Jump to content


eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by bleudauvergne

  1. 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. 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?
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. Let's Kill "Foodie"

    It should be noted that the suggested Gastro is short for gastroenteritis in the French language...
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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...
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Just to let you all know: Abra took us to the candy store this afternoon!
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Coffee, check. Pyjamas, check. Presents, check. Vin de Noix, check. eG apron, check. List, check. I am outa here! (written from Lyon)
  20. 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!
  21. Do I smell tripes and pork trotters? I'll be down tomorrow by lunchtime!
  22. Megeve

    Hello, I know this is probably a long shot. We are going to spend the weekend in Megève, and I would like to know if anyone can mention some informal and modestly priced establishments for dinner - we're not ready for Mark Veyrat. What we're looking for are where they have had nice after-ski meals in cozy atmospheres with not so pricey yet well prepared food. Can anyone make a recommendation? Thanks, Lucy
  23. Our batch for 2007 is in the safe. This year, having no maple syrup, I made caramel syrup and added roasted cocoa beans, giving it a caramel and chocolate theme. I know I am probably getting a little too creative here but somebody's got to experiment! We made more than we could give away last year, so there are still a couple of bottles of last year's batch leftover. I find it tastes even better one year down the line. A splash on a couple of ice cubes on an early summer evening does the trick. In the past few days I have also been preparing a lot of duck with it, marinating legs with the vin and Espelette peppers and slow cooking for shredding and use in layered individual terrines with whipped root and early summer vegetables. I love your report, mrbigjas!
  24. The rising of the cake

    I have looked up the carrot cake recipe in my first kitchen notebook, and what I used that gave a successful not overly heavy but heavy enough cake like the carrot cakes I know from home was Francine brand "Gateaux" flour. This is essentially self-rising type (with the rising agent already added) type 155 flour. You could of course use your own flour and leavening agent, it would most likely be the same. I recorded this recipe back before I began using a kitchen scale and the amount of flour for a pound of carrots (3 cups carrots) in the recipe is 2 cups flour. I'd cut out the pineapple - If your goal is to lighten the cake, I'd increase the carrot to 3 cups and take out the pineapple. I would also include a mixture of brown and white sugars instead of just white granulated sugar. Good luck for next time!