Friday, November 13, 2015
A little while ago I got a mail from a blogger I have followed for a long time and always very much admired. Chris Scheuer and her husband Scott of the absolutely fabulous The Café Sucré Farine were planning a trip to Provence and wanted to visit Cuisine de Provence.
To cut a long story short - we met, we clicked, we had great fun and Chris' husband Scott who is a more than excellent photographer (check out his work on the blog) took loads of photos.
Plus a got to try out a state of the art KitchenAid Turbo Mixer. Which, and this now I really have to share with you, is the the giveaway on Chris' blog. So go on over to http://thecafesucrefarine.com/ and try your luck to win this très chic mixer that I can vouch makes soups and smoothies just silkily smooth. Good luck!
Thursday, July 9, 2015
Perfect Summer Lunch
Wednesday, June 3, 2015
Even when we were still real young our parents took me and my sister and brother travelling. One of our first foreign trips was to a farm in Denmark, where we played with little piglets and the lady of the house treated us to wonderful thick hot chocolate. I remember fabulous sauerkraut stuffed and brined red peppers in Austria, huge piles of then to us very foreign watermelons in Yugoslavia,where we also got our first taste of Slivovitz simply because the fruit salad was generously perfumed with it.
Later we graduated to the real good things in life: the first lobster which we went to pick out in the market and boiled ourselves. And then oysters. I still admire how our parents taught us to eat all these things by making it a great adventure. So all three of us are the probably most unfussy eaters there are. There are things we like better or less, but nothing we won't at least try once. Saying that I do draw the line at snakes and dogs - a very firm line that is.
Deliciously roasted Marrow Bone at L'Epicurien restaurant in Crestet
And, unfortunately, very rich - I rather not tell you about its fat content as otherwise you will never try it. Which would be a shame because half the fun of of finding new culinary adventures is throwing yourself into them wholeheartedly. And what can be wrong about something so delicious that is even said to cure inflammatory conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease and gluten intolerance? So be bold and adventurous and bon appétit!
Restaurant L'Epicurien, Quartier Glacière, 84110 Crestet, Tel: 0490419982, www.epicurienvaison.fr
Monday, May 25, 2015
What a busy month of May this has been! In May the tourist season starts to really pick up in Vaison la Romaine. This is the month when friends who know when Provence is at its best start to appear on your doorstep. There are birthdays to be celebrated, tomatoes to be planted, it is the month of asparagus which we now eat about every other day and I even cooked the first twelve jars of cherry jam yesterday! My cooking classes had to be prepared, new recipes were tested and cooked by my lovely guests. So in between our private lunches or dinners tend to be fast and improvised. Have a look at what we ate lately:
Beef capaccio with lemon vinaigrette, shaved parmesan and a little side salad
Tomato-Mozzarella revisited - I let the cherry tomatoes wilt with a little lug of olive oil over moderate heat, deglazed them with a splash of balsamico. Served lukewarm with baguette on the side.
Round zucchini stuffed with onion, garlic, sausage meat and some grated cheese, served in a very light tomato sauce
A wonderful dinner at my blogger friend Michel and Shirley Augsburger's beautiful Sablet house who served us
the best ever leek Risotto with steamed cod on a delicious fava bean puree
These two cuties visited Cuisine de Provence
Saturday, May 9, 2015
Even in deepest winter it is a pleasure to visit Provence's beautiful farmer's markets but now that nature empties its horn of plenty full of fresh spring produce on all those stalls I can hardly contain my excitement. Today's bounty was white asparagus, skinny sweet leeks, the first fat, juicy bulbs of pink garlic, some basil and a huge bunch flat leaf parsley.
So tonight's dinner will be the asparagus. Steamed and served with a little Sauce Hollandaise, new potatoes and a slice of cooked ham. This is the traditional way white asparagus is served in Germany where they know a thing or two about this noble vegetable what with all those acres and acres of asparagus fields that you find all over the country.
After peeling the asparagus (that is the downside if you eat the white instead of the green) I tackled the leeks - just topped and tailed them, washed them thoroughly (they love to hide lots of sand) and very gently poached them for about 5 minutes in some vegetable stock.
Now you have to dry them real well - paper towels are good for this. Then I just melted about 50 g butter and three anchovy fillets, finely chopped up a handful of basil and parsley leaves, added a few generous turns of the peppermill and the juice of half a lemon. Stir all ingredients together and pour over the still warm leeks. Eat toute de suite with a slice of baguette or, if left for later, warm up for about 15 seconds in the microwave or a few minutes in a hot oven. Très, très bon!
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
That is the day of what has become known as the "Freezer Soup" in our house, to which, I am happy to report, my OH is always very much looking forward to.
I just empty all those little bags into a big pot, add water and vegetable stock and bring everything to the boil, then let simmer for about 10 or 15 minutes. If there is a sausage lying around (think Saucisse de Morteau or Kielbasa) I cut it into chunks and add it to the soup. Even better, if there is still some Pistou left over in the freezer from last summer, it is added just before serving the soup. Pistou is the Provençal version of Pesto, but without the pine nuts and even the addition of cheese is optional here.
But the smell! Pistou is the quintessential perfume of summer in Provence, so no matter when I serve this soup there is sunshine in the kitchen!