Tag Archives: French food

Beetroot and celery salad

24 Feb

beetroot and celery salad

I wouldn’t have thought of combining beetroot and celery, but thumbing through Elizabeth David’s French Provincial Cooking I was intrigued by her description of this “admirable winter salad”. Continue reading

Tarte tropézienne

6 Jul

tarte tropezienne

I first discovered the marvellous tarte tropézienne on a family holiday in Provence.

Queueing in the local bakery, I noticed several of the customers ahead of me were choosing what looked like a large, cream-filled hamburger bun.

Continue reading

Quiche Lorraine

3 Jan

quiche lorraine

There is so much mediocre, mass-produced quiche on offer that I’d forgotten how delicious quiche can be when made at home with quality ingredients. Continue reading

Savoury sacristains

12 Oct

sacristans

Sacristains are made by spreading a sheet of pastry with something tasty, slicing it into strips, then twisting each strip before baking. I usually make them when I have puff pastry to use up.

Sacristains can be savoury or sweet. These are made with tapenade, but I’ve made sacristains with pesto, mustard and grated cheese, sundried tomato paste, Nutella, cinnamon sugar… Continue reading

Cheese and mustard palmiers

24 Aug

cheese and mustard palmiers

Savoury palmiers, my penultimate Great British Bake-off challenge…

If I’d gone to the effort of making my own puff pastry like the contestants did, these would have been a challenge. Using store-bought puff pastry, they’re a doddle. Continue reading

Croque monsieur

10 Jul

Croque monsieur

The croque monsieur is a French café classic. Done well, it’s a toothsome delight of crispy, cheesy deliciousness – too often, it’s a tepid, limp disappointment.

All the more reason to make croque monsieur at home, using good bread, good ham and good cheese, for a great weekend lunch. Continue reading

Passion fruit chocolate truffles

11 Feb

Passion fruit truffles

One of the things I’ve always enjoyed about chocolates is the element of surprise. Shapes can be a giveaway – square toffees, dome-shaped cherries and so on  – as is the printed guide when it exists. But until you commit and sink your teeth into a chocolate, you don’t really know what’s inside.

The acute disappointment of biting into a strawberry cream with its cloying taste of cosmetics. The outrage of a square chocolate unpardonably filled with fibrous coconut. The double delight of getting whatever chocolate you and your brother both favour after he went first and chose wrong…;-)  Continue reading

Pear frangipane tart

6 Oct

Pear frangipane tart

The Great British Bake-off signature bakes seem to be increasing in complexity as the weeks go by – which is as it should be I guess.

Still, I find myself watching in trepidation, wondering what challenge I’ll be inflicting on myself next…

Continue reading

Crème brûlée

21 Sep

Crème brûlée

Crème brûlée is – without a doubt – my favourite dessert. I love the moment when you crack the crust of caramelised sugar, and the shards shift apart to reveal the creamy custard waiting beneath. I’m already happy before I even raise the first spoonful to my mouth…

Until now, all my crème brûlée moments have occurred in restaurants. But the fourth Great British Bake-off signature bake was crème brûlée, so it was time to give it a go. Continue reading

Celeriac remoulade

24 Jul

Celeriac remoulade

Celeriac is generally considered to be a winter vegetable. Velvety celeriac soup, sausages with celeriac mash, beef stew simmered with carrots, celeriac and shallots – comfort food at its best.

Celeriac remoulade has opened my eyes to its warm weather possibilities. A fresh, lighter alternative to potato salad, we’ve been eating it all summer long. Continue reading

Provençal-style seafood soup

21 Nov

Provençal-style seafood soup

This seafood soup recipe has evolved from a straightforward tomato-based broth, making its way south to Provence with the addition of fennel, orange juice and a splash of Pernod. It now occurs to me that with a can of chickpeas, a half cup of couscous, and a dash of hot pepper sauce, it could easily hop the Mediterranean and land up in north Africa… Continue reading

Coquilles St Jacques

22 Oct

coquilles St Jacques

October 21st is my mum’s birthday. After she died in 2003, my brothers and I  established a tradition of preparing her favourite dish – coquilles St Jacques – on October 21st each year. It’s become a way of marking the day – and of connecting with one another. It isn’t always possible, but more often than not, we all sit down to this meal on her birthday. Continue reading

Summer blueberry tart

20 Sep

 

blueberry-tart-2

I wanted to slip this recipe for summer blueberry tart in before summer officially ends on Monday. We’re having a lovely September, but there’s no escaping the feeling of something ebbing away. The warning bite in the morning air, the lingering mists, the falling leaves. Even at midday, the sun no longer packs an espresso punch – it’s filtered coffee sunlight for us from now on… Continue reading

French potato salad

20 Jul

french potato salad

Of the three or four potato salads I make regularly, this pared-back French version is my favourite. With only five ingredients, quality matters – small salad potatoes, a grassy olive oil, fresh herbs, and tarragon vinegar (though a nice white wine vinegar works too). The original recipe comes from Nigel Slater’s Real Food. Continue reading

Salade niçoise

8 Jul

salade nicoise

For our French World Cup meal we’re having salad niçoise with chocolate mousse for dessert. We have salade niçoise a lot – quick, healthy and easy to customise each plate for each person’s preferences: extra anchovies for me, no tuna for Lyra, double onions for Adam, pass on the capers for Nova etc. Continue reading

Chocolate mousse

8 Jul

chocolate mousse

This is the first time I’ve ever made chocolate mousse. I looked at a few recipes before deciding on this one by Raymond Blanc. It’s pretty straightforward, though I should have been a  quicker about stirring the egg whites into the melted chocolate, and ended up doing more folding than I otherwise would have (and it was still a bit lumpy). Continue reading