A day of French cooking.
With a few days off work this week (teacher perks), I’ve mainly been watching ‘Coco Before Chanel’ and I’m currently 38 pages away from completing Hugo’s classic, ‘The Hunchback of Notre-Dame’..Unfortunately, I have the heart-wrenching feeling that this isn’t going to end quite like the Disney version!
With a bit of a French theme occurring, I decided to devote a day to cooking several recipes from my new French Market Cookbook by Clotilde Dusoulier.
The beauty of this cookbook is that it’s made me think of ingredients that I’d never normally use together and it has definitely broadened my culinary horizons. It’s even led me to a spot of baking, something I don’t normally do.
I set myself the challenge of making a mammoth 6 dishes and with my extra long shopping list, I set off for the supermarket. A couple of hours (and a dented bank balance) later, I returned with all of my weird and wonderful ingredients and got to work.
I’ve featured the page numbers by each dish, should you decide to purchase this lovely vegetarian cookbook.
Caviar d’aubergine aux olives noires (aubergine and black olive caviar, p60)
Used as an appetiser and served on crackers, this similarly resembled an olive tapenade. Having never sampled real caviar, I’ve little to compare this to but the distinctive flavours and smooth texture made this surprisingly more-ish!
Champignons farcis aux prunes (mushrooms stuffed with plums, p128)
Stuffed mushrooms make a classic starter to any meal which is why I chose to make these. After my initial apprehension at using fruit in a savoury dish, I was impressed with how well the plums complimented the mushrooms.
Cake au potiron et semoule de mais (savoury pumpkin and cornmeal quick bread, p179)
With Halloween looming, it only seemed appropriate to make a pumpkin-based dish! This was my first attempt at making any form of bread and I was rather self-satisfied. I served this with the main dish but it also tasted delicious slightly warm with some soft Brie on top.
Pates rose vif (shocking pink pasta, p115)
The quirkiest of all dishes, this linguine dish was made bright pink by the beetroot, garlic, cream and cumin sauce. Weird but wonderful!
Gratin de choufleur au curcuma et noisettes (cauliflower gratin with tumeric and hazelnuts, p171)
A rich and creamy side-dish.
Poire et le gâteau aux amandes (pear and almond cake, p143)
A pear and chestnut cake recipe in the cookbook, I made some amendments as chestnut flour is so hard to find. I used buckwheat flour instead, mixing crushed almonds into the batter, as well as placing some flaked almonds on top. Lovely with a dollop of clotted cream!
Now to say this was a French feast would be an understatement; my boyfriend and I will be feasting off the remnants for days to come! Although this was a little pricey and required A LOT of hard work, I thoroughly enjoyed my French-themed cooking day. My ‘French Market Cookbook’ turned out to be a brilliant birthday gift. Merci beaucoup!