Excursions are such a fun part of our culinary holidays and cookery courses!
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!
Red bell peppers
(I use Fleur de Sel but regular salt is fine)
- Heat the oven broiler to 400F and arrange a rack in the upper third of the oven.
- Put a sheet of foil in the bottom as the liquid from the peppers will drop down.
- 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.
- Remove from oven, place in a plastic bag and let cool for about 20 minutes.
- Peel the skins off and slice open to get out all the seeds, liquid and cut out the membranes.
- Then cut in strips lengthwise about 1/3 “ wide.
- Place strips neatly in a rectangular or square shaped container layer by layer.
- Sprinkle each layer with salt, garlic and cover with olive oil.
- I suggest you prepare a day or more in advance and you can keep this well refrigerated for at least a week.