Friday, 18 December 2009

Cook & Tour Package 2010

Brittany is renowned for the quality and variety of its seafood. Cancale oysters and scallops are sought for their unique taste and culinary delight. Brittany is also famous for a whole range of wonderful dishes from the famous galette buckwheat pancake to the “Far Briton” a local custard cake.

The mussels and lobsters of Brittany are considered the best in the world. The region is also known for its artichokes, ciders and local cheeses as well as its locally produced calvados or “eau de vie” – the water of life!

Brittany is also famous for its extraordinary coastline, its medieval castles, towns and villages. Great tracts of original forest remain where wild boar roam and are hunted in season. The forests also contain bountiful supplies of ceps (porcini), girolles (chanterelles) and other mushrooms in season.

Brittany has a wonderful Celtic heritage and a renowned archaeological past. The Lorient Festival in August is the biggest Celtic festival in the world. Brittany is the legendary home of Merlin and King Arthur and ancient folk festivals or Fest Noz (night festivals) are still held with the sound of the bombard ringing out loud across the countryside. In summer, whole communities - young and old, come together to dance in magical circles in the streets and even in the fields! This alone is an extraordinary spectacle to behold and experience. The standing stones of Carnac are older than the pyramids of Egypt and remain one of the biggest tourist attractions in France.

Five Day Tour & Cooking Course

Monday (Day 1)

Arrival & Welcome
Introductions to Kerrouet House & Village
Accommodation in local gites
Preparation of Lunch and Dinner

Tuesday (Day 2)

Visit to La Mont St Michele

Lunch in local restaurant

Oyster tasting in Cancale with dinner in St Malo

Wednesday (Day 3)

Cooking all day in Kerrouet House

Thursday (Day 4)

Visit to market town of Dinan with lunch
Cooking in evening

Friday (Day 5)
Visit Josselin Castle lunch in local restaurant

Banquet dinner at Kerrouet House
Graduation ceremony


Minimum of 2 people and maximum of 10 persons

Total cost per person = 1500 Euros per person (min 2 sharing)

In US dollars costs per person (minimum of 2 sharing) is $2250

Single person supplement = Euro 150 or $225

This fee includes all pickups/drop-offs from airports/rail & ferry ports.
Drinks are included with all lunch and dinners.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Kerrouet House on BBC TV

I am very pleased to be able to advise that BBC (Wales) TV will broadcast three programmes about Brittany in the New Year. The first programme will be all about Brittany cuisine and will feature our very own Kerrouet House Cooking School. The broadcast will go out on Wednesday January 6th at 8.25 pm GMT. We hope you enjoy it!

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Christmas Punch Party

Well for all you lovely folk who are in need of some extra warmth this winter can I recommend you try a tipple of Poul Jensen's special Danish Christmas punch. Poul felt the need to develop something different - something exceedingly delicious and dangerously powerful - to satisfy his demanding restaurant customers back home in Denmark. After a few weeks of experimenting using his knowledge of cuisine, spirits, and fine wines he developed a Christmas punch which has become legendary for those lucky enough to have tasted it and survived.

Therefore on Saturday 19th of December 2009, Kerrouet House will host an open evening and you are invited to come along to a free tasting. You will find details on the Kerrouet Cooking School Facebook fanclub - where you may also register and get further details. We look forward to welcoming you and introducing you to Jensen's Christmas punch. Warning - you will be warmed!

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Lentil Soup - Middle Eastern style


1 cup lentils
4 cups water
half teaspoon cumin
parsley finely chopped


Cook the lentils for 35 minutes until soft adding more water if necessary for the desired soup consistency. In a skillet heat 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 chopped onion and 1 crushed garlic clove. Blend in 1 tablespoon of white flour. Cook for 2-3 minutes then add sauteed ingredients to the soup and bring to the boil stirring occasionally. On reaching boiling point, remove from heat and stir in 2 tablespoons lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with garlic bread.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Roast Apple Chutney

We have thousands of apples at the moment so why not make apple chutney. It is a very good addition to curry, cheese and a whole host of meat dishes. What's more, it is a very simple process to prepare and a great seasonal gift at Christmas!!


6 large cooking apples
2 shallots (chopped finely)
1 tablespoon of chili vinegar
1 teaspoon of cayenne
1 teaspoon of salt
Cup of beetroot juice.


Roast the cooking apples for 1 hour 200 degrees. When soft, mash them to a pulp in a pan under a low heat and add the beetroot juice. This gives a lovely colour to the chutney! Add the finely chopped challots, the chili vinegar, the cayenne pepper and the salt. Simmer very gently until the chutney is the consistency of thick cream. Bottle and seal.

Monday, 26 October 2009

October Cooking Week Course

We start at 10 am with introductions, course programme, safety issues
(use of knives etc.). We discuss each daily menu before we commence
preparation and actual cooking.
Chicken stock making for the week
Starter: Bruschetta on toasted bread
Main: Salmon fish cakes on a garden salad with home-made sauce
Cheese: Selection of French cheeses
Starter: Parsley soup with chive cream
Main: Langoustine stuffed chicken leg with Ginger sauce
Cheese: Selection of French cheeses
Dessert:Panna Cotta with
Autumn fruits
Starter: Gazpacho
Main: Turkey breast marinated in soya, ginger and chilli
served on a salad with toasted pine kernels
Cheese: Selection of French cheeses
Starter: Grilled scallops with endive soup and chives
Main: Veal fillet with basil sauce, crème fraiche potatoes and
rosemary roasted vegetables
Cheese: Selection of French cheeses
Dessert: Australian lemon cake (a la Keogh)
Starter: Salad with gizzard and orange
Main: Tomato pizza with blue cheese
Cheese: Selection of French cheeses
Starter: Grilled Langoustines with garlic butter
Main:Thai style beef with ginger and baby vegetables
Cheese: Selection of French cheeses
Dessert: Sticky Toffee pudding with butterscotch sauce
Visit to local food market followed by lunch in a
traditional Breton restaurant
Starter: Wild Mushroom Risotto
Main: Warm poached skate Morocco styled with mash potatoes
Cheese: Selection of French cheeses
Dessert: Tiamisu
Starter: Caesar Salad
Main: Mussel soup with saffron
Cheese: Selection of French cheeses
Starter: Lobster bisque
Main: Duck breast with apple sauce, celeriac puree and
rosemary baked carrots
Cheese: Selection of French cheeses
Dessert: Poached pear with a sabayon sauce

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Sloe and Apple Jelly

Nature has her own timetable and her programme is set to ensure we are well stocked for those winter months. This is why we currently have an abundance of apples ready to harvest and the sloes in the hedgerows are ready to collect. Most people think of cider in Brittany when it comes to harvesting apples for use the following year and I am sure you have all heard of sloe gin! However apples when combined with sloes makes a delicious piquant flavoured jelly which will enrich those game dishes you may wish to serve over those dark cold days of winter.


20 green apples
5lb of ripe sloes
2lb of sugar


Stew the complete apples and sloes until soft. Strain through a jelly-bag. To each pint of juice add 1 lb of sugar. Bring to the boil and boil until a little sets when tested. Store in glass jars in a cool larder.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Apple with Blackberry

Brittany,the UK and Ireland have ripe apples and blackberries in abundance right now and freely available too so no excuses please - get out and enjoy the countryside as well as the natural resources that nature has made available to us this time of year. A delicious and simple recipe I find which never fails is as follows:


10 ripe apples (crab or cookers)
1.5 kg of blackberries
50 g of sugar or golden syrup or honey
small cup of water


Peel and core the apples. Press the blackberries to a pulp and mix with sugar/honey or golden syrup. Press the mixture down well into the apple cores and any left over can be distributed around the apples. Place into a casserole dish, add the water (less is best)and cover with a lid. Cook in a moderate oven (150 degrees) for 30 minutes until the fruit is soft. Enjoy on its own or with home made honeysuckle ice cream.

Friday, 4 September 2009

Welsh Television comes to Kerrouet

Creso and welcome to Channel 4 Wales who came to our cooking school for the past few days and enjoyed some great food and some fun as we undertook the filming of the cooking process. Poul, our chef, and Edith our neighbour, were responsible for training two Welsh speaking presenters who were endeavouring to master some of the unique skills in preparing some classic Briton dishes. On Thursday our menus started with artichoke in a citrus sauce, followed by turbot and seabass with langoustine and mussels. This was followed by a delicious home made cinnamon ice cream with crab apple gratin. On Friday we concentrated on the world famous Briton recipe "Far Briton" which is translated as a custard plum pudding as well as home made galettes which Edith demonstrated is a far more intricate process than simply making pancakes!

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Dublin Bay Prawns - Japanese Style

I am in Dublin today which is a shame as the sun is shining in St Cado (my favorite place in Brittany)and the rain is just about to come down on us here in Howth Head near Dublin! However the seafood market is wonderful and particularly the delicious Dublin Bay prawns which are renowned the world over.

Dublin Bay prawns are large, succulent and wonderful to work with. I particularly enjoy them Golden Style when East meets West as in this Japanese way (Ebi no kimi ni).

What you need:

8 large prawns
8 small potatoes
575ml of Dashi II
45ml of sake
90ml of mirin
60ml of light soy sauce
175g of green beans
45gm corn flour
3 egg yolks
slip of lemon peel


Devein and shell the prawns leaving the tail intact. Slit open the back of the prawns. Score the back of each prawn and press it out hard.

Peel and trim the potatoes and cut into equal size balls. Parboil in lightly salted with a lid until just tender. Drain and refresh in cold water.

Combine the dashi, sake, mirim and soy sauce in a saucepan, add the potatoes and bring to the boil. Remove from heat and set aside so that the potatoes cool in the simmering stock and absorb the flavour.

Trim the beans and cut diagonally into 5cm pieces. Parboil in lightly salted water until just tender. Drain in cold water.

Bring the simmering stock to a simmer. Holding the prepared prawns by the tail, brush each prawn with cornflour to make an even coating.

Separate the egg yokes into a small bowl and beat until frothy. Holding the bowl of simmering stock, dip each prawn (held by the tail) into the egg yolk.

Carefully lay the dipped prawns into the stock and simmer gently uncovered until the egg is set and the tails are bright pink. The egg yolk coating will puff up a bit as the prawns cook. Put the beans into the simmering stock to reheat.

Arrange the prawns against the potatoes in small serving bowls and place the beans in front. Ladle over the simmering stock and garnish with lemon peel (optional)

This is simply wonderful with a pint of Guinness but you may prefer a dry white wine or a hot sake instead!

Friday, 10 July 2009

Nibblerdibbler Sandwich

Every morning people are rushing around in the city without breakfast ! They are usually late for work and endeavouring to get a coffee fix to keep them going. Now here is a lovely easy recipe to get you properly set up for the morning rushhour and it only takes one minute to prepare! That means you can do this while waiting for the kettle to boil!!


Rye bread
Mascarpone cheese
1 Kiwi

On a slice of rye bread, spread the mascarpone cheese. Peel the kiwi and slice up. Place the slices of kiwi on top of the cheese and serve immediately! Serve as an open sandwich in two halves. If you get bored with kiwi, you can use apple, mango, carrot or melon instead. Experiment and try other fruits and vegetables. The kiwi is good as it is packed with antioxidents and tastes wonderful with the rye bread and mascarpone.

Don't dribble when you nibble a nibblerdibbler sandwich!


Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Linden Tree Blossom Tea

This time of year the wonderful yellow fragrant blossoms hang from the linden tree turning it into an extraordinary sight. The blossoms are full of the heavy scent of lime and melon and attract insects and honey bees from miles around. The linden tree in our garden has supplied us with tea blossom for many years. Not only is it a lovely fragrant tea, but it does have health attributes too. It is said that drinking this tea can lower blood pressure,calm the digestive system,relieve headache, boost the cardiovascular system and induce a good night's sleep - not bad for a nice cuppa. No wonder the Celts and Greeks raved about the tree in olden days!

Linden Tree Blossom Tea

Ingredients for making a pot of tea

15 blossoms and young (new)leaves.
Boiling water.


Boil the water and heat the pot. Once warmed, place a handful of linden blossom in the pot and fill with the boiled water. Replace the lid and pour remaining hot water over outside of pot. Place a tea cosy over the pot to retain heat. Leave to infuse for 5 minutes. Serve through a strainer without milk or sugar.

You can also make linden tea cordial by following the exact same recipe as for elderflower cordial but using linden blossom instead of elderflower (see previous blog.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Summer cooking courses - 2009

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


Bruschetta on toasted bread
Salmon fish cakes on a garden salad with home-made sauce remoulade
Selection of French cheeses


Langoustine stuffed chicken leg with chive sauce
Cheese: Selection of French cheeses
Panna Cotta with fresh summer fruits



Artichoke in a citrus soup
Turkey breast marinated in soya, ginger and chilli served on a salad with toasted pine kernels
Selection of French cheeses


Grilled scallops with endive sauce and chives
Slow roasted lamb with oven baked vegetables
Selection of French cheeses
Australian lemon cake (a la Keogh)



Small tomato pizza
Poached fish on a salad with watercress mousseline sauce
Selection of French cheeses


Grilled Langoustines with garlic butter
Thai style beef with ginger and baby vegetables
Selection of French cheeses
Caramelised strawberries served with cinnamon and a vanilla ice cream parfait



Visit to local food market followed by lunch in a traditional Briton restaurant


Asparagus risotto
Pan fried skate wing with lemon, capers, parsley and new potatoes
Selection of French cheeses
Chocolate fondant with fresh fruit culis



Mussel soup with saffron
Caesar Salad
Selection of French cheeses


Lobster bisque
Veal fillet with port wine and mushroom sauce, crème fraiche potatoes and rosemary roasted
Selection of French cheeses
Poached peach with a sabayon sauce and fresh raspberries

Elderflower Cordial

It's that time of the year again and we are busy making elderflower cordial. It is so simple to make and so nice to drink that I make enough for the whole year ahead!

Take 30 elderflower petals, 2 organic lemons, 1 lt water, 1 kilo of cane sugar, and 2 ts of citric acid. Boil the water in a large saucepan. Add the sugar, citric acid and sliced lemons to the boiling water and then add the elderflower petals. Allow to cool and store in a refrigerator for 4 days. On the fourth day, strain the juice from the pulp and pour the syrup into sterilised bottles. Keep in a cool place.

Serve 1 part elderflower to 5 parts water. A wonderful refreshing natural drink for the whole year ahead. We also use it in gin instead of tonic and also as an addition to sparkling wines!!

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Red Tapenade

We all need something easy and quick to prepare and this is such a dish. It is also delicious at any time of the year!


10 sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in olive oil, chopped
20 black olives, pitted
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 tbs. thyme chopped
appr. 5 tbs. olive oil
1 medium strong pimento chopped or you can use a dash of tabasco
salt and pepper to taste

Process all the ingredients in the food processor until tapenade has emulsified, but still has whole pieces in it. It should not be completely smooth.

This tapenade is delicious with pasta, easy to spread on toasted breads and may be use as a simple dip element.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

St Goueno Course de Cote - Grand Prix Dinner

The French Grand Prix will take place in St Goueno Course de Cote over the weekend of 23/24 May 2009. With good weather forecast and one of the most exciting courses in France it should be a weekend to remember. Kerrouet House are offering a very special one day cooking class on the saturday for those who want to do something different and there are a range of very exciting dishes on the menu for those lucky enough to get on the course. Places are limited to a maximum of 8 so you need to act fast to get on this very exceptional offer. The course which lasts until 5pm kicks off at 10am sharp when students discuss the menu and aspects of the course over coffee. The menu for the course is as follows:

First Course

Grilled Langoustines with herb and garlic butter
Scallops in mille-feuilles (puffed pastry) with a curry sauternes sauce

Red wine granitée (sorbet)
Main Course

Chicken Breast stuffed with mushrooms and served with crème fraiche potatoes and Madagascar pepper sauce

Selection of local cheeses

All courses are served with appropriate wines

Cost £75 (all inclusive) Places are limited. To confirm your booking please email us at or contact us via our website

Monday, 27 April 2009

Kitchen Theatre

When Mandy Dunn asked us whether we could do a special weekend cooking course for her and her hen friends I initially hesitated. While I have never been out on a hen night , I have enough experiences of stag parties to know they can be very dangerous affairs, particularly so for the groom. Images of wild drinking parties come to mind, with comatosed and eyebrowless naked men left padlocked to trees in the environs of Cambridge in the middle of the night and other past incidents best left unpublished for fear of litigation!! However Poul our chef was keen to try out the kitchen with a safe group of students who would allow him the opportunity to experiment with a few new menus and give some constructive feedback. We therefore said yes! Little did we realise we would be opening a theatre in the kitchen and having one of the best weekends so far in Kerrouet House! So a big thank you Mandy Dunn (or perhaps I should call you Mavis?) for choosing Kerrouet House for your hen weekend and to all the other delightful hens in your clutch (Jenny, Hannah, Clare, Heidi, Lana and Georgina) who were such attentive and proactive students on the course. Thanks also to our wonderful neighbours - Wez who assisted with sound for the saturday night performance; Jeanette who ensured the rosé flowed all night long, Dorte who kept the kitchen operational and undertook ceremonial duties during the graduation ceremony; Pascal who played wonderful notes of traditional Breton music on his bombard on Sunday evening (and brought unusual samples of local wildlife including a green frog (sorry about that Lana!), a white salamander and a meat eating plant or was it a man eating fly Hannah?! However the star of the weekend was the erudite John Keogh from Melbourne who performed his show "Victoria Ponders Mavis" here on our kitchen stage! The unexpected performance was one of the most enjoyable drag shows ever seen (and we have seen a few in our time!). In one fowl swoop (well remember it was a hen gathering!) poor Mavis was cooped!! Never before did so much laughters fill our rafters! We wait for your next performance Mr Keogh!

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Roast Pork with Pesto and vegetables

Roast Pork with Pesto & Vegetables.

Most people are surprised when they are served roast pork with pesto at Kerrouet House. Believe me it is simply wonderful and we have lots of converts!

serves 10


2 kg of pork filet

10 medium potatoes unpeeled cut into boats

5 onions cut into small boats

18 prunes

18 dried apricots

1-2  oranges diced small

100g walnuts

bunch of thyme

4 cooking apples cut into small boats

1 dl olive oil

salt & pepper

mug of white wine


Switch oven to 250 degrees. 

Mix all ingredients well in an oven proof dish.  Season the dish with salt and pepper to taste. Roast in the oven for up to 15 minutes. Turn oven down to 180 degrees and leave for 50 minutes.

Remove the roast from oven dish and place the mixed ingredients on hot plates. Garnish with the roast filet on top. 

Can be served with a red or green pesto sauce or simply as it is above.

Salmon Fishcakes with apple, curry and caper dressing

For summer evenings when you have lots of garden parties this is a great dish for your guests. Home made salmon fishcakes are absolutely wonderful and nothing like those available in most restaurants!

Salmon fishcakes with an apple,curry and caper dressing

serves 10

1.5 kg. fresh salmon

2-3 whole eggs

1 clove of garlic

1/2 L of cream

1 Charlotte onion


lemon juice

salt and pepper


Clean the salmon filet and cut it into dices, and put it in a food processor blend the fish, add a bit of salt and the eggs one at the time, add the chopped onion, garlic and chives.  Slowly add the cream, salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste.

Fry the diced salmon in a pan in butter, serve them on a salad and a dressing to taste.


1/2- 0.8 L. Creme fraice,  or cream

 lemon juice

1 apple



Charlotte onion

salt, pepper


Chop up capers, apples, cornichons and onion into small dices. Mix with the 

cream, flavour with salt,pepper and lemon juice. Serve it around the salad with the fish cakes

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Mussels in Saffron with Linguini

Brittany is world famous for the quality of the seafood and so we are cooking mussels for lunch today!

Mussels in saffron with linguini

serves 10


4 kg of fresh mussels

3 tbsp of oilive oil

bottle of dry white wine

4 sharlot onions

1 leek

5 cloves garlic

2 sprigs of thyme

2 bay leaves

20 black pepper corns

sprinkle of saffron

1.5 l of fresh cream

bunch of chives

juice of 1 lemon

Rinse the mussels in cold water removing all beards and algie. Discard any lifeless mussels which refuse to close. Place in a cold place



Chop up fine the onions, leeks and garlic.

In a large pot, heat olive oil and add all ingredients except wine and chives. Mix well and don't overheat. Add white wine and boil for 5 minutes or when the mussels have opened. Discard any which have not opened.

Remove the mussel shells from the stock and then remove mussels from their shells. Discard shells. Set aside. Reduce the stock, add the saffron and cream, bit of lemon juice (if necessary) and salt & pepper to taste.

Reintroduce the shellless mussels to the stock and keep warm.

Cook the linguini following the instructions on the packet.

Serve in a deep bowl the linguini and top up with the mussel soup and chives.

Sauce Beurre Blanc

Sauce Beurre Blanc

If your cooking any decent fish or vegetable dish you really need to know your beurre from your beer and this sauce is a sound foundation for a whole host of delightful dishes so it is well worth getting to know the principles involved. 

serves 6-10


6 tbsp of whitewine vinaigre

10 crushed black pebercorns

1 large chopped charlotte onion

1.5 dl dry white wine

1 dl cream or creme fraiche

250g unsalted butter

salt & pepper


Boil up in a pan, the vinaigre, peppercorns and white wine and reduce to half. Add the cream and bring to the boil. Add the butter slowly and simmer (do not boil) slowly. Flavour with salt & pepper. Strain the sauce and serve when convenient.

Sauce Beurre Blanc is a basic sauce for a lot of vegetable and fish dishes. You can add chopped chives, parsley, garlic, tarragon, basil. In fact you are only limited by your imagination!

Friday, 24 April 2009

Asparagus with orange butter and poached egg

Asparagus is in season here just now.  While it is good enough to eat on its own, do try asparagus with orange butter and a poached egg for a complete culinary sensation. You will need (for 4 people) :

20 green asparagus stems
juice of 1 orange
strips of zest, blanched in water
100g unsalted butter diced
salt and pepper
6 fresh eggs
2 l water
1 dl of white vinaigrette


Peel the asparagus and gently boil using open pan in salted water for 2 - 4 minutes. Remove from water and wrap in cloth to keep warm. Reduce orange juice until caramelizing. Add some water drops and reduce again then whisk in cold butter. Add salt and pepper to taste and the orange zest. 
Poach the eggs in an egg pan of boiling water for three minutes and once soft remove and cool under cold water. 

Serve asparagus with the orange butter sauce, poached eggs and a bouquet of chervil.

Friday, 17 April 2009

Fig Galette with camembert cheese

Fig Galette, Serves 4

  • 200g all-butter puff pastry,
  • 6 fresh figs
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 2tsp balsamic vingar
  • 100g Camembert cheese, cut into eight slices
  • Fresh chives or basil leaves, to garnish

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6.

  1. Roll out the pastry to 2mm thick and cut out 4 discs using a 10cm wide pastry cutter. Prick well with a fork and place on a baking sheet of parchment paper. Cover with a second sheet of parchment paper and weigh down with a second baking tray. Bake for 12 minutes, until crisp and golden.
  2. To make the fig jam, chop 3 of the figs into small pieces and place in a saucepan with the sugar and balsamic vinegar. Stir over a low heat until the sugar dissolves, then stop stirring and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. The jam will thicken slightly once it is removed from the heat and as it cools.
  3. To assemble the galette, slice each of the remaining figs into 4-6 wedges. Smear a spoonful of jam over each galette and lay 2 slices of camembert in the centre, followed by some fig wedges. To serve, warm in the oven until the cheese just starts to melt. Garnish with fresh herbs.

Pot-au-feu -with Pork

Pot-au-feu or pot on the fire is a typical world dish regardless of whether you are in Europe or Africa or Asia. Each country naturally has its own local cuisine and in Brittany famous for its pork as well as its seafood, you are more likely to see a pot-au-feu with ham or bacon or prosciutto (or even sausages called anduille) inside than anything else. In Ireland we have Irish Stew which was traditionally just potatoes and onions and a tiny bit of lamb if you were lucky enough to afford any. Mixing meats and vegetables in the past was a popular way to cook because you could combine lots of local ingredients into the one pot, it was easy to cook, serve and keep warm all day. One of the other great advantages was that you got two courses from the pot, the first - a soup if strained and the second the main course! Nothing was ever wasted! Today we are not so limited in our cooking modes but pot au feu is still a very popular dish. This is because of its versatility. One can add all sorts of vegetables to beef, pork, lamb, rabbit, pigeon, fish or seafoods. The options are only limited by resources and imagination! Here we will stick with pork because it is simply delicious and so easily available in Brittany. Also it's a dish where you can add both pommes and pommes de terre together with wonderful results! I normally ensure it is prepared (slowly) before going out on a five hour walk around the wonderful hills of the Mene!! I suggest you invite all your family and friends along for this dish serves up to 10 hungry guests

  • 45 g butter or oil
  • 1.1 kg boneless pork, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 3-1/4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 185 g onion, chopped
  • 1 lt chicken broth
  • 5 g salt (gurande) sea salt
  • 5 g black pepper corns
  • 0.5 g rosemary, crushed
  • 0.3 g rubbed sage
  • 1 small chili
  • 1-2/3 bay leaf
  • 3-1/4 cooking apples, cored and cubed
  • 3-1/4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 425 g carrots, peeled and diced
  • 425 g parsnips, peeled and diced.

  1. Melt the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork and cook until lightly browned on all sides. Stir in the garlic, black peppercorns, chili and onion, and continue to cook until the onion has softened, and the pork is firm, and no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
  2. Place the pork and onions into a large saucepan. Pour in the chicken broth, and season with sea salt, rosemary, sage, and the bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Stir in the apples, potatoes,parsnips and carrots. Return to a simmer, then cook, uncovered until the parsnips and apples are tender, about 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and serve with traditional home made local St Goueno cider!

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Turbot Soup with Langoustine

Brittany is famous for many reasons. Unspoilt medieval villages, empty roads, beautiful countryside, celtic atmosphere, great food, friendly people and an extraordinary coastline. Any one of these reasons would be enough to explain why we fell in love with Bretagne but when you include gastronomy, Brittany seafood is world famous. Why else would oysters from Concale be found in the world famous Four Seasons Restaurant in Singapore? You don't have to go very far in Brittany to find exceptional seafood -one of the best seafood markets in the world can be found in Rennes any saturday morning - which is why today I have tubot soup with langoustines on the menu !

Ingredients (to serve 4)

360g turbot fillets

Turbot bones

40 Langoustines

12g of leeks

12g of onion

12g of celery

12g of carrot

12g of courgette

12g of mushrooms

1 small chili

1 sprig thyne

2 sprigs of chive

1 bay leaf

5 peppercorns

500ml of dry white wine

1 tpsp of olive oil


Wash the langoustines, then simmer in salted boiling water for 2 minutes. Remove shells and intestinal threads. Place the langoustine shells, fishbones, carrots, onion, leeeks, chili, peppercorns, bayleaf, thyne into a large sauspan and fry gently in olive oil for 1 minute.

Add the white wine, cook until evaporated, then cover with water and simmer for 20 minutes.

Strain the fish stock adding salt to taste as necessary. Keep the fumet hot.

Cut the courgette, carrot, chili and mushrooms (julienne style) and place into a sauspan with the fish sauce. Cook for 1 minute and remove from heat and keep warm.

Cut the turbot into small pieces, season with sea salt and saute in a dry non stick pan for around 1-2 minutes. Arrange the langoustines in soup plates, add the turbot fillets and cover with the vegetables. Pour over the hot fumet, garnish with chopped fresh chives and serve immediately with home made bread rolls. A winner every time!!

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Rillettes de Canard (Duck Pâté)

One of the wonderful traditions in French cuisine is the making of pâté. This is normally carried out in the autumn in preparation for winter food supplies. It's not just pâté of course but a whole host of food preparation from blanching haricot beans to smoking sausages and hams up the chimmney!

We have tasted local (St Gilles de Mene) rabbit pâté which was simply awsome! Thank you Maryline Presse and your Mother! That secret traditional recipe will follow another day. Here I am going to give you the recipe we use for making duck pâté. It is a simple procedure which takes about 45 minutes in preparation time and 3 hours to cook. Given that this recipe will easily serve up to 8 persons I think it is well worth the effort!

You will need

1 oven ready duckling around 2kg

30 shelled hazelnuts

300g barding fat cut into small dice

100g of pork fillet cut into 4 pieces

1 clove garlic unpeeled

1 medium carrot cut in half lengthways

1 medium onion halved horizontally

1 small bouquet garni containing 10g fresh sage

salt & pepper

275ml dry white wine

1 teaspoon soft green peppercorns

to serve

2 grapefruit, segmented


Remove the skin from the flesh of the duck. Cut 150g from the fattest part of the skin and store in a cool place. Discard the rest of the skin. Remove all meat from the bones and cut into strips about 3 cm long. Keep in a cool place. Toast the hazlenuts under the grill until the skin is slightly burnt. Remove the nuts from the heat and rub with a cloth to remove the skins. Cut each hazlenut in half and leave to one side.

Place the barding fat along with the duck fat into a casserole dish. Add enough water to just cover the fat. Place over a medium heat and cook slowly (with the lid on) for 30 minutes stirring occasionally until all the water has evaporated. The duck fat should have melted. Add the pork fillet, duck flesh, clove of garlic, carrot, onion and sage. Season with salt and add two thirds of the white wine. Bring to the boil. Cover the casserole and set over a gentle heat for simmering. Mix occasionally to ensure nothing sticks at the bottom of the pan! Leave to cook for two and a half hours and then remove from heat.

Remove the garlic clove, carrot, onion and bouquet garni of sage. Add the remaining white wine and green peppercorns to the casserole and cover with a damp cloth. Place the casseroe in a cool place to rest.

When the duck and fat mixture is lukewarm, mix well together using your fingertips. Check for seasoning and add sale and pepper as required. Add the halved hazlenuts. Place the rillettes into an earthenware terrine and cover with clingfilm. Store in a refridgerator for at least 2 days before eating.

To serve

With two large tablespoons, place three quenelles of rillettes on each plate. Arrange three segments of grapefruit next to the rillettes. Serve with toasted home made bread. Add salad
should you wish this to be a main course.

Monday, 16 February 2009

Apple Cookies with Buttermilk

In Brittany it is still possible to find buttermilk in most of the shops. The locals love to pour it over their galettes for breakfast. I have another receipe to share with you. Brittany is one of the best apple growing areas in the world! It makes a lot of sense to make buttermilk apple cookies!

You will need:

3 cooking apples

1 lb plain flour

1 ts bread soda

pinch of salt

pinch of cinnamon

2 ts castor sugar

half pint buttermilk

4 oz butter

1 egg (beaten)

Peel, core and stew (no water) 3 cooking apples. Add a pinch of ground cinnamon and let cool.

Sift together 1 lb of plain flour, 1 ts of bread soda, a pinch of salt. Add 2 tablespoons of castor sugar. Grate in 4 ozs of butter and rub into the ingredients until like breadcrumbs. Fold in the apple and bind with the beaten egg mixed with half pint of the buttermilk to make a light non sticky dough. On a floured base/board roll out the dough to 3/4 " thick and cut into 3" diameter rounds. Place on a greased baking tray and bake at 450 degrees for 25 minutes. Dust with castor sugar and serve hot and buttered!

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Mussel Soup

One of our favorite soups is Soupe aux Moules which is a very popular dish here in Brittany. While every home has its own special way of preparing this you can't go far wrong by following the recipe below:

You will need:

1 kg mussels
150ml white wine
2 potatoes chopped
2 shallots chopped
1 clove garlic chopped
1 leek chopped
handful sorrel or spinach leaves
3 lettuce leaves
1 sprig of parsley
1 sprig of chervil
2 tablespoons of tomato puree
pinch of sea salt
freshly milled black pepper
1 tablespoon butter
fried bread croutons

Wash the mussels well. Put the washed mussels with the wine into a large saucepan and put over a strong heat. As soon as the shells open, remove the mussels with a slotted spoon. Strain the cooking liquid to remove any particles of sand and remove to the pot. Add the potatoes, shallots garlic, leek sorrel, lettuce leaves sprigs of parsley and chervil and the tomato purée. Add 1 litre of water. Bring to the boil, season with pepper and simmer for 30 minutes. Meanwhile shell the mussels and set then aside. Purée the soup. Add the mussels and heat through. Check the seasoning, adding a little more if deemed necessary. Stir in the butter. Serve the croûtons separately.

While this is a wonderful soup in its own right, we find that if you add 50g of rochefort cheese, before you purée the soup, it will be transformed into a deliciously tasty and sophisticated dish! If you do this go easy on the sea salt as the rochefort itself is surprisingly salty in the soup. Once you have become accustomed to this try other variations by adding lemon grass or curry or tarragon with cream.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Cooking with Seaweed

Seaweed has been part of the staple diet of the western Irish for centuries. My Grandad from Donegal also used it on his farm as a great natural fertilizer. Even better is the fact that slugs hate it!!

Here are some seaweed recipes to try if you can get the seaweed required. Try a health food shop if you are unsure of the quality and safety of your local seaside resort. Remember some habitates are protected and some are polluted with algae so make sure you check with your local council before taking your horse and cart to the strand!!

Sea lettuce seasoning

Collect sea lettuce fronds and rinse several times in fresh water. The fronds may be dried slowly by spreading them on newspaper and placing them in the sun or in a warm room for about a week. Alternatively, they may be dried for several hours in a warm oven—but the odor of seaweed will permeate the air, and it is not particularly pleasant! After drying, the fronds will be reduced in size and blackened. Crumble them finely and use as a seasoning with rice, soups, and main dishes.

Blanc mange

½ cup packed Irish moss
1 quart buttermilk
½ cup sugar pinch of salt
fruit or flavoring as desired

Wash Irish moss several times in fresh water. Heat buttermilk and seaweed in a double boiler. Cook over boiling water for about 30 minutes (no more), stirring occasionally. Strain through cheesecloth and discard the Irish moss. Add sugar and salt to the milk and allow to partially cool. Add fruit or flavoring as blanc mange begins to thicken. (Suggested additions: blueberries, raspberries, almond flavoring, or honey. ) Pour into molds and chill in the refrigerator for several hours. May be served with icecream or sorbets.

Irish moss salad

Irish moss
3 lemons
lettuce leaves
1¼ cups celery , finely diced 2 apples
3 tbsp. Mayonnaise
chopped walnuts

Wash some picked-over Irish moss in hot water. Place in a pan or bowl and cover with the juice of three lemons. After several hours the moss will have dissolved, hardening everything into a yellow jelly. Place this in the refrigerator to chill for a couple of hours.

Arrange a few lettuce leaves on four chilled salad plates. Cut the moss mixture into cubes and place them in the center of the lettuce. Cut the apples into cubes and mix these with finely diced celery and mayonnaise. Distribute apple mixture among the four salads and top with walnuts.

Seaweed soup stock

Edible kelp, Irish moss, and dulse can all be used in this recipe. The resulting soup is clear and can be used as a base. Clean seaweed by rinsing with fresh water. If edible kelp is used, remove its olive-colored membrane. In a pot, cover seaweed with water and boil for 30 minutes. Serve hot as a soup with added seasonings, or cooled as a jelly.

Seaweed bread

Thoroughly rinsed and dried seaweed
Bread recipe

Use a regular bread recipe like Irish soda bread. Grind or powder dried seaweed into a flour and substitute this seaweed flour for half the amount of flour called for by the recipe. Follow the recipe with these changes: Substitute water for buttermilk; add an extra tablespoon of butter; and omit salt. Experiment with different seasonings.

You can buy dry seaweed from a good health shop.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Eat More Fish!

Apparently we are not eating enough fresh fish. There is absolutely no excuse for that if you live in Brittany or Ireland or indeed even in the UK. I think many people are afraid of fish, all those scales and bones and what on earth to do if the head is still attached!!

Scientists now realise that fish oil contains invaluable food for the brain (it contains the omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), precursors to eicosanoids that reduce inflammation throughout the body). This is so important for everyone, young and old alike. What people don't often realise too is that greasy fish oil is wonderful for the complexion! So you can have beauty as well as brians!

When I lived in London's Covent Garden one of my neighbours got up every morning to fish for his breakfast! I was so impressed by his catch of conger eels from the River Thames - a river now so clean that it is full of life! You only have to look at the commorants fishing all day under Waterloo Bridge to realise the resources below. ....The Danes have some lovely recipes for eels and I will come to that later. Now I just want to give you three very simple fish recipes to get you started:

Cold Bream with Anchovy Sauce

Clean off the scales, dry well and fry gently both sides in olive oil. Serve cold with this sauce:
6 anchovy fillets pounded in a pot with nutmeg and 2 tablespoons of port wine. Add 4 ozs melted butter and a sprinkle of black pepper. Serve with potatoe cakes.

Perch in white wine sauce

Clean the perch then plunge it into boiling water for a minute which makes it easier to descale. Once the scales are removed, boil in a pan for 15 minutes and add chives salt and pepper. Serve with a white sauce, chopped parsley, 1 tablespoon of white wine and a dash of lemon juice. This is lovely when accompanied with new potatoes and fresh garden peas.

Pan Fried Roach

Clean the roach, then wash and dredge with normal white flour. Deep fry till the flesh is about to leave the bone. Serve with parsley and lemon. I like roach served on a bed of shredded white cabbage.

Now back to those eels! We appear to have lost our interest in eels. In Cambridgeshire along the fens and in the little islands making up Denmark you can still see the traces of eel traps and eel tanks which are a legacy of when eels were a popular dish. As with all food the secret is in the preparation and if you have a good recipe for eel, it is hard to beat! Here is a good simple healthy recipe to get you going:

Smoked Eel Risotto


  • 600ml fish stock
  • 100g smoked eel fillets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 150g risotto rice
  • 125ml dry white wine*
  • Finely grated zest of ¼ unwaxed organic lemon
  • 2 sprigs of finely chopped parsley
  • 1 finely grated fingertip piece of horseradish
  • Salt and black pepper
  1. Put the stock in a small saucepan and slowly bring to simmering point. Meanwhile, trim any skin from the smoked eel. Run your fingers along the fillet to feel for stray bones and cut them away. Chop the fillets into 1cm (½ in) pieces and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large, heavy saucepan. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until translucent. Add the rice and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes until the rice is shiny and fragrant.
  3. Add the wine and lemon zest and simmer, stirring, until evaporated. Add a ladle of hot stock and cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid has been absorbed. Add another ladle of stock and continue stirring and cooking until it too has been absorbed. Repeat this process until all or most of the stock has been used and the rice is just cooked, about 17 minutes from the first addition of hot stock to the rice.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the smoked eel, parsley and horseradish. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.
* If you prefer you can use elderflower cordial instead of white wine.

This is a wonderful starter on its own or serve with salad for a delightful healthy main course.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Kerrouet Tonic

Well after all that feasting and alcohol abuse we need to detox a little and so it's appropriate that I share a little secret with you. Way back in May of last year when the early rays of the spring sunshine were upon us, Poul and I went foraging deep into the Kerrouet countryside. We were on the search for rich scented elderflower petals. It's very important to collect the petals well before midday when their flavours are most wholesome. The undulating countryside around Kerrouet (Cotes d'Armor) is particularly suited to this search as the north facing hills tend to preserve, prolong and enrich the elderflower trees. Take a good size basket to collect the elderflower petals as you don't want to damage them in transit. When you get home, gently remove the petals from their stems and wash in cold water. Follow the following recipe:

Take 30 elderflower petals, 2 organic lemons, 1 lt water, 1 kilo of cane sugar, and 2 ts of citric acid. Boil the water in a large saucepan. Add the sugar, citric acid and sliced lemons to the boiling water and then add the elderflower petals. Allow to cool and store in a refridgerator for 4 days. On the fourth day, strain the juice from the pulp and pour the syrup into sterilised bottles. Keep in a cool place.

You are now in a marvellous position as you have the magic ingredient for making a whole host of super summer drinks and cocktails. We have found that simply adding tonic and ice to the elderflower syrup gives you a very refreshing non alcohol cocktail. We call this Kerrouet Tonic and it was invented here at Kerrouet House!

Other drinks we have developed using our home made traditional elderflower cordials are as follows:

Kerrouet G&T

1 part elderflower syrup
1 part gin
5 parts tonic
3 ice cubes
1 slice of lime or lemon

Kerrouet Kir

1 part Kerrouet elderflower syrup
5 parts white wine

We recommend that for the next few months you drink more of the Kerrouet Tonic so that your body can detox a little!! Enjoy.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Kerrouet Royal - a new cocktail from Kerrouet House

Well it's not every day that a new cocktail hits the headlines but when that cocktail is developed and named by yours truely, one is justifiably proud! Kerrouet Royale has now been approved and registered by the UK's premier cocktail website ( and a link to the site for comments on the new fusion of armagnac, cointreau and champagne is given below. We hope you get to try it soon and please don't hesitate to pop along to Kerrouet House to sample a few glasses while stocks last!!

Thursday, 1 January 2009

New Year's Eve Dinner 2008

Well it was a wonderful night and thank you Poul (our chef) who worked so hard to make it such a great success. Thank you also Dean, Sharon, Paul and Jeanette for your delightful company through the years' end and for making the evening such a memorable occasion.

We kicked off the proceedings with the launch of our new cocktail, Kerrouet Royale. Mix one short measure (1 cl) of armagnac with one short measure (1 cl) of cointreau using a shaker. Prepare champagne glasses. Pour mixture from shaker into glasses one part to five parts champagne. Serve immediately.

Most people are familiar with Kir Royale (a fusion of crème de cassis with champagne) but Kerrouet Royal has a much more powerful flavour and pulls a punch which lives up to the name of the village it is named after! Ker is the Briton word for house or village. Rouet is a derivative of the French word for King (Roi). The village of Kerrouet has historical royal links and if you look up at our roof you will spot a royal chimney!

The ten course dinner which followed was certainly fit for a king and I have outlined the menu below for you to salivate over! The sticky toffee pudding created by Jeanette was extraordinarily yummy too so thank you Jeanette and yes please send on the recipe!!

Happy New Year .

Kerrouet House
New Year's Eve 2008
Dinner Menu

Amuse Bouche
Carpaccio of St Brieuc Scallops
Foie Gras Terrine on Toast
Lobster Bisque
Granitee of Mulled Wine
Filet of Beef with a Truffle Sauce, Wild Mushrooms and Royal Blue Potatoes
Dessert Surprise
Welsh Sticky Toffee Pudding
Coffee and Petite Fours