Pyrenees crawfish

écrevisses

Crawfish are a rare delicacy in France, especially as they are far less abundant than several decades ago when the red legs and white legs still populated many streams and lakes. But they are for sale, or can be caught, here in the season in the Pyrenees.

Turbot in the oven

Turbot

Turbot is not the least expensive of fish, but it had a very delicate taste and the meat stays firm during cooking. In France, there are many recipes with parts of a large turbot – of up to 5 kilos – with white sauces, mushrooms, shrimps and oysters or mussels. I do like mushrooms, shrimps, … Read more

Mounjetado/Mongetado – cassoulet in Ariège

Mongetado

There are a lot of recipes for cassoulet here in the southwest of France. Castelnaudary, Carcassonne or Toulouse fight for the crown of the best recipe or the most original one.

Cassoulet is a hearty dish and meant for winter, but restaurants here serve it to tourists in the summer when a lighter diet may be called for.

The origin of the dish goes far beyond the introduction of freezers and other electric appliances, and even before that tomatoes became known in France in the 16th century.

This means that most meats are salted or confit — preserved in fat.

In the mounjetado or “estouffad de mounges” (slowly cooked beans) here in the Ariège people use “coustellous” (salted spare ribs), dried liver sausage and another sausage made from pig’s rind – the couenne.

In my version, I used spare ribs (less salty), dropped the liver sausage and added confit de canard – because I had made that previously – and fresh sausage.

No tomatoes here, but onions and carrots.

The white beans had been prepared in season and stored away.

This dish does not call for an entrée or dessert.

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Braised lamb shanks with carrot, tomatoes and quince

Lamb shanks are called “souris d’agneau” in French and are the top end of the leg, which is often sold in slices at the butcher’s. They give nice one-person portions and look pretty with the bone sticking upwards. It takes a long time of cooking and can be prepared in advance. Many restaurants do that in France so that they can serve the dish quickly the following day.

I had leftover quince paste in the fridge and added that for a sweet tone.

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Whole roasted rabbit

Roast rabbit

By chance, this post is about rabbit, just as the previous one from some time ago (busy, busy). I made it after reading “Un dîner à poils ou plumes” by Stéphane Reynaud — a lovely cookbook with nice pictures. His warning with this recipe was “not for sensitive souls” and that was not without cause … Read more