I have never really celebrated Bastille Day much back in France. To me it was mostly a public holiday which also happened to fall on my Dad’s birthday, with all the accompanying jokes that the French army was marching in Paris to salute him. As a kid, it was also the day for fireworks, where it was de rigueur to exclaim after each blast: “Oooh, la belle bleue, ooooh la belle rouge!”
I was very pleased and surprised to see that Bastille Day was commonly celebrated in Australia and decided to have my own little Bastille Day dinner at home this year.
– Camembert fondue
– Saucisson & Cornichons
– Leek & Goats cheese Quiche (for the vegos)
– Duck confit (pre-bought)
– Potatoes cooked in duck fat
– Gratin dauphinois
– A little bit of Rocket & Fennel salad, for the greens 😉
– Tarte Tatin
For the Leeks & Goat’s cheese Tart, I was largely inspired by this recipe on Gourmet Traveller, except I didn’t puree the leeks here.
The Duck Confit legs were just ready to be heated up and I caramelized them in a bit of Duck fat, skin side down, to give it a bit of a crisp.
As there was enough fat coming with the Confit, I decided to use it to fry potatoes, unpeeled and thinly sliced, until nicely golden and crisp.
Together with the duck legs, these were a major hit at the table, we couldn’t hear much talking for a few minutes!
For my vegetarian guests, I had prepared a Gratin Dauphinois, a specialty from my region, which is more or less a creamy potato bake. For this, I have sliced Desiree potatoes very thinly, and placed them nicely on the baking dish, alternating between milk and cream to pour in between each layer of potatoes, as well as sprinkling generous amounts of chopped garlic and ground nutmeg.
Be careful to leave yourself enough time to prepare this dish, as this baby takes at least an hour to an hour and a half to cook in the oven.
Now onto the Tarte Tatin 🙂
I peel some apples, cut them into quarters, remove the core and pour some lemon juice over them, as well as some caster sugar.
In the meantime I start on the scary caramel, being very careful to not let it burn.
When the caramel starts to turn brown, I place the apples quarters nicely in the pan, with some dices of unsalted butter.
I let them cook for a few minutes for the apples to start cooking and soften.
After letting the apples cool down for a few minutes, I place the sheet of Puff pastry on top of the pan, tuck in the edges under the apples and put in the oven for about 30 minutes.
Once the pastry is golden brown, remove carefully the pan from the oven (“carefully” because of course I burnt myself , even though I knew the handle would have to be pretty hot at that stage! Tss tss…).
Let it rest for a few minutes, than place a large plate over the pan and turn carefully and quickly the tart upside down…
Tadaaa!!! I am pretty pleased with myself, considering I never cook desserts… pretty happy!
Serve with a good quality Vanilla ice-cream or simply cream.
To finish on an even nicer note, I was chosen as this week’s Featured Foodie on SBS Food website!!!
You can check out the interview on: http://www.sbs.com.au/food/article/4242/Featured_Foodie_Sandra_Beeston.
Please feel free to share your Bastille Day stories or recipes 🙂