• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Dave Hatfield

eG Foodblog - Dave Hatfield, La France Profonde

117 posts in this topic

Lunch time. A friend has come over so I'm doing a bit larger portions of our toasted sandwich.

We're starting with some leek & celery root soup. Hot this time as the weather has turned.

It will go nicely with the simple little open faced sandwiches I'm doing. All you need is bread, garlic sausage, cheese plus some Dijon mustard & herbs de Province.

bread mustard.JPG Cut the bread into rounds and very lightly spread it with the mustard. As you can see a baguette is about the right size.

sausage on.JPG Place the garlic sausage slice on top. About 1/4 inch thick is good.

cheese on.JPG Put the cheese on top of the garlic sausage. Here I use Cantal, but a good sharp cheddar would be equally good.

h de p on.JPG Next sprinkle on a good amount of Herbs de Province. If that's not available then use a mixture of thyme & oregano.

on tray.JPG Place the sandwiches on a baking tray and roast in the oven or under a grill until the cheese melts and bubbles a bit.

done.JPG Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Very simple, but delicious. I normally add a few cornichons to the plate as I like them with these little sandwiches. Well, to be honest I like them with most things.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Dave, thanks for sharing your quartier de la belle France. Much envy here, especially around the cheeses and good restaurants tucked away in small towns.

I made your celeriac soup last night. It was just the thing to use up the celeriac I'd bought on impulse. I didn't have any cream but added a bit of creme fraiche. Easy and delicious. Merci!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The food looks delicious. The wine and peanuts and the view --- sigh. Need any house guests? :rolleyes:

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Dave - you blog is making me so hungry! This is great. And thank you for the soup recipes, I will make sure to try at least one or two. Do you think the courgette/zucchini recipe would work with sorrel instead of watercress? I am trying to use what I already have. Thanks!

Glad you're enjoying it.

Don't know about sorrel, but its certainly worth a try. U

Iactually used mache (lamb's lettuce) in mine because water cress is hard to find here. Lamb's lettuce probably difficult in the states

Busy making a fish pie for dinner. Full report and post later. After we've eaten it that is.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yum! thanks for so many pic!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Linda was out to lunch today, but it wasn't very good she said. Rupert & I were home and ate lightly; just some cheese & sausage.

Everybody was ready for a substantial dinner, but I didn't have a lot of time. I decided to make a one dish meal. In this case a fish pie. Pretty easy & pretty quick.

Here's the full recipe:

Ingredients: (this pie fill a 12" shallow round baking tin)

  • 1/2 pound scallops
  • 1 pound white fish (any nice types of fish will do. Or salmon would be nice as well)
  • 1 pound potatoes
  • 2 medium size onions
  • About 1 pint of milk or cream
  • 2-3 tablespoons of flour
  • 2-3 ounces of unsalted butter
  • a good handful of chopped chives
  • about a tablespoon of chopped fresh Thyme or the same of dried Thyme.
  • Salt & Pepper to taste.
  • On sheet of premade flaky pastry


  • Prepare everything. Cut the fish into bite sized pieces; Peel and cut the potatoes into bite sized pieces, chop the onions up finely. chop the chives & thyme.
  • Boil the potatoes until they are just soft.
  • Melt the butter in a large frying pan then gently sauté the onions until they are soft.
  • Add the flour to the pan & stir well until it just starts to color.
  • Add milk or cream, stirring until it thickens. Keep adding & stirring until you have enough thick white sauce to half fill the pan.
  • Add the fish & stir. You may want to add the white fish then wait 2-3 minutes before adding the scallops.
  • Add the drained potatoes & stir.
  • Add salt & pepper to taste.
  • add the chives & stir in.
  • Continue cooking, stirring, until the fish is cooked through.
  • Butter the baking dish then pour in the fish mixture & spread it around evenly.
  • Sprinkle the thyme over the top.
  • Lay the sheet of flaky pastry over the top, trim the edges and pinch the edges to seal.
  • Optionally; brush the pastry with milk or egg yolk & decorate with little fish shapes.
  • Bake in a 375 degree F oven until the crust is nice & golden brown.

Its just not that difficult and doesn't take much prep time. Mainly a bit of chopping. BUY the crust! Here are a few pictures:

fish.JPG onions sautee.JPG roux.JPG

Making the roux is the tricky part, but if you're careful and keep balancing the flour and cream you'll be Ok.

in pan.JPG DSC_0011.JPG Add the peas.

Put the crust on crust.JPG I goofed in the the bought pastry had warmed up too much so was sticky.

It still looked good coming out of the oven and when I cut it. out of oven.JPG cut.JPG

on plate.JPG

It tasted great and we both had double portions. Rupert got a small share and wolfed it down.

Quick & easy, have a go.

Market tomorrow!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites


The salad dressing which I make in my special dressing plastic 'decanter' is: (the decanter is just an ordinary container with a special top which seals closely and also has a flip up spout. Makes for great shaking up..)

3 parts olive oil

1 part white wine vinegar

A good dollup of Dijon mustard

salt to taste

Fresh ground pepper to taste

A good dose of herbs de province

a good dose of garlic granules.

Mix all of this well then add full cream until its amount equals that of the oil & vinegar.

Stir &/or shake vigorously until the ingredients fully mix.

This dressing will keep in the fridge for about a week if kept tightly sealed.

Thank you. I have made a dressing from J. Pepin that uses cream and enjoyed it also.

Last night I made the chicken with mushrooms and cream and will be finishing it off tonight. Very tasty. Next time I would be sure to use a bit of oil in the pan though as my thighs stuck and left most of their lovely skin behind. My bad - should have thought of that. Will definitely make again as it is simple and fast.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Never call a stomach a tummy without good reason.” William Strunk Jr., The Elements of Style

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Dave - are you using fresh herbs in the herbs de Provence, or are they a dried mix, as is typically sold?

You make reference to garlic granules - same question - fresh or dried garlic?

I use dried HdeP. I buy them in small quantities at a time from a Lady who comes to the local markets. She has the turnover to insure that they are reasonably fresh. She sells an amazing range of herbs, spices and herbal cures.

The garlic granules are also dried. These I buy from the Hypermarket. I use them a lot so my supply never goes stale. How fresh they are from the store is anybody's guess.

For the salad dressing you can use fresh garlic if you are making a small quantity and will be using it quickly. It doesn't keep that long. I prefer to make a large batch using the granules as then the dressing will keep longer.

I can't tell the difference in taste.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

New here and I'm really enjoying your blog posts Dave -- made up some of the cream dressing using fresh garlic because I don't expect it to last very long!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

New here and I'm really enjoying your blog posts Dave -- made up some of the cream dressing using fresh garlic because I don't expect it to last very long!

Mary - Welcome to eGullet. I'm flattered that my blog has motivated your first post. I'll look forward to many more.

Hope you liked the dressing. I've been making it for so long that I've forgotten where I originally got the recipe.

It's my favorite although a really good blue cheese dressing runs it a close second.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

My promised trip to the market today was somewhat fraught, but, I think, turned out OK in the end.

The Thursday market at Villefranche de Rouergue is a large regional one. Thus it offers not only food, but most household items. Everything from tools to used clothing to cloth by the yard. As usual parking can be an issue, but I was lucky today and found a legal place quickly and close in.

street view.JPG This is a view looking down the street. As you go down this street you get into all the non-food stalls. Needless to say I didn't go that way. Instead I cut over to the main town square where the main action takes place.

main square.JPG As you can see the square is completely filled. All food stands.

herbs.JPG This is my favorite herb & spice stand. Its nearly 50 feet long. Just about any herb or spice you can think of. If she doesn't have it she'll get it. One day we wanted garam masala, but she didn't have any. Out came her little black book with the proportions of the spices to make it up and she then proceeded to mix it up for us on the spot.

sausage.JPG Dried sausages. I didn't realize that that lady was also taking a picture. I think my angle was better.

cheese.JPG Just a few cheeses.

At this point my camera went dead on me. I'd checked the battery before leaving home and thought it was charged. Either I'm getting senile or the battery is starting to fail to hold a charge. I had planned on taking many more pictures. Its a shame as there were lots of nice things.. Quell dommage, mais c'est la vie!

The good news is that I then focused upon buying some food for dinner tonight. I've been putting recipes on this blog that I think are cook-able in the States or the UK. As a result none of them have been particularly French. Tonight I'm going to do a proper French dinner.

All three items of our main course will be very typically French. I think you can either get or make all of them outside France, but they're not something you see all that often.

You're welcome to guess what they might be in the meantime between now and this evening.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess it's wine and views :(

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Escargots? Frogs' legs?

Dave, I've been enjoying your blog very much. We were holidaying near Montguyon a few weeks ago, and your photos are making me very nostalgic. The problem with such a holiday is that the brief glimpse into this attractive way of life makes it difficult to return to normality. You're not helping at all!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

ditto all of the above. What a pleasure having a weekly market in town where eating is very very serious.

I lived in FR. for two years growing up and have made visits in the past and the markets were very memorable, esp. what i could do a little cooking with their stuff!

lucky You!

Edited by rotuts (log)

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Lots of great guesses, but no prizes as of yet.

A hint. Once you have made foie gras you have a lot left over. What do you do with certain parts of it?

Second hint. What sounds like truffle, but isn't the same at all.

Can't think of a good hint fpr the third item.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites


(We actually brought home some supermarket magret after our recent trip. Both in terms of quality and price it was a bit ahead of what we can get easily here.)

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the latest queses is very close to one of the item, not quite there. If combined with another guess it would work.

No faux French dishes; these are the real deal.

I did think of a hint for #3: Why do you call an Italian in France? And no its not a slur or bad joke.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the latest queses is very close to one of the item, not quite there. If combined with another guess it would work.

No faux French dishes; these are the real deal.

I did think of a hint for #3: Why do you call an Italian in France? And no its not a slur or bad joke.

For #1 ("Once you have made foie gras you have a lot left over. What do you do with certain parts of it?") - It could be pâté grand-père which is made with chunks of foie gras. It could also be Tournedos Rossini.

#2 ("What sounds like truffle, but isn't the same at all") - mussels? waffles?

#3 ("[What] do you call an Italian in France? ") - "rital" comes to mind but I can't associate it with any French dish.

This is really tough... I think we need more clues.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Similar Content

    • By weinoo
      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
    • By borgr
      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?
    • By chefmd
      My son married a lovely young lady from Yakeshi, Inner Mongolia, China.   Mongolian: ᠶᠠᠠᠠᠰᠢ ᠬᠣᠲᠠ (Ягши хот); Chinese: 牙克石; pinyin: Yákèshí
      We had a wedding in the US but her family also wanted to have a traditional wedding in China.  DH and I have never being to China so this was an exciting opportunity for us!  We spent a few days in Beijing doing touristy stuff and then flew to Hailar.  There is only one flight a day on Air China that we took at 6 in the morning.  Yakeshi is about an hour drive from Hailar on a beautiful toll road with no cars on it.  I wish we took pictures of free roaming sheep and cows along the way.  The original free range meat.
      The family met us at the airport.  We were greeted with a shot of a traditional Chinese spirit from a traditional leather vessel.  Nothing says welcome like a stiff drink at 9 AM.  We were supposed to have a three shots (may be they were joking) but family took pity on us and limited it to one only.

    • By Panaderia Canadiense
      Wow, this is my third foodblog for the eGullet….  Welcome!   I'll be with you from Palm Sunday through Holy Sunday to give you all a taste of the veritable food festival that is Easter in Ecuador.  As usual, I intend to eat on the streets, visit a plethora of small shops and vendors, and talk about (and eat copious amounts of ) the specialty dishes of the holiday.
      A bit of background on me and where I am.  I'm Elizabeth; I'm 33 years old and since the last foodblog I've ceased to be a Canadian expat in Ecuador, and become a full-fledged Ecuadorian citizen.  I run a catering bakery out of Ambato, and I deliver to clients on the entire mainland.  I've got a large customer base in nearby Baños de Agua Santa, a hot-springs town about an hour downslope of me to the east; I'll be visiting it on Wednesday with close to 100 kg of baked goods for delivery.  Ambato, the capital of Tungurahua province, is located almost exactly in the geographic centre of Ecuador.  It's at an average elevation of 2,850 meters above sea level (slightly higher than Quito, the capital) - but this is measured in the downtown central park, which is significantly lower than most of the rest of the city, which extends up the sides of the river valley and onto the high plain above.  We've got what amounts to eternal late springtime weather, with two well-marked rainy seasons.  Ambato has about 300,000 people in its metro area; it's the fourth largest city in the country.  But maybe the most important thing about Ambato, especially to foodies, is that it's a transport hub for the country.  Anything travelling just about anywhere has to pass through Ambato on the way; it gives us the largest, best-stocked food market in South America.  I have simply staggering variety at my fingertips.

      This view, which was a teaser for the blog, was taken from my rooftop terrazzo.  It is a fraction of the panorama of the river valley that I see every morning, and since Easter is traditionally somewhat miserable weather-wise, the clouds stick to the hilltops.  The barrio you can see in the middle distance is Ficoa, one of the most luxury districts in the city.  Ambato is notable amongst Ecuadorian cities for having small fruit farms (300-500 m2) still operating within city limits and even within its most established barrios - it's from this that the Ambato gets one of its two sobriquets: The City of Fruits and Flowers.  The tendency for even the poorest barrios to take tremendous pride in their greenspaces gives the other: The Garden City.  My barrio, Miraflores Alto, is a working-class mixture of professors and labourers, and my neighbours keep a mixture of chickens, turkeys, and ducks in their yards; someone down the hill has a cow that I frequently hear but have never seen.  Consequently, if the season is right I can buy duck eggs from my neighbours (and if the season is wrong, entire Muscovy ducks for roasting.)

      Today, I'll be doing my largest fresh-food shopping at the Mercado Mayorista, the largest market of its kind in South America - this place covers nearly 30 square blocks, and it exists to both buy and sell produce from across the country.  Sundays and Mondays it also opens up to a huge, raucous farmer's market where smaller quantities are available for purchase.  Sunday is the day of the freshest food and the largest number of vendors.  And I'm going to cross more than half the city to get there - I've moved since the last blog, and my new house, on the slopes of the river valley is further away than the old one on the high plain.  I promise to take many pictures of this - particularly close to the High Holy days, the Mayorista is alive with vendors and there will be special sections cordoned off for sales of bacalao, truly enormous squashes, and if it follows the previous years' trends, a festival of Hornado (about which more later).  Apart from mangoes, which are just finishing up their season, it is harvest time across the country, and the Mayorista will be well stocked with all manner of fruits and vegetables.

      To start us off, I'll demystify one of my teasers a bit.

      The Minion head that peeks out of my cupboard every day belongs to my jar of ChocoListo, the Ecuadorian equivalent of chocolate Ovaltine.  Since I gave up coffee for Lent, it's my go-to morning beverage.  ChocoListo normally comes in the plain white jar with orange lid that you see in front of the Minion; that's now my hot chocolate jar because I just couldn't resist when the company came out with the specialty jars.  I firmly believe that one is never too old to have whimsical things!

    • By therese
      Good morning, y’all, and welcome to the party chez Therese.
      As per the teaser, this week’s foodblog does indeed come to you from Atlanta, where I live with my two children (hereafter known as Girl and Boy) and husband (hereafter known as The Man). Girl is 11, Boy is 14, and The Man is old enough to know better.
      Atlanta’s huge: the total metro population is about 4 million, and there are no physical boundaries to growth like rivers or mountain ranges, so people just keep moving (and commuting) farther and farther out of town. Atlantans can be divided into ITP (inside the perimeter) and OTP (outside the perimeter), the perimeter referring to the interstate freeway that encircles the downtown area and surrounding neighborhoods, separating it from outlying suburbs. The politically minded may note that these areas could be designated red and blue. I’ll let you figure out which is which.
      We’re about as ITP as it gets, with home, work, school, and restaurants all in walking distance. The neighborhood’s called Druid Hills, the setting for the play/movie “Driving Miss Daisy”. The houses date from the 1920s, and because Atlanta has so little in the way of “old” buildings the neighborhood’s on the National Register as a Historic District. Charming, sure, buts lots of the houses need some updating, and ours (purchased in 1996) was no exception. So we remodeled last year, including an addition with a new kitchen, and this week’s blog will look at the finished product.
      So, some encouragement for those of you presently involved in kitchen renovation, some ideas for those who are considering it.
      But never mind all that for the moment: What’s for breakfast?

      Dutch babies, that’s what. And even better, these Dutch babies are produced by my children, the aforementioned Girl and Boy. The first picture is right from the oven, the second is after the somewhat messy job of sifting powdered sugar on top. They are delicious (the Dutch babies, I mean, not the children) and a great weekend treat.

      The Man drinks coffee in the morning whereas I prefer tea. He's not up yet, having played poker last night. I'm hoping he makes it out of bed in time for dinner.

      I also eat fruit whereas he prefers, well, anything but fruit. This is not such a bad thing, as it means that I don’t have to share the fruit. Pomegranates are a pain to eat, but not so bad if you’re reading the newspaper at the same time. This one’s from California, but you can also grow them here if you’ve got enough sunshine (which I don’t).
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.