Who doesn’t like Soufflés, those light, moist, airy as clouds cakes. Savoury or sweet, they’re bound to impress your guests at dinner parties… that is, if the soufflé doesn’t collapse before reaching the dining table, or worse, never rises. Capricious little things they are…
“In Tartiflette We Trust”
My mother’s Tartiflette: Before…
… and after
“In Tartiflette We Trust” is a motto that has become really popular in the last decade, and, as I later found out, it’s actually the slogan of a mountain and ski gear shop in the French Alps. You can now spot stickers and people wearing “In Tartiflette We Trust” t-shirts all over France, even beyond! I have to say, this is a motto by which I can abide!
To me, the simple mention of Tartiflette evokes winter, crisp snow, ski, holiday, flattering ski goggle tan, evenings eating and drinking your heart’s content (It’s freezing outside, you need padding!) and playing cards etc. Aaah, good times!
At the recent Social Dinner Club Lebanese dinner at Efendy, my foodie friend Karen introduced me to Merna Taouk from Homemade Fine Foods. Merna kindly invited me to attend a Saturday “Master the Mousse” class, held at the Tempe factory she shares with fellow artisan food producers Pierre Issa, of Pepe Saya butter fame, and the duo from Pat and Stick’s Homemade Ice-Cream Co. (You can also find there the Arabic pastries Booza and free-range stocks of The Stock Merchant).
Canelés are great little pastries originating from Bordeaux. The legend has it that it was first made by sisters from the Annonciades covent in Bordeaux in the 16th century, and that its tubular shape gave it the name of canelé (= cane).
Truffle season is upon us, and to celebrate, what’s better than beautiful fresh pasta with lots of butter, Parmesan cheese and shaved truffle…? That’s right, nothing!
This little baby comes from Tasmania and this time, my partner insisted on taking care of it, as according to him I didn’t make the most of it last year and he could do much better… All right then!
Box of “La Mère Maury” ravioles: Le goût du souvenir
To me, the Raviole box pictured above says it all: “The Taste of Memories“. Ravioles bring me back to my childhood in Romans, in the South-East of France, where they are a specialty. They have been protected by a “Label Rouge” since 1998, under the appellation “Ravioles du Dauphiné”. (The Dauphiné is an old French province that used to include the following current departments: Drôme, Hautes-Alpes and Isère).
Bonjour tout le monde!
Sorry for neglecting the blog so long, so much to do since I came back from my French & Vietnamese holiday, including moving houses, which is never fun and leaves you internet-less for several weeks!
I am aware that we are fast approaching Easter now, but it would be a pity not to mention my French Christmas and our very own Christmas puddings: the Christmas Log or Yule Log, as I have also seen it written many times. A French Christmas without a Bûche de Noël is not a real Christmas!
Bûches de Noël in the window display of Pâtisserie Guillet, Romans-sur-Isère
‘Tis the season for Artichokes!! Well, not for much longer now, but I sure made the most of it, eating artichokes every week and loving it!
Still not quite getting used to their size here, which I find quite small compared to the French ones, but very satisfying nonetheless! Even though I swore myself to try this great recipe I saw a few months back on Italian Food Safari, I can’t help but go back to that really simple one: boiled, then served with a nice vinaigrette… just yum!
Witlof, literally “white leaf”, is also known as Belgium Endive, Chicon or Chicory and is one of my favourite vegetable: it is versatile, makes for delicious salads in its raw form and is excellent braised. It is unfortunately not as widespread in Australia as it is in Europe: its growing conditions are quite particular and there is not a lot of local production, which is why witlof is quite pricey (around $12-$14/kilo).
Have I mentioned before that I was a lucky girl? I’ve got a man who not only is a good cook and cures his own olives, but who also loves gardening and grows his own produce!
So far we’ve been able to enjoy from our little veggie patch: snow peas, cos lettuce, red coral lettuce, butter lettuce, the sweetest broccoli I have ever tasted AND, last but not least, my beloved radishes. Or, as they are bizarrely called here, French Breakfast Radishes… I have no idea why, I have never eaten or seen anyone eat radishes for breakfast in France (I know we have weird eating habits, but still!).