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The SW French Home Kitchen


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6 replies to this topic

#1 snowangel

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 09:50 AM

Last night, I made the Oxtail Daube and the Straw Potato Cake with Braised Leeks. My report is here.

This got me and the kids to thinking. I chose to make the daube in a LeCreuset 6.5 quart oval dutch oven. I made the cake in a heavy non-stick Calphalon pan.

Where I a home cook in the Southwestern area of France, what would I have used?

Would I have made this meal for a special occasion or a family meal?

And, I have quite a bit of the daube left over. Would I simply store it meat and liquid separated and recreate this meal later this week or would I do something else with the leftovers?

A peek into a Southwestern French home and kitchen, please!
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

#2 Wolfert

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 03:29 PM

Where I a home cook in the Southwestern area of France, what would I have used?

Would I have made this meal for a special occasion or a family meal?

And, I have quite a bit of the daube left over.  Would I simply store it meat and liquid separated and recreate this meal later this week or would I do something else with the leftovers?

A peek into a Southwestern French home and kitchen, please!

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I think you would find exactly the same pot and skillet to make those two dishes.
The oxtail daube is definitely a Sunday dish best prepared a day or two in advance. The leeks, too, can be prepared a few days in advance.

I'll be back with a picture or two.
“C’est dans les vieux pots, qu’on fait la bonne soupe!”, or ‘it is in old pots that good soup is made’.

#3 snowangel

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 07:05 PM

Further to my question, Paula, what would my SW French pantry contain? What would I fix for dinner on a busy weeknight?
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

#4 Wolfert

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Posted 16 November 2005 - 04:05 PM

The first menu that comes to mind and one that is served at least once a week in every home in SWF, is to take out some confit of duck legs, brown them and serve with something fresh such as pureed sorrel (that you have frozen along with some spinach and cream) and/or potatoes sauteed in a little duck fat. This would be followed by a green salad dressed with walnut oil and banyuls vinegar and topped with walnuts

Another common dinner menu is a chestnut and cepe soup with walnuts. You would have the roasted chestnuts already packaged, or picked up from a street vendor, some dried cepes, stock and walnuts on hand. Good cheese and fruit afterwards.

My larder contains fresh walnuts, walnut oil, dried prunes, prunes in armagnac, quince preserve, liquid honey, frozen sauces, frozen phyllo, confit of gizzards, verjus, duck fat, dried cepes, truffle oil (from plantin.com), chunks of frozen pancetta or ventreche, frozen fresh fava beans still in their pods, stocks, prosciutto or Serrano ham, onion confit, and piment d espelette. With these items on hand you should make most of the recipes in the book.
“C’est dans les vieux pots, qu’on fait la bonne soupe!”, or ‘it is in old pots that good soup is made’.

#5 snowangel

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 12:54 PM

Thank you, Paula, for the list!

But, I have a couple more questions.

Would the confit of duck legs be home made or purchased? If homemade, would the duck fat have been purchased?

And, how much has the style of eating in these homes changed over the course of years? Has there been more of a trend to purchasing prepared or "convenience" foods?
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

#6 Wolfert

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 02:39 PM

Thank you, Paula, for the list!

But, I have a couple more questions.

Would the confit of duck legs be home made or purchased?  If homemade, would the duck fat have been purchased?

And, how much has the style of eating in these homes changed over the course of years?  Has there been more of a trend to purchasing prepared or "convenience" foods?

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Prepared duck confit is sold in stores throughout France and is very popular. The moulard duck legs used for confit in SWF have plenty of fat on them so just a bit more is needed. And since duck fat is the cooking medium through SWF, it's readily available everywhere.

Yes, sadly, there is a trend toward convenience foods even in SWF. But even the women who use them will go rhapsodic when describing their mothers' homemade versions of the classic dishes.


Susan, thanks so much for being one my testers. You were a great help.
“C’est dans les vieux pots, qu’on fait la bonne soupe!”, or ‘it is in old pots that good soup is made’.

#7 andiesenji

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 08:43 PM

Re: your mention of sorrel, it grows easily in pots (and merrily reseeds itself all over the yard) and comes back every year, even after a hard freeze.
I move one 14 inch pot into the greenhouse as winter comes on and have fresh sorrel all winter. I love carrot/sorrel/ginger soup - originally it was carrot/sorrel soup that I learned to make about 40 years ago when I took a class on French country cooking. The chef told us stories about his maman who would be out at first light in the spring, striding up the hill behind their home, picking wild sorrel and other greens.
I haven't been doing a lot of cooking lately, however I think your new book is terrific. I plan on taking my old one down and putting them side by side to see if any of my old favorites are included or altered. In my family "convenience food" meant that you didn't have to go out and pick, dig, kill/pluck or skin, clean and etc., before preparing a meal. My elderly relatives still do not trust prepared frozen meals. Some vegetables are okay, maybe fruit juice, but they still consider most of them as "TV Dinners" !!
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