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Posts Tagged ‘cabbage roll’

Lesson 26 Black Prince LambBlack Prince or “Prince Noir” is a pseudonym added to the description of a French dish that includes black truffles.  Oh happy days, today we will stuff a beautiful filet of lamb with veal, cream, mushrooms and the “tres cher” star, truffles.

The lamb filet is removed from the bone and opened like a “wallet” (per Chef Lesourd), the interior is scored in a harlequin pattern, then flattened between two pieces of plastic wrap with a cleaver.  Keep the bones for your jus – as always.

To ensure the stuffing is not too easy on us students, the recipe calls for a brunoise of carrot, shallot, button mushroom (or “champions de Paris” en Francais) and truffle.  Veal is ground and used for the stuffing rather than chicken, which is more luxurious than our standard mousseline farce.   The meat is made even richer by the addition of cream and an egg white to bind it.

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Winters are cold in the northern hemisphere, with Canada often being one of the colder countries to live in.  Although I don’t relish snow and cold, I do love hearty winter fare.

When I was a child, I recall that during cold Canadian winters my mother would make cabbage rolls.  Softened cabbage leaves stuffed into little parcels with rice, onions and bacon, placed snugly together in a casserole dish then baked in tomato sauce in the oven.  She always used whole canned tomatoes and seasoned the top with lots of cracked black pepper.  I loved to eat them hot for supper and then cold the next day for breakfast or lunch.

Although I always considered it a Polish dish, the “cabbage roll” is a common concoction in many European and Asian cultures.  Cabbage is a hearty vegetable, grows in many conditions, is full of vitamins, and stands up well to stuffing and roasting.  In France, the use of cabbage is prevalent in the central regions, one of which is Auvergne.

Auvergne is farming country and the regional cuisine is fortifying and rustic.  Products from the region such as Puy Lentils and cheeses from St. Nectaire are world renowned.  I discovered a stall in the Dupleix Food Market near my apartment in Paris from the region, and I was drawn to the crowds clamoring to buy Cantal and St. Nectaire cheese as well as their dry cured sausages and lentils.  If you have the opportunity to sample Cantal, one of my new favorite cheeses, it is one worth taking.

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