08 February 2008

Po-ta-to!

En français ici.
On Monday, in order to prepare for the reading of Delphine's play, we had one of the participants over to pass him the script, and chat over dinner.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, not many veggies I like are in season, so having recently eaten broccoli, we decided to go for potatoes! This is a cheap, easy to make (even if it takes a long time to cook), French variation on plain meat and potatoes. It's called Pommes des Vendangeurs because the vendangeurs, or grape harvesters, would eat this hearty dish for lunch during the harvest.

Preparation: 20mn
Cooking time: 2 hours 15 min.

Ingredients:

750g (1.65lbs or 1lb and 10oz) bacon
(The French recipe is made with part smoked pork strips and part salted pork, bacon can be used for all of it, or you can try to find another kind of pork to alternate with)
1.5 kg (3.3lbs or 3lbs and 5oz) potatoes
1 cup (or more) grated cheese (the recipe calls for emmental; you could use swiss or cheddar depending on your preference)
3 1/2 Tbsp butter
pepper

Preheat oven to 475F. Peel and wash the potatoes. Cut into thick round slices. Line a baking dish with bacon (just as it might be hard for French people to find an American pie plate, this type of ceramic baking dish is less common in the US. See the photo. You can probably use a glass baking dish, though).

Add a layer of potatoes, a layer of cheese, a layer of bacon and add some pepper. Repeat this process until the baking dish is full (about 2x), ending with a layer of bacon. Dot with butter.

Cook in the oven at 475F for 30min. Reduce temperature to 400F and cook another 45 min. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and cook another hour. The bacon on the top will be crispy to burnt (which is the way I like it - see photo), but you can cover the dish earlier if no one eating it wants the burnt pieces!

I know the cooking time seems daunting, but stick it in the oven on a weekend afternoon when you're at home. It doesn't take a whole lot of time to put together and it makes the house smell yummy as well. We served it with a big salad for some fresh greens and it was a success!

4 comments:

taxishoes said...

For some reason, I didn't know bananas were usually that bad for workers and the environment. (Maybe I am just spoiled because, where I grew up, my aunt and uncle had banana trees in the back yard.) Do you know if ALL bananas are clones, or only commercially cultivated bananas?)

Hopie said...

Well if you live in an area that grows bananas and buy local, I don't think it's bad for the environment. It's just that most bananas for the US (besides FL and maybe southern CA) and Europe come from big commercial plantations in South America and Africa.

Amy said...

All (commercially grown) bananas are clones, because they are seedless, and have to be propogated from cuttings. But that doesn't actually mean all bananas are genetically identical, because there are different varieties. So it's only a problem when its a monoculture of just one variety (and I think the ones grown for export are probably mostly the same variety).

Hopie said...

Thanks Amy for the information! I wonder if the dole organic program uses different varieties...