You might get the idea — because I keep saying it — that I don't much follow recipes.
Well, come Thursday you can bet I'll have my nose buried in a book or two, trying to get the temperature right on the turkey. When you only cook something once a year, you don't tend to internalize the technique. And this year, we're not stuffing the bird as we usually do, so everything will be torqued slightly off whatever memory granules I've managed to accumulate.
There are other valuable uses for recipes, like when somebody shows you a dish you would never, in a million years, have dreamed up on your own.
And that's how today's lunch happened. Chris at Ms. Cellania doesn't blog about food often, but when she does, I find I want to eat what she's eating. Her latest dish has the unassuming name of Cheesy Vegetable Hotpot. But jeez, Chris. Couldn't you scream a little about the crème fraîche? Or the topping of golden, melted, crispy Camembert cheese? And, sorry, but "hotpot" is just too homely a name for a meal this outstanding.
I would call it Leeks à la Forestière in a Camembert Crust. Which, imperfectly, overlooks the fact that there is cabbage, and no meat. But "forestière" is also supposed to imply that there are potatoes and mushrooms, as well there are in this humble, elegant hotpot, so we're getting close. Although perhaps too silly.
We made half a recipe for the two of us (and I think I can say now that I will know how to make it without a recipe in the future).
If I were to change only one thing, I might stir in a teaspoon of sherry. And salt (which we did sprinkle in, but Chris seems to have omitted it from her recipe).
Thanks for the great meal, Chris.