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eG Foodblog - Dave Hatfield, La France Profonde


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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.

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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!


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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!

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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.

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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

Method:

  • 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!

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......

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)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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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?

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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)
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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.

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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.

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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.

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