Wienerschnitzel in the Ariège

Here in the southwest of France, I can buy rather good meat straight from the producer and my recipes tend to remain simple to obtain the most of the natural taste and flavour. But this time I decided to turn two nice veal cutlets into schnitzels in the Vienna fashion. First you flatten the meat … Read more

Sambal – A chilli sauce with Indonesian roots

The other day we saw a big bag of fresh red peppers at the greengrocer’s for just one euro because some had a few spots. We did not hesitate to buy them to make homemade sambal. Sambal is a chilli sauce from Indonesia. Perhaps sauce is not the right word, it is more a paste. A thick sauce. There are many varieties and recipes, you can add many ingredients from tomatoes to shrimp. Here I kept it simple with just an onion, garlic, soy sauce and brown sugar as well as some sunflower oil.

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Artichoke and hake

We spent a week in Brittany, on the coast, where we saw the sea with oysters and lobsters, and close to the sea there were large fields with vegetables.

Brittany is a big producer of cauliflower, tomatoes and artichokes, the large variety.

However, when I wanted to buy some at a local farm, the farmer said he had none left because of a dry spell. Back home, near Paris, we did find artichoke on the market.

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Milan-style Ossobuco and ceps risotto

The other day I made a grilled chicken with lemon and did not feel like throwing the remains away so I turned it into a chicken stock. Then my wife suggested I made risotto and then I saw nice veal shank at the butcher’s. The ossobuco, “bone with a hole” can be made in advance and is even nicer when reheated. It also takes several hours. Risotto is best eaten straight off the stove, because of the grated cheese, but leftovers can be reheated later.

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Marinated mackerel with herbs

One of the many specialities of restaurant along the Channel in France, as in Dieppe, are marinated mackerel which is eaten cold as a starter. They sometimes use small, young, mackerel called “Lisette” which is caught on lines that contain many hooks.

At the local market here, the fishmonger had a few boxes of mackerel at an interesting price and he offered an extra discount if I took three kilos. I decided to make marinated mackerel to store in jars.

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Lemon jam (marmalade)

The other day we walked around on the Saturday market in Dieppe and there was a stall with great-looking lemons. They were from Menton, which is at the Mediterranean while Dieppe lies at the English Channel. Nevertheless, Menton lemons are known for their quality and for being non-treated (that means they have not been sprayed with chemicals to make them look nice and resist insects) and therefore you can use their skin as zest.

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A Dutch treat – pancakes

I know this blog is about French cuisine, but I remain a Dutchman living in France so sometimes I serve something plain from my home country.

Pancakes is one of those dishes. France is well-known for its crêpes, thin pancakes of flour or buckwheat and eaten plain, with sugar or in more complicated combinations. The local crêperie here lists dozens of varieties, in the savoury and sweet versions.

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Lobster, just as she comes

Normally I do not buy lobster in my village or in Paris and prefer to buy them along the coast where they are fresh and cheaper. But the other day, at the close of the Sunday market, while we were heading to have lunch in a restaurant, a fishmonger caught my attention to his two last lobsters. One was a large blue animal, the other smaller and brown. Both were clearly alive. He made a good price – the same as what I pay at the coast, outside the festive season when prices sky rocket – and we took two lobsters out to lunch.

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Rabbit with mustard and prunes

Rabbit meat is very popular in France which is the fourth-largest producer in the world after China, Italy and Spain with 40 million animals consumed per year. Rabbit meat is a lean kind of meat with little cholesterol but with plenty of proteins, minerals and Omega 3 fatty acids. The quality of the meat depends, … Read more