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  1. For @Kim Shookand anyone else who fancies a date with Mister Crunch... 15g butter 15g flour 160g milk, warmed a bay leaf freshly grated nutmeg, salt and pepper 25g butter, softened 2 slices of bread 1 tsp Dijon mustard, or to taste 60g Comté or Gruyère, grated 60g ham Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in the flour and cook for a minute or two. Off the heat, gradually whisk in the milk until smooth. Add the bay leaf and bring to the boil. Cook until thickened, stirring constantly. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Set aside. Preheat the grill to high. Butter each slice of bread on one side and place under the grill, buttered side up. Toast until golden. Preheat the oven to 220°C/Gas 7/200°C Fan. Line a baking tray with parchment. Spread a little mustard on the untoasted sides of bread. Cover one slice with half of the béchamel, right up to the edges. Sprinkle with half of the cheese and cover with the ham. Top with the other slice of bread, toasted side up, and spread with the remaining béchamel. Sprinkle over the rest of the cheese and season with a little more nutmeg and pepper. Transfer to the prepared tray and bake until bubbling and golden, 15-20 minutes. Tips For the béchamel, a splash of Worcestershire sauce is highly recommended. And if there's any parmesan lying around I'll grate some of that in for a double umami-bomb. I let the béchamel cool to room temperature to thicken to the texture of wallpaper paste (yum!). That way it clings to the bread better so the sides crunch-up nicely. Any cheese that melts well should work. Gruyère is traditional, but i prefer Comté. Avoid Emmental, too bland. If the croque's nice and hot all the way through but not coloured to your liking, whack it under the grill until blistered and bubbling.
  2. My neighbor's sister made a huge cassoulet for my neighbor's birthday dinner last night, and invited me to watch her assemble it on Friday. Sister is married to a Frenchman and spends about half the year in France--this is the technique she learned most recently. It was amazingly non-fussy, quick to assemble, and heart-breakingly delicious served with a light fresh salad and lots of home-made bread & whipped butter. For eight folks, four duck thighs, 4 duck legs [in retrospect she said she should've used more duck], 4 Italian sausages, 2 kielbasa, 2 bratwurst, the sausages cut into 2 inch pieces. First she browned 4 slices of salt pork, cut in half, in about 2 T of olive oil on top of the stove in a large roasting pan, then added the rest of the meats to brown. After 10 mins she removed the meat and added 1 minced oinion, a few cloves of garlic [careful, she said, if you have garlic-y sausages], and a couple shallots, all finely minced, and softened in the fat. Then one large carrot cut in chunks, and a couple celery stalks, de-threaded, cut in chunks. Then the meat went back in, along with 2# of small white beans, soaked for about 4 hours--Great Northern beans, because she wasn't able to get the French beans she prefers. Then, she added enough water to cover the beans, and a few sprigs of rosemary and parsley from the yard [she said sage is good, too], and about 1/2 cup strong tomato sauce--she said the best thing to use is the very concentrated tomato paste from a tube--and, she said, ONLY a small amount--this is more for color than anything else. Don't salt it, because the salt pork should be sufficient. The roasting pan went covered into a medium low oven for, well, hours, and she checked it periodically to see that the beans were cooking and the water not getting too low--if so, she added more. When she was satisfied it was done, she skimmed off some of the excess liquid--and they like to eat that as a light soup for lunch. Her husband says it's best to reheat the cassoulet a couple times over the next couple days, before serving--to bring the flavors together. The result was meats that melted on the tongue like communion wafers, in a flavorful stew of perfectly cooked beans.
  3. Well, I did know it actually. My mother was from near Lyons. An interesting article from the BBC, nonetheless. While France is renowned for its pains au chocolat and croissants, Lyon has a long-standing tradition of tucking into wine and offal at breakfast.
  4. Spring brings asparagus & I've always felt that it accompamied by hollandaise sause is a marriage made in heaven. This leads me to want to know more about this classic sauce so I'm looking for any comment, knowledge, recipies (most of us probably have our own technique) and, in fact, anything anyone wants to contribute about hollandaise.
  5. Since I'm on a soft foods diet for the next couple of days, i thought I might French Onion Soup tomorrow. Tea is about all I can handle right now . I've always used just regular cooking onions to make it, French Onion Soup but it occured to me that spanish onions might also be a good choice. anyone have a favourite onion they use when making this soup?
  6. At the risk of being labelled heretic on this forum I'd like to raise a cooking question and solicit advice from it's knowledgeable members. Yesterday I attempted to make a carrot cake. This was to be sold at a charitable vide grenier in our village. Naturally, as it was an American dish made by am American I wanted it to be as good as possible so as to not look bad to our French neighbours. Although by no means a disaster the cake did not rise nearly as high as I would have expected it to. It did rise, but each of the layers was somewhere between 1/2 & 1 inch flatter than I thought it should have been. (taste was fine, but it was denser than it should have been.) I don't make a lot of cakes, but I have noticed that whenever I do they don't rise to their full 'potential' I also note that French cakes in general don't seem to be as high or light as American ones. I used French cake flour & added both baking powered & baking soda (this was the passover carrot cake recipe on recipe Gullet) and followed the recipe faithfully. Any ideas? Does anybody else have the same problem? Secondary question: I'm running out of both baking powder & baking soda and I don't see either of them in the local hypermarket. Where can I find them?
  7. Not sure if this is the right place to be posting this. I'm looking for a restaurant that serves La Potence, had it a few times on holiday in the French Alps several years ago and want to introduce this to my girlfriend. Does anyone know of anywhere that serves this??? I live in the South East (Milton Keynes - an hour out of London) but enjoyed it so much last time that would be willing to travel a fair distance to have this meal again.
  8. I'm trying to track down a Paris eatery where I can find an old Burgundian staple which has disappeared from menus & blackboards. Saucisson de Lyon, pommes a l'huile. Recommendations or sightings would be most welcome.
  9. Dateline Bangkok late 2014/early 2015: France has now replaced Italy as the perceived sine qua non of European fine dining with the opening of two local outposts of French Michelin starred restaurants: Joel Robuchon's burgeoning foray into Asia of his successful L'Atelier brand & Jean-Michel Lorain's J'aime eatery, a Bangkok outpost of his flagship La Cote Saint Jacques at Joigny in France. I wonder if any of our forum's Southeast Asian expat & local gastronomes have visited the aforementioned and, if so, what is their take on the head-to-head start-ups in Bangkok. Does Bangkok merit a Michelin guide of its own?
  10. Would some kind soul in the know inform us of the disappearance to the excellent Michelin 1* star Bernard Morillion restaurant in Beaune. It no longer exits. Just to jog someone's memory, it was located as part of the Cep Hotel. It was one of my favourite 1* star restaurants in France and I would like to know when it closed and what happened to the marvellous husband & wife team who cooked & took care of front-of-house operations. The chef-patron was of the old school - more Escoffier in his repertoire than "nouvelle cuisine" [sic] - and his larger than life wife who was certainly une grande dame. Whenever I lunch/dine at a French retaurant I envsion this lovely restaurant as my personal benchmark for the quintessential French Michelin 1* restaurant of the old school genre. Call me old fashioned...or what?
  11. I'm always finding that my glazes are incredibly thick when I downscale my recipes. I am not sure whether it is the ingredients I use, my technique or the recipe is problematic when scaled down. Do I just add sugar syrup to thin it down to required viscosity?
  12. Le Coucou is the new restaurant (opened for reals last week) collaboration between restaurateur Stephen Starr and Chef Daniel Rose of Spring, a fairly acclaimed restaurant located in Paris. That backstory need not be explained here; suffice to say that Significant Eater and I have had the pleasure of dining at both the tiny Spring 1 (once), and the more ambitious Spring 2 (a number of times), and it was always a fun and delicious time. Plenty of restaurants open in New York City; often they come with lots and lots of hype. Le Coucou is certainly one of them, as the PR bandwagon got rolling a while ago. And normally we like to give restaurants at least a little while to get their footing, but with this one we just couldn't wait, so off we were to Lafayette Street - on night two of service. I didn't even know if we'd get a table, since we were sans ressies, but we figured we could just grab a cocktail, even if we couldn't have dinner. But arriving early, we were offered a table by the charming Maître D' and lovely hostesses and hosts, though we did have a drink first, in their rather intimate lounge area. Now, I'd introduced myself and Sig Eater to Daniel at Spring years ago, as a friend of a friend. And again, when we were lucky enough to dine at the new Spring. But here, even before I was seated, Daniel (who had zero idea we were coming to have dinner) was by our side, greeting me by name and with hugs and cheek kisses - you know, that lovely French way. And even though he looked like he wanted nothing more than to pass out on the extremely comfortable banquette, he returned to our table any number of time during our meal, to make sure we were enjoying our dinner, to see if there was anything we'd like him to "whip up." Basically the consummate host. French has been seeing a serious revival in NYC over the past couple of years, and that makes us happy, as we love French cooking. I mean, one need look no further than Rebelle, or Racines, or MIMI, or Chevalier, or...well, you get the picture. And here, with classic French technique executed fairly flawlessly, we were in heaven. One of our favorite dishes is a simple Poireaux, poached leeks served in a bracing vinaigrette. Here, chef adds a little something extra, topping the leeks with sweet, roasted hazelnuts. What about fried Delaware eel? Normally, my eel exposure is limited to sushi bars, where the earthy eel get a sweetish topping. At Le Coucou, the Anguilles frites au sarassin are as light as a feather, the eel's buckwheat batter playing well with curried vinaigrette and a subtle brunoise of citrus. Mimolette is a French cheese that as recently as a few years ago had its import halted by the food police, aka the FDA. It's back, and here it graces Asperges au vinaigre de bois. It's a simple lightly-roasted asparagus salad, made special by a smoked wood vinegar sourced somewhere in the wilds of Canada. Asparagus salad One of the dishes chef sent to our table was a knockout - a whole sea bream stuffed with lobster - and my guess is the menu is changing daily, because as I look while writing this, it's not on the online menu now. But here's a picture anyway. Lobster stuffed sea bream A classic of the French culinary canon is Quenelle de brochet. As Julia says in Mastering the Art I, "A quenelle, for those who are not familiar with this delicate triumph of French cooking, is pâte à choux with a purée of raw fish...formed into ovals or cylinders and poached in a seasoned liquid. Served hot in good sauce, quenelles make a distinguished first course. A good quenelle is light as a soufflé..." Quenelle de brochet, sauce américaine Yes it is. And indeed it was. Our main course, which we shared because we wanted to save room for cheeses, was Bourride, a Provencal fish stew that might be known in places like Nice as bouillabaisse. Here, the fabulous fish fumet is stocked with halibut, mussels, clams, and Santa Barbara spot prawns. Served alongside, toasted baguette slathered with aïoli. Suck the head of those prawns, dip the bread, and pretend you're somewhere other than Chinatown - it's easy enough, once inside, because this is a lovely space. Our 3-cheese selection (all American) was swoon-worthy to Significant Eater, and served alongside was an accompaniment of 3 different beverages, which I don't really know if everyone gets - or if Daniel was just being extra nice to us. Speaking of nice, the service staff is super. There was a horde of people working on both the floor and in the kitchen. The front of house people were professional, yet casual. There have a been a few notable restaurant openings this year, where service has been a bit "clumsy." Not here, where everyone is on the same page, and that enhances the experience greatly. What else can I write? Well, I am sad we didn't get to enjoy dessert - we just ate too damn much, but next time! And while we were unexpectedly treated like old friends, with 3 comped dishes from the kitchen and a couple of glasses of champagne when we sat down at our table, I looked around the restaurant any number of times, and everyone sure looked happy. The wine list is extensive - maybe that's part of the reason? There are tablecloths on the tables. There are comfortable chairs. Reservations are taken. All grown-up stuff. But most of all, once you taste this cooking, I think you're going to be happy as well. Le Coucou
  13. I want to leave my sourdough (itself, not baked loaves of sourdough bread) for a while (going abroad) but I do not want it to die, can I leave it in the freezer? do you have other ideas?
  14. Greetings, I've cooked several recipes from Keller's "Bouchon" the last couple of weeks, and have loved them all! At the moment (as in right this minute) I'm making the boeuf Bourguignon, and am a little confused about the red wine reduction. After reducing the wine, herbs, and veg for nearly an hour now, I'm nowhere near the consistancy of a glaze that Keller specifies. In fact, it looks mostly like the veg is on the receiving end of most of it. Is this how the recipe is meant to be? Can anybody tell me what kind of yield is expected? Any help would be appreciated. Thank you, kindly.
  15. Hi everyone, I'm a little pastry chief in France, still learning and really passionate. It's been five months that I did'nt studiy or practise and I miss that so much. I never stop talking about this. I decided to travel in south america to learn everything I can. I'm actually in Central Colombia, and I will travel to Ecuador, Galapagos, Peru, Bolivia and maybe a little bit more if I want to. I have time until march, more or less. My project is to go in the farms and meet the people who grow up the raw material I use for make my pastries, Talk to them and see the plantation would be really helpfull for me to understand how does it works. If people need, I'm volunteer for work in exchange with accomodation and food for a few days. My spanish is not good yet, but I'm learning and sometimes it's more funny to not speak the same language. I'm interested about everything, exotic fruits, citrus, coffee, cacao, sesame, pepper, spices... If some of you is, knows or works with farmers or pastry chiefs in those countries, I would be glad to meet you/them and learn everthing about the work. We can exchange good recipe too. Thank you very much, Loubna
  16. So I've been looking at this dish for a while, and while I've seen threads talking about where to eat it, I haven't found anyone who's actually made it. I thought it might be fun to try. This is the recipe I've found (in French, my apologies), and there's an informative YouTube video of same. Again in French, and as a bonus in a heavy southern accent. I'm going to pick up my hare, sausage-meat, foie gras and bard on Wednesday, and get to de-boning. I'll see if I can get my better half to take a couple of photos or videos If anyone has done this before, or anything like it, I'd love to hear any advice you might have. As for now, I have a couple of questions for more experienced eGulleteers before I start: 1- I can't seem to get hold of the requisite pork back fat, but my butcher can provide veal kidney fat. Is this a decent alternative? 2- I've been re-watching the video and re-reading the recipe, and neither say when to remove the string used to truss the hare. Would it be better to do it after taking it out of the cooking liquor? Once it's rolled and chilled? Removing each small piece from each slice - but before or after it's reheated? I have horrific images of doing everything perfectly, then have it fall apart right at the last moment. So any input would be gratefully received. In any case, I'll try and document the process as much as possible for future information/hilarity.
  17. My newest cookbook is and I've been cooking from it lately for the past week or so. I absolutely adore it, and the restaurant on which its based. (The seats however, are another story, but that's a minor quibble.) Anyone want to come along for the ride? (the last two pix are dishes at the restaurant, and recipes for those can be found in the book)
  18. Lovely sweet little place, except for the seating. We had one of the worst seats in the house after a 30-minute wait for a table for two people; must remember to come earlier to remediate that problem. Buvette 42 Grove Street (Bleecker Street) Greenwich Village Spiced duck confit, giant caper berries, cornichons, toast Cheese and honey Croque madame sandwich Roast chicken, haricot verts, boiled potatoes, mustard vinaigrette -- reimagined as a salad Apple tarte tatin, crème fraîche
  19. I will be in the South of France between Sept. and Oct., this fall. Having a house will make cooking a breeze. I am hoping to find 'Peche de Vigne' red-fleshed peaches in the market that time of year. I would like to make jam while I am there and bring it home. Has anyone seen these beautiful deep red peaches in the markets in Uzes? I found them in Paris last year, but that is out of my way. Many thanks!
  20. Happy Bastille Day! As I was thinking of cooking something appropriate for today and have the music playing in the background. I thought the lyrics of the France National Anthem can be slightly modified and used against the covid-19 tyranny. I did make crepe for breakfast, but have not decided what to make for dinner. May be I will make something for tomorrow. Anyone have ideas? dcarch
  21. I was planning on buying jar of duck confit at the market, but I had a dimwitted moment and grabbed the confit goose gizzards instead. What should I do with them? Suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks! Dan
  22. Long story, but I have a friend with whom I share a lust for French patisserie in general and kouign aman in particular. We have another friend, kind of a starry chef in France. We'd like to surprise our Parisian friend by being at least marginally competent with the kouign the next time we meet up. I had always heard of a specialty rolling pin called a Tutove (I think it's the name of the manufacturer). It's supposed to be the Secret Weapon of puff pastry. The idea is that the pin has grooves/ridges that better place butter into the layers of dough. So I found one (a real one, made by Tutove) on Ebay at a good price, but I need any basic tips y'all have for using it. Anyone here use one, or have a resource for how to roll with a Tutove? Many Thanks!
  23. DanM

    Smoked Beef

    One of the surprises from our move to Switzerland is the availability of kosher charcuterie. Sausages of all types, confit, mousse, rietttes, etc... One of the recent finds is this block of smoked beef. It has a nice fat layer in the middle. Any thoughts on how to use it? Should I slice it thin and then fry? Any thoughts would be appreciated.
  24. I dont believe that any English translation of Carêmes works exist. An incomplete version was published in 1842 (I think) but even the that version seems lackluster for the few recipes it does cover. I think it's time the world looks to its past, but I don't speak great French and it's a huge task to undertake. I hopefully plan on publishing this work and anyone who helps me will get a very fair cut, and if we decide not to publish it, I'll put it out on the internet for free. I'm working in Google docs so we can collaborate. I'm first cataloging the index to cross reference the pre-existing incomplete English version to give us a reference of what yet needs to be done, and from there we will go down the list of recipies and Translate them one by one. Simple google translate goes only so far, as it is 1700s French culinary terms and phrases being used. I'd like to preserve as much of Carêmes beautiful and flowery language as possible. Who's with me?
  25. I have seen referenced in several places on the internet, including Wikipedia, a stat about escoffier recommending 40 minutes for scrambled eggs in a Bain Marie. I cant find where this number is from. On Wikipedia it refers to the book I currently own, the "Escoffier le guide culinaire" with forward by Heston Blumenthal by h. L. Cracknell...specificly page 157 for the 40 minute cooking time of scrambled eggs but it's not in my book on that page! Even tho there is the recipe for scrambled eggs on that page... I've seen the 1903 first edition online.. And it's not in there either.... Where is this number from?? Id like to know in case there is some even more complete book or something out there that I'm missing. Any help would be much appreciated. Thank you.
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