Link to Hompage
The Author Button - Main Navigation The Books Button - Main Navigation Video Button - Main Navigation Contact Button - Main Nagivation

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Artichoke, Shallot, and Potato Ragout

Yet another stellar offering from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, the Artichoke, Shallot, and Potato Ragout (hereafter referred to as ASPG or simply the ragout) I made last night was a big hit. Straightforward and easy, although slightly tedious to prepare unless you particularly enjoy scrubbing potatoes and chopping vegetables. I don't, so I had to force myself to do it, but I'm so glad I did! Not only did we get a wonderful dinner out of it, but I used the leftovers creatively this morning for a yummy savory bread pudding.

Here's my mise en place:
I used frozen artichoke hearts rather than the baby artichokes the recipe called for; my local supermarket isn't so great about stocking "exotic" items. The first step (after all the boring chopping, which is never included in estimates of how long the dish will take to prepare, grr) was to warm the butter with the slivered garlic and aromatics. Yes, I cheated and used a pre-made bouquet garni that came in a jar from Williams Sonoma, via my Christmas stocking from my mother-in-law.Once I started adding the chopped vegetables (frozen artichokes which I'd perhaps over-thawed in the microwave, quartered fingerling potatoes, carrots, rutabaga, and peeled shallots) it became abundantly clear that I had drastically overestimated the capacity of my Le Creuset braiser and needed to swap it out for the deeper dutch oven. I made the switch, losing only a few pieces of fingerling and an artichoke or two, and let it go for a few minutes. The vegetables were supposed to get some nice color, but they were so packed in there they were steaming more than sizzling. Eventually I gave up and moved on to the next step, tossing with flour for thickener, adding the liquid and simmering until everything was good and tender.
The recipe calls for white wine; I like to use dry vermouth for its bright, herbal flavor. Thank you, Julia Child! And thanks to Cook's Illustrated for taste testing commercial brands of canned vegetable stock. Swanson's got the highest marks for flavor, so that's what's in my pantry.

The end result was simple and delicious. A surprisingly flavorful broth with large (a little too large, for my taste--next time I'd dice more conservatively) chunks of meltingly soft root vegetables. The whole shallots, especially, were like candy, sweet and addictive. The chopped parsley and rosemary sprinkled over the top added more than just a bit of pretty greenery; the clean sharpness of the fresh herbs contrasted nicely with the earthy vegetables. I served it with sourdough bread to soak up the juices. Stinger had two bowls!
And then this morning, I tossed some of the drained leftovers with cubed whole grain bread and a couple of eggs beaten with milk. Baked it in a buttered pan at 350 for half an hour, and voila! Savory breakfast bread pudding. Yum!And there's still some ASPG leftover. Deborah says the recipe makes four servings! I'm not sure what sort of bottomless pit Deb is cooking for, but Stinger and I will be enjoying this ragout, in various incarnations, for days.


That looks really good. Feel free to come here and make dinner any time you like.

Yummy...! Yet again, another hit. It always seems that when you follow a recipe, you find out when they say it's recommended for 4 servings, they're really saying 'you'll have leftovers for days'!

Can I come live at your house?

Post a Comment

Newer Post Older Post Home


Home | The Author | The Books | News | Blog | Video | Contact

Copyright 2009 - All rights reserved.