Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Chicken for caring in cooped up crazy times?   

Preparing poulet properly or perhaps poussin or pintade?

Too chicken to go out? You should be, writes Susan Gish. It’s fowl out there! No clucking about it please!

We’re on for at least 2 more weeks of lockdown, but don’t count your chickens before they hatch. I started thinking about comfort foods in this difficult time. Foods that make you feel better. (more…)

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Tarte au Citron -this time written by Chef Sam and photos by Susan Gish – we switched roles this time!
With updated ingredients
The almost easy Tarte au Citron recipe  I’ve been making this tart for almost 18 years and I still go back to the recipe I found in Cuisine At Home back in 2002. The filling is very tart and lemony. One of the first times I brought this to a friend’s house, their 13 year old son had a piece, said, ‘This is really, really too tart. Can I have another piece?’ 
The big thing to remember is to do your mise en place before you start and you’ll be fine. I’m putting the essential equipment, proportions and full ingredient list at the end.
Let’s start with the crust. After trying almond crusts, hazelnut crusts, pre-made store bought crusts, it turns out that making your own paté sablé is the best one to use. Lots of people are freaked out by crust but it’s really easy – patience and cold butter are your friends and will not let you down. That and using your hands to make it; not a food processor, not a stand mixer, not a blender, not a pastry cutter – your hands.



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Harry’s Bar Coming to Cannes

My 2020 diary is looking decidedly bleak with a cancelled holiday in April and lots of empty pages as we enter a period of social isolation; but we can dream, we can plan.  And I am starting a Post Lockdown List.

How does cocktails at the new Harry’s Bar in Cannes sound for starters?

The original in Paris is the oldest cocktail bar in Europe; it was in 1911 that the Scottish Harry MacElhone opened the first Harry’s Bar in Paris, to bring to the French capital the fashion of American “cocktail bars”. Mission accomplished as Harry’s Bar became “Paris’s place to be”, chosen by Ernest Hemingway, Jean-Paul Sartre, Coco Chanel and many more American and French celebrities. Now, it is in Cannes that his great grandson, Franz Arthur MacElhone, has chosen to expand.

Harry’s Bar Cannes will cover an area of 127 m2 with a 150 m2 terrace on the wide-open space of Port Canto a newly-developed area abutting La Croissette. (http://www.cannes.com/fr/cadre-de-vie/amenagements-et-travaux-en-cours/port-canto-phase-2-espace-grand-large.html)

The company has made cocktails its speciality: Bloody Mary was allegedly born in there in 1921, White Lady, Monkey Gland and the Blue Lagoon were invented by Harry’s Bar. There are over 300 references of whiskeys and a choice of 400 cocktails made by experienced bartenders.

I doubt its opening date – June 2020 – will be possible, but cocktails in the Cannes sunshine is pencilled in my 2020 ‘Post Lockdown List’.

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Lock ‘Down and Out in Aix-en-Provence’
Lockdown Recipes at Chez Gish
Susan Gish writes:  All the restaurants are closed. Since we are self isolating / quarantining / social distancing, we can’t have people over for dinner parties that Chef Sam is known for. He loves to cook but now the meals will only be for the two of us. I am so spoiled, because he cooks a wonderful meal most nights, except when we go out…Now, of course, it will be every night. Lucky me!
This new series will be recipes for simple meals or desserts for you to make at home. I’m sorry we can’t have you over for dinner!
BL (before lockdown), I would shop every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at the marché, sourcing seasonal food as much as possible from the local producteurs. Once home, I laid out everything I bought out on the table. Sam looked at his choices and created (of course for dinner parties he would have an idea and I would shop according to what he needed).
This lockdown is tricky. I tried to buy as much fresh food as possible in advance, so that we could have fresh vegetables and fruits. Did you realize it’s asparagus season? The asparagus we’ve had the past few nights is grown locally in Cucuron! So tasty already, it’s going to be a great season!  We have a full refrigerator with all the staples – including wine, bien sur!
Our freezer is stocked with everything homemade: cassoulet, bolognese, pizza dough (yes, homemade!), fond de viande, duck stock, chicken soup made with homemade chicken stock of course… (why can’t we get chicken soup here in France? I only see vegetable soups or soupe de poisson). We have homemade mirabelle compote from a tree near our apartment. Also we have duck legs and chipolatas.
Duckchetta. (A take-off on Porchetta)
Stuffed magret/breast
Chef Sam says:
“Really easy and delicious – The stuffing is equal parts of grated Parmesan, chopped rosemary, chopped fennel seeds. Two or three cloves finely chopped garlic. One large chopped mushroom and some fresh fennel.  
Served it with roasted cauliflower seasoned with turmeric.
With a small sharp knife, make a pocket in the duck breast – insert the knife in one end being careful not to slice through the sides. Push the filling into the pocket – I used a small funnel and a chopstick. 
Make sure the filling is evenly distributed. 
Turn the oven on to 350-400F. Put a small casserole dish in to pre-heat and add some duck fat. Cook the duck skin side down in a heavy bottomed pan until it’s golden brown. Save the rendered fat! This can be used for duck fat potatoes at a later time. 
Put the breast into the pre-heated casserole and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes (internal temp 125F for rare). Take it out, season with sea salt and let it rest for 5 minutes. 
Slice and serve. 
Next time I’m going to vary the recipe, possibly using pine nuts and chopped spinach and lemon peel. Or maybe reconstituted dried apricots or prunes with almonds. The Parmesan will be a constant. 
Full disclosure – This is a variation on a Mark Bittman recipe from the NYTimes.
I don’t want french fried potatoes, red ripe tomatoes
I’m never satisfied
I want the frim fram sauce
With oss-en-fay with sha fafa on the side
I don’t want pork chops and bacon
That won’t awaken, my appetite inside
I want the frim fram sauce
With oss-en-fay with sha fafa on the side
Chef Sam & Susan Gish

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Christianne at L’Oceane

…with Jean-Jacques, Christianne & Romain, thanks to Susan Gish who writes: I’m sharing this sole plaice with you so I won’t be shellfish. I don’t want to flounder around! There’s nothing fishy going on here, so no need to be crabby but I just can’t clam up about this.

My favorite at L’Oceane is their Coquilles St. Jacques. I buy it in the shell and j’adore the corail (the roe). We can’t get the corail in the US. For some strange reason the fishermen cut it off right at the boat and throw it back into the sea. Quel dommage, the best part.
Scallop season is November through April and the best are from Normandy says Jean-Jacques.


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Who has the most Aix-citing pizza in Aix? writes Susan Gish.

                                                         Let us know your favorite in the comments! (more…)

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Chilly days call for a cosy café, a warm welcome and a piping hot spicy lunch.  I found all three at Tita, a super family-run venue for Israeli / Mediterranean street-food. (more…)

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