French Feast

501
French Feast

We collect together authentic recipes from the very birthplace of the word ‘cuisine’ (France) and bring the know-how and passion of generations to your table. Bon appetit!

 

Baguette (French bread), Nothern France

Serves: 6 – 8

Prep and Cook time: 1 hour (not including 5 ½ hour waiting time)

Ingredients:

10 g yeast

720 ml water

18 g salt

1 kg flour, plus extra for sprinkling

Method:

  1. Place all the ingredients in a food mixer with a dough hook and knead for 10 minutes until it’s a smooth and well-combined paste.
  2. Leave to stand for five hours.
  3. Divide the dough into three 350 g pieces and into three long baguettes.
  4. Let it stand for 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 250℃ (480℉).
  6. Sprinkle with flour and make five diagonal scores with a knife down the length of each baguette.
  7. Bake the baguettes in the oven for 20 minutes. Best served within three hours of baking.

baguette

 

Poulet De Valee De L’auge (Auge Valley Chicken), Nothern France

Serves: 4

Prep and Cook time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients:

2 tbsp creme fraiche

2 strips tarragon

Pinch of ginger

Pinch of cinnamon

1 tbsp demerara sugar

Fleur de sel

4 firm-fleshed apples

250ml – 500ml dry cider (less for smaller chickens)

1 tbsp butter, plus 1 tbsp for caramelizing apples

1 tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 1.8 kg free-range chicken

Selection of garden herbs (such as bay, thyme, tarragon)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180℃ (350℉).
  2. Put the herbs inside the chicken’s carcass and add salt and pepper. Place the chicken in the roasting dish and massage it with the olive oil and butter. Roast in the oven until golden (approx 30 – 45 minutes).
  3. Pour the cider over the chicken and put back in the oven for another 30 minutes. Cook until the juices run clear.
  4. Core the apples and cut them into quarters.
  5. Put 1 tbsp of butter on the apples, add the fleur de sel and pepper to taste, then fry them until golden. Then add 1 tbsp sugar, a pinch of cinnamon and a pinch of ginger to the pan and caramelize the apples.
  6. Remove the chicken from the oven and reserve the roasting juices in the pan. Place the chicken in a shallow dish with the apples and sprinkle with the tarragon leaves.
  7. Add 2 tbsp creme frachie to the warm juices in the roasting pan. Mix together and pour into a gravy boat. Pour some of the sauce over the chicken and serve.

chicken

 

Salade De Tomates Avec Soupe Froide De Tomates (Tomato Salad and Chilled Tomato Soup), Central France

Serves: 4

Prep and Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

For the salad:

32 basil leaves

12 garden tomatoes, sliced (get a mix of varieties)

Dash of olive oil

Sea salt flakes and black pepper, to taste

For the cold tomato soup:

250 ml water

4 good pinches of salt

6 good pinches of black pepper

20 ml sherry vinegar

100 ml extra virgin olive oil

150 g white onion, finely chopped

4-5 garlic cloves

1.4 kg tomatoes

To serve:

4 basil leaves

16 croutons

A good drizzle of olive oil

Method:

  1. For the salad, slice the tomatoes and arrange on the plate. Decorate with torn basil leaves. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  2. To make the cold tomato soup, put all ingredients except the water in a blender and blitz until smooth.
  3. Add the water and blend again.
  4. Push the liquid through a conical sieve to eliminate the seeds.
  5. Serve the soup in bowls with a drizzle of olive oil, croutons, and a basil leaf. Serve the salad on the side.

tomato salad

 

Crepes Suzette (Flambeed crepes with orange butter sauce), Southeast France

Serves: 4

Prep and cook time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients:

100 ml Grand Marnier

30 ml cognac

50 ml lemon juice

100 ml orange juice

8 sugar cubes

50 g + 100 g butter

500 ml milk

30 ml curacao liqueur

1 vanilla bean

4 eggs

150 g sugar

2 g finely ground salt

150 g flour

1 lemon

1 orange

To serve:

Sprinkle of sugar

Method:

  1. Grate the zest from half the orange and half the lemon, juice the flesh and set the juice aside. Reserve the remaining peel.
  2. In a bowl, mix the flour, salt, sugar, eggs, vanilla, Curacao and milk. Sprinkle with a pinch of the orange and lemon zest, and then whisk the batter until it is smooth.
  3. Pour the mixture through a conical sieve into another bowl to eliminate lumps, then let the batter rest for one hour.
  4. Melt the 50 g of butter in a small to a medium-sized pan and cook until it is golden brown, then pour in a ladleful of batter, turning the pan until the batter covers the base. Cook for 30 seconds on each side until lightly golden brown. Repeat with the remainder of the batter, then set the crepes aside.
  5. Rub the sugar cubes on the remaining orange and lemon peel.
  6. Melt the 100 g of butter and sugar cubes in a pan to create a caramel, then pour in the lemon juice and orange juice and another teaspoon of orange zest.
  7. Place the crepes in the juice in the pan and soak, then fold the crepes into quarters. Add cognac and Grand Mariner to the pan.
  8. Flambee and sprinkle with sugar before serving.

 

Moules Mariniere, Southwest France

Serves: 4

Prep and Cook time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

800 ml dry white wine

½ – 2 heads of garlic, peeled

1 sprig of thyme

1 tbsp olive oil

80 g butter

40 g parsley, plus extra to garnish

40 g shallots

2 kg mussels (moules de bouchot, preferably)

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Method:

  1. Scrub the mussels, pull off the ‘beards’ and wash in several baths of cold water. Discard the mussels that are already opened or damaged. Drain the remaining mussels.
  2. Peel and finely chop the shallots. Wash and finely chop the shallots wash and blot the parsley, then chop finely.
  3. In a large casserole pot, melt half the butter with 1 tbsp olive oil, and then fry the shallots until soft. Add the mussels along with half of the chopped parsley, the thyme, and whole garlic cloves.
  4. Deglaze the base of the pan with the white wine. Add freshly-ground black pepper. Bring to the boil on a high heat, and cover for six to eight minutes. Stir the mussels in gently.
  5. As soon as some of the mussels start to open, take off the heat.
  6. Drain the mussels over a bowl and sieve to eliminate any bits of sand and shell, reserving the juice. Discard any mussels that haven’t opened.
  7. Add the filtered juice back to the pan and simmer over high heat until the liquid has reduced by a third.
  8. Take off the heat, and add the rest of the butter, cut into pieces.
  9. Pour the sauce over the mussels, and sprinkle over the rest of the parsley.