Saturday, September 01, 2007

The Last Supper


The Last Supper (of One Local Summer 2007)
and Meal #1 of the month-long Eat Local Challenge for September, 2007

Am I saving the best until last? Well, maybe. How about the most time-consuming. Though this is a great meal to put together if someone's hovering about your kitchen, chatting with you while you work.

Paula Wolfert, whom I generally consider a windbag, I readily concede knows her way around a kitchen. Her take on the Provencal soup Soupe au Pistou was amazingly delicious last year when I first made it. (Yes, how ridiculous is that: I am recycling my last supper from last year's One Local Summer!) You see, I've been judiciously watching the ripening of my Flageolet shell beans in preparation for this soup this year. All other stuff came from the garden, and the butter (yay!) came with a wink and a nod from a vendor at a local farmer's market (it's illegal to sell raw milk products in Michigan). The noodles are quasi-local too; coming from another farmer's market in Indiana.

I also made a roulade (basically, a rolled-up souffle) with a roasted tomato filling, topped with some Amish farmer's cheese.

A salad of fresh tomatoes rounded things out. My mom and brother were our guests. (I called Mom this morning, knowing she was coming by to take the kid to the beach, and asked if she planned on staying for supper. "Of course; I am no fool," she said.) It was great!

Okay. The Eat Local Challenge thing: I certainly won't be posting daily meals, though I might do weekly. This local-eating thing is kind of old hat with us. But I will be posting about ways to save the harvest, as that is the challenge of this month's Challenge. I'm looking at all the fruit still coming down the line (pears, apples, and all those hundreds of pounds of grapes on our vines) so just getting ahead of all that WILL be a challenge! Stay tuned...

NOTE: ROULADE RECIPE FOLLOWS IN THE COMMENTS!!

4 comments:

Leslie said...

El, GREAT recipe ... thanks. One addition you might try (non local unfortunately) is to add a parmesean rind to the soup pot. Really adds depth to the flavor

El said...

Thanks, Leslie, for the tip! I do have rinds sitting around for that very reason, but, as you said, didn't really do it for the local challenge. I also omitted the pancetta, which, I am sure, would have also added depth. Not that the soup needed it; it was plenty deep!

lucette said...

Thanks for wedging me in.
Maybe you'd consider posting the recipe for that roulade? It sounds interesting.

El said...

Lucette: Again, I quote the bible of cooking in this house: Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.

You'll need a jellyroll pan or a cookie sheet with a high rim, some parchment paper, and a way to whip the eggs (though you can do it by hand, it just takes a while). This is a great dish to make ahead of time for brunch. It *looks* fancy.

Roulade base
4T butter
5T flour
1 1/2 c warm milk or stock
Salt and freshly milled white pepper
Pinch cayenne
5 eggs, separated, at room temperature
1/2 c freshly grated Parmesan or Gruyere

Preheat the oven to 400*. Dab the corners of a 10x15 sheet pan with a little butter, then line with parchment paper, including the edges. Spray with cooking spray.

Melt the butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour, and cook for one minute. Whisk in the warm milk or stock, then turn the heat to low and stir constantly, 3-4 minutes more. Season with the salt and pepper and cayenne. Whisk 1.2 cup of the base into the yolks, then whisk the yolks back into the base and stir in the cheese. Remove from heat.

Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they form smooth, firm peaks, then fold them into the base. Spread the batter evenly over a sheet pan, reaching into the corners. Bake in the middle of the oven until the top is lightly browned, puffed, and starting to crack in places, about 15 minutes: but don't cook it too dry! Let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then slide the souffle off the pan on its paper and flip it over onto a counter lined with wax paper. Peel off the parchment paper.

Spread the filling* over the top and roll tightly toward or away from you, whichever feels more natural. When you come to the end, roll the wax paper tightly around the roulade, slide it onto your arm to support it, and set it into the refrigerator. Reheat if required. To serve, slice into 1" rounds.

*Filling: can be anything. She suggests Yogurt Cheese with Fresh Herbs; Ricotta, Cucumbers and Dill; Chipotle and Cilantro. I used a simple tomato sauce with fresh basil. I simply sprinkled some freshly grated Amish farmer's cheese over the tomato sauce, then rolled it up.