My only New Year’s resolution this year is to document what we eat “en famille” for the next 52 weekends and produce a short weekly post about it. Consider it part writing/photo assignment, part chronicle, and part a serious interest in recording my family’s diet. “En famille” suggests a nostalgic look into old France where families still gather together to share a weekly meal, usually held on Sunday afternoons. Occasionally extended families would get together in restaurants, but usually it is held at a family member’s home. These meals are leisurely affairs, often lasting several hours withCoq au Vin recipe
lots of great conversation, bonding and comforting home cooked food. It is a time to relax, reconnect and reset the clock for the week ahead. It is an important tradition we keep even living thousands of miles away in the Pacific Northwest.
As if on cue, the snow began falling just before lunch and lent a perfect wintry feel to the afternoon. The menu I had planned was predicated on the belief that the blustery cold weather could provide the ideal atmosphere for the hearty lunch planned. It’s so hard to eat rich food in warmer months. Our friend John arrived perfectly on time with a bottle of Larmandier – Bernier Blanc de Blancs Champagne tucked under his arm. The wine paired spectacularly well with a plateful of rich pork rillettes generously spread over slices of fresh baked baguette. Beau kept stealing slices of bread and rillettes while he thought we weren’t looking. Two gratins bubbled in the oven as we finished the bottle in the kitchen.
The menu was quite simple – a rustic farmhouse coq au vin served with a creamy potato gratin and a perfect Swiss chard gratin, a simple green salad, a plate of smelly cheeses and finally, for dessert, a galette des rois to celebrate the Epiphany. The wines to accompany were a Guigal Cotes du Rhone 1985 and Guigal Cotes du Rhone 2012 to accompany the bird; Domaine Huvette Jaspe 2012 for the cheeses and a taste of Greenwood Ridge Vineyards Late Harvest Riesling 2006 for dessert.
The Recipes (read all the way to the bottom)
- 1 bunch Swiss chard
- 1 bunch spinach
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 head garlic, peeled and rough chopped
- 1 sweet onion, diced
- sea salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 cup milk
- ¼ cup panko
- 1 teaspoon fruity finishing olive oil
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a rapid boil.
- Remove the stems from Swiss chard and boil for ten minutes.
- Trim and wash the spinach leaves and chard leaves.
- Drop into boiling water for one minute.
- Remove and drain, squeezing out as much water as possible.
- Dice the chard stems and reserve.
- Heat olive oil and butter in a large saute pan.
- Peel one full head of garlic and rough chop..
- Add garlic to the oil/butter mixture and cook till your house becomes fragrant with sweet garlic.
- Dice onion and add to garlic. Continue cooking till lightly caramelized, about five minutes.
- Add the chard and spinach leaves and cook two more minutes.
- Season with sea salt and black pepper.
- Sprinkle the flour over the leaves and stir in thoroughly.
- Mix in the milk and cook for three minutes.
- Put mixture into a food processor and pulse for 10 seconds. The idea is to get it consistently coarse but NOT pureed.
- Mix with diced stems and pour into a buttered oven proof dish. I have baked this in narrow dishes that were very deep and wide, shallow dishes and have to say I prefer the latter. The consistency seems to agree with me more.
- Sprinkle panko and olive oil over and bake at 375 for 30 minutes.
- Serve immediately..
Creamy Potato Gratin