The following massacred French recipe was committed by the folks at that omnipresent family cafeteria/restaurant in France, Flunch, not me this time around.
We strolled by a Flunch yesterday and saw this huge sign for a new offering: The American Galette. While you’d think it would resemble a French sandwich américain, with its nonsensical bratwurst, grilled veggies and fries inside a baguette – surprisingly, La (chouette/nice) galette américaine sort of makes sense (in a Frenchy way) sporting basically a burger and its fixings inside a galette (a savory crepe usually made with buckwheat flour). Is it any good? I dunno but I think it needs fries inside!
Posted in cultural differences, daily life, food and drinks, funny, recipes, restaurants, tips, weird Tagged with: A Massacred French Recipe, american galette, flunch, france
The baguettes made by the boulangeries near my place are not that great, sadly. I know! I’m in France so… what the??! Anyway, I might try to make some myself. Luckily, Baker’s Banter (King Arthur Flour) recently posted a step-by-step, HOWTO make your own baguettes.
Baguettes Do Try this at Home
Posted in food and drinks, recipes, websites
Leave it to outside-the-box thinking* French designer, Philippe Di Méo, to design tableware inspired by sex toys. The collection of erotic tableware called, Souper Fin (which is a play on words of “fine dining” and “super fine”), was designed in collaboration with renowned luxury companies Baccarat, Goyard, Cristofle and Orfèvrerie d’Anjou among others.
Souper Fin will be exhibited at L’Eclaireur (Paris) in July. Each item will be complemented with a specially created chef’s dish and recipe. (I guess so you know how to use some of the utensils!)
* Philippe Di Méo once designed perfumes based on sweat, tears and saliva.
Posted in art/culture/design, cultural differences, events, fashion, food and drinks, paris, products, recipes, weird
From Michael Ruhlman:
“Eduardo Sousa, a farmer in the Extremadura region of Spain is, according to chef Dan Barber, raising geese that bear the best foie gras the chef’s tasted. The critical part of the story, though, is that Sousa does not force feed the geese. He apparently lets their inclination to gorge themselves, once required for migration, take care of the fattening and simply makes sure they have all they want—nuts, olives, etc., but no corn. This suggests of course that farmers who force feed their geese and ducks are simply controlling what the ducks would do naturally and that the folks who want to prohibit the production and sale of foie gras on the grounds of animal cruelty have one less leg to stand on.
I never thought they had any leg to stand on if they …”
Read the article
Posted in articles, food and drinks, news, outside of France, recipes
Another Superbowl (the 41st to be exact) is upon us and I won’t be going to any snackalicious Superbowl parties. Wah! The (sort of) good news is that you can actually watch it live on French television on France 2. The fun begins at 10 minutes to midnight. Kickoff actually begins at 12:25am here but I think the French television programmers thought listing it after midnight looked too late. Maybe? Anyway, I’ll be awake but probably not watch it, and I don’t know anyone that gives a rat’s arse about it here. Tant pis. Yes, too bad, I say, because there could’ve been lots and lots and lots of yummies à la French food mixed with loud cheering, beer drinking and some American football action. Imagine the snacks I could have made! Would they have been massacred snacks? Me thinks YES.
Massacred French Recipe: Sept Couches Accompanées de Crackers (“crackers” in French is…crackers.)
This is just one made up Massacred French recipe (for my imaginary Superbowl party in France. How pathetic is that?) but the possibilities of butchering French and other recipes, are endless and fun. One example: Are you familiar with the 7-layer Mexican dip that is oftentimes present at these parties? I love those dips with big scoop dip size Fritos or corn tortillas. My version is probably more of a massacred Tex-Mex recipe with a French twist – because many ingredients for the actual recipe are not available in France. How ’bout a 7-layer dip that goes a little something like this:
1st layer: crème fraîche
2nd layer: snails! (ok, to be FANCY, let’s call them “escargots” sauteed in garlic butter. Don’t forget lots of fresh parsley)
3rd layer: Pureed Potatoes (first potatoes are put through a potato ricer, salt and peppered, fresh thyme added, and made creamy with…crème! of course.)
4th layer: Carmelized leeks and onions;
5th layer: Roquefort cheese
6th layter: Walnuts
7th layer: Chopped fresh figs.
Aaaaaaaannnnnnnnd voila! Sept Couches Accompanées de Crackers. How massacred is that? There’s more where THAT came from. Stay tuned.
Have fun Superbowl snacking, everyone. May the team you’re rooting for win! I’m rooting for winning snacks.
[related: Superbowl in France]
Fun Superbowl Facts & Trivia
1. 8 million lbs. of guacamole is consumed on Super Bowl Sunday.
2. 14,500 tons of chips are eaten along with that guacamole.
3. 6% of Americans call in sick the Monday after Super Bowl.
4. The average number of people at a Super Bowl party is 17.
5. More drivers are involved in alcohol-related accidents on Super Bowl Sunday than any other day of the year (except St. Patrick’s Day).
6. 35% of people who attend the game right it off as a corporate expense.
7. Super Bowl fans spend more than $50 million on food during the 4 days prior to the super bowl.
8. The Dolphin Stadium in Miami has vomitoriums.
[Read more fun Superbowl facts at Yumsugar]
Posted in cultural differences, events, recipes, sports
For some time now, I’ve been wanting to mix things up a bit and start another theme for blog posts. So I thought about something involving French food. One of the things I’ve been incredibly amazed at in French homes is the absence of variation in French recipes. Perhaps people don’t need any change for reasons of…perfection? Perhaps. I get bored with the same things and tend to try to create different flavors and spin a different tune with standard themes. Sometimes, I can only do that given what’s on hand (coupled with my laziness to go drive to the market and get any ingredients). Anyway, so my new blog theme is this: hybrid recipes that are almost French but infused with another culture or idea or ingredient that is not typically French – it’s called Massacred French Recipes because their names will oftentimes massacre the French language and the recipes will only have hints of Frenchness in them. Will purists call these Sacrilege? That’s fine. They might be! All recipes will be my own experiments in the kitchen. I’m not sure how often I’ll be able to do these but will try to do them on a regular basis. Kudos to daily food bloggers who do this regularly with much more complex recipes, and then take eye candy photos to boot.
One is looking at you.
I thought I’d call these cookies, “Peanut Butter Palmiers aux Pépites de Chocolat,” By the way, “pépites de chocolat” means chocolate chips but sounds fancier in French, doesn’t it? This recipe is not fancy though, but rather, a simple one. These cookies are basically palmier cookies (Elephant ears) made with puff pastry puff dough with peanut butter and chocolate chips.In French puff pastry dough is called pâte feuilletée. You can make it yourself, but it’s much faster and easier to buy it already made. My favorite pâte feuilletée here in France is from Tablier Blanc (make sure to get the one that says pure butter) in the refrigerated section of the market; In the U.S. there’s an ok one from Pepperidge Farms (thaw it out first). I had a round pâte feuilletée in my frig and used that one but it’s best to have a rectangular one that is approximately 12 inches in length by about 10 inches. For mine, I trimmed it on 2 opposite sides to (sort of) resemble a rectangle. Don’t waste the trim I put several chocolate chips in a strip and rolled them up like a tiny croissant. (Just bake them with your cookies.)
Regarding the chocolate chips. In France, you can buy French versions of them but they are pretty stingy with ’em here and there aren’t many in one bag, and they are tiny. I always buy Nestle’s chocolate chips in the U.S. and bring them back. I’ve grown up eating them and sort of need them now! They are always good to have on hand.
I used organic crunchy peanut butter (with sea salt) from Germany that I buy from an organic store in Burgundy. You can use the peanut butter of your choice.
Here’s the recipe:
Peanut Butter Palmiers aux Pépites de Chocolat
– 1 pâte feuilletée (puff pastry)
– 1 C crunchy peanut butter
– 3 Tablespoons of pure cane unrefined sugar
– 1 C Nestle’s Toll House Semi-sweet chocolate chips
Flatten out the pâte feuilletée, cut it if necessary into a rectangle. In a small bowl, mix together peanut butter and sugar, then spread an even layer over the pâte feuilletée covering it entirely. Sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the peanut butter mixture. Using your hands or a rolling pin, gently press down the chocolate chips so they stick to the peanut butter. Next, fold the two (long) opposing sides to meet in the middle of the pastry. Press down gently. Then fold over again meet in the middle. It should resemble a roll. Wrap it in its parchment paper and refrigerate for about 20 minutes to harden. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. After refrigeration and the roll is nice and firm, cut into about 3/4 of a inch slices with a very sharp knife and place on baking tray lined with parchment paper or silpat. Leave approximately 2 inche spaces between cookies. Bake for about 30 minutes or until light golden brown. Wait until they are completely cooled down before eating. Makes about 22 cookies. Note: The uncooked roll freezes nicely so you can save it for later use.
Last note: What actually got me to launch this Massacred French Recipes thing was the fact that David Lebovitz is hosting a “Sugar High Friday” on the 26th, which I thought I’d participate in – so make sure to check out all the posts next week related to his specialty, chocolate. Get ready to drool chez David Lebovitz.
Posted in daily life, food and drinks, recipes
[Disclosure: I was contacted to write a short review of a recipe from chefs.com, so while this is a sponsored post, everything (except the actual recipe) including the opinions expressed within it are my own.]
The following side dish recipe from chefs.com resembles the typical French dish called “Gratin Dauphinois” (sans “e”) but has a little bit of an English twist because it calls for cheddar cheese and single cream. It’s a simple yet necessary comfort food that should be in kitchen repertoires everywhere.
Prep time is a quick 10 to 15 minutes, and it takes about 60 minutes to bake for most cooks. This amount of time can vary depending on your oven. My oven is small and never needs the same cooking time as most recipes require, so I baked my gratin for about 45 minutes.
I have to admit: It was hard for me not to deviate from the original recipe because that is what I always do: I cannot leave a recipe alone! As is, however, this recipe is not only easy and fairly quick, it is also very yummy; you won’t be disappointed. How could you not like creamy, cheesy potato-y goodness? Exactly. Here’s the recipe (I’ve added some info fyi):
Grain Dauphinoise from Chefs.com
2 oz. butter (56 grams or half a stick of butter)
1-3/4 lbs. potatoes, sliced (.8 kg or about 5 medium sized potatoes)
salt and pepper
1/4 lb. cheddar cheese, grated (about 113 grams)
1-1/4 cups carton single cream (295 ml)Instructions
Use half the butter to thickly grease an ovenproof dish.
Cover the base with a layer of potato slices.
Sprinkle with salt, pepper and cheese.
Repeat the layers, finishing with potato and
reserving the last layer of cheese.
Whisk the egg and cream together.
Pour over the top and dot with the remaining butter and cheese.
Bake in a preheated temperature 375°F (195° C) oven for 1 hour.
If necessary, brown under a preheated grill.
Serve immediately. Serves 6.
The gratins that I’ve eaten in French homes, have typically used gruyere cheese (or emmenthal) as well as a bit of ground nutmeg, and instead of cream, they used crème fraîche. Here, this recipe uses “single cream,” which is more of an English term. In the U.S. we’d say “half and half.” Since half and half doesn’t exist here in France (that I know of), I used whole milk mixed with whipping cream. This mixture equals the required fat content of single cream (half & half), about 18%.
While I’m on the subject of finding equivalent ingredients, cheddar cheese is sort of hard to find in France, at least where I live in Burgundy. But! It does exist here if you look hard enough. In the some parts of France, you can find it as “fromage Welch” or you will just see it labeled as “chédar” or even “Cheddar.”
The recipe itself, is straightforward and I had no problems with it. I’m afraid, though, that some people would want more details in this recipe. For example: how thin should the slices be? What size pan should I use?
You might be like me and use recipes as inspiration to have as a base, then work from there. If I were to spin a different variation on this recipe, I would definitely add layers of carmelized onions or leeks, use crème fraîche instead of cream and egg; perhaps I’d use different cheeses, maybe some crispy bacon on top or add small cubes of ham. I’d also add herbs. Possibilities: herbes de Provence or just some fresh thyme.
While typically this is a side dish, I think you could serve it as a main dish with a light, crispy salad on the side.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Recipes at Chefs.com
Posted in cultural differences, daily life, food and drinks, recipes, reviews
Socca is the crêpe’s southern cousin, so-to-speak; it’s the savory pancake of Nice made of chickpea flour and beautifully bears the golden tan of the Mediterranean browned and crispy at the edges, soft and tender inside…
Best when eaten warm and crisp straight from the vendor in Nice, Socca is a sensual, culinary delight especially when eaten out in the generous sun blessed salty sea air.
Recommended Restaurant for Socca
Restaurant: Socca D’Or
Address: 45 Rue Bonaparte
Directions: It’s in the Vieux-Nice (Old Town Nice), close to the harbor and Place Garibaldi.
Their hours of operation change so please call ahead of time.
Phone: 04 93 56 52 93
If you care to bring a bit of the Niçois spirit into your home, preparing a nice Socca for your family and dinner guests as an appetizer would be a welcoming enriching treat. Here’s a recipe for those wanting a taste of the Riviera chez vous.
Recipe for Socca
1 1/4 cups (150 g) chickpea flour
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) cold water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, for the pan
Whisk the olive oil and salt in a bowl with the cold water. Sift in the chickpea flour. Whisk the mixture gradually to form a thin smooth batter. Let it rest for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 425°F/220°C. Spoon the oil into a 9 x 13 inches (24 x 31 cm) roasting pan and heat through in the oven for 3 to 4 minutes. Stir the chickpea batter once more and then pour into the hot pan, and return immediately to the oven. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the mixture has browned around the edges and slightly pulls away from the pan. Take out of the oven and season with black pepper. Let it stand for 5 minutes. Cut into squares or strips. Eat immediately.
You can spice it up if you’d like with tapanade, or tomatoes, balsalmic vinegar, and extra virgin olive oil. Or improvise using your imagination. Or consume it the traditional Niçois way and eat it straight from the table. Serves 4 to 6.
Posted in articles, food and drinks, recipes, travel and places