Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Walking the dog around Kerrouet

Scoobeaudoo needs at least two good walks a day. Actually he prefers to run and that is another story! It's a busy morning at the school as we have six very enthusiastic Norwegian students attending our cooking course. Norway is too cold for harvesting nettles so they have requested a foraging tour here as nettle soup is on the menu for lunch followed by white asparagus with sauce hollandaise. 


Pot of nettles

The final product 


The locals harvest everything and so it is a common sight to see sheaves of old Fuchsia drying out in the hedgerows. This will be used to get the fires started with the lovely perfumed smell of fuchsia.

 

It's a lovely time of the year with all the flowers bursting out. Here a a few photos but now I have to return to the kitchen!







The students also cooked a Parmesan soufflé 

Which wend down very well with a few glasses of rosé. Dinner this evening was a nice combination with Langoustins for starters 

And rabbit in a mustard sauce with fennel green beans and new potatoes 

And following the cheese board we finished with home made poppy seed ice cream with caramelised strawberries!!


Friday, 4 March 2016

A trusted recipe for Walnut Bread and a Poem!





The rising dough is slow to grow
The yeast being such a clever beast
Give it some time and do not dread
The tasty miracle  of walnut bread!

Standing proud now in full show
The heady smells of fresh baked dough
Transformed to make us salivate 
As we eye up the walnut bait

The happy baker has given birth
To walnut bread with generous girth
A texture rich in crumb and crust
Thanks to a recipe one can truly trust!




Trusted recipe (over two days)

Ingredients

350  ml water
20 gram yeast
1 small tablespoon  salt
ca. 650-700 gram flour
100 gram chopped walnuts

Put the walnuts into a pan with water and boil, chill the water and nuts.

Pour the water and nuts in a food processor bowl, add the yeast and let it mix for a minute
slowly adding the flour and when the dough is not sticking to the bowl, the dough  has enough flour.
(If you have stock water /vegetable water use that instead of plain water for best results)

Put cling film over the bowl and let it rest for an hour; put it in the fridge until the next day.

After the dough has rested, pour it out on a table and knead the dough.

Make the dough into breads and let it double in size. Meanwhile heat the oven to  220c degrees.

When the bread is ready to be baked, put it in the middle of the oven, pour a little glass of water
into a tray in the bottom of the oven , do the same process again 5 minutes later
and bake the bread for 25 minutes more.

Once baked, remove from oven and wrap in a clean tea towel until cool. This helps form a nice crust on the bread.




Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Green Pea Soup - Soup Ninon



This classical gourmet soup is a real saviour. Like a get out of jail card, you sneak a packet of frozen peas from the freezer and within a few minutes you have a delicate and absolutely delicious soup the likes of which will simply amaze your guests and impress even the most die hard gourmet critic!
It looks great. It tastes great. What more can I say? Let's do it!

Ingredients for six people

1 ltr light chicken stock (no tomato purée)
150 ml cream
3 table spoons of crème fraiche
1 table spoon of unsalted butter
500 g small green peas (fresh or frozen)
Salt & Peper to season
To serve
1 table spoon of finely chopped fresh chives 
A little whipped cream

Method

Boil the chicken stock, cream and crème fraiche for three minutes. Add the peas and boil for one minute longer. 
Blend the soup then strain it.
Add salt and pepper to season as required
Add a dash of butter.

Bring back to almost the boil and serve in a warm bowl with chives and whipped cream.

If you really wish to blow your gourmet critics mind, add a little champagne or sparkling wine to the soup just before serving it. Bon appetite. 

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Ils sont la crème de l'artisanat culinaire breton



Brittany is currently flourishing with culinary artisans. Virtually every area has its gastronomic member whether it be making cider (as in our local Cidre Fermier above), honey, baguettes, terrines, pâté, galettes, crêpes, fruits de mer, saucisson, eau-de-vie, gâteau, croissants au beurre and of course le fromage. Within a few minutes drive from French Dining School you can visit a famous cheese farm, a cider producer, a pâté maker, a snail farmer and a traditional baker using a medieval stone oven. We enjoy sourcing our food products locally and so it is with great pleasure that we support Artisans Gourmands de Bretagne. More information available on their website www.crma.bzh

Stuffed Chicken Leg with Langoustines and Spinach

Students were busy yesterday preparing the stocks for the week as well as the main dish for dinner which was stuffed chicken leg with langoustines and spinach.  Most people don't realise how versatile a chicken leg is once the bone is removed. It can be stuffed with a whole range of wonderful ingredients depending on the mood and what is available in season. Yesterday we stuffed the chicken leg with langoustines and spinach but you could easily have used garlic and cheese or basil pesto and parma ham or sage and grapes or a roast pepper with tarragon and black pepper. As I say it depends on what is available and your imagination.

Ingredients (for 6 persons)

6 chicken legs de-boned
12 langoustines or king prawns
1 clove of garlic finely chopped
1 shallot onion finely chopped
salt & pepper to taste
Spinach leaves blanched

Method

Peel the langoustine tales leaving the meat. Spread the de-boned chicken leg out and spread the spinach leaf over the inside flesh as a base. Place the two langoustines inside and sprinkle with onion garlic salt and pepper. Roll up the leg so that the stuffing is in the middle and sew up with string to keep the contents inside . Fry the legs on a pan for 5 minutes and finish off in the oven for another 15 minutes at 220 degrees.
Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes, remove the string and serve with seasonal vegetables and a home made chicken stock.


Here is a link to a short video of Chef Poul demonstrating how to stuff a de-boned chicken leg:

Chef Poul - chicken leg with langoustines & spinach

Monday, 29 February 2016

How to de-bone a chicken leg


Everyone is familiar with roast chicken leg but few people realise how easy and delicious a stuffed chicken leg can be! A chicken leg cooked in its own fat and stuffed with your favourite ingredients and herbs is hard to beat, You can stuff chicken legs with cheeses, mushrooms, herbs like rosemary or basil or langoustines. The world is your oyster literally!

However many people find it hard to remove the bone from a chicken leg. It is important that this is done properly if you are to stuff the leg and sew it up afterwards. Here is a video of Chef Poul de-boning a chicken leg. Later we will add a video of the boneless chicken leg being stuffed with langoustines and stitched up afterwards before being roasted n the oven.  




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