Saturday, 9 December 2017

A New Year Cooking Course


We are very excited to be launching the menu for our new year cooking course which starts on 28th December 2017. Whilst most of our one week cooking courses have their fair share of fun the New Year Course is set on a much more lavish scale. There are champagne receptions, late night partying and a whole host of special events scaled around a serious six days in the kitchen.

Poul is still working on the menu but here is a general schedule for the week:

 Thursday 28 December 2017

Arrival at Kerrouet House with a champagne reception and introductory dinner at 7pm

Friday 29 December
We start at 10am with introductions, course program, safety issues (use of knives etc). We discuss each daily menu before we start preparation and actual cooking.

Lunch
 Bread making  
Chicken stock making for the week
  Starter: Green Pea soup “Ninon”
Main: Salmon fish cakes on a garden salad with homemade Sauce Tartar
 Cheese: Selection of French cheeses
          
     
 Dinner
 Starter: Artichoke in a citrus soup
Main: Prawn stuffed Chicken leg with Sauce Basil 
Cream fraiche potato and roasted Jerusalem Artichokes
Cheese: Selection of French cheeses
 Dessert: Chocolate fondant with salted caramel ice-cream



Saturday 30 December 

Lunch 
Starter: Small tomato pizza Provençal
      Main: Chicken Salad with mushrooms & pancetta
Cheese: Selection of French cheeses

 Dinner
Starter:  Pan fried scallops and a Sauce Curry-Sauternes
Main: Duck breast with grapes and Pommes Anna
Cheese: Selection of French cheeses            
 Dessert: Creme Brûlée



Sunday 31 December

Lunch 
  Starter: Mussel soup with saffron
  Main: Mushroom Risotto
  Cheese: Selection[i] of French cheeses
    
 
New Year Dinner
Foie Gras terrine with a pear salad
 Lobster bisque
Apple sorbet
Main:Beef Wellington with a port wine sauce
Cheese: Selection of French cheeses
  Dessert: Almond & white chocolate gateau with liquorice


Monday 1 January 2018

Lunch
 Lunch is free.
Visit Dinan or Mont Saint Michel

Dinner
Starter: French onion soup
Main: “Frikadeller” meat balls with Braised endives gratin
Cheese: Selection of French cheeses
  Dessert: Chestnut cake




Tuesday 2 January 2018

              
Lunch  
Starter: Parmesan omelet
 Main:  Warm smoked fish on a salad with Chive Cream dressing
Cheese: Selection of French cheeses


Dinne                 
Starter: Pumpkin soup
  Main: fish from the marked
Cheese: Selection of French cheeses
Dessert: Tiramisu    

Wednesday 3 January Depart after breakfast,         






Sunday, 12 November 2017

Welcome to Brittany

The magazine Côtes d'Armor is distributed to every home in northern Brittany. Therefore it is very nice that we get a mention on page 26!! Here is a link : http://cotesdarmor.fr/fileadmin/user_upload/magazines/2017/Mag160.pdf

Thursday, 26 October 2017

A visit to the Island of Flowers

The Ile de Bréhat just ten minutes from the beautiful coast of Brittany near Paimpol is about an hour's drive from our cooking school. If you time the ferries right you can be walking along medieval traffic free lanes amongst beautiful flowers and delightful  beaches within a few minutes walk of arrival! 

This is an extraordinary island of flowers with breathtaking coastal scenery. The pink rock formations alone are absolutely amazing but the whole character, fauna and flora are exceptional. It is fortunate that most people have never heard of the place and given the beauty of mainland and coastal Brittany, there are plenty of other places for the tourist to visit. Cars are not allowed on the island and so it is only those with a love for flowers and birds and rare landscape beauty who will give up their car and walk to and from the little harbour to another world. Here are some photographs I took earlier today:


About to depart to another world.




Chef Poul 





Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Avocado Soup




Avocado soup is an unusual summer dish served ice cold preferably in lovely warm weather a bit like Vichyssoise. It is easy and quick to make and will certainly impress your friends as it is seldom seen in restaurants. The trick is to have ripe avocados on hand so you may well have to purchase these a week in advance. It does not keep well so serve it on the day it is made.

Serves 4

2 ripe peeled avocados (stone removed)
1 lemon zest
Lemon juice
1 small shallot onion
250 ml yoghurt
Tabasco
3 sprig of Coriander, parsley and chives

Salt & pepper

Topping when serving, toasted cashews, pine nuts or sunflower seeds

Prepare

Blend the avocado and onion to a smooth consistency.
Then add the yoghurt and finally flavour with lemon juice, zest of lemon,
Salt and pepper

Serve it ice cold it doesn't keep well so eat it the same day).

Elderberry Panna Cotta


Everyone likes a panna cotta and it has to be one of the easiest, most versatile and most impressive of all desserts! You can add so many different fruits to the cream that you can almost call it a dessert for all seasons! Elderberries are in season at present so we have been making both the cordial and the jelly and it is easy to use the jelly with the cream. (Note of caution always boil freshly picked elderberries for a few minutes and don't eat the seeds)!


Ingredients:

500 ml cream
2 gelatine leaves 
Elderberry juice or jelly
Sugar to taste
Lemon juice to taste 
Fresh berries to decorate the dish
Melted chocolate to sprinkle over dish before serving 

Method

Heat up the cream and flavour it with elderberry juice or elderberry jelly; we picked and made our own elderberry jelly (50/50 with sugar) so depending on how much sugar in the jelly you use, just add sugar to desired taste. Add the gelatin (which has been soaked in cold water for 5 minutes) into the elderberry cream.  Strain the cream and pour it into 6 small ramekins. Serve with a selections of summer fruits and sprinkle with hot chocolate.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Ravioli a la Jackie

The famous 18th century writer and gastronome Jean Brillat-Savarin once said "The discovery of a new dish confers more happiness on humanity than the discovery of a new star".  I thought of him last night as we prepared and tasted our new ravioli recipe "Ravioli a la Jackie" named after one of our lovely students who helped bring this delicious vegetarian dish into existence! 




Ingredients (serves 4-6 persons)

1 portion pasta

100 gram diced and roasted Jerusalem Artichokes
100 gram chopped Pistachio
100 gram Cashews
100 gram diced roasted potato
100 gram spinach or nettles
250 gram ricotta cheese
fresh sage
salt and pepper to taste


Method

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and flavour it with sage, salt & pepper.


Roll out the pasta as thin as possible, and with a teaspoon make little balls of the nutty paste and place it on top;  egg wash the pasta and then take another roll of pasta and press it around the
balls, cut the ravioli out and with a fork press the two layers together to create a perfect tight seal.



Boil them in light salty water for 3 minutes and serve them with a butter and sage sauce.





Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Latest review


After this embarrassingly long lapse of time, I am writing to you to say thank you so much for the wonderful time we spent with you at Kerrouet House. We were with you from April 30 until May 7th when you generously drove Rod and I to catch our flight out of Rennes. Our time at Kerrouet was the highlight of our travels earlier this year and upon consideration, of our travels over many years.

 

From the moment you met us at Lamballe railway station Poul until our last day when you drove us all the way to Rennes, we felt so warmly welcomed by you. It seemed nothing was too much trouble for you. The experience and fun at the cooking school was superb. We enjoyed every minute of the immersion in French (well, really French with a firm Bretagne influence!) cuisine. Your tuition has given us so much more confidence in our endeavours in our own kitchen. 

 

The home across the road that you arranged for our accommodation was superb. Thank you! We were so comfortable. We would have shared it willingly with the American and Canadian girls but it was pretty special on our own!

 

Thank you also for returning our eBikes to Saint Gilles – we really thought that was above and beyond the job description! We hope you have recommended the bikes to ongoing participants as we thought they were absolutely great and a wonderful (though sadly ineffectual) way of burning off all those cream and butter-laden meals we enjoyed with you. Footnote – Jane is very keen, but Rod is less so, to purchase eBikes for ourselves; watch this space! 

 

We remember many moments but one special one was the evening at Kerrouet after everyone but us had departed…. you both must have been so exhausted after a rigorous week but nonetheless you invited us to share a glass of wine and some cheese with you. We watched Rick Stein’s TV program where he explored the back streets of Palermo – he was very enthusiastic about the local cuisine. We arrived at Palermo about two weeks afterwards. We did not have much free time to explore. While we were there a local Mafioso was assassinated as he pedalled his white bicycle through the streets when a scooter drew up alongside….  we decided we’d take Rick’s word for how good the food was!

 

I realise all your happy participants say when departing  “if you ever come to (insert name of country) please make sure you come to see us” ….   but please do so if you are heading to the Antipodes anytime in the future. We would love to see you! We could make you BBQ sausages, some prawns and a salad and you would not need to cook!!! 

 

Wishing you all the best in the future, and may you continue to make your cooking course participants feel as relaxed and fulfilled as you made us feel. 

 

Warmest wishes and big hugs to you both and to young Scooby/Beau.


JB Australia



Monday, 4 September 2017

Lunch on the patio

Students enjoyed their first lunch on the patio today. This was their first day of cooking course and of course we had electric power failure all morning! We were therefore obliged to return to fairly traditional cooking methods and the bbq came in handy for preparing chicken bones for stock making!


The starter was a pear salad with parma ham followed by salmon fish cakes , green salad and a tatare sauce. The sun came out and so did the rosè. 

Well done everyone and I am pleased to say we have power back again!! 

Sunday, 3 September 2017

A day at the market

Few food markets are as good as the Marché de Lices in central Rennes. The beautiful city of Rennes is in fact the capital of Brittany. In fact the Marché de Lices is the second biggest food market in France outside Paris. Here you have everything you could possibly want in your kitchen and to put it to the test, my friend Ulrik (from Denmark) and I decided to search for items we often have difficulty finding. For Ulrik it was fresh French figs and for me it was oxtail! Ulreck explains that normally he can only find figs from Turkey in Denmark and when I asked an Irish butcher why he could not sell me oxtail he  said because an ox only has one tail! I am sure that Irish butcher had a few more tales to tell but I was not convinced with the oxtail one!

Oxtail for sale

Oxtail roasted then slow cooked with various vegetables that same day:


It was a beautiful Saturday morning and the locals were out in force greeting each other and doing what real communities do - catching up on news and enjoying the opportunity to grab a bargain and fill their baskets with wonderful produce.

A faddish for radish?

The girolles (chanterelle mushrooms) were outstanding and a must have for our kitchen.

The opportunity to taste the product before buying is such a great treat for the chef.

Olives - a few a day is the healthy way!:



Garlic including those smoked ones I love!


Artichokes - the flower of Brittany - I have a lovely recipe for those!

Lobster Mobster! The Amorican ones are much tastier than the American ones!!

Bon Prawn at Dawn by noon all gone!!

Sausages are made from almost everything including ducks!


No shortage of bread and plenty of cake too!

A decree by King Henry IV  of France that every family should eat chicken on Sunday


The cheese producer was so dedicated to his art that he invited us to visit his farm just outside Rennes.  His cheeses were delicious!

It would not be France if there were no snails at the market!


Various butchers with their families proudly prepare and present their wares with such enthusiasm and devotion it is hard not to be drawn into their embrace.


 A little music at lunchtime always helps the aperitif. These troubadours were just fantastic!


Ulrik preparing his fresh figs with pancetta, gorgonzolla and cremé fraiche before going into the oven to be baked and served as our started tonight!


 Ulriks marriage of figario recipe is delightful!!

Baked Figs