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 “Cauliflower soup with Avesnes cheese and smoked ham” »
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.
Continue reading “Chicken with Maroilles sauce” »
Liver, and especially calves liver, is full of nutrients. Offal are cheap compared to the more noble cuts of meat but a good piece of young calves liver costs a bit more while remaining good value.
Liver is often paired with onion. On the one hand, going back to the theme of economically priced offal, onions were usually abundant.
Continue reading “Venetian-style calves’ liver with onions” »
This is a very pleasant and nutritious soup for when you are trying to lose weight after spending some nice holidays. I found some interesting beef shank at the supermarket – my butcher’s is closed for a few weeks – and started by making a beef broth. The next day I removed the (little) fat from the stock and added vegetables, chervil and pasta. The chervil gives it a nice anise-like flavour.
Continue reading “Beef and chervil soup with pasta” »
This is another version of quail grilled on the barbecue.
Here I removed the breast bone and flattened the bird and then wrapped strips of bacon around it.
I grilled it for 15 minutes and then put it in the oven at 180 °C for another 20 minutes.