Category Archives: French

Spinach Turnovers, yeah they’re French

A few years ago someone secretly slipped a burned DVD under my door. I popped it in the player and I found out it was all of the episodes of Julia Child’s The French Chef. Not to look fortune in the mouth I immediately made this dish and then just as immediately forgot about it. If you’re looking for an impressive dinner that is different and fun, this one is for you. Don’t get intimidated. If this is too confusing here is Julia herself doing it.


Side note: Always check your oven before turning it on. The day before making this I had a thanksgiving party and someone thought it would be hilarious to put a plastic turkey in my oven. Well it was hilarious but I had to quickly move dinner to Kris and Laurels house as black smoke was emanating from my oven.batterjunkie-11
Preheat oven to 400°F.

Ingredients:
Pastry for 2 – 9” crusts, (unbleached pastry flour)
9 -12oz. fresh spinach, washed (Yield 2 cups blanched, drained- squeezed dry, chopped)
 4 oz. fresh white small mushrooms, quartered
½ cup diced small prosciutto
1 TBSP butter
Sauce Bouillée:
1 medium onion, diced
1/4  cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1 and 2/3 cup hot milk
1 egg
Salt & pepper to taste
Pinch of nutmeg
For Cream Sauce:
Remaining Sauce Bouillée
1/2 cup or more cream or milk
Salt & pepper to taste
1/3 cup shredded Gruyère cheese
Glaze:
2 eggs separated save the yolks
1 tsp. water
Wash the spinach and plunge into a large kettle of boiling water for about 2 minutes. Then immediately toss it into cold water. Squeeze the water out, dry it between towels and chop it finely. You need at least 2 cups of spinach toss in a large sauce pot.
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In a fry pan sauté, thinly slice mushrooms  and prosciutto with 1 TBSP butter until tender. Set it aside.
In a sauce pan sauté onion over low heat in 1/4 cup butter until translucent. Take out half of the onion and throw it in the saucepan with the spinach. (this will make sense later)
For Sauce Bouillée:
Add the flour to the remaining onion and cook the roux over medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk. Whisk in the hot milk a little at a time. This sauce is going to be THICK, just how you like it. Take the pan off the heat and beat in an eggSalt and pepper to taste and add a pinch of nutmeg. Put about a 1/2 cup of the sauce in with the spinach and onion in the other saucepan. Mix together over low heat for about a minute. Set aside.
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For Cream Sauce:
Stir 1/2  cup or more of cream into remaining Sauce Bouillée until it is thinned to a sauce consistency. Simmer for about 10 minutes stirring slowly. Remove from heat. Salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with a bit of the Gruyère and let it melt a bit, then stir it in. Set aside and when we are ready to serve we’ll warm it over low heat and stir in the rest of the Gruyère. 
To assemble the pastry:
Now you’ve got the parts lets make a long pie! Roll the dough into a 10” by 15″ rectangle about 1/4″ thick. Trim the edges so that it is even and square, saving cut scraps. Lay the dough on a lightly floured surface. Beat egg yolk with 1 tsp of water and glaze the pastry with the mixture.
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Spread half the spinach mixture on 1/3 of the pastry lengthwise. Keep a 1/2” edge bare so you can seal it. Place mushrooms and prosciutto on top then spread remaining spinach over mushroom mixture forming another layer.
Fold the pastry up and over and seal the edges with your fingers, then press with tines of fork.
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Place on greased baking sheet and cut pastry scraps into strips. Glaze turnover with an egg glaze of 1 egg beaten with 1 tsp. water. Decorate with strips laying them on a diagonal or leave them off if you ain’t that fancy. Trim edges that hang over. Glaze again with your egg mixture. Press all of the edges with a fork.
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Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until nicely browned and crisp.
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Slide it onto a board to cut diagonally. Now add the rest of the Gruyère and warm up the cream sauce. Pour a healthy dollop over each slice of turnover.
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Serve that mamma jamma hot to happy people!batterjunkie-2
Enjoy!

French Garlic Soup and Garlic Bread

Garlic, ah the sweet aroma that from 100 meters away can entice, entrance and invigorate. This recipe will have anyone eating out of your hand in minutes. Clarification: they won’t be eating the soup out of your hands as that would be logistically foolhardy and probably cause serious burns. It’s just an expression, come on, get with the program. Jeeze. Moving along.

You don’t even really have to like garlic for this soup to be utterly awesome. It takes on a mellowed out flavor because you roast the garlic in the oven for a while. So if you have a garlic hater in your life, (I would suggest getting rid of them, but that’s me) try this out and see what they say then. I first discovered this recipe while in Turkey, though it is French, and my mom helped me perfect it.

P.S. I know the recipe seems long but once you make it once, it is quite easy to repeat.

Ingredients for Garlic Soup:
4 heads of garlic (yes, the whole head, intact)
1/4 cup or so of olive oil
1 liter of water/ chicken stock
One package for fresh thyme (or rosemary or your favorite spice.)
about 1/4 cup flour
1/2 package thin egg noodles (don’t add too many)
salt and pepper to taste
fresh chopped parsley on top.

Ingredients for Garlic Bread:
4-6 cloves of garlic
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
1 fresh baguette (or whatever bread you prefer)

Turn your oven on to 200 C (400 F)

The Soup!

The real genius here is the way you roast the garlic. The first thing you need to do it cut the heads of garlic in half, horizontally. Look at the picture to see how it is done (thanks Kim’s hands). Don’t peel them at all for the skin will act as a protective covering for the roasting procedure.