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bleudauvergne

eGullet Society staff emeritus
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Everything posted by bleudauvergne

  1. bleudauvergne

    The Perfect Americano

    While dining at my husband's aunt's place one sunny summer afternoon, she served Americanos in a big glass pitcher full of ice with bitter oranges floating on top. She served them in whiskey glasses with a spoon which was for crushing the orange. She gave me the recipe, and this was what was in them. 2 parts Martini Rosso 2 parts dry white vermouth 1/2 part campari 1/2 part gin That lunch is on my list as one of the highlights of my summer! Since then, I have taken to judging an Italian restaurant what they bring me when I order an Americano. It really differs from place to place. Sometimes it comes tasting like a syrupy glass of cough syrup, or even like cherry kool-aid laced with some kind of cleaning product. Only one or two places that I've been to actually seemed to be serving a real one (or what's real in my book). I mixed up a batch of my auntie's recipe to some French guests once and they left their glasses making rings on their coasters after the first sip. It got me to wondering if the recipe I have is the real Americano. Is it? - Lucy
  2. bleudauvergne

    The Punch Topic

    I have made these friends, you see. They had us over for dinner, and on the terrace, they brought out these plastic 1.5 liter soda bottles, not very pretty, mind you, just brimming with murcky stuff. They asked if we'd like a "punch". His parents are from the isle of Reunion. Apparently each time that a distant aunt or uncle is planning to come and visit, they send ahead a large package containing several varieties of home made "punch" and necessary foodstuffs for surviving here in France. And this year, they sent the package, and then changed their travel plans so they were stocked up with several varieties. He says that the secret is a slowly caramelized raw sugar syrup, made at home. This is combined with fruit of various kinds, macerated in rum of the isle for months and months, and it keeps forever. We tried lychee (they are second or third generation Hong Kong immigrants to Reunion), pineapple, and other flavors. Lychee was really incredibly amazing. Pineapple was just heavenly, and I cannot remember what the other flavors were although I believe we did sample several others. My husband does not remember either. This is the nectar of the Gods! The only punch I ever knew was a kind of last minute thing involving lemons limes and sugar syrup. No long term maceration. Is this something truly worth investigating. Can anyone provide insight as I embark on my journey into the world of "punch"? Also, does long term maceration and things like sugar added add to the alcohol content of this lovely aperetif? We were struck first off by the most agreable way it went down, then we realized that it was much more potent that we first thought. Thanks for any input you may provide. -Lucy edited to fix i before e except after c.
  3. bleudauvergne

    The Terrine Topic

    Lately I've been thinking about terrines of all kinds. The galantines, the veggie terrines which burst with the season's flavor, the meats and fish that are so welcome at the table starting around this time of year for us now that certain fresh veggies and herbs are coming into their flavorful season. We love to prepare them at home with the best we can get and serve them to larger groups for lunch, the visual results are often really very good for a relatively low time investment. Last year I picked up a bunch of moulds of different shapes and it's time to crack them out again. I would love to hear terrine/mousse/galantine experiences, for ideas on what kinds of interesting combinations might be hiding in the stalls at the market. Presentation ideas, classic combinations, things that were in but have gone out of style, recent pleasant suprises... Any ideas?
  4. As many of you are aware, Paula Wolfert's new edition of The Cooking of Southwest France, Recipes from France's Magnificent Rustic Cuisine has been recently released. For those in the France Forum who are not aware of Paula's influence in the English speaking world, Paula's original edition in 1983 of The Cooking of Southwest France was a first in many ways: Her work was the first to introduce to average American home cooks on a grand scale the concept of French regional cuisine. Not only was it an introduction, but a warm and friendly beckon for us to join her as she worked her way through the Southwest of France and its treasures that took American home cooking by storm; easing us into an anecdotal but at the same time thorough and rigorous approach to a careful selection of recipes from the Gascogne Languedoc and Guyenne. Many of us have cooked through Paula's original book and of course many are delighted that she has taken the time to return to the region in her new edition. She has revisited, refined, and expanded on the original tome, continuing the stories she began in her original edition, with the addition of 60 new recipes, and an expansion of her regional coverage to include the Auvergne. Susan Fahning (aka snowangel), Elie Nassar (aka foodman) and I would like to start this thread in which everyone is invited to join us in cooking our way through Paula Wolfert's new release. This thread is the place to include your notes, and share with us photos of recipes you have prepared from it. This thread will begin in the France forum and eventually be moved to the Cooking Forum. A group of eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters members were asked to test certain recipes for this new edition, and we hope those who tested recipes will share their cooking notes for any recipe that appears in the final edition. This is a "cooking with" thread, so please concentrate on the recipes in the final edition and save general discussion of the testing process itself for the upcoming eG Spotlight Conversation with Paula Wolfert, which will take place from 14 to 18 November, 2005.
  5. I ordered a bavette at the butcher and he was quite happy to announce that he had a really nice one at the time, which he said was a "bavette d'aloyau". I always thought that there was only one kind of bavette, one of your common cuts. You get this when you're trying to save money. My husband was not too excited about it when I announced what we were going to have for dinner, because he said that the ones he gets in the average cafe or bistrot with frites are often tough and stringy. I didn't do anything special to them, I just pan seared them and seasoned them with some salt and mignonette. They were amazingly flavorful and delicious, and melt in your mouth tender. I was pretty happy about that and imagined rolling it up with and herbed farce on the inside and roasting it, it was so tender and delicious. The next time I went to the butcher I asked him if I could have some more bavette d'aloyau. He said he didn't have any that day but offered me another type of bavette. How many types of bavette are there? How do you best ask in a restaruant ask what kind you're getting since they are often just offered as "bavette"?
  6. bleudauvergne

    Vin d'Orange

    I gave my husband the equipment to cork and seal bottles this year for his birthday. My mother in law does a vin d'orange every year that she distributes for gifts. Are there others who wouldn't mind sharing their recipes and tips for other home prepared gift wines? We can't really make this and give it since there's already bottles of it coming from her house. We thought we'd do something like use nuts or some other fruit. Any ideas? Here's the recipe that is attributed to my husband's grandmother, Mireille Durandeau, of Toulon, France please give her credit if you share it. Edit: to clarify that you let this macerate for one month in a glass or ceramic container and then filter before bottling. Happy Wednesday! - Lucy
  7. Living abroad always involves a whole slew of gastronomic discoveries and adventures that go along with our day by day learning experiences. It's a known fact that once the glory and exhileration of actually getting to a foreign country subsides, there will be - up days - and down days. Inevitably on the down days we're all faced with the need for some good old down home comfort food, and on the up days we want to share our country's best and brightest dishes, the ones that we really must share to make someone understand how our home country's food is spectacular, beautiful, wonderful, even. In the eyes of an expat in France, simple things like baking powder, corn meal, even blackeyed peas, flour or bacon can be confusing and upsetting when you've first arrived here. I've been in contact with several eG members who have plans to or have already moved to France. I'd like to start this thread in light of a really super blog entry by eG member David Lebovitz, who lives in Paris, where he tackles some of the most pressing issues facing the home baker. His advice can be found here. I would like to take that topic and expand it with food related experiences and advice from people who have come here to France to live. For 2 weeks or 20 years, exchange student or in exile, from any foreign country, no matter how long or how long you plan to stay here, share with us your discoveries. Some of our French members will also have valuable advice to give and perhaps a story or two about how it might have been the other way around. Lets not be afraid of bringing up the most mundane examples and advice - I remember that when I first got here, even the most obvious 'duh' things were big discoveries.
  8. bleudauvergne

    Ground cherry pits

    What are the ramifications of juicing cherries, pits and all, and then straining, to serve as a drink? I ask this question, as I contemplate what to do with the motherlode of cherry picking bounty.
  9. bleudauvergne

    Let's Kill "Foodie"

    It should be noted that the suggested Gastro is short for gastroenteritis in the French language...
  10. I'm enjoying every word, and very excited to hear more details about your diet for food enthusiasts book when things are really rolling on that project. I certainly hope you'll be keeping us updated with the details on your regular writing blog... Going with you as you run your errands has been wonderful. The breads really look great. I hope they taste as good as they looked. When we lived in Los Angeles, my husband kept a mother and baked his own bread every morning. We couldn't find real bread anywhere near where we lived and it was one of the main things he missed from home in France. Once he got a routine going it really didn't take much effort at all. There were books back then that he used to guide him through the steps as well.
  11. bleudauvergne

    Cheese (2008– )

    I couldn't help but chuckle there.. About the blue cheese hating thing. I have a personal experience with this because my husband has a long standing aversion to it. He began as a cheese hater in general, having had it forced on him as a child. (I'm writing from France here for those who aren't familiar, so the cheeses I mention here will be French) A Munster tasted while hiking at the source seduced him into becoming a cheese fanatic well into adulthood, and the last bastion remains blue cheese. I know there is hope. I have come to some understanding of his aversion. It can have two sides, and one side may hide the other. For a complete conquest of bleu, you must approach it with a two pronged strategy. Conquer the visual. It is intertwined with your flavor aversion. Your first step is to go and get a cheese that has an ash element to it. Stay with me here. Like a Selles sur Cher which is a goat cheese covered in ash, or a Morbier, which is two raw cows milkings seperated by a stripe of ash, for example. Of course neither of these two cheeses are blue cheeses at all, but just in case you have any aversion to the colors and idea, you can get used to the idea of having dark colored areas in the cheese. In enjoying these cheeses, you will train yourself to let go of any reflex to reject cheeses with added color elements. You'll warm up to the idea that these colored aspects are not only good for you, but can be interesting in flavor. Second, when you are ready to tackle the blue cheese itself, I suggest that you talk to a professional cheese monger, explain that you are looking for a mild, and young blue. I say this because many of the blues that develop that majestic and beautiful flavor begin as quite different animals. My husband, who could not even stand blue cheese on the same plate with the others, finally was convinced to try a young one. The tanginess and strong flavor hasn't quite developed in the younger cheeses, but a certain clean promise and freshness is there. As you transition to getting more mature cheeses, that promise develops into an appreciation of the wonderful world of bleus. A thought - a cheese that is readily available in the states that begins as mild and never goes too far, is the bleu de Bresse. It is standard pasturized fare, but at the same time for transitioning yourself, it can be helpful. If you're trying to conquer this aversion, don't try mixing it with food - my suggestion is to learn to appreciate it on its own and then once you're ready, pair it with walnuts, for example, then in salads, and then use it as an ingredient in foods. Hope you keep us updated on your conquest, moreace01.
  12. Great to get a glimpse into your food world, Diana! I got an ice cream machine for Christmas and I still don't have your favorite book of 2007 yet (I have all of his others), but after seeing how wonderfully that ice cream turned out...
  13. I see the feast continues. I am dreaming of bone marrow, oxtails and champagne, while we make due with spinach and eggs and the walnut tartelettes prepared in your honor. That mill/bakery looked like a great find. How was the bread? Nothing short of stupendous, I'm sure.
  14. Well, the train pulled away as I ran to the platform, but there was another one a 1/2 hour later, which gave me time to buy 2 Christmas presents. You know, they are so good about people who miss trains. I was doing my best to put up a good harrowed missed my train act, feigning being destraught and apologetic, and the lady just handed me another ticket with a kind of "now now there dear" pucker and got back to her knitting. Seats galore in the next train which didn't make the stop in Valence, so it was almost as if I hadn't missed the train at all. Wow that lunch looks like it was just what the doctor ordered.
  15. After having slept like a baby I awakened to hot steaming coffee and breakfast. My order was taken and within minutes, a croissant fresh from the bakery was in front of me on the table. The sunlight in the morning is really beautiful here. In fact, it was the first thing I noticed coming from the train, in just one hour the sunlight transforms into kind of a liquid that bathes everything. I should not have scheduled such a short visit but I have to get back to work on Lyon. We'll make time to do this again, I hope. Dinner was such a celebration of friendship, in the kitchen with Klary and Abra, I felt right at home. Abra is quite a hostess. Thank you both for thinking of me and inviting me to come. And bringing me into the fold the way you did.
  16. A large dent was made into the cheese plate, consisting of a St. Marcellin, a palette de chevre, Reblochon fermier au lait cru, Comte fruite, arome de Lyon, and Epoisses. We enjoyed a glass of the Prieure-Brunet Mersault-Charmes Priemier Cru and a bread called Pain des Champs from my bakery in Lyon.
  17. The first course was an everything but the kitchen sink slaw, consisting of red cabbage, radis noir, onions, shallots, apples, prunes, lots of spicy hand whisked mayonnaise seasoned with walnut oil, cider vinegar, salt and pepper. The slaw was surrounded by the last of Abra's romanesco broccoli, and topped with grated deep violet carrot called the carrot noir in these parts.
  18. We're just getting ready to sit down at the table but I wanted to add one thing, there's another cook with us. The one we've been referring to as "she". "She said it should take an hour and a half..." "She said that it was originally made with puff pastry..." "She thinks we should do it this way," If I were Paula, I would be very happy knowing that she is going to be referred to for generations as the "she" we look to not only for inspiration but valuable knowledge she gathered and shared for us to transmit.
  19. Just to let you all know: Abra took us to the candy store this afternoon!
  20. Clary is working diligently on the tarte, another one of Paula's recipes. Psst. The tripe & trotter dish smells and looks wonderful. It took all I had not to reach in and snag a piece straight from the cooking pot. Just to confirm it's properly cooked, of course. I heard the knife sharpening. Abra's man came down to handle the ham, a gorgeous Spanish beauty fed on acorns and walnuts during its living days. The knife slid through it like butter. I remarked on the smooth cut, and complimented the sabatier. He said that he wished he had one with a heftier handle, and a bigger blade. "The knife I want is right now in my mother's kitchen" he said, smiling. I am in the livingroom, and I can hear them discussing (alright, arguing about) the meaning of "well blended". They are putting the tart together, and finishing the last steps to the tripes and trotters dish. I'll go take some pictures.
  21. While Klary sits with her arms folded and relaxes as she gazes at the two of us with a mysterious smile, and Abra types furiously in order to head me off at the pass, let me begin by saying that indeed the trip to Les Halles was fruitful. I have been put in charge of the cheese plate. I also brought wine to go with the course, but that's for later.
  22. Coffee, check. Pyjamas, check. Presents, check. Vin de Noix, check. eG apron, check. List, check. I am outa here! (written from Lyon)
  23. Dear Abra & Chufi, I am waiting impatiently for tomorrow to arrive. I have my train ticket and have gathered a few things to bring down to you. Luckily Les Halles is just near the station for a last minute errand before my train leaves. It will be a pleasure to cook with you!
  24. Do I smell tripes and pork trotters? I'll be down tomorrow by lunchtime!
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