Pan-roasted burbot tails with smoked ham

Yes, burbot. Aka Mariah, freshwater ling, coney-fish.

It is a very old species with a kind of spine instead of bones, as well as a rather large mouth, and does not win beauty prizes.

On French market stalls you find it already skinned, gutted and beheaded in appetising white parts.

The burbot lives in fresh or brackish water, such as river estuaries, and it looks like the salt-water monkfish, than lives further out in sea from the river mouth. The tails of the monkfish are also sold in France as “lotte”, just for confusion. Continue reading Pan-roasted burbot tails with smoked ham

Pasta with snails

Here in France we eat snails. Not alive, but pre-cooked. You can buy them in jars and on a recent journey in the Creuse I had bought one from a local producer.

The jar sat in the fridge for several weeks and I needed to come up with a plan to use them.

The classic way to eat snails is to cook them and put them back in their shells with a garlic-and-parsley butter. I did not want to use butter, as it is fat, and did not have shells. Continue reading Pasta with snails

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.

Continue reading Artichoke and hake

Chicken with lemon, onion and marjoram

My wife is growing herbs in a window box and she recently had a relatively large harvest of marjoram. I could have used it on a pizza dish but the dough and cheese would have been rather heavy, especially with the current heat.

I stumbled on this recipe. The combination of lemon and chicken is a pleasant one and I used it in roast chicken. Here, the procedure is slightly different.

The result was very pleasant. We were left with a lot of sauce afterwards that could be used to accompany other dishes.

Continue reading Chicken with lemon, onion and marjoram

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