Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Braised Lettuce with Rosemary

There's a theme here. August is cooked lettuce month. This recipe comes just ahead of Wilted Lettuce.This is a somewhat imprecise recipe. It uses words like cook briefly. How the hell long is briefly, if you don't mind my asking? We know briefly is not very long, because the recipe says sternly, "Do not overcook." However, we really don't know what overcooking is, when dealing with this recipe.
As opposed to the wilted lettuce, which had the same texture as spinach, this lettuce retained its raw lettuce shape and most of its texture. At least, the way I cooked it. I would say briefly means two or three minutes. Probably, what the directions considered overcooking would render it limp. My interpretation consisted of slightly softer lettuce, served with very good sauce. I certainly did not dislike it. The cookbook said to serve it with poached or stuffed chicken breasts. I served it with broiled chicken breasts.

Braised Lettuce with Rosemary

1/4 pound mushrooms, sliced
6 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2/3 cup chicken broth
2/3 cup light cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
2 tablespoons Cognac
2 large or three small heads Boston lettuce
2 tablespoons chopped chives

1. Saute mushrooms briefly in four tablespoons butter. Sprinkle with flour. Gradually stir in the broth and cream and bring to a boil, stirring.
2. Season with salt, pepper, the nutmeg, rosemary, parsley and cognac. Hold over hot water. (This means keep it hot over a saucepan of hot water. Do not leave it on the stove to keep it hot.)
3. Shred the lettuce into very wide ribbons and saute very briefly in remaining butter. Do not overcook.
4. Toss lettuce with sauce, sprinkle with the chives and serve immediately.
Makes six servings.

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