A recipe typical of the Vaucluse and Ardêche country, the area west of the Rhône valley stretching from Avignon to Lyons. The mixture may also be poured into a fat-lined terrine, baked for 1½ hours in a 350° oven, and cooled under weight. It becomes la terrine aux herbes, a specialty of Chez-Hiély-Lucullus in Avignon, one of the finest restaurants in France for the appreciation of regional cooking (and, among restaurants of quality, probably the least expensive).
The spinach is sometimes replaced, in part, by the green parts of the leaves of Swiss chard, also parboiled (10 minutes), pressed, and chopped. Caul (crêpine) is the thin, fatty, weblike membrane surrounding the pig’s intestines. You may have to go to a specialty pork butcher for it or ask your butcher to order it especially. If you cannot find caul, substitute a couple of thin strips of fatback or bacon, wrapping each caillette so that they cross on the top surface, the ends being tucked beneath.
Caillettes are nearly always eaten cold as a first course, but, traditionally, they are served hot at Christmastime, accompanied by a truffle sauce.
Gently cook the chopped onion in olive oil, stirring from time to time, for from 15 to 20 minutes—until yellowed and soft, but not browned.
Parboil the spinach for a couple of minutes in a large quantity of salted rapidly boiling water, drain, refresh under running cold water, squeeze the mass repeatedly in your hands to rid it of the maximum liquid, and chop it well.
Combine all of the ingredients except the caul and mix thoroughly with your hands. Form handsful of the mixture to the approximate size of a small orange and wrap each in a 5- or 6-inch square of caul (it is not always possible to cut it so mechanically—pieces may be spliced together). Pour about
Copyright © 1974 by Richard Olney. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.