Friday, November 16, 2012

Book Ninety-One: Graham Kerr's Best

by Graham Kerr

Graham Kerr. Yep. The Galloping Gourmet. I recall my mother watching this show when I was growing up. His TV career began back in 1959 with Eggs with Flight Lieutenant Kerr and he is still active in bringing a healthy lifestyle to people today.

Vegetable Papoose. How can one pass up a recipe with a name like that? Not only the name of the dish, but the ingredients were calling out to me as well: Yukon Gold potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, chard, nutmeg and horseradish. Yummm!

The vegetable papoose is served alongside a wedge of steamed cabbage and tomato. I have never steamed tomatoes before. I've baked and grilled them, but never steamed one. They hold their shape, yet they are soft, juicy and warm.

The tomatoes I have to say were the best part of this dish unfortunately, that and the warm buttered bread fresh from the oven. The papoose was less than flavorful as was the cabbage. It wasn't bad - just - boring. I did pick this recipe from the 10% Calories from Fat section of the book; not intentionally, it was the name that drew me in.

If you don't have health issues where you need to watch your dietary intake I think this could be tweaked to become what I was hoping it to be - delicious.

Success meter (1-3): Unrated

I have come to the conclusion that the vegetables we get in the supermarket must be larger than the vegetables available to the professionals, or their perception of large (small or medium) is very different than mine. I purchased the amount listed in the recipe and as you can see I have two half-sheet pans (I chose to roast, rather than steam them) of chopped vegetables. This would easily make eight to ten papooses. The recipe states this will serve four. This could be why it wasn't as tasty as I had hoped. The ratios being way off. Yes I did up the flavorings - apparently not enough though.

After cutting the stalks from the chard you steam the leaves until tender. Just soft enough so that you can roll them up without breaking.

You need to remove the center vein in order to roll the leaf. The veins are minced and added to the filling.

I am not a fan of dill so I substituted thyme.

Can't get much healthier!

Minimax: Nutrition information if made according to the recipe.
(Source: The book)

Vegetable Papoose
Serves 4

8 large red chard leaves, heavy bottom stalks removed
4 baking potatoes, preferably Yukon Gold, cut into ½-inch dice
4 carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch discs
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice
¼ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp.  sea salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
3 ½ oz. Canadian bacon, coarsely chopped
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
4 tsp. hearty mustard, preferably Grey Poupon
4 tsp. prepared horseradish
½ medium head cabbage, cut into 4 wedges
4 very large beefsteak tomatoes, cut in half
2 Tbl. chopped fresh dill (I used thyme)

Steam the chard leaves until just tender, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a cold plate to stop further cooking. Carefully cut the bright red veins out of the leaves, leaving the leaves intact in a large piece. Chop the veins finely and set aside.

Start steaming the diced potatoes and cook for 2 minutes. Add the carrots and cook for 2 minutes. Add the sweet potatoes, nutmeg, salt, and pepper; toss well and continue steaming for 10 minutes, until just tender. Immediately transfer the steamed vegetables to a large bowl and toss with the Canadian bacon, half of the cheese, the mustard, horseradish, and reserved chopped chard veins.

Place the cabbage wedges and tomatoes on a steamer rack. Sprinkle lightly with 1 tablespoon of the dill, cover, and steam for 5 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. On each of 4 individual ovenproof dinner dishes, place 2 of the cooked chard leaves. Cover with ¼ of the seasoned vegetables in a long line down the middle of the leaf. Turn the edges of the chard leaves over the top and gently roll them over, tucking the edges under to form a neat cylinder (papoose). Repeat the process to form 3 more papooses. Gently push the chard papoose to one side of the plate. On the other side, place the cabbage wedge and flank it with the tomato halves. Place in the oven and reheat for 5 minutes.

To serve: Sprinkle each papoose with black pepper to taste, remaining dill, and the remaining Parmesan cheese.

Graham Kerr’s Best/Graham Kerr

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