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Chufi

eG Foodblog: Abra and Chufi in SW France - Tantalizing Tales of Tripe

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Today I had the distinct pleasure of picking the first lemon from our lemon tree. Now the juice and rind are in our quince and prune croustade and we're ready for a little glass of something.

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This is our cooking wine, a Charles de Cazanove. Wine to drink while cooking, that is. At least that was our plan. Shall I show you one bottle at a time, be a real tease? Or just strip all at once? Ok, I'll give you a break.

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So here we have, from left to right, our cooking champagne, then an all-white lineup, which I find truly weird as a confirmed red wine drinker. After the champagne there's the wine chosen especially for the tripe and trotters by our awesome wine seller a Vin de Pays d'Oc Mas d'Espanet Eolienne , then the Domaine La Croix Belle N. 7 Vin du Pays du Cote du Thongue, for the poule au pot. Then for the cheese course a Domaine Prieure-Brunet Mersault-Charmes Priemier Cru, and a Chateau Mauras Sauternes to go with the dessert.

That was the theory, but of course, reality prevailed, and a red Faugères had to be opened for the cooking phase too, since, uh, a bottle of Champagne doesn't go all that far and a night without red wine is just no night at all.

So now we're listening to Laurie Lewis, eating French junk food, bacon flavored nut doodads, and letting things simmer. Sigh for us.

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here's another shot of that gorgeous ham that lives in Abra's kitchen:

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a lot of that ham went into the stuffing for the poule, together with breadcrumbs, egg, parsley, and the chicken giblets. And here's Lucy sewing up the chicken before it went into a huge pot of stock:

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And here are cabbage wedges and small potatoes, waiting to be added to the pot for the final half hour of cooking time.

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Meanwhile, I'm sort of dazzled by the multitude of activities, kitchen conversations, little kitchentasks, snippets of getting-to-know-eachother that are going on all at once. I'm a solitary cook and a solitary writer... but not today :smile:


Edited by Chufi (log)

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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.

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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.

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This is by far the best tripe dish I've ever eaten. The rich smoothness of the tripe, the little bits of gelatinous sensuality that are the nuggets of pigs feet, the cubes of intensely sweet and slightly salty ham, the highly aromatic and flavorful broth, all combine into a rich and heady delight. Not everyone at the table loved it as much as I did (not mentioning any names, Chufi!) but that's ok, it means there's some left for me to have for breakfast. Mmmm, tripe for breakfast.

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This is by far the best tripe dish I've ever eaten.  The rich smoothness of the tripe, the little bits of gelatinous sensuality that are the nuggets of pigs feet, the cubes of intensely sweet and slightly salty ham,  the highly aromatic and flavorful broth, all combine into a rich and heady delight.  Not everyone at the table loved it as much as I did (not mentioning any names, Chufi!) but that's ok, it means there's some left for me to have for breakfast.  Mmmm, tripe for breakfast.

I am sitting here in NYC, drooling on my keyboard and tasting these dishes virtually. The cheeses, the wines and of course the main courses all look so amazing.

Keep up the good work!

Cheers! :cool:

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Well, I'll add tripe comments later. For now I'll just show you this amazing poule au pot that we cooked:

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being cut open to reveal the stuffing:

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on the plate with the cabbage, potatoes and a green sauce of hard boiled egg yolks, oil, parsley and shallots:

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Now I have to say something about this dish. It's one of those things that when I see it in a cookbook, I would never think of making it. But it turned out so delicious, that it's really teaching me something about being more open minded towards recipes that don't immediately seem very appealing or interesting.

"Like tripe?" Abra says.

No, not like tripe. But, like, taking a whole chicken and stuffing it and then boiling it. This is something I'll definitely be making again. And I want to make it for Dennis, who is now so far away in Amsterdam, and who would have loved it.

The cheeseplate, carefully selected by Lucy, is on the table and I cannot actually smell it from this room, but I know it's there and I want to go and eat some. See you in a bit.

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You all are very fortunate, to have gotten together over there and be getting to know each other. It is OUR extraordinary good fortune that you're all such accomplished cooks, photographers and bloggers!

This is a really fun blog. I like Klary's comment about keeping an open mind toward trying new dishes. I, too, might not have thought to try stuffing and boiling a chicken, but I will now. A question for y'all: after the chicken is cooked, do you then flake the meat off the bone? If so, what do you do with the skin? The wing in one of those photos doesn't look like something you'd serve intact.


Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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You all rock!

I wish I could be with you.. A trifecta - three of my favorite posters all at once, and in France! :wub:

I just can't wait for more.

Jamie


Jamie Lee

Beauty fades, Dumb lasts forever. - Judge Judy

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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.


Edited by bleudauvergne (log)

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We had tripe.

We had chicken.

We had cheese.

We had prune & quince tart.

Doesn't sound like very much, does it?

But maybe if I tell you we had also about 5 bottles of wine between the 3 of us, and if I tell you both the tripe/pigsfeet and chickenbroths were so rich that they started to gel on the plate the moment I layed down my fork and knife, and if I tell you the cheese was so delicious I had second and third helpings of some of them, and that I even had 2 slivers of the tart, you'll begin to understand that now that's it's 12:30, I'm really getting the feeling that a soft and comfortable bed is all I need.

But first, the final report.

Époisses

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racheld, you wanna dive in? :smile:

Prune and quince tart:

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According to the recipe, this was supposed to be a pie with a pastry lid on top. But we decided to revert to the original recipe mentioned in the book and use puff pastry (which we bought). When we came home we realized we would not have enough pastry to make a double crust, so the tart turned into a croustade, and delicious it was!

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I'm passing the baton to Abra for the final post of the night. Welterusten and see you tomorrow!

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Never mind racheld, I'd like to dive into that cheese! Lucy, so lovely to see you again. I have to admit, I'm with Chufi and the whole tripe thing, but I'm more than willing to watch you ladies eat it. :biggrin:


Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Diving, strolling, lolling about on a crumb---any and all, including doing all the dishes and having the kitchen pristine when you ladies arise in pursuit of another day of cooking magic. I wouldn't even presume to EAT with you---I'd just like a video of the day's pleasures and conversation and work.

C'mon in, Marlene---plenty of room for several.

ET ask: Whose hands on the shears?


Edited by racheld (log)

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"Are we logged off?" asks Chufi, on her way upstairs to bed. That's how much this blog affected our dinner tonight. Every mouthful was accompanied by the click of a camera and the thought of the story behind the bite. It was pretty extraordinary. We've been living, as Chufi says, in a world where the only thing that matters is whether or not you like tripe.

But then, the only reason we did this dinner was for the blog...or was the only reason we did the blog because of the dinner? I forget, or maybe I never knew. Maybe it was just an excuse to drink too much, as if we needed an excuse.

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Even Beppo got into the spirit, as it were. And no, he normally doesn't have blue eyes. I told you it was an extraordinary night.

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Lovely. An indication of the quality of this blog is the huge number of people currently reading it.

I hope you're all sleeping well after all that food. :smile:

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Add me to the people who would gladly dive into that cheese. As for the tripe, I've never tried it, but if it's in a dish that as delicious as that looks I'll be sure to.


Kate

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I'll leave you with this picture, taken just an hour ago on our after lunch walk through town:

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I was so taken with this I had it in my mind's eye all day, which is saying alot considering all the magnificent food photos posted. Is the sky so blue, or is that glass, or an illusion?

Also regarding the pig trotter/tripe/ham dish and the poule au pot, I think even if I did not care for the tripe I would be in heaven sipping both broths. I can almost feel that gelatin on my lips.

Thank you!

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Do they run the local/bio market in the winter?


I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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But then, the only reason we did this dinner was for the blog...or was the only reason we did the blog because of the dinner?  I he normally doesn't have blue eyes.  I told you it was an extraordinary night.

You are all three doing the blog to show the world what women can do in the kitchen, and just how much fun it is to "vacation" together and cook like crazy.

Klary, I love tripe. I wish I was close enough to eat yours!

Abra, how does purchased puff pastry in France compare to that available in the US?


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Époisses

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Holy Curds and Whey!!! That Époisses is so bleeping amazing that it deserves another view!

I'm also impressed with the poulet au pot. I happen to love stewed chicken and that one looked full of lovely dark meat and flavor. And the stuffing! I'll have to try making this dish one of these days, although I fear it wouldn't be anywhere near as good with our lackluster, pasty chickens here in the US. :angry:


Jan

Seattle, WA

"But there's tacos, Randy. You know how I feel about tacos. It's the only food shaped like a smile....A beef smile."

--Earl (Jason Lee), from "My Name is Earl", Episode: South of the Border Part Uno, Season 2

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Lovely, all of it: simply (or - whom am I kidding!? - not so simply) lovely.

...and despite having a houseful of cats and kittens right now, all charming and loving, I look at Beppo and melt. He looks so much like my Tab Hunter, gone this past spring to his final hunting ground. I do love tabbies. :wub:


Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Looks like you are having a great pajama party! Wish I could join you.

I came back here just for you guys and for Hathor.

I am not big on innards, so I would have to pass on the tripe, but the chicken, cheese and the tart look delicious. I am going to have to try that tart sometime.

Can't wait to read more.

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