Before entering the oven
One of the most unusual dishes we ate in France was called Pounti, pronounced, I believe, (poon-tee) and it is another regional dish of the Auvergne region. The Trout ordered it once in a restaurant even though it was very expensive. I got a bite, but we have been talking about it since.
Ken at Living the Life in Saint Aignan has gone to the trouble to translate the recipe from French to English and we followed his recipe. As with all these recipes, the cook rules and Pounti is made many different ways. It is usually served in bite sized pieces with a glass of wine as an aperitif. It can also be lightly fried until brown on each side and served as a main course for dinner.
Some cooks make it meatless, some add pork, and we added bacon and ham and used fontina cheese since it was in the refrigerator. The greens we added were chopped spinach leaves and, of course, the ingredient that is not omitted, prunes. A savory bread or cake with a hint of sweetness from the prunes.
We sampled while still warm, and it was calling for a glass of wine. It will have to wait for the cocktail hour tonight.
Auvergne Pounti Cake
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup warm milk
1/2 lb. grated cheese
1/2 lb. cured ham
1/4 lb. smoked bacon
15 pitted prunes
1/2 lb. chard or spinach
1 medium onion
salt and pepper
In a mixing bowl, combine the eggs, flour and baking powder. Gradually stir in the vegetable oil. Warm the milk briefly and gradually incorporate into the batter. Mix in the grated cheese, a little salt and freshly ground pepper.
Chop the onion and saute lightly in a pan with the bacon. Meanwhile, cute the ham into strips. Chop the greens roughly and cut each prune into two or four pieces.
When the onions and bacon have cooled slightly, mix all the ingredients into the batter.
Bake the batter in a buttered loaf pan for 45-50 minutes. Let it cool 15 or 20 minutes before taking it out of the pan. Pour the wine and enjoy.