Category: Pastry

18th November 2019

Beef pear with trumpet of the death mushrooms

My butcher usually keeps two special cuts aside when he gets a new carcass — the poire and the merlan — and I have the right of first refusal. I hardy ever refuse.

These are very fine cuts, one is oblong and looks like a fish (merlan being a whiting) and the poire looks like a big pear. They come from near the topside, in English butchery terms. For French butchers, they are near the tranche. It is lean and delicate meat and not so well known because there is just about a pound of it on an entire cow.

11th March 2016

Quiche with dandelions, Camembert and salami

When I was young there was a best-selling book called ‘Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche” about macho prejudice. Well, I am not a real man then. Quiche, the name, comes from the local dialect in Lorraine that has German influences and sounds a bit like “Kuche” for pie. The Quiche Lorraine is the most famous version, first recorded in the accounts of the Nancy hospital […]

26th March 2015

Chicken liver pie

We had bought some chicken liver at the poultry stall on the market and I had a package of pie dough left in the refrigerator. With some shallots, raspberry vinegar, eggs and cream, I made a nice quiche-like open pie. Why raspberry vinegar? It is one of those French habits. The vinegar helps to kill any bacteria that might be lurking in the innards and […]

30th September 2013

Autumn quiche with ceps and onion

When I was at university, there was a popular book with the title “Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche”. But I do, and consider myself a real man, nevertheless. I even make tarts, no pun intended. However, a basic quiche uses cream, eggs and bacon and can be rather on the fatty side, especially when you use puff pastry instead of a shortcrust pastry.

15th February 2013

Chicory, cheese and bacon quiche

‘Real men don’t eat quiche’ was the title of a 1982 book on masculine stereotypes, which only shows that not many men are ‘real’ in the red-neck sense of beef eating, beer swigging misogynists. Valentine’s Day (named after two martyrs called Valentine, killed on the same day by the same Roman emperor but in different years) is also a stereotype, a pagan celebration closely related […]

26th November 2012

Kouign Amann as a Breton cupcake

Cupcakes are all the rage in France. Our upstairs neighbours run a shop in cupcakes and there was a Dutch lady in our village who gave cupcake lessons to children and adults. She had to go back to the Netherlands. Suddenly the local weekly newspaper had a front-page article announcing that a finalist of a TV cooking contest – Sabrina of Master Chef season 2011, […]