It’s been a while since I’ve shared what we’ve bee up to with our Sunday Suppers. We’re still at it! Trying out new recipes and old favorites but always cooking something delicious on our Sunday’s so that they seem a little extra special.
This past Sunday I made something out of my new cook book, Rustic French Cooking Made Easy, Oreilles d’Ânes. This dish is one of the specialties of the Southern French Alps and translates to Donkey Ears in English. This traditional dish takes its name from the wild spinach leaves that are used to prepare it. The spinach isn’t picked until it reaches the size and shape of a donkey’s ear. It can be made with crepes or lasagna noodles. I opted for the noodles but may try the crepes next time!
This was the perfect meal for a brisk Sunday Supper. The wind was whipping outside and a cold rain was starting to fall. I changed up the recipe just a bit, adding mushrooms because really almost everything is better with mushrooms.
Oreilles d’Ânes adapted from Rustic French Cooking Made Easy
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 12 cups fresh, torn spinach leaves (not baby spinach)
- Lasagna noodles of your choice, 6 sheets or 12 standard noodles
- 1 cup of grated hard cheese, such a gruyere and parmesan mixture
- 1/4 teaspoon of fresh ground pepper
- 12 oz mushrooms, thinly sliced. (my addition)
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced (my addition)
- ¼ cup dry white wine (my addition)
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 3/4 cup whole milk
- 1/3 cup of hard cheese, like gruyere
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 350F
Cook the noodles according to the package.
First, in a medium sauce pan melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Add in your spinach and sauté until done. Remove from heat and allow to cool enough for you to squeeze the excess moisture out.
In the same pan add in your mushrooms and garlic. Sauté for about a minute and then add your white wine, scraping the pan to release anything that may have stuck. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
To make the béchamel sauce, melt the butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add the flour, stirring with a wooden spoon until well combined. Grab your whisk, and allow the mixture to cook for a minute or two while whisking.
Slowly pour in the milk, make sure to keep whisking so that the consistency stays creamy and not lumpy. No one wants a lumpy béchamel!
Whisk in your cheese and then season with nutmeg, salt and pepper.
Add your sauce to your squeezed spinach and stir.
Grease a 14×9 inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon of butter. Lay your first noodle layer on the bottom, I usually use 4 noodles per layer. Cover with 1/3 of the béchamel mixture. Sprinkle mushrooms (if using) and 1/3 cup of grated cheese. Repeat this step twice to create three layers, with the last 1/3 cup of cheese on top. There are three layers on noodle, the top layer is the béchamel mix and cheese.
Sprinkle with black pepper.
Bake for 30 minutes, uncovered. Remove when edges look lightly browned and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes bfore serving.
This is a wonderfully warming meal, I may try to make it with leftover crepes next time! It was great with a side salad and a glass of wine. It’s also easy enough for a weeknight meal.
Bon Appétit! 🙂
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