Veal kidney with ceps and pasta

There was an offer on veal kidney on the market and I bought some. Two went straight into the freezer and one was for a weekend meal.

I had been reading several recipes, and discussed it with my hairdresser as one does in France. What had caught my eye is that in several Italian recipes (for rognoni) the kidneys are first put in a bowl of water with some vinegar, then dried and sprinkled with flour.

The French just put the rognons in a skillet and then remove them to discard the first juices, before resuming cooking. Continue reading “Veal kidney with ceps and pasta”

Quiche with dandelions, Camembert and salami

When I was young there was a best-selling book called ‘Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche” about macho prejudice. Well, I am not a real man then.
Quiche, the name, comes from the local dialect in Lorraine that has German influences and sounds a bit like “Kuche” for pie.
The Quiche Lorraine is the most famous version, first recorded in the accounts of the Nancy hospital in 1605. The Quiche Loraine is a crust pie filled with bacon and cream.
I made a spring version with dandelions, leek and onion and topped it with some leftover Camembert cheese.

Continue reading “Quiche with dandelions, Camembert and salami”

‘Pigeon as a toad’ – spatchcocked pigeon from the grill

One of the joys of living in a small town like Saint-Germain-en-Laye is that the local shop and stall keepers know your reputation for being a cook and being interested in seasonal and good products. I discuss soups with the wife of the butcher or recipes for stuffed chicken breast with the cheese shop owner.

So when I went to the open air town market the other day, the poultry man interrupted serving a client and told me “I have a good offer on pigeons”. The woman he was serving believed he talked to her and uttered some words of incomprehension, but he did get me on the hook as I waited to see what the offer was – two pigeons for 15 euro instead of 19. Well, why not. I had been roasting pigeons and made the classical “pigeon with peas” several times but it is not yet the season for fresh peas. I wanted to use my electric grill and decided to make what is called pigeon à la crapaudine “pigeon as a toad”. – spatchcocked pigeon.

Continue reading “‘Pigeon as a toad’ – spatchcocked pigeon from the grill”

Rabbit stew with prunes in Belgian beer

For some reason I often associate rabbit with Belgium and like to make a rabbit stew with prunes in Belgian beer.

Perhaps because we had a rabbit when I was young and it was a Belgian race that grew rather fast. My parents thought they had bought a “dwarf “ rabbit that would live quietly in its cage and eat carrots, lettuce and other greens.

Instead we had a big beast that needed to run outside. It did not stay with us for long and I do not remember whether we ate any rabbit.

In French cuisine, the rabbit is often stewed with prunes that add a sweet taste to the meat and some colouring. Sometimes they add ginger bread or bread with mustard. I reserve the mustard for another rabbit dish.

Continue reading “Rabbit stew with prunes in Belgian beer”

Babi Pangang, a stowaway recipe for spicy roasted pork belly

Some recipes live a life of their own and obtain fame in a country far away from where a dish is supposed to have originated.

So it is with Babi pangang, a famous dish in the Netherlands widely available in Chinese and Indonesian restaurants.

In itself, the name Babi panggang is Malay for roasted pig.  In Indonesia, the people are for almost 90 per cent Muslim and do not eat pork.

But there are people, like the Batak of North Sumatra, that do eat pork and have dishes of charcoal roasted pork with sauces of blood or with spicy sambal. Continue reading “Babi Pangang, a stowaway recipe for spicy roasted pork belly”