Caper Berry Gravy

Saturday, September 16, 2006


I can't believe we're almost in Europe... not much time for cooking between work and getting ready to go! This was from a couple of weeks ago; I saw some beautiful looking silverbeet/swiss chard and bought it without really thinking about what I wanted to do with it! Known as silverbeet here, my cook books from the US had swiss chard so I thought I'd see what the history was behind this.Had to have laugh at "mangold" as an alternative name! There's plenty to read but I still don't know why there are so many names - it's not even a Swiss vegetable! :-D
The leaves are described as close to spinach and the stems, asparagus. I went to my orange food bible (Cook's Companion) and found a simple gratin recipe. Now what else to make? Well I was at the gym and one of the channels had a Delia Smith segment on so I tuned in. She had a Italian and Spanish inspired day and pork saltimbocca was on offer.

Her recipe can actually be found online. I know, Delia is so my mother's generation but her recipes obviously work! So simple - I didn't write down the recipe and didn't think of searching the web but this wasn't hard to remember. Flatten the pork, season, lay a slice of parma ham/prosciutto on top, add a sage leaf, secure and fry on each side, sage side first. You'll see that marsala is used to deglaze, unfortunately I didn't have any on hand but that would certainly add another layer to this simple but effective dish. Looks how beautiful the red and green looks!

Stephanie's Gratin of Silverbeet Stems
1 Bunch silver beet
1 Cup cream
100g Soft blue cheese
Freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp Softened butter
1/2 cup Fresh white breadcrumbs

1) Preheat oven to 180C
2) Cut silverbeet leaves away from stems and cut stems into 1cm wide lengths. Specifies 8cm lengths but I just freeformed.
3) Blanch stems in salted, boiling water and drain, running under cold water. Drain on some paper towel.
4) Bring cream to a boil and add in the cheese to melt over al ower heat.
5) When melted, season with the nutmeg, salt and pepper. Add in the stems and mix well.
6) Grease your gratin dish with the butter and spoon in the stem mixture. *Scatter breadcrumbs over top and bake until bubbling and golden. (Approx 25mins for a large dish.)

1) Before the breadcrumbs*, Stephanie suggests adding leaves to the mix. To prepare, roll and slice 1-2 leaves per person and blanch for 2 minutes before draining and stewing in a little butter. Forget 1-2 leaves per person I used the lot because I didn't have another dish in mind!
2) Milawa blue was a suggested cheese... damn, finished ours! In fact I didn't use blue cheese, just some cheddar we had but it was still good.
3) Depending on how you like to cook, you don't have to be too strict with exact cream and cheese measurements, the consistency is quite easy to judge.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home