Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic, revisited

Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic, revisited

The chicken with 40 cloves of garlic is one of those rustic traditional dishes that are a pleasure to make and eat. Forty is just an approximative figure, as in Alibaba and the forty thieves, but there is indeed a lot of garlic in it. You do not peel the garlic but let it cook in oil so that you get a puree that can be spread out on bread. I decided to make a variation and added cubes of raw celery and sweet potato to the garlic in the oil and it was delicious. Continue reading

Sole with clams and crushed potatoes

Sole with clams and crushed potatoes

We often go to Dieppe and buy fresh fish there on the quay, walk around the market and have lunch in one of the many restaurants.

A favourite place often serves “crushed potatoes’ as a side dish – cooked potatoes crushed with a fork and some cream for smoothness.

Back home, I tried my version to accompany a dish of small sole with a clam sauce. Continue reading

Cauliflower soup with Avesnes cheese and smoked ham

Cauliflower soup with Avesnes cheese and smoked ham

Cauliflower is a very healthy vegetable with anti-cancer and detox properties. However, it stinks when cooking and has a very bland taste. Basically, it is boring and needs something to liven it up.

Often it is combined with cheese, as in the British cauliflower cheese dish or the Dutch cauliflower with cheese sauce dish.

In France, cauliflower is often prepared with a white sauce of cream and flour (béchamel) to which grated cheese can be added (mornay) and also ham.

Here, I make a soup of the cauliflower and add a pungent and spicy cheese – Boulette d’Avesnes.

It is another cheese from the North, made up mainly (95 %) of left-over Maroilles cheese with added herbs and spices such as parsley,tarragon, clove and paprika.

It has a conical shape and is red on the outside because of the paprika. I also add smoked ham, preferably Ardennes ham to stick to the Hainault area of northern France and southern Belgium. Continue reading

Poulet au Maroilles

Chicken with Maroilles sauce

We were in the north of France recently and had lunch with a friend who had prepared a regional dish of chicken legs with Maroilles sauce. Maroilles, named after a town, is a very pungent soft cow cheese that is produced in the Avesnois region in the north.
Our host, Nathalie Banckaert, made the dish with chicken legs cooked in a stock with wine and made the sauce from cheese, cream and wine and she presented it with noodles.
In “my” version, I braised chicken tights in butter, deglaced with 3 Monts beer from the north, and put shallots and cheese in the remaining cooking juices for a sauce. I presented it with potatoes.
If you do not have Maroilles, another pungent cheese like Epoisses, Pont l’Evêque, Livarot, a Belgian Hervé or Dutch Rommedou will do, or a « Limbuger ». For the beer, any strong brown beer is fine.

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Because food is more than fuel for the body

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