

Heat 2 Tbsp butter in an 11-12 inch baking dish or skillet about 2inches deep. When foaming, pour in the potato and egg mixture. Dot with butter.

Set in upper third of preheated oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until top is nicely browned. Serve directly from the dish or skillet.


kittie said...

You should definitely try this again with more seasoning and stuff - creamy, cheesy potatoes with stuff?? What's not to like ;)

I was thinking about maybe trying it with bacon next time (British smoked back bacon - I'm not sure if you guys can get a hold of that?!)

Sara said...

I really enjoyed mine, we used Swiss, but the gruyere would be fabulous! With your cheese and Kitties mushrooms......yum.

Anonymous said...

I made this last night and I used a half a can of SPAM chopped into small pieces. It was delicious.