Wednesday, 20 September 2017
Saturday, 16 September 2017
Wednesday, 13 September 2017
Tuesday, 5 September 2017
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.
Monday, 4 September 2017
Sunday, 3 September 2017
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!!
Friday, 25 August 2017
Saturday, 12 August 2017
In the photo below we served the béarnaise sauce with a cote du boeuf, pan fried mushrooms, BBQ slices of aubergine (eggplant) and chips!
Friday, 14 July 2017
6-7 ripe plum tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic very finely chopped
1 shallot onion finely chopped
6-7 leaves of fresh basil chopped
1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar
lemon juice to taste
salt & pepper to season
1 x loaf (freshly baked) flat bread (focaccia) left to cool.
Rinse the tomatoes cut in half and de-seed them. Then chop up into fine dices. Mix the garlic onion basil and balsamic vinegar well and season with lemon juice salt and pepper. Slice the bread and toast it so that you have as many toasted slices as you need. Once toasted rub it with garlic and brush it sparingly with olive oil.
Align the toast on a serving platter olive oil side up, Either place the tomato topping in a bowl separately with a spoon so people may serve themselves over the bread or place some topping on each toasted slice and serve. If you top each slice of toast with tomatoes do so just before serving to avoid the toast becoming soggy. May also be served with an nasturtium flower which of course is edible and looks delicious.
Thursday, 13 July 2017
Students enjoying an aperitif on the patio
Chef Poul shows the ladies how to plate up a dessert of caramelised strawberries
The weather was so good that we took a few days off cooking and headed to the coast of Brittany. If you ever get a chance you just have to go west and spend time visiting the little coves which exist between Douarnenez and Plobannalec-Lesconil.
It's not just about sandy beaches and beautiful coves. There are over twenty unique/historical/tropical gardens to visit in Brittany and the one we visited at Parc Botanique de Cornouaille did not disappoint. Here is a link to all the gardens in Brittany www.apjb.org
We had to leave Scoobeaudoo at home as we were staying with friends who had two dogs so he had a little sulk until he met up with his best friend and neighbour Louis. Thank you Louis!!
Back in the kitchen and busy again plating up the evening supper which is usually four courses with pared wines..
At the end of the day whether it is lunch or dinner - it is the food as well as the company which counts. This mussel soup with saffron was delicious:
This langoustine moose gave rise to some coos!!
The traditional roast chicken baked in its own juices with added garlic butter and served in a home made stock enriched tarragon sauce just melted on the palate!