As found on Twitter (WhattheFork LLC) - just couldn't resist sharing!
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Friday, May 10, 2013
You probably know by now that I am a big fan of Yotam Ottolenghi's cuisine. Not only are his cookbooks beautiful but his recipes work. And that means a lot to me. Just this weekend I have been ranting (again) about a sloppily edited recipe that just didn't turn out the way it should - what a waste of time and ingredients! So when by browsing online recipes I found this one from Ottolenghi's column in the British newspaper The Guardian, I checked the list of ingredients, found I was well equipped and got started. And although it is a bit labor intensive it is so worth the effort! Served with a little salad on the side this makes for an elegant starter or a light and very delicious lunch. Try it, you will like it!
blind baking the tart shell
very gently frying onions and garlic
blending sundried tomatoes, garlic and thyme...
...into this wonderful paste that I'd eat just as well on its own
Key ingredient: Ricotta
Ottolenghi's Ricotta Cheesecake in all its glory
Looks just like Yotam's!
Sunday, May 5, 2013
There is nothing better than to be invited to a Provençal "Apéritif Dînatoire" - a long, informal, lazy and at the end often rather hazy lunch involving numerous plates of different delicacies, wine and most important "convivialité" - a warm, generous, familiar get-together among friends. Yesterday we had the honor to be invited to our friends and new neighbours Eric and Nana's house. Owners of the fabulous "L'Epicurien" restaurant in Crestet, a neighbouring village of Vaison, Eric and Nana work so much they do not have much time for socializing so we knew it was a special honor to be invited to their house. And of course we also knew we were in for a treat, because not only do our friends serve great food at their restaurant where they have a chef - they are also great chefs themselves!
We got spoiled with a delicious terrine
loads of other yummy dishes and
a leek tart of which I just have to have the recipe!!!
And then we were in for a real surprise:
Nana presented what turned out not to be just another bottle of Rosé,
but "Pink Floyd" the first vintage of
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's Provençal Rosé wine
Only available for sale in France the 6000 bottles of the 2012 vintage sold out the first day (you can now find it on Ebay). The Jolie-Pitts claim to be "intimately involved" in the production of the wine they produced in collaboration with Marc Perrin, the owner of Chateau de Beaucastel in prestigious Chateauneuf du Pape. And the verdict? It is a really nice rosé wine, but so are many other Provençal Rosé wines for which you pay a fraction of what "Pink Floyd" is now being hawked for.
Monday, April 22, 2013
Having been away for just ten days Provence totally changed its outfit to welcome us back: the poppies are out, and I even detected the very first Iris blooming on the side of my road. Even the vineyards sprout their first little green leaves. Spring when it finally arrives after a long winter is probably the most beautiful season of them all in Provence!
The poppies are out!
The very first Iris
Our front Garden
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
This is a cookbook I picked up on the spur of the moment at a Provence food fair in Arles. Intrigued by the title "The Cuisine of B&B's in Provence" I was curious to see what people who most of the time are not trained chefs prepare for their guests. To cut a long story short: I wish we had more restaurants around here that would cook like these hosts do! Delicious Provençal dishes like Soupe au Pistou, Zucchini Flowers filled with Basil, Lamb Carpaccio, Fougasse, Tellines à la Carmaguaise, Brandade de Morue, a traditional Daube or a truffled Brie make the most of our regional produce and specialities. Looking for an apéritif offering I decided on the recipe for "Cake aux tomates confits, aux capres et au basilic" - what you and I would call a savory loaf or a bread in France is inexplicably called a cake. This is a recipe from the table of Mas Silazac near Draguignan in the Var, which is run be Anne et Bruno Cazalis.
A Cake, not a Bread
You need 200 g of semi dried tomatoes (tomates confites), 200 g flour, 3 eggs, 15 g baking powder, 10 cl milk, 100 g grated Gruyère cheese, 50 g capers, 2 handful of chopped basil, 10 cl olive oil , salt and pepper.
Mix all ingredients except for the tomatoes, capers and basil into a smooth dough. Add the rest of the ingredients and fill into a buttered and floured loaf tin. Bake for 45 minutes at 180C/350F
A recipe that couldn't be simpler or more delicious. I cut the slices into four parts - moist and savoury finger food that was devoured by my guests. To be repeated.
Semi dried Tomatoes, Capers and Basil are the Key Ingredients
Friday, April 5, 2013
I probably read more cookbooks and food magazines than is good for me but then I almost always find some recipe worth trying out. Two recipes made it onto our table from the April issue of Delicious magazine: "Rose Harissa Pork with Quinoa and Dates" (not bad but if I made it again I would replace the quinoa with couscous) and "Borlotti bean, Tomato and Sage Soup" - both recipes developped by Georgina Fuggle. I was intrigued by the combination of borlotti beans and sage of which I have a big plant in my kitchen garden that survives even the hardest winter and of which I don't make too much use. Which is about to change, because this recipe is definitely a winner. I changed the ingredients somewhat since I am in the process of cleaning out my freezer and we liked the result so much I will keep my version.
I started by soaking about a cup of borlotti beans overnight. If you want to start cooking straight away use a tin of the beans, but take care to drain and rinse them. If using the soaked beans, boil them in enough water until tender, drain, rinse and and reserve.
Finely chop 3 carots, 1 mild onion, 2 garlic cloves and 2 celery sticks and gently fry them in a good splash of olive oil, taking care not to brown the vegetables. Add a can of chopped tomatoes, 6 fresh sage leaves, 1 cup of hot vegetable stock and 2 roasted and skinned red peppers (which I had left over in the freezer). Gently boil until the vegetables are tender, remove half and liquidize in a mixer or with a stick blender, then return to the pot. Stir in the borlotti beans and sprinkle with plenty of freshly chopped flat leaf parsley.
Healthy and pretty - Bean and Vegetable Soup
Thursday, March 28, 2013
Big eggs, small eggs, chocolate eggs -
Happy Easter everyone!