Saturday, September 12, 2009

Awesome Buys Volume 2

Thank-you Alison of Lark for your comment on my post about the Rosie Flo colouring book. My little neighbor adores it! In other excellent buys - inevitably from Lark - I purchased a few Paumes books at the same time as Rosie Flo's Kitchen. Paumes is a small, family run publishing company from Japan  who work closely with European artists and designers to create beautiful books on subjects like Stockholm's Love Apartments or London Vintage. My favorite is Recettes des Mamans a Paris or 'Recipes from mothers of Paris'. This is a really sweet book with fifteen recipes ranging from Gratin Dauphinois and Oeufs de Cocotte to Vanillekipferl and Tarte au Citron. Ingredients and method are in both French and Japanese, but if you aren't familiar with either language, the pictures make it very easy to understand. I love the vibrant photos of glamorous Paris mothers and their children  making favorite recipes in very beautiful apartments, the colourful handwritten titles, and the cute, very Japanese style illustrations dotted around the pages.
When I was an Apprentice Patissiere my Boss would often force me to read and follow recipes in French without his help translating. At the start, these tests were disasters; I guessed by quantities, deciding that I could figure out which ingredient was what by the amount required for the recipe. So much flour wasted, so many failed batches of croissants. Eventually I worked it out; I had to if I wanted to finish the day with my life intact. Before that I studied Japanese at school for a few years. 
I thought I might translate one of the recipes I like: 
Les Gnocchis a la Semoule or 'Semolina Gnocchi'.
Don't let this stop you from purchasing the book from Lark. It is too colourful and beautiful to resist. I can't wait till my Wolf cub is old enough to join me in the kitchen!

Semolina Gnocchi
1 litre of milk
250 g semolina
2-3 pinches salt
whole nutmeg
1 egg
50g butter
50g parmesan
25 cl creme fraiche
flour for sprinkling

1. Grate a little nutmeg
2. Pour milk into a pot and bring to boil
3. When milk is boiled, gradually add semolina while whisking
4. Add a little salt and pepper to taste
5. Continue to whisk the semolina while over heat until it begins to thicken. Add a pinch of nutmeg to taste.
6. Remove pot from heat. Add the egg to the semolina, and whisk in.
7. Dust your rolling/cutting surface with flour so that your semolina gnocchi won't stick
8. Scrape semolina mixture onto your surface, spread it so that it is evenly 1-2cm thick. Allow to cool and set for three hours.
9. Meanwhile butter a baking dish/ovenproof dish
10. Grate the parmesan
11. When the semolina is set, use a fluted cookie cutter 6cm in diametre to cut gnocchi rounds from the mixture. Layer these in your baking dish.
12. Cover the gnocchi with the creme fraiche and the parmesan
13. Using kitchen shears, cut sage leaves thinly and scatter over gnocchi. Grate a little nutmeg over also.
14. Bake in a 180 degree celcius oven for about 30 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Hope all of that was correct. Bon Appetit! See Lark for more Paumes books.

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