A little French Onion Soup to ease weary minds…

Ahhh Paris.  Who has not visited Paris and indulged in a little French Onion Soup, garnished with melting, oozing Gruyère cheese and crusty baguette?  It is said that French Onion Soup came into being as a way for the early morning market vendors to warm their hands during the chilly early hours of market day. …

It’s time for a tart … Walnut Tart!

  Périgord, in northern Aquitaine is an area well known for its truffles, foie gras, and walnuts.  Although the groves you see today are somewhat newer trees, this is talk of evidence which suggests that walnut groves have flourished in this corner of the world for the last 17,000 years (yes, I said 17,000 years!) …

Drunken Broth …

Okay, this one is pretty rustic.  Described as traditional ‘peasant food’ a Gabure Bigourdane is a hearty, meaty, soupy casserole typical of the region of Gascony. According to Regions of France the word ‘gabure’  simply means ‘made with lots of different vegetables’ and that is exactly what this dish is.  Typically, the recipe will vary…

Look! It’s Poulet Basquaise!

Now, this dish is a regional favourite of mine and pretty popular in our house.  I am always surprised at how tasty it is given the few basic ingredients it is made from. In keeping true to the Basque tradition I have made this tonight using Piment d’Espelette.  This is a hot chilli pepper grown…

Hmmm the Pyrenees … where even the toughest riders crack!

Welcome to the Pyrenees!  Today we head into the mountains on the way from Carcassonne to  Bagnères-de-Luchon and despite whatever pain the Tour riders are experiencing, my kitchen smells wonderful! The dish today comes from the Luchon Valley, located at the foot of the mighty Pyrenees.  This is a local specialty, although it’s likely that…

Did somebody say ‘Nimes Brandade de Morue’?

So, following from earlier discoveries about the origins of this dish, today I have continued the learning curve. It seems the core ingredients that I mentioned to you earlier are actually a more modern take on the traditional brandade recipe, and if I were bring you a recipe truly representative of Nimes cuisine, then my…

Tonight it’s a Brandade …

Or, Nimes Brandade de Morue to be precise!   This translates to salted cod, prepared in the manner of a Brandade, and specialty of the Nimes region of France. Those of you that have travelled around Mediterranean will most likely be familiar with the idea of Bacalhau, Bacalao, Baccalá…  Greece, Spain, Italy, they all have their…

Simply delicious…Créme Catalane

Stage 14 takes us from Grenoble to Risoul in another mammoth mountain task for the riders in the Tour. For Stage 14 I bring you a dessert heavily influenced by the Spanish dish Creme Catalana, and if I am completely honest, a dish that is probably a little more representative of regions just a little…

Food that is just like a Big Warm Hug, Olaf style!

Stage 13 sees the Tour speeding its way through Grenoble on the way to the ski resort of Chamrousse.  So, tonight I bring you soul warming food, rich, simple and tasty.  Just the thing to warm you up after a hard day out on the slopes. Ravioles du Royans are a French specialty of the…

Did someone say ‘Doughnuts’?

Aaah, Stage 12 and Saint-Étienne!  Thank you for having your own regional doughnut recipe! While the French word beignet simply refers to all types of doughnuts, the term Bugnes is reserved for these particular delicacies, originally conceived in the Duchy of Savoie, and more specifically around the areas of the Lyon, Rhône valley, Saint-Étienne and…