My parents visited us in Paris recently, and it was a fun weekend. Of course we showed them around, and we even made a little cultural side step (much against the minichef’s will by the way) when we visited the Jeff Koons exposition in Centre Pompidou. Let me tell you he has made some pretty explicit content to see with your mother. I hope the other visitors have forgiven me for laughing out loud (real loud) when we walked into the section showcasing pictures he made while married with Cicciolina. Google it if you need proof!
It was also a food filled weekend: falafel! pie! chicken and fries! more pie! roasted duck and purée! (yeah, it was a fun weekend)
Besides eating, and getting our cultural (ok, ok, light cultural. My mum probably calls it pornography) fix, I was busy doing something else.
I felt like I had a new job: full time linguist. I went from French, to Dutch, to English and back to French. I spoke Dutch with my parents, English with my parents and the Mr, and French with the Mr and the Minichef. All at the same time. No wonder I sometimes forget words in my native language, or have people tell me I have a French accent while speaking English (which is more charming than the Dutch accent, I presume).
The only time I had some rest was while we were eating, mouths that are busy chewing, can’t ask me to translate ‘mortgage terms’ or explain the French school system (which I don’t even understand myself).
Mini roulades with spinach almond pesto and baked potatoes is perfect for a family dinner and everything can be made in advance. The spinach almond pesto is very simple to make and you can sub the spinach for basil (of course) or arugula. If you want to follow tradition, a real pesto should be made with pestle and mortar. I sometimes like to cheat a bit, and use a kitchen robot to make pesto, it all depends on how much time I have. And if you’re tired from translating all day, it’s certainly justified to use the robot!
- 20 whole potatoes (I used Russet), washed but not peeled
- Olive oil
- 80 gr (1/3 cup) fresh spinach, washed
- 40 gr (1/3 cup) dry roasted almonds (unsalted)
- 40 gr (1/3 cup) grated parmesan
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- Salt & pepper
- 4 pork schnitzels
- 4 tbsp pesto
- 1 tbsp butter
- Boil the potatoes in salted water until done (depending on the size of the potatoes, this takes about 25 minutes)
- Drain and preheat the oven to 200 C / 390 F
- Put the potatoes on a baking tray and use the back of a spoon to smash them a bit
- Drizzle with a bit of oil and sprinkle with salt
- Bake for 15 minutes (turn on the grill for the last 3 minutes for extra crispy potatoes)
- Grind the spinach, almonds and parmesan using pestle and mortar (or, if you're time pressed, use a machine)
- Add the olive oil and season*
- Flatten the schnitzels with a rolling pin if needed, pat dry with kitchen paper and season
- Cover one side of the schnitzels with pesto and roll up the meat
- Use kitchen string* to secure, like a roulade
- Heat the butter in a pan and bake the roulades until browned and done in 10 minutes
* Leftover pesto can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days. It's a great addition to a sandwich, or to make a quick pasta dish. You can also add some to the pan after baking the meat, to make a nice sauce with a bit of white wine.