Posts Tagged: french food


18
May 10

French Fancy

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I’m off for a few days to France and can’t wait to get stuck into some French fare. The cuisine of our neighbours is hugely diverse and much of what we think of as ‘French food’ is only a very small picture of a dynamic and varied food culture.

The people of France are fiercely proud of their regionality and this, in many cases, is showcased most clearly through their food, from the rich, warming cheese-based dishes of the Savoie (any skier will be familiar with these) to the light, fresh, Mediterranean influenced dishes of the South.
I can’t wait to visit the markets, shops and producers, getting ideas and inspiration from a whole new food scene, cooking across long afternoons in a roomy French kitchen.

I’m rather covetous when it comes to food – I tend to save things for rainy days. I’ve still got a jar of honey my sister bought me from Bergerac last year that comes out on special occasions – to garnish thick, Greek yogurt or to be spread, thickly, on toast with lashings of butter.

So watch this space for some Franco-themed food, coming your way!


16
Jul 09

A simple French salad

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Trawling through my old recipes often turns up a forgotten gem – and it’s always with a little bit of joy that I remember the flavours and wonder why I haven’t cooked this or that for ages. This recipe is what our French cousins are so very good at – taking the healthy and turning it into something distinctly naughty.

Now, strictly this is an Alpine dish, so in theory one should do some serious trekking before tucking in without the faintest glimmer of guilt, but a brisk walk around the garden should suffice.

It’s perfect for a British summer and will convert even the most resolute of meat n’ two veg eaters. A little something for everyone.

Salade Savoyarde

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 200g Beaufort cheese (you could use Comte or Gruyère)
  • 200g lardons or diced bacon
  • 400g potatoes
  • 50g walnuts
  • 50g bread, cubed
  • 1 head Frisée or a bag of mixed salad
  • 1 carrot, grated

For the dressing

  • 2 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 5 tbs olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Method

Peel the potatoes and boil them in salted water until tender, a matter of some 15 minutes or so. Drain, and when cool enough to handle, cut into 1/2 centimetre slices and set aside.

Cut the cheese into pieces roughly the same size as the lardons.

Toast the walnuts in a dry pan for a few minutes, then tip them out and fry the lardons in the same pan until crisp. Set these aside also.

Fry the croutons – you may need to add some butter to the pan if there isn’t enough bacon fat. Drain them on kitchen paper when done.

Allow everything to cool slightly, before lightly tossing together with the frisée and the grated carrot.

Whisk the ingredients for the dressing, or shake in a jam jar. Pour over the salad and season. Serve with crusty bread.

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