Jump to content


participating member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by sharonb

  1. Another cooking-related topic. I've been curious lately about making something with feuilles de brik. Some kind of savory filling sounds delicious, but I wonder two things: 1. Do you have to deep-fry (or shallow-fry) the packets? Or can they be baked? 2. Are the kind of brik leaves sold in supermarkets good? Or should I head back to the Couronnes/Ménilmontant area to pick up something more authentic? What are your favorite fillings? Can they be reheated? (Stuffed ones, already cooked.) Thanks!
  2. Agreed. I'm much more of a Burgundy fan.
  3. I think you should go for a charming village near Beaune. Monthélie or Meursault...
  4. Petrus is so not worth the hype. This was a bottle my boyfriend had had stored in his cave in Chinon for nearly ten years and decided we should drink it to celebrate moving in together. We had three other friends over. A year later, we mentioned drinking Petrus to our friend Philippe, who had been there, and he said, "Yeah, would be interesting." I said: "But you DID, don't you remember?" Not a memorable experience, and again not memorable when I tasted the 1996 at a tasting for Moueix's opening of a new Paris-region wine store last December. Assumably it was not counterfeit as Moueix owns Petrus, and it was similar to what we had tasted in a full bottle at home of a comparable vintage (not a recent purchase, as described above), so... Anyone who can explain the mystique will be welcome to me.
  5. Great suggestion by Chufi to add regional threads on cooking. I thought I'd start. After spending six summers in the deepest Berry (halfway between La Châtre and Saint-Amand-Montrond), I learned a number of delicious recipes. Our neighbors were farmers who had retired, so they no longer raised cows or goats, but they still had ducks, chickens, and rabbits in their basse cour. Mme Bonin would kill whichever beast we were planning to cook that evening. And she always asked, "Je vous garde le sang?" (Should I keep the blood for you?) She'd bring the animal over in a baking dish, plucked or skinned, with a bowl of its blood (dashed with red wine vinegar to keep it from congealing) in the other hand. This led to the most delicious dish I have ever eaten (at least a couple of times a year): Poulet en barbouille. Like a civet, or coq au vin thickened with blood. (And from experience, the chicken works better than the too-fatty duck or too-lean rabbit.) A heavenly dish, so named ("barbouille" = "on se barbouille" = you get sauce all over your face...) because you want to lick your fingers. Thick, pungent sauce, with some grelot onions and chunks of bacon (lardons) and boiled potatoes served alongside. Just one of the things I miss about the Berry, a curious, backwards region, but full of deep-rooted traditions I came to love.
  6. Levure alsacienne is just another name for levure chimique (i.e. baking powder) - though from my U.S. cake recipe experiments with levure chimique, I'm not sure the quantities are the same w/r/t baking powder.
  7. I don't think so. So tell me, please, if you think trompettes de la mort are not appropriate with chicken, why. Truffles don't taste anything like morels, either, and both are excellent matches with chicken. And as a lover of trompettes de la mort (and hater of chanterelles/girolles, esp. from Hungary... but that's another story), whyever would you say they have a "rotten" taste?
  8. They're both fungus with strong (though not similar) tastes.
  9. Great post! This is a fascinating topic. From the rillettes du Mans in supermarkets, with olde fashioned packaging, to things like cheeses with checkered cloth in the box... I cordially disagree about Labeyrie's foie gras (beurk) - though their cured duck breast slices are better than some I've tasted from butchers' and are always a go-to for me - so I agree that there can be good things to single out from industrial food products. What about Label Rouge? Does that mean anything? Does a supermarket packaged ham (jambon de Paris) with a Label Rouge taste like (or close to) a ham cooked and sliced by a charcutier? I am in a reformed period in any case, now. I used to be with someone (for six years, after all) who bristled at anything from a supermarket; he did all his shopping in the market street. Supermarkets were for toilet paper and laundry detergent. My current bf is more open. Sometimes we use (gasp!) frozen salsify from Picard and our fridge contains Président brand butter, not something artisanal...
  10. You lost me there... How are trompettes de la mort more pungent than truffles?! My sauce was shallot, white wine, trompettes, thyme & bay leaf, finished with cream. But... bof. (Too bad, it was to celebrate moving in with my boyfriend and opening a bottle of 1995 Pétrus.) One of my favorite dishes recently has been chicken with riesling, foie gras, cream and some quatre épices. Mm.
  11. Here's a cooking-related topic that interests me. A year and a half ago, I had a special dinner to cook. So I bought a poulet de Bresse and cooked it in a sauce with trompettes de la mort. But what was curious, despite the dish being pretty good, was that it didn't do justice to the fact that the chicken was a poulet de Bresse (i.e. 2 or 3 times the cost of a poulet fermier Label Rouge). I felt as though a simpler preparation - roasted, simply - would have brought out what makes that kind of chicken more sumptuous than a regular free-range chicken. But then again, when the product itself is good, I like it almost completely brut. When making magret de canard, I eat it with salt and pepper (though I do make a sauce au poivre vert with cognac and shallots and crème fraîche for my sauce-loving bf). When I eat a darne de saumon I pan-fry it in a slick of olive oil and throw some sel de Guérande on it. End of story. Does anyone have any thoughts about plain vs. dressed dishes? (Aside from cuts that need to be braised, etc.)
  12. The thing is that when I have a cooking post, I post it in the Cooking forum and not necessarily here... There is something very international about French cooking, such that I wouldn't necessarily think it only applied to the France forum. What is your take on that?
  13. Many thanks for the suggestions. I didn't have the time to go back out to find other products and nothing at home to add, so served the pasta salad as was, for me and my bf, yesterday. He really didn't like it (surprise!). But with the leftovers, I'm going to add some goat cheese. Great suggestion there. Also interested in the lemon zest idea. I'm upset, though, because this was a dry run for an upcoming dinner where I hoped it would make for an elegant and tasty first course. Now I need a new idea.
  14. I used to have a book of recipes from former southern French chef Pierre Vedel. No longer can find the book, but fortunately I managed to type up three recipes from it and still have them on my computer. One is for a pasta salad, which I tweaked a little. Today I thought I'd go back to his original version (well, almost), but when I tasted it, it was just OK, a little one-note, lacking nuance. Here's what it's made of: Spinach tagliatelle, chopped hazelnuts, torn basil and an egg yolk, in a "citronnette" of lemon juice and hazelnut oil cut with peanut oil. Salt and pepper. (Vedel is all about understatement...) Previously, my changes involved switching the hazelnuts to walnuts (same with the oil) and sautéeing some chopped up pancetta and adding that and its rendered fat. I liked the walnut version. So I did add the pancetta, but the hazelnut version is just... a blanket of hazelnut with a flash of basil now and then. Is there anything I can add or tweak that would give it more depth? Maybe balsamic vinegar? Chopped up sun-dried tomatoes? Thanks for any ideas...
  15. Don't get me wrong - I love trashy foods too (Boursin anyone? or curry flavored potato chips from Franprix?), as well as a good maroilles from Androuet. But I say yuck to Apéricubes (eaten at my boyfriend's parents' home in Laval, Mayenne and at with a bunch of 30-somethings at a friend's weekend home in Villers-sur-Mer, Normandy - in both cases scarfed down by others present). Not sure if I've tried all the flavors, but not sure it's worth going back to check...
  16. I lived in New York for 5 years (3 consecutive, 2 at different times), the last time being in 2004 after several years in Paris. I was shocked, on returning to New York that year, at how pushy and showy people were with their status symbols. Of course in Manhattan, that's not going to take the form of cars (or less often) and lawns (right), but it did include address, doorman building, gym, summer home, cell phone or other tech gear, clothing, which restaurants, bars or clubs you frequented or could get into in a snap. It was really suffocating, at times (at most other times, I just lived my life). So the quote from the article made me choke. Though maybe I should have left off the parentheses, which are true, but beside the point.
  17. That is less and less true. At markets, yes; but even at fruit and vegetable merchants (not supermarkets, where it is true across the board), the trend toward self-service is on the rise; there are three f&v merchants in my merchant street (rue Mouffetard) and all three are self-serve. Same goes for my former street across town (rue Lepic), with 3 out of 4 being self-service. And since we were all talking about an American place here, I went with the general way people choose and buy fruit in the U.S. (memories of Fairway, etc., from my 5 years in NY).
  18. But I'm not plugged in (branché) and I don't consider me or my buddies "highly respected gastronomes ". We simply eat, therefore we are. ← Good to hear it! I didn't mean to imply you were hip (though you do live in the north of Paris... ); I was referring to you and to P'tipois here, not actually to you and your guests at home. You have now both sung the praises of Apéricubes, which I find (I'm trying to be tactful) not a good way to fill up a little while having predinner drinks.
  19. I'm really surprised you well-versed, highly respected gastronomes like those. I have had them on two different occasions and look forward to not having them again...
  20. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Busboy, for your first post. This article is a load of hooey and gets my hackles up. "Especially in New York, where there are fewer status indicators (like cars and landscaped lawns)..." Are you sh*tting me?!
  21. I think Sancerre pairs well with hard and aged goat cheeses as well (as long as the Sancerre itself has some character). Otherwise a nice flinty Mâcon or even a Bouzeron aligoté could work.
  22. I don't know if this subject has been addressed here, but I find it hard to come up with a good substitute for American brown sugar in baking recipes. Cassonade has some of the caramelized tastes of brown sugar, but without the stickiness that seems to make for more toothsome cookies. Any thoughts or substitutions?
  23. What about all the fruits and vegetables people squeeze?! Those are often eaten raw, to boot! Completely nonsensical...
  24. I'm sorry, but I still can't agree! I think the French are obsessive about manners, and that French society is still very coded. As I said in an earlier post, there are still many people who care if you do things the right or wrong way, and who think it's vulgar to do or say certain things (including saying "bon appétit"). I don't know that you can speak sweepingly for all French people when you say that the people you know don't do that, or that the stuffy people who do can somehow be discounted. (Why? They exist; they're French; they're living their lives.) A Latin-American friend of mine once got resoundingly criticized by a hostess for cutting a leaf of salad. French people (some types of French people) take pride in their stuffy old rules. There may be openness, but there's also a lot of closedness.
  25. This is a great topic, because I too recently made a cake (a chocolate stout cake). It called for baking powder (an American recipe) and I used the same amount of levure chimique. The cake was incredibly dense and flat. This made me wonder about quantities of baking powder/levure chimique. Are the substances comparable or truly the same thing?
  • Create New...