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bleudauvergne

eG Foodblog: bleudauvergne

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Hello dear friends, members of eGullet! Stan asked me if I would be interested in blogging this week and I said yes – that was back in I think September. He is very cunning in his ways.

I wonder if it’s going to be possible to see the rhythms as I weave through this week. So much is changing, life is taking special, lucky turns. The routine I am trying to establish is not perfect yet, I’m in the midst of a battle to get used to a new one. I am doing the best I can to prepare to catch the golden apple next time it comes ‘round, and we’ve got the holiday coming up.

It’s very particular being in a holiday mood when everyone around you has no clue. Can you imagine it? Your own private secret holiday. It’s important to try and keep things cool as I deal with my vendors, they are on a completely different wavelength. They just don’t ‘get’ the idea of monumental importance that seems to be oozing from my being. They know I’m a strange one, they think it’s funny, and from there, we do Thanksgiving. At the same time I keep my daily life grinding along.

The leaves are changing here in Lyon, the weather has gotten cold, we had ourselves the annual a glass of the Beaujolais Nouveau (I don’t know why they said it was supposed to be more ‘traditional’ this year, it still tasted like banana bubblegum to me.) We took this moment, as we have for the last few years, to map out what we might like to do this year for the holiday. I’ve taken out my notes and taken a chance to remember what I liked and didn’t like about last year.

In any case, I have a loose plan laid out (I don’t like to write things in stone, especially when blogging!) and I heartily welcome you to accompany me through this week. I hope I can do it justice.

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OOOh this will be fun!

Can we hope for some Lyonnaise specialities?

Maybe with chestnuts, with onions, etc?

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What a wonderful way to share our most American holiday! I will be doing my best to create a small 'frenchfried' version for my friends at the market here in Nerac turning their good produce into my feast. I count on you for inspiration.

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This is going to be a great week!

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I too am on the list of happy Foodblog readers this week! I hope you will make a place on the table for some cheese. :wub:

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So much is changing, life is taking special, lucky turns.  The routine I am trying to establish is not perfect yet, I’m in the midst of a battle to get used to a new one.  I am doing the best I can to prepare to catch the golden apple next time it comes ‘round, and we’ve got the holiday coming up. 

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This alone is so intriguing... do you feel a bit like Sartre, feeling something so different than everyone around you right now? I feel that we will have the best time following you this week, thank you!

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Lucy, it will be wonderful to have another blog from you.

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...I am doing the best I can to prepare to catch the golden apple next time it comes ‘round...

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Bonjour bleu,

May the golden apple fall in the palm of your hand... I, too, will be following your blog path for the coming week!

Safran

ps: the serviettes with your initials make me want to sit at your table!

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I hope I can do it justice. 

a distinct understatement, Lucy, in light of your exceptional contributions to this site ... I can hardly wait! Your photographs are nothing short of professional quality .. the matching descriptions? even moreso ...

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OMG, my blogging inspiration is back! This is AWESOME!

I promise not to cyberstalk you TOO much.

K, president and founder of the official bleudauvergne fan club. We have t-shirts!

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Oh, how wonderful that you are blogging again. As if this week weren't dedicated to food already, it can only get better with your special French twist.

How is the turkey availability over there? I remember it being difficult to procure a whole one when we lived in Aix.

P.S. Can I join the fan club? I'm useful for bakesales.

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Are you even going to try for a whole turkey this year. I got the impression from your last blog that French butchers have problems with the concept of a whole turkey.

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K, president and founder of the official bleudauvergne fan club.  We have t-shirts!

We have T-shirts??? And I didn't get one?

well they must include either this picture from her last blog or the blettes in this posting both of which I really want to print and hang in my kitchen!

Lucy, the Ballard/Seattle chapter of your fanclub is SO pleased to have you back blogging again!

Have you finally settled on a new butcher?

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Today is Sunday. We often invite relatives for Sunday lunch at our house, and catch up with them one by one. This week we invited cousin Mathieu, who has just returned from a stage in Ecuador, where he was studying equitable commerce as part of his business studies here in Lyon. He had lots of interesting stories to tell.

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We started the meal with a simple aperetif of Clairette de Die, a sparkling wine made from Muscat grapes, served with thin slices of various sausages, which we buy at the market, and some smoked almonds. We found a nice source of artisan made sausages in interesting flavors recently. On the board you see saucisson sec of four different kinds: Cepe (a kind of mushroom), figue (fig), noisette (hazelnut) and myrtille (wild blueberry!) all of these sausages have things mixed in with the meat and take on the flavor of the added ingredients. This is an amusing way to serve sausage, that’s for sure!

While we enjoyed the aperetif and Mathieu told us stories, I slipped back to the kitchen to throw together a pate brisé for dessert. I always make this in small batches because my freezer does not have much room and I prefer to work with it fresh. For one tourte or two small tartes, my base recipe is:

160 g. flour type 45 (it's about a breakfast bowl full, but I always weight it.)

70g. butter low moisture (which is a bit more than half a stick of butter)

1 egg yolk

1-2 T. crème fraîche epaisse

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It gives me a nice ball to work with.

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Sometimes I substitute the butter with duckfat and the creme fraiche with stock, depending on what I'm putting inside the tarte or tourte I'm putting together. The dough was put in the fridge for later and I put together the salad which would be our first course today, a salad with mixed greens and crudités with house gesiers de canard (duck gizzards) confit.

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This is how the gizzards looked after I pulled them out of the fat. I always run them under warm water to remove as much of the fat as possible, since duck fat melts quickly and easily, it is easily washed off the gizzards, and they are none the worse for wear.

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Then I sliced them thin and heated them up in the pan while I prepared the greens and the dressing.

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This salad was inspired by that pretty salad Abra served last week, from Paula’s book. But since I didn’t have any duck leg confit, I used the gizzards. I liked the idea of crudités, celery root, carrot, some fennel, and various herbs, plus some roquette for a little depth with the greens. I used Paula’s recipe for the dressing with moutarde violette, salt, pepper, walnut oil, and vinegar. This salad was light and tasted great. I took out the cheese plate to warm as I served the salad.

We served this salad with a Chateau Castagens Cotes de Castillon 2002.

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This morning, before Mathieu arrived, I had mixed up some butter with spices and vinegar to cover three little quails I got at the market.

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This is rubbed onto the birds while they are on the spit and put away until it’s time to grill them.

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About 20 minutes before they’re to be served, I throw them on the rotisserie and start frying up some very simple potato cakes. Potato, salt, pepper, and a very teensy bit of fat from the confit. Basically this is hashed browns.

The quail was very popular, they were meaty and delicious.

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As I cleared the plates from the quail, I put dessert together, very simply, with leftover slices of a coing (quince) that I had braised with creme de cassis and wine, covered it with a layer of shaved chocolate, and popped in the oven for 20 minutes. (here it is before I popped it in the oven and came out with the cheese.

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The cheese plate is a bit haphazard :

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(starting at 12 o'clock) a nice Tomme de Savoie (cow), a Selles sur Cher (goat), Comte (cow), a no name brebis (sheep) soft cheese bought from the producer at the market for €1, a Tomme de brebis (sheep), Vieux Morbier (cow), and in the middle a little log of chevre (goat), which my husband picked out at the market and I like very much. I will find out the name of that one tomorrow because he doesn't remember it. The soft brebis is a welcome addition to the plate, because it dissapeared for about 3 years and has recently been brought back by the same guys. It makes a very nice tartine because it melts beautifully and harmonizes with pepper in the most heavenly way. :blush:

Dessert: Simple but good.

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a dollop of chantilly, maybe flavoured with a little something, would have very good with this. Mathieu does not like 'creamy things' so I did not prepare anything like that but I will next time. I'm glad I made this tarte with a pate brise.

Hey thanks guys, for the comments! Kathleen, t-shirts?! Good Lord! I am not getting nervous, I am not getting nervous.

M. Lucia: To read about the yearly turkey trauma I undergo in France every year, I refer you to a thread from last year's thanksgiving : Expat Thanksgiving 2004, France

Arey, we have been tossing around a few interesting ideas. Loic is still hoping for the whole bird, but he is not as dead set on it as he was last year. Just to let you know, I hate making final decisions until the last minute, I like to stay open to as many possibilities as I can. I'll post some notes so maybe you can get a good idea of the way I work, but don't take them as written in stone.

We eat light on Sunday evenings. In a couple hours I'll be posting again.

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Outstanding!

May foul weather and camera learning curves be well behind you, Lucy. Cheers to Loic and all the denizens of the neighborhood we are sure to meet this week.

We have T shirts!

... the sales of which will help produce the Vanel foodblog coffee table book I've been pitching for so long.

Size LARGE please! :rolleyes:

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Arey, we have been tossing around a few interesting ideas.  Loic is still hoping for the whole bird, but he is not as dead set on it as he was last year.  Just to let you know, I hate making final decisions until the last minute, I like to stay open to as many possibilities as I can.  I'll post some notes so maybe you can get a good idea of the way I work, but don't take them as written in stone. 

Your statement about not making final decisions until the last minute says volumes about how well and easily you cook. Your meal with Matthieu strikes me the same way. If I served courses as you do, I think I'd spend all the time in the kitchen instead of with the guests. Do you? If not, how do you get away from it? For instance, do you usually have a lot of the work done in advance (the quail ready for the spit), are you an especially efficient cook, or is it a bit of both? As a rule, how much time elapses between courses? Is there time for sitting and visiting then? I think your answers will tell a lot, not only about your cooking style, but also about the differences between French and American meal rhythms.

Lucy, this blog is already beautiful. I loved your previous blogs, and I can see this will be another winner. I wear a size Medium!

Edited to add, to the Fan Club Chapter Leaders: when will the bleudauvergne Fan Club apron be coming out? :biggrin::cool:


Edited by Smithy (log)

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As I cleared the plates from the quail, I put dessert together, very simply, with leftover slices of a coing (quince) that I had braised with creme de cassis and wine, covered it with a layer of shaved chocolate, and popped in the oven for 20 minutes.  (here it is before I popped it in the oven and came out with the cheese.

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Dessert:  Simple but good. 

gallery_15176_3_56695.jpg

a dollop of chantilly, maybe flavoured with a little something, would have very good with this.  Mathieu does not like 'creamy things' so I did not prepare anything like that but I will next time.  I'm glad I made this tarte with a pate brise.

Simple but good, indeed. You are an inspiration.

Lucy, that looks like a well-loved and cherished tart pan. Is it Le Creuset? I've never seen a round pan like that over here. It looks like the finish is chipping off? Does that change the way you handle or use the pan?

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Du fromage, de bleu d'Auvergne, mangeons!

À la poète culinaire de Lyon!

Let us eat some cheese, some bleu d'Auvergne!

To the culinary poet of Lyon!

Lucy, welcome back to blogging again. Thank you!

Please pardon my indulgence. I wanted to say that at the end of your last blog but was not able to do so.

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Mon Dieu Lucy! Your pictures are always so beautiful and simple. The quince tart looks delicious.

I also find that pate brisee is so easy to make at the last minute.

Did you put mustard in the butter that you rubbed on the birds? Unfortunately, I can't cook like that anymore. You know, Kashrut.

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My first thought on seeing that you're blogging again this week: We are not worthy!

Second thought, after reading and looking at what's been posted already: We are lucky!

You, nervous, Lucy? You are the champ! What a great week awaits all us readers!

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A lovely meal! What is the rotisserie that you use? Is it part of your oven or another piece of equipment?

I'm very interested in the seasonal dishes common in Lyon and France generally this time of year...I'm going to be in Paris and Montpelier in a few weeks (yahoo!) and have never visited in December. Anything special that I should be looking for in restaurants or in markets--and that you might be cooking with this week?

Merci mille fois de votre blog.

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"Sometimes I substitute the butter with duckfat"

When the cooking portion of the blog opens like this, it is time to sit back, take notes, a let out a deep sigh.

Where do I send my check and shirt size oh fan club president?

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Lucy,

You are truly an inspiration. I admire how effortlessly you cook, based on an amazing instinct for ingredients and food pairings. I am really looking forward to peering into your kitchen for this week.

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