Well, well, I feel like a very European spud today.
Thanks to the votes of you nice folks out there, this here blog was the English-language finalist for the first Euro Blog Awards. The final selection was made by way of an old-style Eurovision jury vote on Friday at the nonick conference in Bilbao and what a nail-biter it was, with the Daily Spud leading the pack until the last jury declared. In the end, it was 2nd place for the Spud, losing by a mere point to the eventual über-blog, Netzpolitik. Still, it made me feel all warm and fuzzy, in a silver medal kind of way.
A what you say? Depending on your choice of language, it’s a flammekueche, a tarte flambée or a flammkuchen, a speciality of the Alsace region, consisting of thinly rolled bread dough spread with crème fraîche, onion and bacon and traditionally baked in wood-fired ovens. And, yes, it is very like a thin crust pizza.
Now, I chose not to make mine with bacon, but with spuds, because I’m nothing if not predictable when it comes to tubers. I scoffed quite a lot of this for lunch and have been picking at it periodically since. Someone should probably hide the rest of it, at least until tomorrow.
Spud’s Eurokueche: Potato Flammekueche with Rosemary
- For the dough part, I just used the simple, unleavened dough as per Mindy’s sample, which is more pastry-ish than pizza-ish. You can, of course, use pizza dough instead.
- I used rooster potatoes but, for those of you Stateside, I reckon that Yukon Golds would be just fine for this too. Or just try it with whatever spuds you’ve got.
- This makes 2 approx. 30cm x 30cm flammekueche, though you can easily halve everything and just make one if you’re only feeding one or two people.
- 300g plain flour
- 3 tblsps olive oil
- 120ml warm water
- pinch of salt
- 2 medium potatoes (about 400g)
- 1 small onion (about 100g)
- 200g crème fraîche or sour cream
- 3 tblsps olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 25g parmesan, grated
- approx 2 tblsps of chopped fresh rosemary leaves or fresh thyme leaves
You’ll also need:
- 2 baking sheets, each at least 30cm x 30cm
- Scrub the potatoes well and (leaving the skins on) slice them as thinly as you can (and yes, if you have a mandoline, by all means use it).
- Rinse the sliced potatoes in several changes of cold water, so that most of the cloudy starch is washed off, then drain using a colander.
- With the potatoes still in the colander, toss them with about 0.5 tsp of salt and leave them sitting over a bowl to continue draining while you get on with the dough.
- Preheat the oven to 220C
- Sieve the flour and salt for the dough in a large bowl, add the olive oil and warm water and (as per Mindy’s guide) just mix to a dough. I kneaded the dough for a minute or two, just to bring it all together.
- Divide the dough in two and roll each piece out thinly on a floured surface – I ended up with 2 square-ish pieces of dough measuring around 30cm x 30cm.
- Dredge your two baking sheets with flour or cornmeal and then lay the dough out onto the sheets.
- Remove the potatoes from the colander and pat dry.
- Slice the onion thinly, then toss the onion slices with the potato slices and 1 tblsp of olive oil.
- Season the crème fraîche with a little salt and black pepper and then spread onto both dough bases, spreading it right out to the edge of the dough.
- Top this with the potato and onion mix, again spreading it out to the edge of the dough.
- Scatter each kueche with the rosemary or thyme leaves, a good pinch of coarse salt and another tblsp of olive oil.
- Bake for about 15 minutes, then scatter with the grated parmesan and return to the oven for about another 5 minutes. The edge will be well browned and crispy and the potato slices cooked through.
- Allow to cool a little before slicing and scoffing, it’ll be good either warm or at room temperature.
- As infinitely variable as a pizza – I would have added capers if I’d had them.
- Makes 2 approx 30cm x 30cm flammekueche. I ate half of one of these for lunch (mind you I didn’t have anything else to eat with it) – so I guess it makes for 4 hungry portions and more like 6 to 8 portions for people who are being more polite or who have other stuff on their plates.