I recently found a website through which you can order fresh products from selected small producers. It works like a kind of market, you have a deadline by which you have to place your orders, the products get prepared and packaged and delivered at your doorstep. Even when you order at several producers, it arrives in one parcel.
The website is called Tauziet and Co. It started with the Ferme de Tauziet who makes cans of lamprey cooked in vintage Bordeaux wines. Now it has dozens of producers.
I ordered various thinks, meats as well as tinned and smoked fish.
The products would be delivered cooled for freshness by Chronopostfood, a unit of Chronopost.
But when a van stopped in front of the house, it was the same Subra local delivery firm that also brings me parcels for DHL, FedEx or other firms as it controls the “last mile” here in the rural area.
The box was cold and all the products were sealed.
One of the items I had ordered was a pigeon from the Gers.
I still had some broad beans from the market and a dish of cherries that we picked in the village.
- One pigeon (for two)
- 300 grams broad beans (podded)
- 150 grams of cherries
- One clove of garlic
- One fresh leave of sage and thyme
- Black pepper
- Some olive oil
- Chicken stock (I have that prepared in the fridge in used water bottles)
- Rinse the cherries in cold water
- Blanche the beans in boiling water for 3 minutes, drain and put in cold water, then take them out of their skins.
- Put the garlic and herbs inside the pigeon, put the bird in an oven dish and sprinkle with black pepper.
- Put it in the oven for 10 minutes, then turn for another ten minutes while adding some olive oil.
- After these 20 minutes, add some of the stock and cook another 10 minutes.
- Extinguish the heat and allow the bird to rest in the oven with the door open.
- Put some butter in a small casserole and when the foam has subsided add the beans and cherries. Stir well and add some chicken stock and continue to cook until the stock has evaporated.
- Present the bird with the vegetables before carving and serving.
I was in a jam mood, I nearly bought a real copper confiture basin but it would not have worked on my induction stove. Most jams are sweet, but this one is more sweet and sour, and very refreshing.
Of course I made a huge mistake. While it is the high season for jams made from red fruits, it is not the season for lemon or lime at all. The best lemons in France, the Menton lemons, are sold in the first quarter of the year and the lime from November to March.
Continue reading Lemon and lime jam
I am lucky to have a good, well-provided and reasonably priced butcher’s. Sometimes, however, I run into something even better when I have the possibility to buy directly from the producer.
In France you can go and visit a farm, you can order online or you can find them on producers’ markets and that is how I got to know the people of the Ferme du Grémonval – François and Fabienne Demarais – who rear boar, dear and cows on their large farm grounds near Neufchatel in Normandy, best know for its cheese.
We’ve met them at several markets and we have been twice to their farm. The last time they were in our neighbourhood I had bought some veal.
Continue reading Veal roast with apples and cider
This is one of those French classical recipes that have many variations and of which the roots are not clear. Chef René Lasserre made it famous in his Paris restaurant in 1945, but the dish can have been brought to France by the cooks of Catherine de Medicis , who brought several refinements to the French court of Henry II, not least the usage of forks.
The sweet and sour taste combination, still used in Chinese cooking, was popular in the late Middle Ages as several recipe collection books can attest.
There are apparently also traces of the recipe in Seville, where bitter oranges grew after Arabs took them to there from east Asia.
The French current version uses sweet oranges and sugar as well as vinegar. Continue reading Canard à l’Orange (Duck with oranges)
At lunch parties, certainly in France, there is an expectation that there will be a starter, a main course and dessert, perhaps even with cheese before the dessert.
So how do you keep all that light? And how do you make it look interesting and taste surprising? Continue reading A verrine recipe of grapefruit, wasabi egg white and prawns