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eG Foodblog - Dave Hatfield, La France Profonde

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#91 rotuts

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 11:35 AM

One of the Many Stunning Things in FR. ( and Montreal ) is the Patisserie. I sure hope you might visit one and sent us many many pic!

consider Sunday Morning!

#92 Dave Hatfield

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 11:54 AM

One of the Many Stunning Things in FR. ( and Montreal ) is the Patisserie. I sure hope you might visit one and sent us many many pic!

consider Sunday Morning!



Sorry, no. Two reasons. I don't have much of a sweet tooth so am not overly tempted by that sort of thing. Secondly, my will is weak, the Patisserie is so tempting to look at that I find it hard to resist.

When I do succumb I usually find that the taste doesn't live up to my expectations of what I hoped it would taste like. Therefore, I've pretty much given up on Patisserie.

Now then a good lemon pie or a cheese cake or a carrot cake or a tarte tatin do turn me on. That's why I have a tatre tatin in the oven as I write this. Recipe tomorrow.

Edited by Dave Hatfield, 12 October 2012 - 11:55 AM.


#93 David Ross

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 05:31 PM

This is great country for walnuts. The soil & climate seem to be perfect for them. Thus, walnuts (noix) are used a lot in many local dishes. They also make quite a lot of walnut oil in these parts. Somewhere on my normal blog I have a photo essay about this old boy making walnut oil.
Also, I remember going to a local lunch where the main course was Estafinado (Google it!) a component of the dish is to top it with some walnut oil. On our long table we had three different versions done by three different French gentlemen. They were too polite to say, but each was convinced that his was best. All I can say is that all were good & all were different.

We're lucky enough to have a lovely mature walnut tree in our garden just below our house. The walnuts are falling as I type this. Our only problem is Rupert. He loves walnuts and is very good at finding & eating them. If we're not careful he gets fat. He's very good at cracking the shells and extracting the meat. So what we do is go out and collect walnuts every morning. Fortunately Rupert finds one then eats it. He hasn't grasped the concept of gathering a pile of them before eating them. That's lucky for us.

Here they are on the ground.


Drying on a table.


Collected in a bowl.

Stored in one of Linda's old stockings.

They'll just be nice & dry for the holiday season.

Do you have squirrels in France? They love grabbing my black walnuts the minute they hit the ground. They store them all over the lawn and retrieve them in Winter. Huge old walnut tree and I end up buying walnuts!

#94 toolprincess

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 07:41 PM


Dave - you blog is making me so hungry! This is great. And thank you for the soup recipes, I will make sure to try at least one or two. Do you think the courgette/zucchini recipe would work with sorrel instead of watercress? I am trying to use what I already have. Thanks!


Glad you're enjoying it.

Don't know about sorrel, but its certainly worth a try. U
Iactually used mache (lamb's lettuce) in mine because water cress is hard to find here. Lamb's lettuce probably difficult in the states

Busy making a fish pie for dinner. Full report and post later. After we've eaten it that is.


Trader joes here in the States used to have mâché.

#95 MaryLA

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 12:41 AM

Those walnuts do look tempting and I can imagine Rupert puts on weight! The stocking is a good idea -- one of my neighbours had a lacy fishnet stocking she used to store and dry almonds and pecans.

I had a bottle of imported Jean LeBlanc Walbut Oil used sparingly for special vinaigrettes, kept it in the back of the fridge for more than a year. It went cloudy but tasted good all the same.

Looking forward to the tarte tatin recipe, a favourite.

#96 Dave Hatfield

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 12:48 AM

David Ross

Yes we do have squirrels. Mostly the little red guys, but not very many of them. I think the foxes must get them.

The only thief of our walnuts is Rupert. He's enough!

BTW we have a surprising amount of wildlife. Foxes, squirrels, rabbits, hares, lots of deer, hedgehogs, badgers and wild pigs.

#97 Dave Hatfield

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 03:34 AM

Saturday morning and I'm getting ready to do lunch for eight. The guests are all local friends. Unfortunately no French as they had a prior engagement, but we do have South Africans, English, Welsh, a New Zealander and, of curse, me a Yank. They'll arrive about 1 PM & we'll start eating about 1:30.

We'll start with the leek & celeriac soup. Not only is it good, but Linda volunteered to make it. It's going to be served cold this time.


soup.JPG Here it is in it's pot ready to go into the fridge.


Our main course is going to be slow roasted belly pork. This particular piece had some of the ribs on it as well as the skin. The first task was to cut off the ribs then carefully cut the skin.


belly cuts.JPG The cuts are roughly 1/4 inch apart. Doing them makes the pork easy to carve into slices, each with a nice strip of crackling.

I then lay the pork on onions that I've peeled and cut in half. This keeps the pork off the bottom of the pan. Plus the onions taste delicious.

onion for belly.JPG The pork goes over the top. belly in pan.JPG


The pork goes into the oven and roasts at about 140 C for at least 4 hours.

Having gotten that started Rupert & I whipped over to Varen, a nearby village. Stupidly I hadn't brought the camera. The views at the top of the hill were tremendous this morning what with the fog still in the valleys and the sun over the countryside. Ah Well!

In any case here's the bread we bought.

bread.JPG They do special breads everyday. Saturday's is 5 grain with walnuts. Its the sort of 'U' shaped one. The roundish one is called a Viennoise . And, you guessed it, the long one is a bagette.

When we got back home I started on the Roast Roots. All the winter vegetables are coming in now so its a good time for this dish.


veggies before.JPG As you can see I had: Shallots, carrots, turnips, rutabaga, parsnips, garlic and sweet peppers. Normally I might add a few potatoes, but this meal doesn't need any more calories.


Here are all the vegetables cut up. The idea is to make them roughly the same size so they cook evenly. They'll go on a couple of roasting trays about 45 minutes before serving.


veggie best cut.JPG


I have to admit to a bit of cheating. I'd made dessert, a Tarte Tatin, the night before. Here it is:

tarte in sun.JPG You can find a pictorial recipe for it at: http://www.frenchfoo...arte tatin.html


Linda has set her usual beautiful table so we're all set to go.


table.JPG

Time for me to go up and have a shower.

#98 rotuts

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 04:34 AM

Yum!

#99 Dave Hatfield

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 10:40 AM

We were ready for lunch in good time. Rupert was excited as he has a great time when we have guests for lunch. When his favorite friend arrive he went nuts with delight.

Our guests arrived at about 1 PM and as the weather was nice we all went out to the patio to have a glass of wine & a few nuts. I did a few last minute chores like opening the wine.

We started with the leek & celeriac soup. delicious! The local breads went well with it.


wine.JPG The reds are their limited production special from Domaine de Chanade, 2007. The white a light wine from them as well.


Here are the roasted roots earlier going into the oven. veggies.JPG


Here they are coming out seving veggies.JPG


beans.JPG The green beans with some lardons, pine nuts , flaked almonds and lot of butter.


Finally, a couple of shots of the belly pork after it was cut up. bp.JPG IMG_1614.JPG


We all had a great time, no culinary disasters. It only took us three hours to have lunch. We skipped the cheese (sorry) as the meal was pretty filling and everyone knew that Tarte Tatin & ice cream was coming.

We did stop talking long enough to have our dessert and a small glass of Sauternes to go with it. We then had coffee and more yakking.

Here's all that was left.


all thats left.JPG My clever wife held a bit back for us to enjoy later.

.

#100 heidih

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 11:12 AM

Oh that meal looks lovely and I love the leisurely pace (3 hours!). You didn't mention seasoning on the pork - just salt? Also the skin appears to be perfectly crispy - did you crank up the heat at the end or do something to achieve that or did it just occur at the low roasting temp?

#101 rotuts

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 11:14 AM

No Cheese? FR. Cheese? :huh:

well .... your FR. buds were not there. :hmmm:

I think that explains it.

"There is always room for FR. Cheese with FR. bread."

Moi Ici

#102 Dave Hatfield

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 01:21 PM

Oh that meal looks lovely and I love the leisurely pace (3 hours!). You didn't mention seasoning on the pork - just salt? Also the skin appears to be perfectly crispy - did you crank up the heat at the end or do something to achieve that or did it just occur at the low roasting temp?


The scoring helps, but the real secret is to position the skin so its as flat as possible then turn the oven grill on for the last couple of minutes. It needs to be watched very carefully to prevent burning. Otherwise nothing but salt as seasoning.


No Cheese? FR. Cheese? :huh:

well .... your FR. buds were not there. :hmmm:

I think that explains it.

"There is always room for FR. Cheese with FR. bread."

Moi Ici


I guess it was the promise of tarte tatin that did it. There were five ladies & only three gentlemen to the appetites weren't too large.

Maybe I'll have cheese for breakfast just to please you. I'll have a look at what I have.

#103 rotuts

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 02:46 PM

Non! one must not have too much cheeeses just a taste.

with of course the Red Wine FR. and the FR. Bread,

Pleeeeeeeeee do not get me wrong.

its just the taste that finishes the meal!

#104 LindaK

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 03:48 PM

The meal looks lovely, and a leisurely lunch with friends is the best of all.

Are those wines local? I'd be interested in learning more about the wines of your area.

I'm with rotuts, cheese lovers around the world are living vicariously through you.


 


#105 David Ross

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 05:57 PM

Dave, given your knowledge of cheese, what would you suggest for a three-cheese sampler plate for Thanksgiving, including garnishes/accompaniments? And two more cheese questions--what type of wine do you favor for a triple-cream and what type of wine with a bleu?

#106 Dave Hatfield

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 02:54 AM

Non! one must not have too much cheeeses just a taste.

with of course the Red Wine FR. and the FR. Bread,

Pleeeeeeeeee do not get me wrong.

its just the taste that finishes the meal!


I wasn't getting you wrong, but its a matter of perception. They THINK having cheese will be too much when there's dessert to follow. Wouldn't have been my personal choice, I'd choose cheese every time. One, however, must honor one's guests preferences. I may be a cheesehead, but not all of my friends are.
Also, I think they get a bit blase around here as the great cheeses are always available.

To make it up I'll do a few cheese posts in the near future.


The meal looks lovely, and a leisurely lunch with friends is the best of all.

Are those wines local? I'd be interested in learning more about the wines of your area.

I'm with rotuts, cheese lovers around the world are living vicariously through you.


Thanks, I always reckon the the food is merely lubrication for good conversation. That's what happened yesterday.

The wines were local. They were from Gaillac which is about half an hour South of us. There are something like 6,000 acres of grapes around Gaillac. Its one of the oldest wine regions in France going back to at least Roman times & probably even earlier. The winery is Domaine de Chanade; its a favorite & we've been going there for the last ten years or so. They're interesting in that they sell over 85% of their wine outside of France. Mainly to the UK (Marks & Spencer, Waitrose), the states (though a distributor), Belgium & Holland. The red was a special that he does and can only be purchased at the winery. Yesterday's was a 2007 just coming into full drink-ability. The white is a light very fruity but dry. (Ideal for the soup) I've been getting a deal from Christian on it as it was mislabeled. 20€ for a case of 6 bottles. Lucky us.

See above about the cheese. Around the world? I should be so lucky, but flattery will get you cheese posts. .


Dave, given your knowledge of cheese, what would you suggest for a three-cheese sampler plate for Thanksgiving, including garnishes/accompaniments? And two more cheese questions--what type of wine do you favor for a triple-cream and what type of wine with a bleu?


David - Great question, but a hard one to answer. I'll try. I'll make two major assumptions; first that your Thanksgiving guests are not cheese addicts and secondly that you need to choose cheeses that are obtainable locally. Given those I'd try this:

#1 A Cheddar. A nice mature one with a bit of sharpness. It could be one of the better Vermont types or given where you live a Tillamook would be nice if you can find a good one.

#2 A brie. Raw milk would be nice if allowed in the states these days. The trick with brie is to let it ripen. Get it out of the cling wrap immediately and let it sit in a cool place (40-50 degrees) for a few days until the center starts to soften. You don't want it runny for guests, but definitely nice & soft. This brings out the flavor. If there's a good cheese shop in Spokane they should be able to sell you some good brie nearly ready to eat. If not buy what you can and ripen it yourself.

#3 Stilton. My favorite of all the blues. Its mild enough not to put non-cheese lovers off. Bleu de Auvergne would work as well, but may be hard to find. The other nice thing about Stilton is that you get to serve port with it. Doesn't have to be the very expensive vintage stuff any decent port will do nicely.

I'd serve either some good French bread or plain crackers with it plus some cornichons and possibly some grapes as they look nice & taste good with cheese. I'm not a great fan of fruit with cheese, but many people are. My wife loves chutney with her cheddar. The Brie & Stilton only need a vehicle (Bread) to transport the cheese to one's mouth in a reasonably graceful manner.

As to your other questions; with a triple cream I'd probably serve a sweet wine. Sauternes or the like, different, but it works. For blue it very much depends upon which one you're eating. See above for milder blues or a robust red.For really sharp blues (Roquefort for instance) nothing much works although, surprisingly, Sauternes can work. Grappa, perhaps? Champagne, of course, goes with almost all cheeses.

Hope these answers help. If not or you need more just let me know.

#107 rotuts

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 07:00 AM

" I think they get a bit blase around here as the great cheeses are always available. "

and with that bread, which is just as important. Of course one must wash the pair down with something ...

:rolleyes:

#108 suzilightning

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 03:57 PM

What fun and such wonderful pictures. I agree with you about the Patisserie - it's like the Greek diners around here. The sweets look great but never seem to measure up to the perception and tend to taste like cardboard. Give me some cheese or a lemon tart any day! The walnuts brought back a childhood memory of picking black walnut meats with my grandfather so my mom could use them in making his birthday cake - a yellow cake with black walnut frosting. He's been gone since 1974 and she has been gone since 1990 so it was a treat to remember such a happy time. thanks
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#109 rotuts

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 04:01 PM

" the Patisserie - it's like the Greek diners around here. The sweets look great but never seem to measure up to the perception and tend to taste like cardboard. """

I can see your point. but I doubt that is the issue in FR. I can almost taste the **** spectaculare **** nature of the Patisserie.

esp. on Sunday AM.

#110 janeer

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 07:04 PM

the pork belly looks fab

#111 MaryLA

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 10:36 PM

Great-looking lunch

#112 nikkib

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 11:32 PM


Non! one must not have too much cheeeses just a taste.

with of course the Red Wine FR. and the FR. Bread,

Pleeeeeeeeee do not get me wrong.

its just the taste that finishes the meal!


I wasn't getting you wrong, but its a matter of perception. They THINK having cheese will be too much when there's dessert to follow. Wouldn't have been my personal choice, I'd choose cheese every time. One, however, must honor one's guests preferences. I may be a cheesehead, but not all of my friends are.
Also, I think they get a bit blase around here as the great cheeses are always available.

To make it up I'll do a few cheese posts in the near future.


The meal looks lovely, and a leisurely lunch with friends is the best of all.

Are those wines local? I'd be interested in learning more about the wines of your area.

I'm with rotuts, cheese lovers around the world are living vicariously through you.


Thanks, I always reckon the the food is merely lubrication for good conversation. That's what happened yesterday.

The wines were local. They were from Gaillac which is about half an hour South of us. There are something like 6,000 acres of grapes around Gaillac. Its one of the oldest wine regions in France going back to at least Roman times & probably even earlier. The winery is Domaine de Chanade; its a favorite & we've been going there for the last ten years or so. They're interesting in that they sell over 85% of their wine outside of France. Mainly to the UK (Marks & Spencer, Waitrose), the states (though a distributor), Belgium & Holland. The red was a special that he does and can only be purchased at the winery. Yesterday's was a 2007 just coming into full drink-ability. The white is a light very fruity but dry. (Ideal for the soup) I've been getting a deal from Christian on it as it was mislabeled. 20¤ for a case of 6 bottles. Lucky us.

See above about the cheese. Around the world? I should be so lucky, but flattery will get you cheese posts. .


Dave, given your knowledge of cheese, what would you suggest for a three-cheese sampler plate for Thanksgiving, including garnishes/accompaniments? And two more cheese questions--what type of wine do you favor for a triple-cream and what type of wine with a bleu?


David - Great question, but a hard one to answer. I'll try. I'll make two major assumptions; first that your Thanksgiving guests are not cheese addicts and secondly that you need to choose cheeses that are obtainable locally. Given those I'd try this:

#1 A Cheddar. A nice mature one with a bit of sharpness. It could be one of the better Vermont types or given where you live a Tillamook would be nice if you can find a good one.

#2 A brie. Raw milk would be nice if allowed in the states these days. The trick with brie is to let it ripen. Get it out of the cling wrap immediately and let it sit in a cool place (40-50 degrees) for a few days until the center starts to soften. You don't want it runny for guests, but definitely nice & soft. This brings out the flavor. If there's a good cheese shop in Spokane they should be able to sell you some good brie nearly ready to eat. If not buy what you can and ripen it yourself.

#3 Stilton. My favorite of all the blues. Its mild enough not to put non-cheese lovers off. Bleu de Auvergne would work as well, but may be hard to find. The other nice thing about Stilton is that you get to serve port with it. Doesn't have to be the very expensive vintage stuff any decent port will do nicely.

I'd serve either some good French bread or plain crackers with it plus some cornichons and possibly some grapes as they look nice & taste good with cheese. I'm not a great fan of fruit with cheese, but many people are. My wife loves chutney with her cheddar. The Brie & Stilton only need a vehicle (Bread) to transport the cheese to one's mouth in a reasonably graceful manner.

As to your other questions; with a triple cream I'd probably serve a sweet wine. Sauternes or the like, different, but it works. For blue it very much depends upon which one you're eating. See above for milder blues or a robust red.For really sharp blues (Roquefort for instance) nothing much works although, surprisingly, Sauternes can work. Grappa, perhaps? Champagne, of course, goes with almost all cheeses.

Hope these answers help. If not or you need more just let me know.


Whiskey works well with salty blue cheese strangely - you should give it a shot
"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

#113 Dave Hatfield

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 03:50 AM

This will be my last post for this foodblog. (Naturally, I'll continue to answer any question you may have.) I was going to quit earlier, but all the cheese heads were complaining about the fact that there was no cheese included in Saturday's lunch.

So, I've scoured the fridge and done a bit of shopping just to put together a little selection to satisfy them. Nothing fancy or unusual just some that I buy on a fairly regular basis.


cheese plate.JPG Here are the four cheeses I came up with on short notice.


cantal.JPG Cantal. My go to cheese. We almost always have some around. To me its sort of the French cheddar. Can't beat it.


soft cheese.JPG This is the ubiquitous soft Boursin type of cheese with garlic & herbs. Simple, cheap, but lovely.


st andre.JPG St Andre. Think I showed some before. Very high butterfat content. Originally from Normandy. Sometimes compared to Brie.

st felecien.JPG Lastly my favorite St Felecien. As you can see this one is partly eaten. It never lasts long in our house. I've been known to feature it when occasionally do a one cheese cheese course. These can be fun if you choose an unusual cheese or a superb example of a more familiar one.

That's it for the cheese on this blog.

I'lll sign off by showing you my simple lunch for today.

sandwich ingredients.JPG Here are the ingredients for the sandwich I'm going to make.


bread.JPG Whole wheat bread from the local shop.


sandwiches.JPG My sandwiches. A smear of Dijon mustard, Slices of garlic sausage, slices of cantal entre-deux, sliced cornichons and a dab of mayonnaise.

One of my all time favorite sandwiches. I'm being good and washing it down with a soft drink instead of wine. I've lots to do this afternoon as I'm off for a three day golf holiday tomorrow.

Finally, thanks to all of you who had a look at this. I particularly appreciate those who took the time to comment or to ask questions. Hopefully, I'll be back blogging some day in the future.


Jusqu'à la prochaine fois; a bientôt.

#114 rotuts

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 04:53 AM

Yum on that cheese! many thanks for theblog, all the pics etc!

#115 Shelby

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 07:51 AM

I enjoyed very much this sample of your life! Thank you so much!

#116 Anna N

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 08:32 AM

Many thanks, Dave.
Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

"It either works fine or not, but what the heck. This is bread, not birth control." Susan of Wild Yeast blog
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#117 robirdstx

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 08:34 AM

Dave, thank you for sharing your week with us. I enjoyed it very much.





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