Monday, December 5, 2011

Paris mash

Hello :) Doesn't this dish sound so...elegant. Paris mash. When I told my mother I was making it she remarked "are you going to chop up the Eiffel tower"? Don't worry I am not & my sense of humour certainly did not come from her (I hope)...

Moving on. Why is this dish called Paris mash? I'll let Sophie Dahl explain:

"Paris mash was named from when I used to visit my great friend, the brilliant artist Annie Morris, in her apartment on the Rue Guisarde in Paris when we were both about nineteen. We would go late to the local supermarket and buy a strange mix of Puy lentils, salad, garlic, onion and herbs. I suppose it was like a student stone soup, originally made from whatever was in the fridge. The mash would be cooked willy-nilly, accompanied by a lot of red wine, and usually us gazing stupidly at an assortment of pretty French boys, but for some reason it was always utterly delicious" 

Recipe: Paris mash (adapted from Sophie Dahl)
1.5 cups of Puy lentils
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, peeled and chopped
125mL/1/2 cup red wine
30g/1 cup spinach
A generous handful of parsley and coriander
salt and pepper
Ingredients I added-
handful of dried cranberries
seeds of half a pomegrante
Ingredients I left out-
1 cup fresh vegetable stock
1.5 cups of Puy lentils
1 tablespoon pf creme fraiche
2 handfuls of mache lettuce/lamb's lettuce

Place the lentils in a pan and add just enough water to cover. Simmer over a low heat for 20 minutes, then drain. In a large pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil and add the onion. Cook on a low heat for about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the lentils with the red wine and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the spinach with around half a cup of fresh vegetable stock (I skipped this step) and cook for another 5. If the liquid gets low, add some more stock or a bit more wine as the consistency should be slightly soupy.

Stir in the creme friache (if using) and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Put the lamb's lettuce in at the end and cook for a few minutes. Roughly chop the herbs and scatter them on top. Season to taste and serve as is. Sourdough bread can be used to mop up the juices.

I didn't use the vegetable stock, as I felt it didn't need anymore liquid & didn't have any fresh bread to accompany and mop up the excess liquid. I left out 1.5 cups of Puy lentils as I thought the initial 1.5 cups were enough (the lentils expand a lot, so there was probably 2 cooked cups in the end). I also added dried cranberries & pomegrante seeds which I think gives it a nice sweetness and pop of flavour!

What a delightful dish! I love recipes with stories behind them...and am now imagining myself in a Parisian apartment serving up this dish to a few friends over a glass of red wine or two. 

But for now I ate this whilst flicking through Sophie Dahl's cookbook. You can see my purse I found at Finders Keepers, which is rather handy to store by lipbalm/lipstick etc when I go out. You know, all those essentials! 

Have a lovely week everyone! I'm going to be seeing the ballet Romeo & Juliet at the Opera House on Wednesday, which I'm super excited about! Let's hope I can get some tips for my ballet concert later this week ;)

Hannah x

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