After weeks of our home’s interior rooms being painted, the floors refinished, I was at last able to do a bit of cooking in the kitchen now that all the furniture from the house has been removed.
As my wife’s condition of sensitive inner mouth has returned, she requested something fairly bland so as not to aggravate her condition, so when I opted to make Potage Parmentier, I found the recipe, loosely modeled from Julia Child’s own version (much less heavy cream, no Creme fraiche, etc.)
How simple it was; three leeks, two russet potatoes, a half teaspoon of salt, and about 5-6 cups of water. Put it into your pot, bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer and partially cover. 40-50 minutes later, take a fork or potato masher and crush the potatoes a bit, add a couple of tablespoons of heavy cream, maybe a drizzle of white pepper, and you’ll have enough soup for about 3-4 people.
To punch this up, a little lemon juice couldn’t hurt to add a nice acid balance…unless you’re my wife who simply looked at me after finishing her bowl with a decided lack of enthusiasm and asked:
Is there any chocolate in the house?
There was, and she left the kitchen happily. Of course, the single shot of the French aperitif Pineau de Charentes over ice couldn’t have hurt, either. She’s still a bit jet-lagged.
While the soup cooked, I was in the mood now to make some Patê de Foies de Volaille (chicken liver pate) so pulled out the half pound of chicken livers I’d bought the other day, a large, thick shallot, a couple of cloves of garlic, bay leaf, and a few sprigs of thyme. With a half cup of water and a half teaspoon of salt, I cooked the lot of it for about three minutes, then let it cool for five more. Using a slotted spoon, I placed the shallot and liver and garlic mixture into the food processor (sans bay leaf) and then slowly added about 12 tablespoons of butter and a couple of teaspoons of cognac.
Taking this unctuous blend, I poured them into four small ramekins and covered them with plastic wrap and put them into the refrigerator to allow their flavors to meld and firm up. And while this little patê is quite delicious, having that much around the house usually isn’t a good idea. One ramekin will go off to my wife’s work and the other two to the freezer where they will do just fine for a couple of months.
Below you can see the little ramekins doing their magic, and beside it you can see the duck breasts which await another evening’s repast soon.