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Help with a French recipe


wyf4lyf
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I received a handwritten recipe in French from a chef in Paris after I'd written to ask him for the recipe of a dish I'd had at his restaurant. I was so delighted to receive it, but I'm having some trouble deciphering his handwriting and undestanding a few of the words. Hoping someone out there in eGullet land can help me out.

1. He speaks of a casserole "Torrifiu" ...at least I think that's the word. It could be Torrifin, Torsifin, Torsifiu. It must be some kind of casserole dish, but what is it?

2. He then says to add honey, lemon juice and reduce "de moitre 'spiritueux'" ?? Perhaps it's maitre. "Spiritueux" means spirits, but I'm confused because the wine hasn't even been added yet.

3. At the very end he says "l'envoie au chenage." Is that "place in the oven?" Wasn't sure about chenage...

Thanks for any help you can offer.

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It might be easier to decypher with some more context. At the risk of revealing your hard-won recipe, maybe you could just post the whole thing (maybe with little stars next to the things that seem ambiguous)?

Martin Mallet

<i>Poor but not starving student</i>

www.malletoyster.com

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1. He speaks of a casserole "Torrifiu" ...at least I think that's the word. It could be Torrifin, Torsifin, Torsifiu. It must be some kind of casserole dish, but what is it?

Torréfier means to roast and since there is a u on the end I would think it means roasted.

2. He then says to add honey, lemon juice and reduce "de moitre 'spiritueux'" ?? Perhaps it's maitre.

Could it be moitié? that means 1/2. Reduce by half?

3. At the very end he says "l'envoie au chenage." Is that "place in the oven?" Wasn't sure about chenage....

Chêne means oak. I don't know if that helps.

Any way you could scan this and PM it? Sometimes n' and u's look the same sometimes and their r's soemtimes different.

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Thanks for the help so far. I'll post the whole thing now, with stars/notes next to the things I'm not sure about. I'm writing it out exactly as I see it on the card. This is recipe is only for the sauce. I've written him again, thanking him for this, and asking if he could please tell me how to cook the pork! :)

Filet Mignon de Porc au Citron Confit et Thyme

Ingredients

5cl miel de fluers (this is flower honey, right?)

15cl jus de citrons jaunes

30cl fond de veau (veal stock?)

5cl vin blanc sec

3gr fleur de thym frais (does this really mean thyme flowers, or will fresh thyme leaves be OK?)

Sel -- poivre -- coriandre "graine" (I'm assuming this means coriander powder?)

Progression:

1. Citron --> peler..laver..couper en juilienne..blanchiz 2 fois --> reserver (blanch twice???)

2. Dans une casserol "Torrifiu"(**) cuire a sec le thyme 4 mn --> agouter le miel et le citron reduire de moitie "spiritueux" (**) --> agouter la julienne de citron cuire 3 mn --> agouter le vin blanc cuire 5 mn --> agouter le fond de veau cuire 15 mn reduire 1/3 --> anuisonner (**) a votre gout sel-poivre et coriandre a l'envoie au chenage. Bon appetit.

I wasn't sure about the "annuisonner" at the end, but I inferred it's "season to taste with salt, pepper and coriander."

When it says "reduire 1/3", is that to reduce by 1/3 or TO 1/3 of the amount? And it's a bit unclear when to add the julienne of lemon peel. I'm inclined to add it along with the lemon juice, but let me know what you think.

This was such an amazing sauce...I said to my husband "this makes me want to sing!" The pork was in chunks, perfectly caramelized on the outside, and fork-tender. It was definitely braised, but I'm not sure if it was braised in this sauce, or in something else with the sauce added at the end.

Thanks again for your help.

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Mallet's right. We need context. What kind of dish is the recipe for? If you can't scan the recipe, can you at least provide the sentence or paragraph in which each term occurs?

1. Chantal's line of thinking is interesting, except that torréfier means roast in the sense that coffee, grains and tobacco are roasted (i.e. "toasted" would almost be a better translation). I don't recall ever seeing the term used in a recipe. My first hypothesis was that it was a brand name or a regional name (the terminal u is vaguely Corsican), but Goggling your various decypherings turns up nada. Other thoughts: could it possibly be terrine (rectangular pan in which pâtés and terrines are prepared) or terre cuite (fired clay)?

2. Reduce by half sounds good but I'm confused by the spiritueux, which probably wouldn't be used to describe wine anyway. Could it be sirupeux (syrupy)?

3. Chenage has me, er, stumped. If it had something to do with oak, the first e would be wearing a circumflex.

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5cl miel de fluers (this is flower honey, right?)

Yes, though since most if not all honey is flower honey he may mean wildflower honey.

30cl fond de veau (veal stock?)

Yep.

3gr fleur de thym frais (does this really mean thyme flowers, or will fresh thyme leaves be OK?)

Could be either, though thyme flowers are in vogue these days. If he meant flowers, he should have written fleurs. Fleur in the singular can mean fine or best, as in fleur de farine and fleur de sel; I don't recall ever seeing it used that way with herbs, however. Any chance he could have written feuilles (leaves)?

Sel -- poivre -- coriandre "graine" (I'm assuming this means coriander powder?)

Literally it means seeds. Unclear whether he's using the term to distinguish whole-grain from ground or dried (and presumably ground) from fresh (cilantro).

edit: Mallet's right. I'd misread and thought the coriander was added before the reduction but it's added only at the end, along with the salt and pepper, which almost assuredly means it's the dried and ground variety.

1. Citron --> peler..laver..couper en juilienne..blanchiz 2 fois --> reserver (blanch twice???)

Yep.

2. Dans une casserol "Torrifiu"(**) cuire a sec le thyme 4 mn

It's a stretch, but could the mystery word be T-fal, i.e. the brand name widely used as a generic for non-stick? Anyway, I wouldn't sweat it.

agouter le miel et le citron reduire de moitie "spiritueux" (**)

Reduce by half. I'm going with syrupy.

anuisonner (**) a votre gout sel-poivre et coriandre

Season to taste: assaisonner

a l'envoie au chenage.

Still stumped, though I bet the a is actually et (and). Second thought: could it be au chinois (an extremely fine cone-shaped strainer)? Was the sauce strained?

When it says "reduire 1/3", is that to reduce by 1/3 or TO 1/3 of the amount?

By a third.

And it's a bit unclear when to add the julienne of lemon peel. I'm inclined to add it along with the lemon juice, but let me know what you think.

Reduce the lemon juice and honey by half. Add the zest and cook 3 minutes. Add the wine and cook 5 minutes. Add the veal stock and cook 15 minutes, until reduced by a third.

Edited by carswell (log)
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Ingredients

5cl miel de fluers [1](this is flower honey, right?)

15cl jus de citrons jaunes

30cl fond de veau [2](veal stock?)

5cl vin blanc sec

3gr fleur de thym frais [3] (does this really mean thyme flowers, or will fresh thyme leaves be OK?)

Sel -- poivre -- coriandre "graine"  [4] (I'm assuming this means coriander powder?)

Progression:

1. Citron --> peler..laver..couper en juilienne..blanchiz 2 fois --> reserver  (blanch twice???) [5]

2. Dans une casserol "Torrifiu"(**) [6]  cuire a sec le thyme 4 mn --> agouter le miel et le citron reduire de moitie "spiritueux"  [7] (**) --> agouter la julienne de citron cuire 3 mn --> agouter le vin blanc cuire 5 mn --> agouter le fond de veau cuire 15 mn reduire 1/3 --> anuisonner  [8] (**) a votre gout sel-poivre et coriandre a l'envoie au chenage [9] . Bon appetit.

I wasn't sure about the "annuisonner" at the end, but I inferred it's "season to taste with salt, pepper and coriander." 

When it says "reduire 1/3", is that to reduce by 1/3 or TO 1/3 of the amount? And it's a bit unclear when to add the julienne of lemon peel. I'm inclined to add it along with the lemon juice, but let me know what you think.

This was such an amazing sauce...I said to my husband "this makes me want to sing!" The pork was in chunks, perfectly caramelized on the outside, and fork-tender. It was definitely braised, but I'm not sure if it was braised in this sauce, or in something else with the sauce added at the end.

Thanks again for your help.

1) yes, this is wildflower honey

2) veal stock

3) I think it was maybe "feuilles" (leaves) and not "fleurs"(flower)

4) coriander seed, i.e: freshly ground coriander

5) blanche 2X (why? I don't know)

6) chantal was right on torréfier, in this case the process of dry-roasting the leaves

7) Reduce spirits by half. The only thing that really fits here is the wine, so my guess is that you reduce it separately.

8)anuisonner => assaisonner (to season)

9)I don't remember this word, but I take it to mean something like "season immediately before expediting"

I think réduire 1/3 would mean reduce by 1/3. once you do it though, you'll probably be able to tell if it needs further reduction. The julienne of lemon peel is added along with the juice + honey.

Another possibility (I do not favour this one) is that somehow spiritueux refers to the honey plus lemon juive, in which case you would reduce that by half and then add the lemon peel.

Hope this helps.

Martin Mallet

<i>Poor but not starving student</i>

www.malletoyster.com

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looks like carswell beat me to it!

I like the "envoie au chinois" as a possibility for "envoie au chenage", but I'm not sure it's right in this case. The recipe is for pork with lemon confit, why would one add the peel and then strain it out?

Martin Mallet

<i>Poor but not starving student</i>

www.malletoyster.com

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looks like carswell beat me to it!

Great minds think alike, &c.

I like the "envoie au chinois" as a possibility for "envoie au chenage", but I'm not sure it's right in this case. The recipe is for pork with lemon confit, why would one add the peel and then strain it out?

I'd wondered about that, too, especially as the recipe's title refers to candied lemon. On the other hand, the peel is blanched twice and then cooked another 20 minutes, so it wouldn't be exactly picture-perfect at the end. And it would have performed at least one role: adding another layer of flavour. wyf4lyf's reply should clue us in.

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Thank you all so much for your input. And let me first say that I feel stupid! It's clear as a bell in the recipe when to add the lemon peel. I just was being careless in reading through it. The sauce wasn't strained, it had *very* fine julienne of the peel in it. The flavor was out of this world.

To clarify, and I'm looking at the card right now.... it is most definitely "fleur de thym"...not "feuille". I can tell because it's the same word he wrote in "miel de fleurs" but without the 's'. :)

Your ideas about "syurpy" make sense, but the writing is very clearly "sp" at the beginning.

This casserole "Torrifiu" or whatever is just baffling. But it sounds like it doesn't really matter.

And the words at the end are definitely "a l'envoie au" and then the mystery word "chenage" though on further glance (and I think I'm going batty staring at this small handwriting!), it could be "drenage" or "churage" or "chinage" or "clunage".

I'm hoping he'll respond to my request about how to cook the pork, and then perhaps some of these things will make sense.

Thank you all again for your help and suggestions!

Nina

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Another thought on casserol "Torrifiu"... could he be referring to a rangeproof casserole, i.e., one that's safe to use on the burners as well as in the oven?

It seems to me that coriander "graine" refers to coriander in seed form, as opposed to en poudre or the fresh leaves.

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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Another thought on casserol "Torrifiu"... could he be referring to a rangeproof casserole, i.e., one that's safe to use on the burners as well as in the oven?

It'd be redundant since a casserole in French is just a round, usually metal pot with a handle (e.g. a large saucepan, sauté pan or dutch oven), not a baking dish.

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