Remember Belgium


While thinking about what to prepare with fresh spinach my thoughts wander to the wonderful fresh spinach I  often got from my neighbours and patients in Tervuren. They were so happy to be able to surprise me with bags of vegetables under my carport. And I was always so happy to find those edible presents.

The first time I was really impressed by the way an enormous bag of spinach shrank to the content of a freezer bag. As a child, my mother as well as my grandmother prepared spinach only in the form of a puree mixed with potatoes and real bacon. Thanks to my neighbours I explored the variety of spinach recipes (although I am sure that the neighbours never used it like I did and were always curious to find out how I prepared it).

Okay, today we will go for a variety on’ Hachis Parmentier’ which is a typical French recipe with spinach, potatoes and minced beef. I will not use beef but chicken  in stead (100gr pp) minced in the Magimix (you don’t find minced chicken here). Use 200-250 gr of potatoes pp and make a puree, only potatoes with the traditional spices as salt, pepper and nutmeg. Clean and wash the spinach, 250gr pp, parboil and drain. Fry two shallots, some garlic and a little spicy pepper (all chopped) with the minced meat seasoned with chicken herbs and thyme. Bake some lonely mushrooms in the same pan as the meat. In a glass oiled oven dish start with the puree layer first (which is completely the reverse of the traditional recipe, but if you end with the puree layer you’ll have to use butter and milk or egg to make is smoother = extra kcal!) then the meat and the mushrooms and  finish with the corsely chopped and drained spinach. Finally, make a mixture of light cream (100-125gr for 2) seasoned with salt, pepper, nutmeg and thyme and spread it over the spinach. Do not forget to make a few holes with your spoon so that the cream can find its way to the bottom. Count 30-40 mins oven time (180°) and ’bonne appétit’.

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