I love to experiencing food from different countries to get a sense of their culture and way of living. I wish I could travel the world, but that will have to wait. We can however experience their food by following their methods of preparing food, cooking, presentation etc. I decided to take my family along to France (just at our dinner table). I cooked this roulade which is thin, light and cheesy filled and filled it with a delicious combination of homemade smoky bacon, spinach out of the garden and local mushrooms from the market. It was easier than I thought, which was a relief.
olive oil spray
2 cloves of crushed garlic
50g (1/3 cup) plain flour
125ml (1 cup) milk
4 eggs, separated
70g (2/3 cup) coarsely grated cheddar.
1/4 cup chopped fresh continental parsley
25g (1/3 cup) finely grated Parmesan
4 cups picked watercress leaves
2 tbs currents
olive oil, to drizzle
250 baby spinach leaves (chopped)
1 tbs oil
1 brown onion, finely chopped
100g pancetta, coarsely chopped
250g button mushrooms, thinly sliced
Place spinach in a large heat proof bowl and cover with boiling water, set aside for 30 seconds or until wilted. Drain. Refresh under cold running water. Squeeze to remove excess liquid.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Cook the onion and meat until the meat is crisp.Add the mushroom and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-6 minutes or until the mushroom is soft and the liquid has evaporated.
Add the spinach and stir to combine.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Lightly spray a 25 x 30cm Swiss roll pan with oil and line with non stick baking paper. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until foaming.
Cook the garlic in the butter, stirring, for 30 seconds or until aromatic. Add the flour and cook, stirring for 1 minute or until the mixture bubbles. Remove from heat.
Gradually add milk, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until smooth and combined. Return the saucepan to the heat and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat.
Stir in the egg yolks, 1 at a time, until well combined.
Use an electric beater to beat the egg whites in a clean, dry bowl until firm peaks form. Add one – quarter of the egg mixture and use a large metal spoon fold until just combined. Add remaining egg white and fold until just combined. Fold in the cheddar and parsley until just combined.
Spoon mixture into prepared pan and smooth the surface. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until puffed and golden.
Place a clean tea towel on a work surface. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Turn the roulade onto the tea towel and remove the baking paper. Set aside for 1-2 minutes to cool slightly.
Spread the filling evenly over the roulade. Starting with the long side closest to you, and using the tea towel as a guide, gently roll up the roulade. Set aside for 5 minutes to rest.
To serve, divide the water cress and currents among serving plates. Cut the roulade into 16 slices. Top the watercress mixture with roulade and drizzle with a little olive oil.
Thank you so much Ellie for sharing this recipe, and your mini break to France! We can’t always get away on a Gourmet holiday when we need one but you have created a little piece of France in your kitchen.
Ellie will be contributing two stories this month as I am off on a Gourmet Getaway. I have a brief trip to Bali planned for next week. I will be sampling some of the cooking schools and perhaps doing a little yoga “Eat Pray Love” style. I hope to come back with a big belly, a rested soul and plenty of gorgeous pictures.
Whilst I am away there will be plenty of exciting stories to come on Gourmet Getaways. If I manage to get decent internet I may even post a tidbit on Bali whilst I am away.