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Crèpes Suzette

 

                                    

Preparation : 20 minutes – Cooking time : 20 minutes
Necessary equipment: Non-stick crèpe pan.

Ingredients:
For 8-12 crêpes
– 120 grams of flour
– 1 heaping tsp of sugar
– a  pinch of salt
– 33 cl of milk
– 3 eggs

Sauce
– 1 untreated orange, with peel
– 1/4 cup of sugar
– 10 cl of Cognac
– 20 cl of Grand Marnier
– 25 grams of butter

Crèpes
Mix with beaters the following ingredients: 120 grams of flour 1 heaping tsp of sugar a big pinch of salt 33 cl of milk 3 eggs. Batter needs to be quite liquid to get nice thin crepes.

Heat 2-3 TBSP of oil in a crèpe pan and when heated pour out the excess. (you may need to slightly re-oil the pan after a few crèpes). Spead a very thin layer of batter in pan and spread evenly. When slightly browned on one side, turn over and then take out quickly as you do not want crèpes to become crispy.
Stack them on a plate.

Sauce:
Slice orange peel very thinly, using only the orange part of the peel (the white part is not pretty).
In a pan, put orange peel, butter, sugar, orange juice, 10 cl of cognac and 10 cl of Grand Marnier. Bring to a simmer and let simmer for about 30 minutes. The alcohol will evaporate and it will become syropy.

Dip each crèpe into orange syrop and turn to coat each side. Fold into 4ths and place in a serving dish that you can keep warm in oven. 

When ready to serve pour the remaining sauce (hot) over crèpes.
Then heat the other 10 cl of Grand Marnier in a pan, pour over crèpes and light immediately with a match to flambé them in front of your guests.

Should eggs be refrigerated? 

Eggs at room temperature - Cookery Courses France

This depends on where you live.

In the US and a few other countries, eggs are washed in hot water and treated with disinfectant, due to Salmonella, E.coli, listeria, and other bacteria.
 
This sterilisation process eliminates any bacteria that might be on the outer shell but also removes the surface cuticle, which actually protects the egg against contamination. Cold temperatures also degrade this protective film.
 
In most European countries, eggs are kept at a constant “room temperature” from production to the supermarket shelf, to avoid any thermal shock. This is to prevent any condensation from forming, which would allow bacteria to pass between the outer shell and the inside of the egg.
 
There are other good reasons.. the taste of eggs deteriorates when cold (like tomatoes), and cooking with eggs that are room at temperature is preferable.
 
But wherever you live here are a few recommendations:
 
– keep the temperature constant
– keep them in a clean environment, in spite of the protective cuticle, egg shells have millions of little holes that allow other odours to pass.
– keep them in their original carton and not in the refrigerator door where they are regularly bounced about, they don’t like this!
– Above all, buy them as fresh as possible.
 
 
And if you do become a “warm egger …just think of the extra space you’ll have in your fridge  : )

French Cookery Courses, Culinary Holidays, France – Press Articles

Some press articles about La Vie du Chateau’s Cookery Courses & Culinary Holidays

Article on Living France magazine

Article on "Living France" about LVDC's Culinary holidays

Living France Article on LVDC's Culinary Holidays

Article on LVDC's Culinary Holidays

 Article on LVDC's Culinary Holidays in France Article on LVDC's Culinary Vacations in France 

Article about LVDC's Culinary Holidays - The Good Life in France

…Read the full article on The Good Life France

Press article on LVDC's French Cookery Courses

French Culinary Holidays with Excursions

Excursions are such a fun part of our culinary holidays and cookery courses!

We love to jump in the car for an adventure to discover the many wonderful historical and culinary delights of our Anjou region.
 
 

Why men are great cookery students

I don’t know why, when we think about cookery courses, it’s often a woman that comes to mind.

I can honestly say that of the numerous men I’ve been so happy to have in our French culinary holidays, they’re some of the best cooks!

 

They tend to have a little different attitude in the kitchen, more inquisitive and adventurous (they dare to challenge my traditional methods!) and we enjoy trying different ways of doing things, sometimes with great results.
 
This for me, is what makes cooking so fun and what it is all about.
 
So once you’ve got some sound cooking basics, creativity and invention are
the key to having a good time in the kitchen.

 

Culinary Vacations in France – The Open Market

Our weekly Wednesday market is a foodies dream come true! The 2nd largest in our region, with 180 vendors displaying products from near and afar.

Most notable is the abundance of local products, from fruits and vegetables grown right next door to displays of cheeses, charcuteries and the freshest seafood you can get. They arrive straight from the seaside early in the morning and the fish are all clear eyed with bright red gills. Piles of fresh perrywinkles, whelks, muscles and venus clams are all lined up next to the live (still jumping) shrimps.

Christine comes straight from Guérande with her beautiful selection of rock salt, fine salt, fleur de sel and other spices including fresh vanilla pods and salicorne.

You can also find beautiful baskets, kitchen utensils, live chickens and ducks, antique knick knacks, and all sorts of other goods.

The longest line is at the horse meat vendor, but I never go there. Not that I don’t have time to wait but although I am very open minded and sometimes I could eat a cow, I will never eat a horse!

Of course, I have selected my favorite vendors and have become pretty efficient in finding and choosing what I need for the days-weeks cooking.  I usually go with menus sketched out in my head, but with a very open mind and let my inspiration go with all the exciting food to be found.

And then there’s the Sunday market, smaller and in a pretty little square in front of the town theater. The main attraction is the fresh oysters and clams but there is always the usual abundance of produce, poultry, dairy products and flowers… all local!

It’s so fun when I get back to my kitchen and spread out all the ingredients on the table and start preparing delicious dishes, old and new!

Beaujolais Nouveau has arrived!

All throughout France people wait impatiently for the third Thursday of November.

This is the day the vinification process is finished and they are allowed to sell this light and fruity young wine.
 
And it’s presented with much celebration…bistros, wine shops and cheese mongers make festive stands in the side walks and offer free samples of their favorites, along with snacks of cheese and charcuterie.
Some even start at midnight on Wednesday night!
 
The French call it a “vin d’amitié”, friendship wine, because it’s light and easy to drink as an aperitif with a platter of charcuteries and a baguette. 
 

And a great reason to have some friends over and decide which one we like best!

Quince Jelly Recipe

Quince Jelly Recipe

Quince Jelly Recipe

Quince is our last jelly-jam of the year before the winter cold arrives. While we are enjoying the most glorious autumn, the morning freezes are arriving and I figured this is the last chance to get those remaining quinces and make some nice jelly to enjoy this winter. This strange and inedible fruit makes a sublime red jelly that goes so well with foie gras or served with game.

Ingredients

1 and 1/2 kilos of quince

800 grams of sugar

Instructions

  1. Peel the quinces and cut in 4ths. Then cut out the cores and tie them up, with the peels in a cheese cloth. Put this and the quince into a pot and just cover with water, about 1.5 - 2 liters.
  2. Bring to a boil, cover and let cook about 45 mn on a medium fire, until the quinces are very tender.
  3. Then drain all of this (peels and cores too) in a large sieve, pressing at the end to obtain more juice.
  4. If your sieve has large holes, put a cheese cloth inside to prevent the pulp from passing as this would make your jelly a bit murky.
  5. Measure the juice you’ve obtained and count 800 grams of sugar for 1 kilo of juice.
  6. Put this into a pan, on the fire and add sugar, the juice of 1 lemon and a vanilla pod (optional).
  7. Bring to a boil and let cook until it reaches 104° - 105°Celcius.
  8. This takes from 20 - 30 minutes.
  9. As soon as it has reached this temperature, the jelly is done.
  10. Pour while hot into sterilised pots and let cool.
https://www.lavieduchateau.com/quince-jelly-recipe-cookery-courses-france/

Salade Tri Color

Salade Tri Color

Salade Tri Color

Ingredients

Red Bell Peppers

Green Beans

Mushrooms

Instructions

  1. Marinated Red Bell Peppers
  2. Red bell peppers, thinly sliced garlic cloves, olive oil and salt.
  3. In a hot oven, roast peppers just long enough for the skin to start blackening but not too long as to cook the peppers, otherwise they will be mushy. Peel skin while still hot and take out all seeds and inside membranes. Then slice lengthwise.
  4. In a square or rectangular dish or tupperware place a layer of peppers, then salt, garlic slices and cover with olive oil. Keep layering in the same manner until all peppers are used, then cover and refrigerate. This is good to eat a day later and you can keep it easily for a week.
  5. Extra-fine Green Beans “al-dente”
  6. This is best with the super extra-fine greens beans that usually come from Kenya but otherwise use the finest you can get, take out strings.
  7. If you only find bigger ones, cut lengthwise.
  8. Bring to boil a large pot of water, add lots of salt, and then the green beans.
  9. The salt is very important to keep them from discoloring.
  10. When cooked to a still-slightly-crunchy state, take out of hot water and immediately cool in cold running water.
  11. Refrigerate and when ready to serve, add vinaigrette to taste.
  12. If serving hot, just reheat in a pan with a very little water in the bottom.
  13. The key to keeping them green is the very hot water, salt and cooling immediately, so even if you plan to serve hot, you should do all this and then heat up again.
  14. Mushroom Salad
  15. Rinse mushrooms under cold running water (do not immerse) just enough to get any dirt off.
  16. Slice thinly, with a good knife, to get pretty and neat slices. Immediately add a little lemon juice to prevent coloring.
  17. Just before serving add vinaigrette.
  18. Arrange the three ingredients on plates in a pretty and neat way (I use my hands).
https://www.lavieduchateau.com/salade-tri-color-recipe-french-cooking-courses/

Roasted-Marinated Bell Peppers

Roasted-Marinated Red Bell Peppers

Roasted-Marinated Red Bell Peppers

Ingredients

Red bell peppers

Salt

(I use Fleur de Sel but regular salt is fine)

Garlic cloves

Olive oil

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven broiler to 400F and arrange a rack in the upper third of the oven.
  2. Put a sheet of foil in the bottom as the liquid from the peppers will drop down.
  3. When oven is hot place the peppers directly on the rack and roast, turning once so they blacken a bit on both sides, about 15-20 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven, place in a plastic bag and let cool for about 20 minutes.
  5. Peel the skins off and slice open to get out all the seeds, liquid and cut out the membranes.
  6. Then cut in strips lengthwise about 1/3 “ wide.
  7. Place strips neatly in a rectangular or square shaped container layer by layer.
  8. Sprinkle each layer with salt, garlic and cover with olive oil.
  9. Refrigerate.
  10. I suggest you prepare a day or more in advance and you can keep this well refrigerated for at least a week.
https://www.lavieduchateau.com/roasted-marinated-bell-peppers/

Rabbit in a Riesling Jelly

Rabbit in a Riesling Jelly

Rabbit in a Riesling Jelly

Ingredients

1 rabbit - completely de-boned, gutted, etc.

Try to get your rabbit provider to do this for you as it is quite a lot of trouble to do yourself (but do-able).

Thin slices of back fat (barde), enough to line the bottom of the terrine.

250 grams of thick bacon slices, cut into small strips

2 carrots- sliced

2 small to medium onions – finely sliced

2 bay leaves

2 cups of white wine, preferably riesling

1 shot glass of cognac

2 sheets of gelatin or 1 envelope of unflavored gelatin powder (Knox?)

Thyme, salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Line the bottom of a terrine with fat strips.
  2. Put a layer of rabbit, then bacon pieces, onions, carrots, salt, pepper thyme and bay leaves (torn into bits).
  3. Continue making several layers until all ingredients are placed in terrine (do not press the ingredients down because you want to keep air pockets that the wine and gelatin can fill in). Cover with wine.
  4. Put cover on terrine and bake in oven at 350° Fahrenheit, for 1-½ hours.
  5. Then add cognac and finish baking for another 30 minutes.
  6. When terrine is done baking, carefully pour out hot liquid and mix with the gelatin powder.
  7. If you are using gelatin sheets, soften them in cold water for 5 minute beforehand.
  8. Then re-pour this gelatin-wine-cognac mixture back over the rabbit terrine. Refrigerate overnight or longer!
  9. Serve cold, sliced, on lettuce leaf and with some pickles.
  10. Trick to getting it out of the terrine: Soak briefly in hot water, just enough so that it comes out of terrine when turned upside down. You should pass a knife around the sides before turning upside down. I recommend you cutting the slices yourself before serving as it will fall apart easily. Use a very sharp or electric knife. You can also cut and serve directly from the terrine mold if you will only be serving some of the slices.
https://www.lavieduchateau.com/rabbit-riesling-jelly/

Omelette Mère Poulard (Mother Poulard)

Omelette Mère Poulard (Mother Poulard)

Omelette Mère Poulard (Mother Poulard)

Mère Poulard makes the most legendary omelette in France. Cooked over an open fire, in a copper pan with a very long handle. Although her recipe is a well kept secret, many french chefs claim to know the secret and there is a plethora of theories.. no whites, whites whipped separately, adding creme fraiche, using good fresh normandy butter, etc etc. But no one really knows! So if you visit Mont Saint Michel, and can afford a €35 omelette, it’s a historic experience.

Ingredients

4 eggs

12 cl of creme fraiche

Salt and pepper

40 gr of butter

Optional: Mushrooms, cheese and lardons.

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, crack open 2 eggs.
  2. Add the yolks of 2 more, leaving 2 whites aside.
  3. Whip the eggs on low speed for 5 minutes and add the creme fraiche, beating for another 3 minutes.
  4. Add salt and pepper.
  5. Whip the 2 other whites into soft peaks and fold gently into the rest of the eggs.
  6. Melt butter in a non-stick frying pan and pour egg mixture into the hot pan.
  7. Cook slowly until the surface is still slightly liquid, fold in half, about 5 minutes.
  8. If you add cheese, sprinkle on top while cooking.
  9. Mushrooms and Lardons should be fried separately and sprinkled on top before folding.
  10. Serve immediately while it’s still hot, with a green salad and/or fried potatos.
https://www.lavieduchateau.com/omelette-mere-poulard-mother-poulard/