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salty (-sweet) potato far {ffwd}

Salty-Sweet Potato Far

This week’s recipe for French Fridays with Dorie was filled with conflict and confusion. Starting with the title. I initially thought it was a sweet potato side. Turns out, this Breton version of potato pudding is both salty and sweet, the sweet component contributed by prunes. The potatoes are just regular white potatoes, not sweet potatoes.

Anyone who knows how things roll in my kitchen knows that prunes weren’t going to go over with my dear husband. I wasn’t so sure how they would go over with me either. Prunes with potatoes and bacon does sound a little weird. I went for His and Hers. Half with prunes (Hers) and half without (His).

His and Hers Potato Fars

His and Hers Potato Fars

This was relatively easy to put together. You start by crisping some bacon lardons. Then, you make a simple custardy batter, grate some potatoes, and stir them into the batter. Finally, you add bacon and chopped prunes. Because I’d heard from some of the other Doristas that the final dish was lacking something, I stirred a quarter pound of grated Emmenthaler cheese into the batter.

Potato Pudding Batter

I loved how the potato pudding puffed up and crisped on the outside. When I divided the potato far into two smaller dishes, I didn’t adjust the cooking time. It might have been a little too much, though it still tasted good.

Because I wasn’t sure how this would go over, I was hesitant to serve it as the main course. Instead, I roasted chicken thighs and served the potato far as a side dish.

The prunes weren’t terrible, but to me, they were a little jarring with the other flavors. I would have preferred more bacon and cheese and no prunes. Howard liked his pruneless version. However, I don’t think potato far, sweet, salty, or otherwise, will be making a repeat appearance chez moi. It just wasn’t interesting enough.

The opinions of this one are bound to be feisty. Check them out by following the links here. If you’re curious and want to try it, you can find the recipe in Dorie Greenspan’s book Around My French Table.

Thanksgiving falls between now and the next French Friday, so to my Dorista friends, I wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving! I hope your table is laden with a delicious feast and that the seats are filled with the ones you love. Enjoy the holiday!

ffwd: chicken tagine with sweet potatoes and prunes (and a giveaway)

This week’s recipe for French Fridays with Dorie is a sweet, satisfying stew: Chicken Tagine with Sweet Potatoes and Prunes. It’s inspiration hails from Morocco with a mix of spices and honey.

Sliced onions are softened, though not caramelized as the base of this dish. Spices, saffron, honey (I was thrilled to finally use my own), prunes, and broth are stirred in, then, topped with browned chicken thighs, and chunks of sweet potatoes. I used extra sweet potatoes. With everything nestled in the pot, the tagine is left to braise for 45 minutes, ample time to prepare side dishes AND clean up.

For the non-fruit-in-savory food eater in my house (yes, Howard, I’m talking about you), it was easy enough to just not serve prunes onto his plate. No other special handling required.

I served this over jasmine rice with a side of roasted cauliflower (a mix of white and orange to match the tagine).

I loved the warm, sweet flavors of the vegetable mixture. I also liked the vegetables with chicken. However, we never seem to like the stewed quality of chicken with soft, no longer golden brown, skin. For the leftovers, I’m going to shred the chicken meat and stir it back into the vegetables.

I will make this again, but next time, I will roast the chicken thighs separately and serve atop the vegetables, rather than adding them to the pot. That way the chicken will still be moist, but the skin will also stay crispy. That will work better at my house.

We don’t post the recipes, but consider getting your own copy of the book, Dorie Greenspan’s book Around My French Table. To see how the other bloggers enjoyed their tagines, follow the links for their posts here.

P.S. Amazingly, WordPress tells me this is my 300th post. I looked back, and the 3rd anniversary of my blog was on Tuesday, October 23rd. I totally missed it. In honor of these milestones as well as my first honey harvest, A Plateful of Happiness will have its first giveaway. I’ll be giving away an 8 ounce jar of just-harvested raw honey from my backyard.

To win, here are the rules:

  1. Post a comment on today’s post before Wednesday, October 31, 2012. Be sure to include your email address where WordPress prompts you. It won’t show up with your comment, so your privacy is maintained, but I will know how to contact you if you win.
  2. Thursday, November 1, I will randomly select a winner and notify you, so I can find out where to send the jar of honey so you can enjoy it. I will also announce the winner next week.
  3. Unfortunately, it looks like it’s illegal to ship honey outside of the country, so you can only win if your mailing address is in the U.S. (Leave me a comment even if you are an international reader, but I’m sorry that I cannot send you my honey.)
  4. Only one entry per person.