Saturday, May 29, 2010

Invention

As I was assembling my cherry clafouti, it occurred to me to wonder if anyone had ever tried making a savory version*. The idea stayed in the back of my mind like a little itch. I thought about ingredients and flavorings, mentally playing with the combinations for several days before deciding to try it.

When finally I was ready, I bought some fresh asparagus, green garlic, Parmesano Reggiano and dill as the main flavorings and set to work.

I softened the sliced green garlic in a little butter while I washed the asparagus and snapped the ends, crumbled bacon slices and snipped the dill into small pieces. When the preparation was finished, I got out my blender and whirled the eggs, flour, cheese and dill together, then poured them over the veggies and bacon bits in the buttered pie plate. I slid it in the oven, wondering if this experiment would be a success.

It emerged from the oven looking rather like a Dutch baby, puffed and standing up on the edges, browned with bright green veggies showing through. The pockets of green garlic and bacon were sweet and salty respectively. The crust had that wonderful flavor of a popover with toasted Parmesan. The asparagus was perfectly cooked. All in all, it was a really happy experiment. We ate it as a side dish with some simple grilled halibut, but it could easily be served as the main course.

Another time, I might increase the amount of cheese and possibly sprinkle the top with extra cheese to be sure of the toastiness but for this version I wouldn't make other changes - it was really pretty neat. On the other hand, my head is already full of riffs on this savory clafouti theme: artichokes, tomatoes and dill; sun-dried tomatoes and asparagus; broccoli, Parmesan and thyme; sauteéd mushroom and thyme; the list goes on!

Here's the recipe I invented for this first version; feel free to try your own - and let me know how it turns out!

Savory Clafouti

1 cup freshly grated Parmesano Reggiano cheese
3 large eggs
1 cup milk
2/3 cup flour
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 Tablespoon butter
6-8 fresh asparagus spears, washed and ends snapped off
2 green garlic bulbs, including tender stems, sliced
2 slices bacon, crisped and crumbled (optional)
4-5 sprigs fresh dill, snipped into small pieces

Arrange asparagus spears in a buttered pie plate. Soften the green garlic in the butter in a small skillet; add evenly to the asparagus. Crumble the bacon and spread in the pie plate. In a blender, combine the eggs, cheese, milk, dill, lemon juice, eggs and flour and whirl for about 15 seconds, scraping the sides once if needed. Pour the batter over the ingredients in the pie plate. Bake at 400 degrees for 45-50 minutes, until puffed and browned and set in the center. Cut wedges to serve 6 for lunch, 4 for dinner.

*After I made mine, I went online and was flooded with ideas for savory clafoutis. Turns out I'm not the first to think of this, after all. Shoulda known...

8 Comments:

Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Ooh, ooh, ooh! I got one more idea for you. When you make your savory clafouti, use a Yorkshire Pudding recipe for the batter. It's a lot less dense and fewer eggs. Such good eating.

Saturday, May 29, 2010  
Blogger Louis la Vache said...

Excellent idea with happy results! Gotta try this! Thank you!

BTW - «Louis» et Mme la Vache drove out to Brentwood today and picked cherries. There's a clafouti in our future!

Saturday, May 29, 2010  
Blogger Ms Brown Mouse said...

But cookie, why would you want to use fewer eggies?? Esp if a certain someone bought 2 dozen instead of 1, because they were on special!

Sunday, May 30, 2010  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Cookiecrumb, sounds interesting - I did think this was a little heavy and expected it to be lighter than it was.

Louis, I bought some additional cherries, too, and plan to make a clafouti with pits this week, just to see what the classic is like.

Monday, May 31, 2010  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Mouse: There are so many ways to love eggs! I'm coming up on a dish of pepper cress with halved hard-cooked eggies. Maybe stuffed, even.
And, if I ever cooked an omelet for you... well, you'd never go home.

Monday, May 31, 2010  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Cookiecrumb, I want one of your omelets! Will you post about them?

Monday, May 31, 2010  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Zoomie, I made a mistake. It's Cranky who makes the superb omelets. I make F-ing superb scrambled eggs, with the texture of pot de creme. Death by eggs.

Monday, May 31, 2010  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Cookiecrumb, to each his/her own egg specialty. Just because you didn't make it doesn't mean you can't blog about it.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010  

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