Friday, 7 March 2014

Best Food & Wine Destination in Brittany

So today is a wonderful day as we received a commendation from the Daily Telegraph as one of the best food & wine destinations in France! Here is the link and of course we fully agree!!

 Cooking Breton style

It’s easy to make your own gourmet tour of Brittany, picnicking on fresh market produce by day and dining in the seafood restaurants of towns like Cancale and Quiberon. Taking a five-day course at the French Dining School, however, gives you a grounding in how to go one step further and actually reproduce the splendours of Breton and modern European cuisine back home, cooking over 30 dishes including buckwheat galettes, Far Breton desserts, scallops and lobster. The school is in the village of Kerrouet, 50 miles southwest of St-Malo, with accommodation in the local château, or nearby gîtes.

* The French Dining School (00 33 2963 44 five-day course costs €995 (£838), including lunch and dinner; château apartments from €290 (£244).

Greg Ward
Read the author's expert guide to Brittany

Monday, 3 March 2014

Asparagus with Mousseline Sauce

One of the most exciting aspects of the arrival of spring is the arrival of the asparagus season. Asparagus must be fresh to be at its best and ideally consumed on the day it is picked. It can be served on its own with a knob of butter or with a vinaigrette, mayonnaise, hollandaise, mousseline or maltaise sauce. Asparagus with soft boiled eggs or scrambled eggs are a delightful combination but the vegetable is so versatile you can add it to salads, risottos or with any dish as an accompaniment.


2 kg large green fresh asparagus
9 oz butter
4 egg yokes
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons créme fraíche
1/2 lemons
sea salt
cayenne pepper


Scrape the asparagus with a peeler to remove any scales and clean thoroughly. Cut stalks to an even length size and place in a saucepan of boiling water. I usually add 1 teaspoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of sea salt to the water as it helps hold in the flavour.  Boil gently for five minutes as you don't want to overcook the asparagus. It should be soft but firm when cooked. Wrap the asparagus to keep it warm and set aside.

Clarify the butter and set aside to keep warm. Combine the egg yokes and the water in a saucepan. Blend with a whisk and place the saucepan in a bain-marie. Heat the water in the bain-marie to simmering and whisk the eggs which will start to froth as the mixture thickens. Remove the saucepan from the bain-marie. Add salt and pepper to the eggs and slowly whisk the clarified butter to the mixture until it is completely blended in. Strain the sauce through a conical strainer and add lemon to taste. Your hollandaise is ready. To convert it to a mousseline, just before serving,  add créme fraíche and check for seasoning. Keep warm. Place the mousseline in a warm sauce boat and serve with the asparagus.

This is normally served in Brittany with sparkling water or/and a muscadet wine.