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Everything posted by Abra

  1. Abra

    L'Escargot d'Or

    The dinner was a choice from their menu at, I think, 23 Euros, including several entrée, plat, and dessert choices. It's a changing, creative menu of Provencale dishes, including an escargot appetizer, and a great salad of the local picodon goat cheese, nothing haute, but all interesting and well executed. A pretty dining room, a gorgeous terrace for eating outside in good weather, and friendly service. You can read more about Dieulefit and see some of my photos of it here.
  2. Isomer, will you give us that soup recipe? It sounds like just the thing. I made a really nice savory cherry soup last week with red wine, fresh sage, cherries, and a bit of creme fraiche. Cherries and sage are a surprisingly refreshing combination.
  3. Recently we had the nice experience of spending the night in Dieulefit. If you like the mountainous backcountry rustic part of France, you'll enjoy Dieulefit. We stayed at L'Auberge de L'Escargot D'Or, where a simple room with its own bath plus a very large good dinner and breakfast for two cost us 114 Euros on demi-pension. Although the weather didn't permit us to use it, they also have a large swimming pool in a lovely parklike setting facing the mountains.
  4. Abra

    Fresh Morel mushrooms

    Well, here i stuffed them, and that was awesomely delicious as well as gorgeous. Try to keep them whole, or at least in half, for the beauty of them.
  5. Your kitchen is just about exactly the size of Bleudauvergne's kitchen, she's maybe got 1 square meter on you. I don't know how you guys do it!
  6. Holy crap, Soba, I had no idea. Thank you for all you have given us over the years, and for all that's to come.
  7. Since this sounded like total urban legend, I checked it out on Snopes. Turns out it's the advertisers at the bottom of the freerice page who contribute, the UN distributes. check it out I say cool!
  8. The French green plums that I know are Reine Claudes. You'll find lots of recipes online for them, mostly of the crumble and jam variety. But the green plums that I used to get in the US were something different, much larger and with a pointy end. I'm not sure if that's what you have, and if it would work the same way in recipes.
  9. If you're between Avignon and Orange, maybe visiting the Châteauneuf-du-Pape area, I recommend La Luisia in Saint-Laurent-les-Arbres. A 28 Euro menu will get you a starter that's a truly gigantic platter of shellfish of many sorts, then a whole fish as a plat, and a variety of desserts. Bread made in house, friendly service, an outside terrace, and straight-ahead cooking, nothing haute, but good.
  10. Abra


    Mmm, mustard greens. The French way with them is a real treat. Just rinse, chop, and toss them in a pot to wilt and simmer until tender in the water that clings to the leaves. When the greens are wilted, add a splash of cream and simmer until the cream is thick and the greens are perfectly tender. In all this takes no more than 7-8 minutes and produces something really delicious for almost no effort. Bruce, those Indian dishes look wonderful. Want to share any recipes?
  11. Abra


    I'm bumping this up because it's spring and beautiful greens are starting to fill the stands at the farmers' market. Last night I made a delicious pie of Swiss chard in a chestnut pastry crust. The recipe is here, and it makes a great dish to take along to a potluck or office lunch party.
  12. I always loved Fine Cooking, although I don't get it here in France. My one complaint was that they didn't focus much on food from other countries, but the chicken sounds right on. The type of fish sauce you use makes a huge difference to flavor and smell. Look for the more expensive varieties that come in smaller bottles to get a sampling of the nuances that are possible in the fish sauce world. It should smell good!
  13. Because it's Mother's Day in France I decided this would be the day to try my wild boar. I rubbed the frozen-solid bone-in chunk with a mix of chopped garlic, juniper berries, herbes de Provence, salt and pepper, and olive oil, added a good splash of red wine to the pan, and set it to roast at 325. The one kilo chunk of meat was at 140 in just under 2 hours, and even a bit over in the thinner parts, so I was a little worried that it might be overdone. But as you can see it was beautifully rare and juicy throughout. Unlike some other meat upthread, this did spill a lot of juice on the carving board. I don't know whether that's just in the nature of boar, or whether it needed more resting. Here it is on the plate with a gratin Dauphinois. Because we're still drowning in cherries I served it with a sauce made from fresh cherries and some of the cherry pit wine I made last week. It made for a really delicious celebratory meal, and I thank those of you who went before in trying out this seemingly impossible cooking method. This is a really nice technique, and I'm looking forward to trying it with a boneless piece of meat of a more uniform size.
  14. No picture this time, but I made the Duck Breasts Roasted in Salt and they're really wonderful. Because I used the French gros sel instead of kosher salt the salt mixture was a bit too soupy with 4 egg whites and I had a hard time getting the salt shell to stick together. But it wasn't a problem in the end, as the breasts were perfectly cooked and delicious. I really recommend this technique!
  15. In Avignon don't miss A 2 Pas du Potager. You'll find my review of it here.
  16. Sam, that's too funny! I've never seen it either so I'm no use, but I think the jello is a brilliant idea. So brilliant, in fact, that I might have to add it to our menu for the barbecue to introduce our French friends to the 4th of July.
  17. Abra

    Need help with menu

    That does look beautiful! As they say "virtue is its own reward" although maybe some other reward would have better suited the moment. Still, you can feel virtuous!
  18. Here's the cherry clafoutis. Because I'm swimming in a sea of cherries I did pack in a few more cherries than the recipe calls for. I'd have to say that I'd like it a bit cakier myself. It's very custardy, and will make a delicious breakfast tomorrow morning, but as a dessert it's not very sweet and quite eggy. Good, mind you, but a bit more like a cherry omelette than I expected.
  19. The cherries are browning, but they're definitely not rotting, so I guess it's mainly an esthetic issue. The rum/kirsch mixture, on the other hand, is bright red now.
  20. Abra


    I am utterly drowning in sweet cherries. The mention of grappa upthread is intriguing - does anyone have a recipe? I'm looking for any interesting uses besides jam and syrup.
  21. Abra

    Need help with menu

    Why not do your potato croquettes like arancini, with a filling in the center of the ball? You could even put raw endive slivers in the middle, like a little riff on stampot.
  22. I second the sorghum gingerbread. It's awesome. I like it as a sub for molasses more than as a honey substitute. I've never had the bourbon sort, though.
  23. Thanks! I've started with cherries from our tree, but as soon as the sugar dissolved they started to float. I guess the specific gravity of the sweet liquid is too high for them to stay under. So now that they're floating and lots of their red color has leached into the rum they're turning brown. Were you able to get your fruit to keep its original color, or is browning inevitable?
  24. Abra

    Need help with menu

    Or put the tabbouleh in raddichio leaf cups, or red endive. Smoked duck breast sounds perfect with that earthy buckwheat flavor. If you want to be tricky about dessert, one thing I find delicious, and this may seem too weird, is potato with salt and honey. You could make a little pre-dessert of small cubes of potato, roasted or baked, served with a little pile of good salt and a tiny bowl of honey, for dipping.
  25. Just to reassure you, there are lots of restaurant meals here in the south of France that very much resemble yours. The execution you show might be a bit more elevated than some, but I can find those elements on many menus here. It's much harder to find nouvelle-influenced food, were one looking.
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