Saturday, July 10, 2010

French Food - Success!

After my unfortunate Italian experience, I'm pleased to report that my French cuisine is a huge improvement! How could it possibly let me down considering it is my favourite country and food?!

We started the week with a smoked mackerel salad accompanied by boiled potatoes. I didn't find it in any of my French recipe books but I've had this dish many times sitting outside at a cafe in France and for a light meal, it is one of my favourites. The main difference between my version and the one you'll find in France is that the real French one would have been made with smoked herring - those were not be found in my supermarket unfortunately but the mackerel worked just as well. My French dressing isn't half as good as the one my Granny makes, or the ones you will find in France but it was not bad and overall a really good meal.

The next night we had chicken chasseur with courgette and tomato bake. I have a feeling my French cookbook is for dieters because there was no requirement to put cream in the sauce, so I didn't but in the past I would always have added cream and I found the sauce a bit thin without it. Despite that though, the flavour was mouth-wateringly good (if I do say so myself!) and the courgette and tomato bake (interlaced slices of the two vegetables drizzled with olive oil and topped off with grated cheese) was so simple but so tasty.

Finally, we had veal with tarragon sauce. My brother, Struan, was not impressed that we had veal but I wasn't thinking of the ethics / politics of it when I bought it - next time I'll just use minute steaks (plus I can't actually tell a difference in the flavour anyway). Again, the lack of cream lead to a rather thin sauce but I didn't want to repeat my mistake of 'improving' recipes again. With this dish I just made roast veg, not really French but delicious roast beetroots, local sweet turnips and juicy carrots apply to all European cuisines I would say.

A big thumbs up for all the French meals from Simon, so those will stay in my repertoire for the future. I was going to continue with French food for the coming week but I bought a book (on my nutritionist's recommendation) yesterday that has got me planning in a totally difference direction. More on that next time...

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