Sometimes a dish creates itself when you walk around the market. The fishing season for scallops had opened and I wanted to do a simple spaghetti dish with it. The greengrocer’s had some of the last ceps – small brown button mushrooms from the Millevaches plateau in Corrèze, between Limoges and Ussel.
I cooked the ceps and scallops separately in butter. Then I brought a pan of salted water to the boil and added the spaghetti to cook until “al dente” – with bite but not too tough nor too weak. I heated up a bit of cream, added some lemon juice and mixed that with the spaghetti, scallops and ceps. After a few turns of the pepper mill, I added some chopped flat parsley.
One of the earliest kind of game on the markets is grouse. In France it is imported from Scotland. The poultry man assured it was hunted grouse but I have my doubts due to the quantities – I fear the bird is reared and then shot. At least this means there is less of a burden on the wild population. Continue reading
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
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 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