Thursday, August 7, 2008

That Cookbook Thing II - Rapee Marvandelle

Here we are at round three of That Cookbook Thing II, conceived of by Mike of Mel's Diner and enthusiastically joined by Sara of I Like to Cook, Breadchick Marye, Deborah of What's in My Kitchen?, Mary of Cooking for Five, Elle of New England Kitchen, Shaun of Winter Skies, Kitchen Aglow , Kittie of Kittens in the Kitchen and me, of course. I love this little Julia fest, because I'm cooking dishes I normally wouldn't...too time consuming or too fattening, or both, or just off my radar.

We made Julia Child's Soupe a l'ognion for Round One and it was awesome, although the amount of butter used still boggles my mind. Round Two was Poulet au Sauce Cari (chicken in a light curry) less than spectacular, in my house anyway.

And here we are at Round Three...Rapee Marvandelle, or for us Anglos...Gratin of Potato, Onion & Ham.

First, I must say that making this dish was both easy and hard for me. Nice Jewish girls make potato kugel often, certainly for Jewish holidays, so the grating was a breeze. Once you've grated 10 or 20 pounds of potatoes...what's three measly potatoes! The challenge though is combining the "kugel" with the cheese and ham. Now anyone who follows my blog knows I'm not kosher, but there are certain things that just don't seem to go together. It's not the cheese & ham...I make tons of salads with both, and my favorite Saturday lunch is Grilled Cheese and Ham or Italian Salami sandwiches made on my's the mixing those with the "kugel"...because, let's face it ...a rose by any other still a kugel!

But I'm a trouper, and forced myself past that point. I wanted to follow the recipe and still add my own spin to it (especially since I wasn't too fond of the curry last time, following the recipe to the letter). So I wanted to use Tuscan or Rosemary cured ham...naturally I couldn't find any, so I went with Black Forest...can't go wrong there. On to the herbs...Julia recommended parsley and/or chives and chervil. Parsley was fine, but I'm not a chervil fan...I don't know why and I didn't have any chives on hand. If I had used the rosemary cured ham, I would have added some fresh rosemary, but instead, because this dish makes me think of Fall for some reason...again, don't ask me why...I added some fresh thyme leaves.

Julia's list of ingredients also included half clove of garlic...I mean HALF???? Subtlety is not my middle name, so I used an entire clove....probably too much in hind sight.

The rest was as recommended. Somehow, I was expecting a soupier dish...I guess the word "gratin" fooled me. In fact, it had the consistency of any potato kugel I've ever made...and very tasty if I do say so.

I can't wait to see what the others think of it. Mike will be posting a round up next week...check it out. And then there's Roundup Four...Poulet au Porto...the one I've really been waiting for!


Corinne said...

Still looks delicious... I have yet to try any kind of kugel... I see recipes for them all the time... I wonder what I'm missing out on.

katiez said...

I can't believe I;ve managed to miss this event~ That looks fantastic, and all the things I love... I'd use Vendeen ham, of course...

Mike said...

Sorry for making a nice Jewish girl add ham to her kugel, I'm sure there's some kind of karmic repayment coming due soon for that! BTW, you'rs looks OUTRAGOUS! Thanks again!

Ruth Daniels said...

Corinne, I can't imagine a simple side dish to whip up than a potato kugel...must be my heritage talking, but do give it a try.

Katiez, I'll have to find some Vendeen ham...nothing is easy to find around here.

Mike, I love being a rebel! Thanks for including me.

kittie said...

I don't really know much about Jewish cooking - I even had to look up what kugel was!

I'm glad you rebelled and made this!!

Deborah said...

I am with you on the measley 1/2 clove of garlic. Like I can ever use less than 10 cloves for anything!

Looks awesome :)

Sara said...

I have to google Kugel now, feeling like an idiot for not knowing what it is. This looks great!

Ruth Daniels said...

kugel really just means pudding, eggs hold potatoes or other veggies together.