Fresh trout on cabbage

At a market nearby I found a man selling fresh fish from his small fish farm in the mountains, using clean spring water, as many fish would prefer. He used a net to catch the fish from plastic containers on the back of his car.

I prepared the fish in the simplest possible fashion to appreciate the taste and presented it on a bed of green cabbage, leek and a carrot because they happened to be waiting for use in the kitchen.

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Cod, cabbage and chorizo

Although I now live in a small village near the Pyrenees mountains, I can get good fish at a fishmonger in Mirepoix.

The cod filet looked too great to resist. Cod can be bland and I usually spice it up a bit.

I had some chorizo left that I had bought at butcher’s who said he made them himself.

The cabbage came from the fresh market.

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Portuguese cabbage soup Caldo Verde

Many national dishes have humble origins and are unlikely to grace any fancy recipe book next to gastronomic courses with noble products.

With water, potato and this cabbage the northern Portuguese made Caldo Verde, green broth, and Portuguese all over the world still eat it with pleasure and as an antidote against homesickness.

Most people are poor and have been poor over the centuries and these people did their best with what was available.

The Dutch, for instance, eat kale and endive as vegetables while elsewhere these greens are only good to feed cattle.

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Guinea fowl on a bed of vegetables and fruit

Guinea fowl is widely available in France and I find slightly more tasty than chicken and also belief their production is less intensive. I could be wrong of course as the one I bought for this recipe came from a leading supermarket poultry brand (Loué). But it is supposed to be less fat than a chicken and have more vitamins and minerals.

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Skordalia and escarole mash

I am not a big fan of fusion cuisine and rather stick to a style.
But sometimes the hazards of the seasons, the menu and the larder create interesting cross-cultural combinations.
So it was with this Greco-Dutch dish. It is vegetarian but you can have meat with it, like veal chops.

Skordalia is a Greek potato, garlic and olive oil mixture that you can use as a mash or, by adding more olive oil, as a velvety cream. I had made some to go with lamb.
I also had some leftover escarole after I had made a salad with burratta.

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Cabbage curry

A had some leftover cabbage, Chinese cabbage from a stir-fry and green cabbage I had used with a soup and a quail instead of the kale I had wanted.
Cabbage is a healthy vegetable – it is low in fat and calories, high in nutrients and vitamins (C and K) and helps reduce bad cholesterol. I read somewhere that cabbage is the Chinese secret for everlasting youthfulness, but I do not believe in that, if only because not all Chinese remain youthful for ever…
However, cabbage is rather boring.

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Stuffed quail in cabbage

Quail is a festive and easy kind of poultry, family of the pheasant that comes in a handy one-person portion.
Have you ever seen quail walking around alive? I once saw a few when I was driving in the Dordogne area. They are a funny kind of bird with a strange walk. Most quail for poultry is domesticated and raised in cages.

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Turbot on a bed of kale

A while ago, we were in Fécamp on the Normandy coast. It is not the prettiest coastal town of France, in fact it is rather drab due to its role as a commercial and fishery port in an industrial area. The boats and their owners traded far away and fished the coasts of Newfoundland. Soon the horizon over the sea will be dotted with giant wind energy turbines, just a few miles down from the nuclear power plant. For the moment, I liked passing by from time to time.

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