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Kate Hill

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  1. the overview article I wrote is now on line at http://international-iacp.blogspot.com/200...-dialogues.html including a brief interview with Andoni as well as a ist of links. And I have posted a few of my favorite quotes on my own blog- http://www.katehill.blogspot.com. Obviously, being able to watch the videos now is fabulous and I can correct any errors due to my bad handwriting! I also noticed that on the Spanish version of the site, there are files under NEWS that aren't there in English- particularly interesting is the PDF file of the printed Papeles de Cocina that we received. Worth looking at for the design as well as the content. Now to start learning Spanish!
  2. I have just returned from the Dialogos de Cocina and will posting report on my blog by the end of the week. It was a strong showing of support for Adoni Aduriz who organized and set the tone for a serious and thoughtful, impassioned and exciting event. The big dogs were in evidence but with few exceptions, they left their egos at the door. I'll be happy to link when I am up.
  3. Thanks ou812, Sometimes there is too much information here! but the things I've learned making sausage from farmers and artisan butchers is pretty concise: -Start with the best meat you can find- grow it if necessary! -use the fat that comes on the cuts untrimmed; that 25%-75% fat to lean is pretty natural. -the white wine adds both acid and sugar and liquid as does the water in my butcher's recipe. -my favorite sausage was made by the Pompele family that aged the meat overnight after mixing it in big piles on tables in the garage . We worked it with our hands and then before stuffing, cooked a handful to taste for salt and pepper. They always added extra pepper. It always tasted the best! -Dried sausage: This little cork (see pictures on the whole hog blog) embedded with pins is used to prick the casings for dried sausage. -many people add a prepared spice mixture called Epice Rabelais which is heavy with cloves, mace, nutmeg and other 'secrets' to saucisson or a jelly jar of red wine that a few garlic cloves have been floating in. Pitch the garlic add the red wine. -Saucisse seche is the simple sausages dried; Saucisson is made from just the ham meat and leaner. My neighbor would wipe the casings with eau-de-vie if it was too damp for drying. Of course, most of the farm activity takes place over the winter months but the Chapolard brothers use controlled temperature rooms to accelerate drying. air flow is critical. But my most important lesson in sausage making came the year I butchered a pig and hung the sausage, coppa, ventreche and jambon in my barn to dry and age. Discovering them all gone some weeks later, along with my old Mary Poppins bicycle, I realized that my reputation as a good charcutiere had spread around the neighborhood. The image of a basket of sausage bumping down the towpath bike lane still makes me laugh. I hope they were appreciated! Have fun and keep your links under guard.
  4. I second that! What a memorable meal I had one early spring evening several years ago chez Marie Nael. I'll also add that down here in the SW, Maria-Claude Gracia who WAS La Belle Gasconne in Poudenas, was the god-mother to many a starred chef. After retiring, who is there to prepare Joue de Boeuf en chemise, le Civet de canard avec le vieux vin de M. Kauffer, or a flawless foie gras en terrine that was always passed a second time around the table?
  5. I second that! What a memorable meal I had one early spring evening several years ago chez Marie Nael. I'll also add that down here in the SW, Maria-Claude Gracia- who WAS La Belle Gasconne in Poudenas- was the god-mother to many a starred chef. After she retired and closed the Moulin, I wept. Who is there to prepare Joue de Boeuf en chemise, le Civet de canard avec le vieux vin de M. Kauffer, or a flawless foie gras en terrine that was always passed a second time around the table?
  6. Just returned from the Saturday Market and I stopped to ask my favorite artisan farmer/butcher for his Saucisse de Toulouse recipe. His home grown pork, salt & pepper. Nothing else. Although he did admit that 'authentic' Saucisse de Toulouse includes white wine. Next I stopped at the village mart with a very good butcher in the back. He gave me his own recipe and I offer it to you with his regards. 1 whole ham, skinned and boned 1 shoulder, skinned and boned (The right amount of fat comes with the pig! no need to add more) grind with a #10 (holes the size of your index finger) salt- 16 gr per kilo pepper- 3 grams per kilo One liter of cold water to facilitate mixing the salt and pepper with the meat. Mix and stuff in natural casings. That's it. And is exactly how most people in this area of SW France (Near Agen) make their fresh sausages. Now...dried sausages, saucisses secs or saucissons are another story. Or thread! I'll post this on my blog, too. www.katehill.blogspot.com
  7. Kate Hill


    A quick lesson: I once innocently invited a vegetarian friend to join a group of foodies at a Michelin star resto-- recipe for disaster? What resulted was that we ALL had a most memorable meal. This creative chef whipped out, course by course, a vegetarian equivalent of our 10 course degustation dinner. It was a wonderful lesson for us all. The meat eaters envy and favorite Veggie course was a whisky and cream cappuccino! Only thing I would have changed, I would have asked in advance! We had just shown up expecting there was something our veggie friend would eat while we degusted! What a memorable meal I had at L'Amboisie a few years ago. I still talk about that perfectly prepared 'scotch egg' starter; does caviar have a face? So why not call and ask if the chef will accommodate your daughter's preferences? Often in France, as elsewhere, a simple request in advance gets you a long way. Good luck!
  8. I can highly recommend my favorite local supplier here in Gascony, Patricia Lamarouche. She raises Tete Rouge ducks- the densely flavored livers are prized by local restauranteurs. She works carefully and with a refined palate- I find her seasoning perfectly a point featuring her and her products at my cooking school. For a more lyrical description and her address on my blog at French Kitchen Adventures. She has also vaccum-packed (sous vide) her excellent magret and other cuts for me for shipping as well. Patricia LAMAROUCHE. Adresse:, Puymartin, Téléphone:, Code postal: 47230 City: Vianne P.S. A French Kitchen tip: here, we think it is preferable to 'age' preserved foie gras and always use last year's jars or cans over a new batch. Before using, refrigerate overnight, then open and let 'breathe' for an hour before serving-- both temperature and texture will be perfect.
  9. In BDX itself, the fab La Tupina for traditional SW fare and the Cafe des Arts near the Opera for a good crowd and people watching. And there are some interesting 'workingmen's' cafes located near the wholesale market and abbatoir section of the city (east of the train station) specialising in offal and other traditional fare. This turns into a club area at night and can be more fun that you bargain far! Also the newly arranged river walk area along the Garonne is attracting cafe and bistros worth visiting along with the city's hip set and an easy walk from the city center hotels. enjoy!
  10. Sauternes is a singularly sweet microcosm of the delights of Bordeaux. It's a spare and focused village of wine. I'll second David's suggestion of 'le Saprien' and add my own less formal and rustic version of Sauternes hospitality the Auberge des Vignes- a delicious souvenir of roasted birds on the open fireplace and liquid gold by the glass. The town website mentions that it is under new ownership. Not too far away, the town of Bazas offers a wider experience of shops and cafes as well as spectacular architecture of the Catherdral square. As Bibendum would say, "worth a detour." St. Emilion also boasts a great wine bar with good bistro cooking, 'L'Envers du Decor" just a couple doors down from the tourist office. Make-up your own flight of Pomerols or other 'local' fare in a very casual setting. In between the wine, the wine and the wine... there's a lot to see in this area!
  11. David, "Shopping local" for me is a big part of living here in SW France. I do crave tamales and teriyaki pork sandwiches, cornbread and bbq, and other childhood fancies but 95% of the time I am so happy to have the rural 'supermarket' of the Southwest at my threshold. We can order almost anything by internet these days but the 2 very fresh eggs I had for dinner from the farm down the road (that produces that amazing prize winning B of A Beef) tastes just fine to me. Once a friend arrived with a fat roll of beef, a filet I recall, from the Limousin. We rolled it in a hot dry pan for a few minute and devour it charred on the outside, raw in the middle. Delicious. I haven't a clue if it was hung, for how long but the lean beef, neither marbled not fatty, was tender enough to inspire a wonderful gastronomic memory of food and friendship. Eat French beef. Then you'll have something to look forward to in Scotland! For more on shopping local...check out the blog threads here!
  12. Dear neighbor, where have you been shopping? We have one of the best beef breeds here in our 'hood: the Blonde's of Aquitaine. I posted a picture on my blog for you. This was a Cote de Boeuf bought, cooked and consumed for a shoot for New Zealand's Dish magazine. It was tender and delicious, cooked rare-medium rare over the grill; My neighbors grew it. I buy local at the marche couverte in Agen or the village Shopi ; they both buy whole beasts from ferme bellevue at the corner. And as Lucy says, find a good butcher. There is an excellent one in Moissac --not too far from you? He is a professional and should be able to fill in the missing blanks. Next time, I am throwing a bbq, I guess I have to invite you! bonne courage-
  13. I would search the archives of my friend's David L.'s site for references to your requests. David is a serious expert(seriously funny) on the sweet side of Parisian life. Have fun!
  14. Adam, Here, like in the Limousin, cattle were the tractors of the day. The barn behind my kitchen has a dozen sturdy stalls for the working girls that tilled the heavy clay soil of the Garonne River valley. Even today, my neighbors who raise 40 Blondes of Aquitaine-- beef cattle, do so as a 'cash crop'. Family meals are from the basse-cours- the barnyard; they eat chicken, pintade, rabbit, and of course, that egalitarian pig. This is the pig time of year; The Fete de St. Porc, Le Prince de Janvier. Tomorrow we are celebrating the feast of St. Antoine Abate who blessed the barnyard critters. Judy Witts in Tuscany and I have been running a Some Pig event at our Going Whole Hog site. Nice to see the attention we give to that good pig. That pork and cabbage are a world wide marriage it seems! The ends of bacon or ham flavoring the farce are a perfect way to use those little salty bits.
  15. Curious that these are the same books that I mentioned in my above post, Lucy under the Editions Subvervie name. Glad to have the website. I might add that the recipes tend to be blissfully basic and easy, ex: the Roti de Porc et Pruneaux is just that-- one pork roast and 500gr of prunes. One might need a little imagination to get to the final product unless you have already eaten it! The recipes in the Lot-et-Garonne book are most often recipes from fermes auberge and reflect the simple homecooking found on most SW farms. The recipe for Gelee de fleurs de pissenlit or dandelion jelly is worth the price alone!
  16. My Epiphany report: I just returned from a 5 hour lunch with my 11-year-old goddaughter and my French family. It was the special Epiphany Sunday lunch because like most modern households with kids in school the 6th was a school night. Of course everyone has been eating galettes for weeks now, but this time we had champagne, including Clotilde-Julia who turns 12 in two weeks. The two gallettes were from the village bakery; one, a traditional sugar encrusted brioche; the other, a pear-chocolate filled puff-pastry version. Both had one 'fève' each- a small perfectly formed ceramic "Sponge Bob Square-Pants" and "Patrick the Starfish." Even in deepest Gascony, we submit to TV marketing. When friends came by earlier in the week, I ran to the Boulanger in the nearest village and bought a frangipane-filled, puff pastry galette- 17 Euros for the biggest one. In addition to the hidden fève, I bought an extra one, a tiny bird, to hide in the piece that I would give my friend’s 3-year old. She tore the piece of cake apart with her hands and grinned as wore her paper crown. In my French family, Clotilde-Julia, the first and only granddaughter, got the fève every time, every year, for years. She will always be the 'queen" and her grandmother, like Lucy, keeps a little bowl of fèves in the cupboard for special occasions. Sometimes it’s not about the filling but the prize.
  17. Adam, as promised, I posted a recipe on my blog for what do to with those bits of leftover wild boar ham that you will have! Leftovers are often the basis for good regional dishes. French Kitchen Adventures- J is for Jambon Oh, and another classic book- Madeleine Kammans' "When French Women Cook" a resource I fall back on, time and time again.
  18. Adam, I look for little cookbooks published regionally when traveling through la hexagone, like one called "la Cuisine du Bon Gras' or 'Recettes Paysannes en Lot-et-Garonne'. Usually local newstands carry a selection. Editions Subervie in Rodez (no website) did the Recettes Paysannes series of the Aveyron, Lot, Perigord, Gers, Lozere, and Tarn. There is also a lovely book called "Mourjou, the Life and Food of an Auvergne Village:- Peter Graham I turn to, and of course, a few regional specialities from my own long village in "A Culinary Journey in Gascony" including the SW classic Vetou Pompele's Poule-au-Pot. As a guide, I'd look to see what grows abundantly in any given area and you can bet that the regional dishes reflect that. I'll be happy to send you a couple from the Garonne River Valley if you like; just drop me an email.
  19. John, I had come across this description of Michel Guerard and the 70's gang just a few days ago- in the sous-vide thread. Reading the manifesto of the Generation C made my ears ring. Sound familiar? "The revolution in cooking came from within the Michelin-starred restaurants.... ...An important characteristic of the movement was friendship. Although French chefs are usually individualistic, even selfish, these young chefs were always in contact, telling one another of their discoveries, discussing their problems, and so on. Today, they still do it, although they themselves have become the symbols of a new tradition." This is from this site and refered to Guerard, Bocuse, Sendersen, etc... Another take on the same historic overview: http://www.gayot.com/restaurants/features/...llecuisine.html I also agree with Robert's comment as well (the hand that feeds them) and personally take on the role to communicate with my friend/chefs my kudos as well as my expectations. I think it was in Michael Sander's book, "from here you can't see Paris" that he describes the best meal you'll ever have in France is a conspiracy between the Chef, the waiter and you...the worst, a conspiracy against you."
  20. These comments call to mind a recipe from the 1976 nouvelle cuisine cookbook by Michel Guerard that wrapped a rolled veal scallop and herbs in saran wrap/cling film into a tightly wrapped bundle, then steamed it. The veal needed little fat to cook, the juices stayed in the plastic wrap and a short sauce was made with a bit of butter and the juice. Perhaps a low-tech way on the preparation end, steaming rather than boiling, and the plastic wrap survived very nicely. What goes around comes around- again.
  21. Now there's a reason to visit France, not to mention Italy and Spain. ← Twenty years ago while driving around Burgundy looking for a barge to buy, I stayed in a typical small hotel/cafe in a canal side village. The plat du jour was andouillettes. The smell filled the dining room and the dozen old geezers tucking in turned to stare at me. I tried once, twice... and then called the waiter over and ordered something else. I had eaten snake, scarab bugs and rat in Africa. I am not a wimp. Years later driving the Julia Hoyt into a small village in Gascony, I met my kitchen godmother Vetou Pompele and her husband Claude. On hearing my andouillette experience, Claude went to his chest freezer, pulled out a packet of homemade andouillettes and asked Vetou to prepare them. Delicious! Delicate! Oh, I get it! Over the years when I am in doubt of a recipe or preparation, I call on my expert, Vetou, to pave the way. Just now I am preparing a presentation on 'getting the most out of your pig' for the next IACP conference in Seattle. Judy Witts from Florence and Fergus Henderson of London join me to discuss artisan charcuterie in "Saints perserve us!", a pig's tale of three cultures. Will andouillette inspire such passionate responses, for and against, or does bacon win the day as the universal pig favorite?
  22. I could be very wrong but normally a terrine de foie gras is "foie gras mi-cuit" this is what you get when you order foie gras that comes on toast. It is made from baking the raw foie gras in a terrine (a type of pan). It's sometimes wrongly refered to as paté, at least by Americans. It's mostly duck (or goose) liver with perhaps some spices and a little cognac, but that's it. You can also pan-sear raw foie gras. ← No, you are quite correct.I guess I wasn't clear; I was curious as to what the US Customs' Agents' little cheat sheet says about the acceptability of raw, mi-cuit, frais, cooked, tinned, etc foie gras? ← My experience flying from foie gras heaven here in Gascony to the US is: 1. I always declare everything now; I'm just careful what I buy and act VERY confident. 2.Pork is bad- since pate is usually a mixture, never call foie gras 'pate' even if it is 'pate de foie gras'. 3. I was told foie gras and pate in tins/cans is preferable to glass jars. ??? 4. A professional looking label is an advantage over anything that looks homemade 5. Foie gras 'mi-cuit' isn't sterilized as long nor at as high a temperature- so is frowned upon and/or forbidden. 6. after 20 years of to and froing, I agree with the random nature of the enforcement of these laws. I'd love to see a definite list but suspect things like the avian flu will cause new laws and random enforcement forever. Just remember, in the end, it's only snacks and if it is taken away, better to have loved in France and had an edible souvenir than not at all.
  23. I have a French friend who developed a taste for cranberry juice (now available albeit limitedly at the 'grandes surfaces') but anything cranberry still pleases- tea, candies, liquor. Another suitcase filler is hot sauces, of any kind and the hotter and stranger the better. Who says the French don't like it hot? Think West African and Caribbean cuisines!
  24. Kate Hill

    Cooking snails

    Before my old neighbor, Monsieur DuPuy passed on, he regularly cleaned my garden of snails-- those we call 'le petit gris' as opposed to the bigger burgundian variety-- fed them on rose petals (I kid you not!), purged them, then returned them to me for a mere 50 francs. Usually my Gascon neighbors feed the snails rather than fast them, on vermicelli pasta for a week or longer in a sort of snail jail- a cage with lots of airholes. And as Iriee mentions to deslime them: I cook them first in salted water, rinse them in vinegar, remove them from the shells, pluck and toss out the dark stomach sac, rinse again in vinegar if needed, then return to the shells with garlic/parsley butter and bake. Whew! I enjoy them more when I eat them in a restaurant or more commonly here at an 'escargotlade' -- a village fete featuring all you can eat, vats of snails cooked with the garlic/parsley butter or preferably with a tomato, garlic, ham sauce in the Bordeaux fashion and served with plenty of baguettes and lots of red wine.
  25. What a wonderful way to share our most American holiday! I will be doing my best to create a small 'frenchfried' version for my friends at the market here in Nerac turning their good produce into my feast. I count on you for inspiration.
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