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Dave Hatfield

eG Foodblog - Dave Hatfield, La France Profonde

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rotuts   

well .... does it have to sound in FR. similar to FR truffle? if so , you might want to retract you mussels. Moooooole

see I did live in FR.

but is it what FR. call Italians?


Edited by rotuts (log)

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I thought that surely someone would get at least one of my French ingredients. The closest was goose comfit since I was actually using duck comfit. (Goose is almost impossible to find anymore.)

In any case here are the three main ingredients,

mise.JPG

Duck comfit from a can. We've found that this is the best way to buy comfit. We've tried it from the market, farms & friends and the canned stuff always wins. I used to make comfit when we last lived in the UK & the States, but this stuff is better than I could make.

Truffade. This is a classic potato dish from the Auvergne with cantal, cream, lardons, garlic and herbs. I bought this from a stand at the market then only had to reheat it in the oven.

Cepes. The first I've seen this season, but then we've had our first decent rains. The stall holder assured me that these were local, she's there every week & knows me by sight so I trusted her. At 25€ per kilo they weren't cheap, but nothings too good for my eG pals.

early comfit.JPG Here's a couple of pieces of comfit in the pan.

mush chopped.JPG I've cut off the heads of the cepes then chopped the stems.

comfit cooking.JPG Here's the comfit about half way through.

caps in pan.JPG The capes cap in the pan with butter.

mush chopped pan.JPG I've taken out the caps & put in the chopped stems with garlic & a mix of shallots & gorlic.

pdt out.JPG Here's the truffade just coming out of the oven.

plate.JPG Finally everything on the plate. It was really good.

With a glass or two of red wine this was a very satisfying dinner and very French. We don't eat this stuff every night nor do the French, too many calories. When they were on the farms all these calories made sense, but they don't today.

Hope you enjoyed this post. Tomorrow will be easier as we're going out to lunch.

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rotuts   

the pieces of duck in your saute pan came out of a can? wouldnt have a pic of that can would you?

BTW I get 1/2 point. just to be square about it.

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With a glass or two of red wine this was a very satisfying dinner and very French. We don't eat this stuff every night nor do the French, too many calories. When they were on the farms all these calories made sense, but they don't today.

Hope you enjoyed this post. Tomorrow will be easier as we're going out to lunch.

Dinner looks great, Dave. Duck confit and truffade are some of my favorite things - French comfort food!

I am still trying to figure out that third clue though (cèpes/porcini) - even with the answer I still don't get it! :unsure:

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janeer   

I have just eaten dinner but this is all making me hungry--the truffade, the sausage. What a beautiful view you have from your home while you drink wine.

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Are there many foreigners in the countryside? Would it be difficult to get by speaking only English?

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Rotuts - I think I'd give you 3/4 actually.

FrogPrincesse - Comforting for sure. The problem was mine. I'm a lousy typist. The question should have read "What do you call an Italian in France". Thus the porcini to Cepe reference.

Janeer - Thanks for the kind words. Being a Steinbeck fan I always think of 'The Pastures of Heaven'. This is just a great area.

Kent - There are a fair number of English speakers scattered around. Mainly British, but also Dutch & Belgians plus English speaking French. Very few Americans. So for social life there's not a problem; one gradually meets kindred souls who speak English. My wife is President of a local ladies organization (fifi82.org) with over 100 members all of whom speak English. That's the easy part.

Getting along in shops, with the government and so forth requires at least some French proficiency. Getting into the medical system, paying taxes and so forth are not too difficult, but again require some French. We have a good friend, Jacques, who helps us with the bureaucratic aspects of living here. .

All in all we think it was worth the effort. There's some information on my weblog & you can always PM me and I'll do my best to answer questions.

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rgruby   

Dave,

Thanks for doing this. I still have fond memories of the last one and can't believe it was five years ago.

At the time I remember thinking, jeez, I hope he does this once a season so we can see how the the produce changes and how that affects what you're cooking/ eating.

Can you tell us a little bit more about that. Do folks around there still tend to cook fairly seasonally? Or has the presence of large, modern supermarkets changed that?

Interesting about goose. Last time I was in France was around this time of year and we were in the southwest and gesiers (I think they were called?) - goose gizzards - were on just about every menu. Can't remember eating actual goose apart from that, but I had those a few times.

Cheers,

Geoff

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Dave,

Thanks for doing this. I still have fond memories of the last one and can't believe it was five years ago.

At the time I remember thinking, jeez, I hope he does this once a season so we can see how the the produce changes and how that affects what you're cooking/ eating.

Can you tell us a little bit more about that. Do folks around there still tend to cook fairly seasonally? Or has the presence of large, modern supermarkets changed that?

Interesting about goose. Last time I was in France was around this time of year and we were in the southwest and gesiers (I think they were called?) - goose gizzards - were on just about every menu. Can't remember eating actual goose apart from that, but I had those a few times.

Cheers,

Geoff

The older people still eat very seasonably. The younger ones not so much. Of course this is one of the best times of the year as we can still get most summer vegetables AND the fall typesw are just starting to come in. Witness the cepes I was able to buy yesterday.

Local fruits are also coming in now. Unfortunately we're past the apricot season, but the prunes are starting to appear.

The 'gésiers' are mainly chicken gizzards. They must use goose & duck, but I haven't seen them. They are very popular for use in simple salads.

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Today was simple. We went to the local restaurant with our friend John. You've seen it before, but here it is again.

restaurant.JPG

Its called le Seye et Vous and is run by Charlie and his partners. They do both lunch & dinner as well as the cafe side. Lunch is 13€. That for three course & a 1/4 liter of wine & coffee.

Today being Friday they were pretty full, probably serving about 30. Charlie manages to serve everybody on time with grace & charm.

I had the charcutière starter, John had the salad with gesiers and Linda has a plain green salad. We all had the fish pie main course; this was served with creamy rice and was every bit as good as mine although very different. We also all had the 'pain perdu' desert. Pain Perdu literally means lost bread so its s bread pudding. In this case with a few added raisins and run & caramel sauce to die for. Good local wine & bread played their parts.

I normally don't take inside restaurant pictures, but couldn't resist this one taken with our phone.

Photo0103.jpg

You can see that John had enjoyed his bread pudding and wasn't going to let a drop of sauce escape.

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rotuts   

now that's the way to do it! thanks for the pic!

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This is great country for walnuts. The soil & climate seem to be perfect for them. Thus, walnuts (noix) are used a lot in many local dishes. They also make quite a lot of walnut oil in these parts. Somewhere on my normal blog I have a photo essay about this old boy making walnut oil.

Also, I remember going to a local lunch where the main course was Estafinado (Google it!) a component of the dish is to top it with some walnut oil. On our long table we had three different versions done by three different French gentlemen. They were too polite to say, but each was convinced that his was best. All I can say is that all were good & all were different.

We're lucky enough to have a lovely mature walnut tree in our garden just below our house. The walnuts are falling as I type this. Our only problem is Rupert. He loves walnuts and is very good at finding & eating them. If we're not careful he gets fat. He's very good at cracking the shells and extracting the meat. So what we do is go out and collect walnuts every morning. Fortunately Rupert finds one then eats it. He hasn't grasped the concept of gathering a pile of them before eating them. That's lucky for us.

on ground.JPG Here they are on the ground.

drying on table.JPG Drying on a table.

old in bowl.JPG Collected in a bowl.

lindas sock.JPG Stored in one of Linda's old stockings.

They'll just be nice & dry for the holiday season.

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rotuts   

One of the Many Stunning Things in FR. ( and Montreal ) is the Patisserie. I sure hope you might visit one and sent us many many pic!

consider Sunday Morning!

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One of the Many Stunning Things in FR. ( and Montreal ) is the Patisserie. I sure hope you might visit one and sent us many many pic!

consider Sunday Morning!

Sorry, no. Two reasons. I don't have much of a sweet tooth so am not overly tempted by that sort of thing. Secondly, my will is weak, the Patisserie is so tempting to look at that I find it hard to resist.

When I do succumb I usually find that the taste doesn't live up to my expectations of what I hoped it would taste like. Therefore, I've pretty much given up on Patisserie.

Now then a good lemon pie or a cheese cake or a carrot cake or a tarte tatin do turn me on. That's why I have a tatre tatin in the oven as I write this. Recipe tomorrow.


Edited by Dave Hatfield (log)

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This is great country for walnuts. The soil & climate seem to be perfect for them. Thus, walnuts (noix) are used a lot in many local dishes. They also make quite a lot of walnut oil in these parts. Somewhere on my normal blog I have a photo essay about this old boy making walnut oil.

Also, I remember going to a local lunch where the main course was Estafinado (Google it!) a component of the dish is to top it with some walnut oil. On our long table we had three different versions done by three different French gentlemen. They were too polite to say, but each was convinced that his was best. All I can say is that all were good & all were different.

We're lucky enough to have a lovely mature walnut tree in our garden just below our house. The walnuts are falling as I type this. Our only problem is Rupert. He loves walnuts and is very good at finding & eating them. If we're not careful he gets fat. He's very good at cracking the shells and extracting the meat. So what we do is go out and collect walnuts every morning. Fortunately Rupert finds one then eats it. He hasn't grasped the concept of gathering a pile of them before eating them. That's lucky for us.

on ground.JPG Here they are on the ground.

drying on table.JPG Drying on a table.

old in bowl.JPG Collected in a bowl.

lindas sock.JPG Stored in one of Linda's old stockings.

They'll just be nice & dry for the holiday season.

Do you have squirrels in France? They love grabbing my black walnuts the minute they hit the ground. They store them all over the lawn and retrieve them in Winter. Huge old walnut tree and I end up buying walnuts!

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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.

Trader joes here in the States used to have mâché.

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MaryLA   

Those walnuts do look tempting and I can imagine Rupert puts on weight! The stocking is a good idea -- one of my neighbours had a lacy fishnet stocking she used to store and dry almonds and pecans.

I had a bottle of imported Jean LeBlanc Walbut Oil used sparingly for special vinaigrettes, kept it in the back of the fridge for more than a year. It went cloudy but tasted good all the same.

Looking forward to the tarte tatin recipe, a favourite.

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David Ross

Yes we do have squirrels. Mostly the little red guys, but not very many of them. I think the foxes must get them.

The only thief of our walnuts is Rupert. He's enough!

BTW we have a surprising amount of wildlife. Foxes, squirrels, rabbits, hares, lots of deer, hedgehogs, badgers and wild pigs.

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Saturday morning and I'm getting ready to do lunch for eight. The guests are all local friends. Unfortunately no French as they had a prior engagement, but we do have South Africans, English, Welsh, a New Zealander and, of curse, me a Yank. They'll arrive about 1 PM & we'll start eating about 1:30.

We'll start with the leek & celeriac soup. Not only is it good, but Linda volunteered to make it. It's going to be served cold this time.

soup.JPG Here it is in it's pot ready to go into the fridge.

Our main course is going to be slow roasted belly pork. This particular piece had some of the ribs on it as well as the skin. The first task was to cut off the ribs then carefully cut the skin.

belly cuts.JPG The cuts are roughly 1/4 inch apart. Doing them makes the pork easy to carve into slices, each with a nice strip of crackling.

I then lay the pork on onions that I've peeled and cut in half. This keeps the pork off the bottom of the pan. Plus the onions taste delicious.

onion for belly.JPG The pork goes over the top. belly in pan.JPG

The pork goes into the oven and roasts at about 140 C for at least 4 hours.

Having gotten that started Rupert & I whipped over to Varen, a nearby village. Stupidly I hadn't brought the camera. The views at the top of the hill were tremendous this morning what with the fog still in the valleys and the sun over the countryside. Ah Well!

In any case here's the bread we bought.

bread.JPG They do special breads everyday. Saturday's is 5 grain with walnuts. Its the sort of 'U' shaped one. The roundish one is called a Viennoise . And, you guessed it, the long one is a bagette.

When we got back home I started on the Roast Roots. All the winter vegetables are coming in now so its a good time for this dish.

veggies before.JPG As you can see I had: Shallots, carrots, turnips, rutabaga, parsnips, garlic and sweet peppers. Normally I might add a few potatoes, but this meal doesn't need any more calories.

Here are all the vegetables cut up. The idea is to make them roughly the same size so they cook evenly. They'll go on a couple of roasting trays about 45 minutes before serving.

veggie best cut.JPG

I have to admit to a bit of cheating. I'd made dessert, a Tarte Tatin, the night before. Here it is:

tarte in sun.JPG You can find a pictorial recipe for it at: http://www.frenchfoo...arte tatin.html

Linda has set her usual beautiful table so we're all set to go.

table.JPG

Time for me to go up and have a shower.

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We were ready for lunch in good time. Rupert was excited as he has a great time when we have guests for lunch. When his favorite friend arrive he went nuts with delight.

Our guests arrived at about 1 PM and as the weather was nice we all went out to the patio to have a glass of wine & a few nuts. I did a few last minute chores like opening the wine.

We started with the leek & celeriac soup. delicious! The local breads went well with it.

wine.JPG The reds are their limited production special from Domaine de Chanade, 2007. The white a light wine from them as well.

Here are the roasted roots earlier going into the oven. veggies.JPG

Here they are coming out seving veggies.JPG

beans.JPG The green beans with some lardons, pine nuts , flaked almonds and lot of butter.

Finally, a couple of shots of the belly pork after it was cut up. bp.JPG IMG_1614.JPG

We all had a great time, no culinary disasters. It only took us three hours to have lunch. We skipped the cheese (sorry) as the meal was pretty filling and everyone knew that Tarte Tatin & ice cream was coming.

We did stop talking long enough to have our dessert and a small glass of Sauternes to go with it. We then had coffee and more yakking.

Here's all that was left.

all thats left.JPG My clever wife held a bit back for us to enjoy later.

.

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heidih   

Oh that meal looks lovely and I love the leisurely pace (3 hours!). You didn't mention seasoning on the pork - just salt? Also the skin appears to be perfectly crispy - did you crank up the heat at the end or do something to achieve that or did it just occur at the low roasting temp?

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