22nd December 2019

Pancakes!

In France, people eat a lot of pancakes. They are flat and called “crèpes” and can be sweet of savoury. In Breton pancake eateries they have savoury “sarazin” crèpes that could rival with pizzas. The “crèpes Suzette” is an alcohol soaked sweet desert. In the Netherlands where I grew up, the pancakes are thicker and can be baked with slices of lard or apples. I […]

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.

18th November 2019

Pasta with clams, Saint Jacob scallops and squid

This weekend was the “Foire aux harengs et à la coquille de St Jacques” in the coastal town of Dieppe but we could not go to the Normandy port.

To mark this weekend of herring and scallops and encourage the hard-working small-boat fishermen there, I made a dish with scallops from my local fishmonger.

2nd October 2019

Rabbit with tomatoes

The butcher had a nice halved rabbit and the neighbours had brought us tomatoes from their harvest, so the combination seemed logical.

14th September 2019

Free-range chicken in a casserole

There is free-range and free-range.. The poultry on sale at the butcher’s or in the supermarket may be labelled free-range but that does not mean they could roam about the farm as their ancestors. There are some poultry farmers around here with large barns where the birds can actually move around and are not squeezed together in cages. We also know some people that keep […]

11th June 2019

Melva with garlic, ginger and soy sauce

At the fishmongers there was a “Melva”, a sturdy fish that looked like tuna but much smaller. I never saw one before. It is also called “false Bonito” as it is the same family as the Bonito but it bleeds more and has a more pronounced flavour. I took it and ended up with a good two kilos of fish. I kept the head and […]