Tag Archives: French Cuisine

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/

Moroccan Chicken (Poulet Marocain)

Moroccan Chicken

Serving Size: 6

Moroccan Chicken

Ingredients

1 nice big chicken

1 large onion, chopped

2 tomatoes, chopped

2 big moroccan pickled lemons

Green olives (pitted)

1-2 cups water or chicken broth

Olive oil, salt

2 tsp of Ras El Hanout

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground turmeric

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1-2 cups water or chicken broth

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 250°C
  2. Rub oil all over chicken and sprinkle with salt.
  3. Bake in oven for approximately 1 hour.
  4. While chicken is roasting, chop onions and brown in a little olive oil
  5. in a large pan.
  6. Add Ras El Hanout, cumin, turmeric, and pepper to onions.
  7. Cook about 10 minutes, stirring, until onion is cooked.
  8. Add chopped tomatoes. Cut lemons into small slices and add to pan.
  9. Add a little water (or chicken broth) and let simmer, adding liquid
  10. regularly to always have just the right saucy-juicy consistency.
  11. When chicken is done, take out of pan and carve, then arrange on a
  12. serving platter and keep warm.
  13. Mix the “jus”of the chicken in with the sauce and pour sauce around chicken.
  14. Serve immediately with plain couscous
https://www.lavieduchateau.com/moroccan-chicken-poulet-marocain/

Crémet d’Angers

Crémet d'Angers

Crémet d'Angers

Ingredients

300 grams of fromage blanc

The closest thing would be farmer’s cheese or cottage cheese

75 grams of white sugar

20 centiliters of whipping cream

2 egg whites (use the yolks for mayonnaise!)

Instructions

  1. Drain cheese for 24 hours (Draining containers: 1 per person or 1 big one)
  2. Prepare small containers that have draining baskets inside, lining them with gauze
  3. Beat the cheese with sugar until smooth
  4. Whip the cream until well whipped
  5. Beat egg whites until they hold a soft peak
  6. Blend the 3 ingredients very gently and fill containers as full as possible
  7. Let drain for another 24 hours in refrigerator
  8. When ready to serve, take draining basket out of container and carefully turn over onto plate, peeling the gauze off carefully
  9. Serve with a Rasberry Coulis
https://www.lavieduchateau.com/cremet-angers/

7 Hour Lamb

7 Hour Lamb

7 Hour Lamb

There are many versions of this in France, a classic dish that is often served on Easter Sunday. This is my “Lots to do today+Dinner party+No time to slave away in the kitchen” version. You will impress your guests as they dig in with a spoon and they will think you did spend your day cooking!

Ingredients

1 leg of lamb

Keep the bone in but have just enough cut off so that it fits in your dutch oven. Oval ones work best.

10 garlic cloves

6 tomatoes

3-4 onions

1- 1/2 cups of beef bouillon

Beer or red wine to cover leg of lamb

I use a Belgian Abbey beer, Leffe Blond

Herbes de provence

(savory, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, oregano)

Espelette pepper (Basque chili pepper)

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Brown well the leg of lamb on both sides in the dutch oven with a little oil or butter. Throw in whole garlic cloves and let them brown a little.
  2. Cut onions into 6-8 parts and brown in another frying pan.
  3. Cut tomatoes into 4ths then add the onions and tomatoes to the lamb.
  4. Add herbes, peppers, beef bouillon and then add beer or wine to just barely cover the lamb.
  5. Bring this to a simmer and keep it at a very low simmer for 7 hours.
  6. Be careful not to let boil strongly as this will toughen the lamb.
  7. Half way through, carefully turn the leg over with 2 large spatulas or very large spoons.
  8. 30 minutes (or earlier) before you are ready to serve, if there is too much liquid in the pot, raise the heat to reduce this to a nice thick saucy consistence. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.
  9. Carefully lift the lamb out, keeping it on one piece, and place into a serving plate, deep enough to hold the sauce and vegetables. Serve with large spoon.
  10. I serve this with couscous/semolina in a separate dish.
https://www.lavieduchateau.com/7-hour-lamb/

Mousseline de Choufleur Caviar

Mousseline Choufleur Caviar

Serving Size: Ingredients for 4 persons

Mousseline Choufleur Caviar

Ingredients

½ cauliflower broken/cut into bouquets

1 cube of chicken bouillon

20 cl (1cup) of whipping cream* (crème liquide)

juice of ½ of a lemon

a “filet” (Tbsp) of hazelnut oil

caviar or lumpfish roe (black fish eggs)

salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Boil a pot of water with the chicken bouillon.
  2. Wash the cauliflower bouquets and put in boiling water (with the chicken bouillon) for about 15 minutes, until tender.
  3. Drain cauliflower and mix in food processor or blender with ½ of the whipping crème, the lemon juice and hazelnut oil.
  4. Whip the other ½ of whipping cream until firm, add salt and pepper, then add this to the cauliflower preparation, folding in gently so that the whipped cream doesn’t fall.
  5. Put in pretty glasses or verrines and chill in refridgerator for 2 hours.
  6. Serve cool/cold with a small spoon of caviar or lump eggs on top.
  7. 20 centiliters is equivalent to 0.84 cups but you can use a full cup!
  8. http://www.convertunits.com/from/cL/to/cup
https://www.lavieduchateau.com/mousseline-de-choufleur-caviar/

Flourless Chocolate Cake (Quatre-Quarts au Chocolat)

Flourless Chocolate Cake (Quatre-quarts au Chocolat)

Flourless Chocolate Cake (Quatre-quarts au Chocolat)

Ingredients

4 eggs

about 275 grams of good quality dark chocolat: minimum 70 % cocoa

(In order of preference…Valrhona, Lindt, Nestle)

about 275 grams of sugar

about 275 grams of butter

Instructions

  1. Weigh the 4 eggs to define the weight of all other ingredients.
  2. Whatever they weigh is how much you need of each other ingredient. Eg: 4 french eggs weigh 275 grams.
  3. Cut a piece of parchment paper in a circle that will fit into the bottom of your cake pan, not up the sides.
  4. Butter the bottom of the pan and put the parchment paper. Then butter the parchment paper and the sides of pan and coat with powdered cocoa, this replaces using flour for when you de-pan.
  5. Break chocolate into small pieces and melt in a double boiler. When melted, add butter and gently mix until butter is melted then remove from heat and let cool.
  6. While chocolate is cooling, in 2 separate mixing bowls, separate egg whites and yolks.
  7. Beat egg whites until fluffy but not too dry.
  8. Add sugar to egg yolks and mix with beaters until light and a litlle frothy.
  9. Pour chocolate slowly into egg yolk mixture until just blended then gently fold in egg whites.
  10. Pour batter into cake pan and bake at 350 F for about 45 minutes. The cake will rise slowly and when the center has risen and a knife comes out clean it’s done.
  11. Let cool a little and turn out carefully onto a flat surface, peel parchment paper off then turn back over onto cake dish.

Notes

Absolutely decadent served with Crème Anglaise!

https://www.lavieduchateau.com/flourless-chocolate-cake/

French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup

Ingredients

4 big onions

50 grams of butter

2 TBSP of oil

1 TBSP of flour

25 cl of white wine

1 liter of water

salt and pepper

6 slices of white bread

100 grams of Comte cheese

Optional:1/2 cube of chicken bouillon for extra taste

Instructions

  1. Chop onion into relatively small bits and brown in the butter and oil.
  2. (adding a little oil to butter prevents the butter from burning)
  3. When onions become translucent and slightly browned, add flour and let cook for 2 minutes more.
  4. Then add white wine and reduce.
  5. When there is almost no more liquid in the pan, add water (with chicken bouillon).
  6. Cover and let simmer for approximately 20 minutes.
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Toast the bread and set in the bottom of the soup bowls.
  9. Sprinkle half of the grated cheese on top of the bread and pour the onion soup over this to fill the bowls, then sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top and grill in the oven until cheese is golden brown.

Notes

You will need soup bowls that can go in the oven!

https://www.lavieduchateau.com/french-onion-soup/

Boeuf Bourguignon

Boeuf Bourguignon

Boeuf Bourguignon

Ingredients

Beef* - 800 grams

(cut into about 1.5 inch cubes, taking off any big fatty parts)

Lardons* - 150 grams

Onions* - 5

(average/large yellow onions, cut into 6 parts)

Carrots - 5

(peeled and cut into 1 inch parts)

Mushrooms* - 200 grams

1 Bouquet garni*

1 garlic clove, slightly crushed

1 bottle of decent red wine

(don’t waste your money on anything fancy)

1 Beef bouillon cube (optional)

Chopped parsley

100 gr of butter

Tbsp of cooking oil

3 rounded Tbsp flour

Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Brown onions in a large frying pan with the butter and oil.
  2. When nicely browned, put into cooking pot, reserving the butter to brown the meat.
  3. Brown meat very well on all sides, adding more butter if needed.
  4. When the meat is well browned and cooked, sprinkle with flour and let cook another couple of minutes, mixing from time to time to get the flour cooked.
  5. Put into pot with onions and deglaze frying pan with a glass of water, bringing it to a simmer and scraping all the residue from the pan, and add to pot.
  6. Fry lardons until browned and add to pot, deglazing again the frying pan.
  7. Add carrots to pot and then pour wine in until the meat is just barely covered.
  8. (1/2 wine - 1/2 water also works)
  9. If you add too much wine, your dish will be too liquid.
  10. I add a cube of beef bouillon for extra taste.
  11. Let simmer for at least 2 1/2 hours and add mushrooms. cook at least 30 minutes more.
  12. Add more wine/water if necessary to have a nice amount of sauce but not too liquid.
  13. Put into serving dish and sprinkle with a little chopped fresh parsley.
  14. Serve with steamed potatoes or if you want to make it fancier, Pommes Duchesse.

Notes

* Beef - When the butcher trims the cuts of beef that have been ordered, or the meat for his display, he reserves all the left over pieces, which he sells as Boeuf Bourguignon. Therefore, there is no special piece of meat, but you can ask for collier, la pointe de culotte, etc. cut in 1 1/2 inch cubes.

* Onions - You can replace the yellow onions with small pearl or cippolini onions, to make the dish look a little nicer but they are annoying to peel. And you should take them out of the pot for part of the cooking so they don’t fall apart.

* Lardons - 1/4 inch thick slices of bacon, cut into small strips, crosswise. You can find the uncut bacon, salted or smoked, at the butcher shop and ask them to cut it into 1/4 inch strips. You will then cut these crosswise into little 1/4 inch strips.

*Mushrooms - cut into small parts depending on their size, small button mushrooms can be left whole.

* Bouquet garni - is a bundle of herbs tied together with string and mainly used to prepare soup, stock, and various stews. The bouquet is cooked with the other ingredients, but is removed prior to consumption.

I often cheat with a vegetable bouillon cube, of which we get good quality organic ones in the super market.

The key to a delicious Boeuf Bourguignon is the infusion af all the ingredients.

For the best results:

Make it a day (or two!) before, cook at a low simmer for 2-3 hours, let cool and re-simmer later on for 1-2 hours.

Add more wine/water if necessary to have a nice amount of sauce but not too liquid.

https://www.lavieduchateau.com/boeuf-bourguignon/

 

Cheese Soufflé (Soufflé au Fromage)

Cheese Soufflé (Soufflé au Fromage)

Cheese Soufflé (Soufflé au Fromage)

Ingredients

30 grams of butter

30 grams of flour

25 cl of skimmed milk

4 egg yolks

6 egg whites

150 grams of grated comte, gruyere or emmental(order of preference)

Salt, pepper and nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C
  2. Prepare soufflé dishes by buttering very generously the sides and then covering with bread crumbs.
  3. Bread crumbs work better than flour because this prevents the batter from sticking to the sides, thus allowing it to rise more easily.
  4. Melt butter in a frying pan on medium heat.
  5. As soon as it begins to foam, add flour and mix with a wire whisk to obtain a roux that is white and smooth.
  6. Let this cook for a minute then add milk, little by little, whipping so as to not get lumps.
  7. Once all the milk is blended, cook a little while, whipping all the time, then remove from heat and season to your taste.
  8. Separate the egg yolks from the whites being careful not to get any of the yolk in the whites.
  9. Add the egg yolks to the bechamel one by one, mixing all the time.
  10. Then add the grated cheese.
  11. Beat egg whites, with a pinch of salt, until fluffy and firm but not too dry.
  12. Fold in gently to batter and pour into dishes, filling about 2/3rd high and not more than 3/4.
  13. Bake for 20 – 30 minutes without opening the oven. You can watch them rise and it should be obvious when they are ready.
  14. Serve immediately because as they say in French “The guests can wait for the soufflé but the soufflé doesn’t wait for anyone”.

Notes

Important rules:

-Eggs should be room temperature, the whites will be fluffier.

-Do not open the oven while the soufflé is cooking as the air will make them fall.

-Butter and flour very well the sides of the mold so that the batter does not stick. -Preheat oven well in advance. If the temperature is not right the soufflé will not rise well.

Timing: You can keep the batter hot in a bain-marie before you’ve added the whites but the whites must be added at the last minute. The soufflé must be served immediately out of the oven. Count about 45 minutes from the time you begin to beat the egg whites

Making a soufflé can be very intimidating but it is not rocket science. It’s actually quite simple but you just need to follow carefully some very specific steps.

– The soufflé dish must have smooth and straight vertical sides and it should be higher than it is wide. Terra cotta works best for heat repartition.

https://www.lavieduchateau.com/souffle-au-fromage-recipe/

Fennel Parmesan Salad (Salade de Fenouil et Parmesan)

Fennel Parmesan Salad (Salade de Fenouil et Parmesan)

Fennel Parmesan Salad (Salade de Fenouil et Parmesan)

Ingredients

Very fresh fennel bulbs, as big as you can find.

Good quality Reggiano Parmesan cheese (not Grana Padano, not grated)

Fleur de Sel (or other good rock salt), I use Guerande

Lemo

Instructions

  1. Cut off the fine leafy tips and reserve.
  2. Slice Fennel bulb in half lengthwise, rinse and dry.
  3. Place the open sliced part down on cutting board and slice very thin, crosswise so that the fibers get cut with each slice.
  4. Keep the large slices separate from the smaller/greener branch slices for presentation purposes.
  5. Spread the larger slices first in a large flat dish, then the smaller branch slices on top.
  6. Sprinkle with fleur de sel, quite generously, then squeeze the juice of 1 lemon over the dish.
  7. Slice parmesan cheese paper thin and spread out over fennel.
  8. Then chop a little, or just break apart, the leafy tips and sprinke on the dish.
  9. Voila!
https://www.lavieduchateau.com/fennel-parmesan-salad/

Orange Pomegranite Salade

Orange Pomegranite Salade

Orange Pomegranite Salade

Ingredients

Oranges

Pomegranite seeds

Sugar to taste

Cointreau (optional)

Instructions

  1. Cut peels off oranges, deep enough that there is no visible white left, then cut slices crosswise.
  2. Separate the membranes into little pieces and put in bowl.
  3. Add pomegranite seeds, sugar and a Tbsp (or more) of Cointreau .
  4. Served chilled.
  5. This is delicious with Chocolat Mousse, especially in the winter, and served alone as a light dessert.
  6. It’s “Oriental-ness” also goes well with middle-eastern meals.
https://www.lavieduchateau.com/orange-pomegranite-salade-recipe/

 

Tarte-Tatin

Tarte-Tatin

Tarte-Tatin

Ingredients

Approximately 1 apple per person.

Puff pastry or shortcrust pastry.

Butter

250g Sugar

Instructions

  1. Peel apples, quarter and cut out core.
  2. Fry apples in 4-6 rounded Tbsp unsalted butter to brown, on one side first, then turn and brown on other side. You want brown apple color without cooking down the apples, keep browning until just before the apples start getting mushy.
  3. Then in another frying pan make the caramel:
  4. Pour 250 grams sugar in frying pan, using a flat edge wooden spoon to stir until sugar melts to a liquid golden brown caramel then pour quickly, before the caramel has time to harden, into pie tart pan covering the bottom evenly. Then place the nicely browned sides of apples down on top of caramel. This will be the top after it bakes. Place apples nicely into attractive spiral or circular pattern.
  5. Then place pie crust on top tucking extra crust into sides of dish. The crust needs to plenty larger than the pie pan. Uneven looks nice.
  6. Bake in oven at 400° F. until crust is brown and the caramel is bubbly, about 30 minutes. Then cool until luke warm, loosen crust from sides of tarte pan, turn onto large flat serving plate. Do not let cool too much or the caramel and pie crust will stick to the pan. Tapping with some kitchen utensil will help the pie come unstuck from pie pan.
  7. Best served warm but can also be served cold, with vanilla ice-cream or crème fraiche.

Notes

- It is important to choose apples that will hold their shape while cooking, not melt into apple sauce, and not release too much liquid. In North America Golden Delicious, Granny Smith or Jonathan are excellent choices. Gala and Pink lady are good too.

- Research shows that the tarte Tatin was first created accidentally at the Hotel Tatin in the 1880s. The hotel was run by two sisters, Stéphanie and Caroline Tatin. There are conflicting stories concerning the tart’s origin, but the most common is that Stéphanie Tatin was overworked one day. She started to make a traditional apple pie but left the apples cooking in butter and sugar for too long. Smelling the burning, she tried to rescue the dish by putting the pastry base on top of the pan of apples, quickly finishing the cooking by putting the whole pan in the oven. After turning out the upside down tart, she was surprised to find how much the hotel guests appreciated the dessert. In an alternative version of the tart’s origin, Stéphanie baked a caramelized apple tart upside-down by mistake, regardless she served her guests the unusual dish.

https://www.lavieduchateau.com/tarte-tatin-recipe/