This selection of zakouski is taken from the newsletter of Release dedicated to gastronomy and its news. Sign up here to receive it in full, every Friday (included for subscribers, free for two months for non-subscribers).
Napkin Rings: Up North, Discrete Footprint
In the suburbs of Lille, in Lambersart, hides a quiet little house, decorated with a stained glass window, discreetly embedded in a residential area. “Empreinte” has been around for seven years. It has proven itself and has even grown in maturity: “It took us a long time to assume ourselves as a gastro”, tells us Inès Rodriguez, who officiates in the room and welcomes us warmly. In the kitchen, her husband Ismail Guerre-Genton sends wood. From appetizers to dessert, we had a great time during this forest walk, balanced and delicate. Wild garlic rolls, puffy like puffed potatoes, have given way to beautiful seasonal ingredients (cabbages, beans, turnips).
We fell in love with these button mushrooms that fell like petals into the hollow of the plate, simply drizzled with vegetable garum – the chef’s speciality. We were more circumspect about the seawater sorbet placed on a mashed white bean, but impressed with the rest. Perfect cooking of the dab (and top pairing with rhubarb), blood red pigeons accompanied by crosnes of the most beautiful effect, without forgetting the diaphanous dessert: a small meringue in a Japanese mandarin juice, light as a cloud. Amazing wine pairings – including a Vouvray from Domaine Foreau 2017, literally impossible to find on the market and even from the producer. Hat !
Imprint, 170 avenue de l’Hippodrome, 59130 Lambersart. Between 39 and 94 euros depending on the formula.
But what is this dish? The rumbledethumps
As unpronounceable as it is a scrabble winner, here is rumbledethumps, a potato and cabbage gratin from the Borders region of Scotland. We unearthed the recipe for you in the very beautiful culinary journey Scotch, oats, haggis & cranachan by Aurélie Bellacicco and Sarah Lachhab (1). They say that the rumbledethumps belongs to the “a large family of dishes made from leftovers, such as haggis, stovies or cottage pie. For us, this noise evokes the fact of happily squishing vegetables. It is not Gordon Bordon, the former British Prime Minister who will contradict us, he who declared, in 2009, that rumbledethumps were his favorite dish”.
For four people, you need 500 g of peeled and cut potatoes; 400 g cabbage (white or green), finely chopped; 1 finely chopped shallot; 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped; half a glass of milk; 50g of butter; 1 large handful of grated cheddar; 2 tablespoons of oil; salt and pepper.
Boil the potatoes in a pot of boiling salted water for eight to ten minutes until cooked through. Drain and reserve. In a saucepan, sauté the shallot and garlic over medium heat in the oil for five minutes. Add the cabbage and a little water. Salt and simmer over low heat for ten minutes, stirring occasionally. If the mixture sticks, add a tiny bit of water. Remove from heat. Pour the cooked potatoes and the butter into the casserole dish and mash everything with a potato masher. Dilute with a little milk. Put salt and pepper at your taste. Turn on the broiler. In a gratin dish, pour the puree mixture and cover with grated cheddar. Broil in the oven for five to ten minutes until the cheese on top has taken on a nice caramelized color. Enjoy with sausages, a roast or a stew.
In the vegan version, replace the butter with margarine, the milk with vegetable milk and use breadcrumbs instead of cheese.
(1) Editions de la Martinière, 2022, 25 euros.
Sauce that can: The tfaya makes sweet onions
Not quite a sauce, tfaya, a Moroccan compote of caramelized onions with raisins and spices, garnishes one of the countless couscous recipes of which Fatéma Hal compiles a gourmet selection in Tajines and Couscous (1). She prepares it with onions that have already been cooked for about thirty minutes in the couscoussier, but nothing prevents her from concocting it except to enhance other sweet and savory dishes. Cook about 1 kg of sliced onions with a ladle of liquid (the broth of your dish for example), a tablespoon of butter (or better still smen, fermented butter), another of sugar, a teaspoon of orange blossom water and another cinnamon, half a ginger and a little saffron. Once the candied onions, add 200 g of raisins that you have swollen and let brown until the liquid disappears.