vendredi, février 19, 2010

Poule au Pot

Poule au Pot under Puff Pastry

I often have dreams in which I had time tables to respect. I have left school a long time ago now, but the fear of missing a class, of being late for one or of not wanting to attend it because the subject is boring or difficult - still haunts me. On a few occasions, it was Advanced Maths or Geography and in my dreams I would have somehow skipped the lessons and then it would be time to sit for the exams. I would wake up in a sweat and only when I remembered that i) I had aced all my exams from PSLE to the A Levels and have gone to University; ii) I have never done Advanced Maths; iii) I held the Geography book prize having topped the whole school in the subject - then did I heave a sigh of relief and go back to sleep. But the sensation would still have been horrible and I would wake up later wondering how one could read into that.

Last night I dreamt that I went to an Ivy League University on a scholarship to do my post-Grad. And that I had time tables to respect that I didn't (of course). I woke up with a fright, needless to say. I suspect that I somehow regret not having gone the more traditional path for a Singaporean - that is to study in the UK, USA or Australia instead of in France. But then I probably wouldn't have met dear Hub, would I?

The Babies have just come out of their stomach flu so we will be having just soups, grilled meats and rice for a few days. Last evening I made a Herbal Ginseng Chicken Soup with Grilled Moroccan-style Chicken Breasts. The Teenager enjoyed his dinner very much - which was ironic since I made it specially for the Babies. He was the one who enjoyed his lunch the most today too - moral of the story, I should just cook for the boy like he's having stomach flu everyday.

Hot Dog and Cheddar Rolls

For lunch today, we had Poule au Pot and Hot Dog and Cheddar Rolls. Poule au pot literally means hen in a pot. So you buy a hen from your butcher and make your soup with it. I served the soup in porcelain ramequins and covered them with puff pastry discs. They then went into a hot 180°C oven for 20 minutes.

Poule au Pot

Poule au Pot :

1 Hen
200g Cooked Ham (in a thick block)
1 Onion pricked with 5-6 whole Cloves
2 Celery stalks
2 Carrots
2 Potatoes
1 Turnip
Half of a Leek
A quarter of a Cabbage
2 Bay leaves
1 Garlic clove
1 Rosemary or Thyme stalk
Wheat Vermicelli
Salt and Pepper to taste

If you are going to serve your Poule au Pot like a Pot au Feu and eventually with a bechamel and mushroom sauce, keep the vegetables in large chunks. But served in ramequins like I did, I prefer to have them cut into bite-size cubes.

Wash and pat dry the hen. Salt it generously inside and out. I stuff it with the garlic, cooked ham, bay leaves and herbs with the idea that the ham will keep its taste and texture better this way. But it's just a feeling.

Put a pot of water (enough to cover the hen) to boil and put in the hen and the clove-pricked onion. Lower the heat and simmer till the hen is cooked and the soup runs clear. At this point, you would usually add the vegetables and then continue cooking till the meat falls off the bone. Since my vegetables are in small pieces, I decided to wait a little longer. Simmer till the stock is reduced by quite a bit.

About 20 minutes before serving, I added the vegetables to the soup followed by the vermicelli. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve the soup with the vegetables, the ham (cut into small cubes) and if you wish, the meat from the hen. Or keep the meat to be eaten cold with a bechamel and mushroom sauce, I find that it is better that way.

Cooled soup in ramequins

Let the soup cool before covering with the puff pastry so as not to melt it before it is being baked. I do not know which I actually like better - the soup or the puff pastry. :-)

4 commentaires:

One Wheel a dit…

I also have similar exam dreams on many occassions where I panic not preparing for my Physics exams which is a few days away. I did ok for Physics leh, duno why it is always this subject and not others. Always relieved waking up knowing that it is just a dream :)

Beau Lotus a dit…

Thank God I never dreamt of Physics - or maybe I couldn't since I've never taken the subject :-).

Do you think that's part of the hazard having studied in Singapore?

Pris a dit…

I have dreams of Chinese exams! I think they scared me so badly! Chinese was just one subject that my results were never reflective of the amount of effort I put in.

Beau Lotus a dit…

My Chinese sucked too and I hated it. But I was lucky that lastminute mugging usually harvested good results though once the exams were over I'd have fotgotten everything...