Have you seen my latest YouTube video where I show you how to make Gougères? This easy French appetizer is delicious and perfect for dinner parties or wine tastings. You can use many different ingredients to flavor the savory French cheese puffs, but my favorite combination is blue cheese (especially the bleu d’Auvergne from President) and finely chopped spring onions. So tasty!
PS: the basic recipe is called pâte à choux. Without pepper and a little less salt, you can use it to make cream puffs, chouquettes and éclairs! A good recipe to master! Just remember to fully incorporate each egg into the mixture before adding the next! Enjoy!
Somewhere in the middle of January, I was looking through some cookbooks and recipe cards I had brought back from one of my trips through Bourgogne. Though we love France in the summer, a while ago we discovered there’s quite some magic to be found in French vineyards during winter. Driving past the bare vines and seeing all the hard work involved in the production of wine makes you appreciate the product even more. That’s why we love vacationing in Bourgogne around late February, especially in the Côte Chalonnaise, an area known for producing the ‘other’ Burgundy wines. Not as fancy as those in the Côte d’Or, but wonderful nonetheless. A few years ago I wrote an article about this wine region, and you can read it here. This is the region of Mercurey, Givry, Rully & Montagny. Names I’m sure will sound familiar to any wine lover.
While looking through some of the recipes cards (which I happened to get at the wine cave in Buxy), my daughter Kirstie caught glance of them and asked when we were going back. By Friday, I had booked the best house I could possiblly find in the village, and the countdown to the big day began!
Market in Chalon, looking out from Le Verre Galant.
How I love French markets like the one in Chalon-sur-Saône, which I can’t wait to see again next month. Stall after stall of beautiful, fresh food; cheeses; meats and charcuterie; local wines offered directly by their producers; fresh herbs and dried exotic spices; the best fruits and vegetables; succulent, tasty olives; and tasty dried sausages in every flavor imaginable! French markets, and the one in Chalon is no exception, are not only bountiful, but also very uplifting for the spirits and senses. While some people shop and taste, others are engaged in conversation or simply choose to watch the spectacle from the sidelines while enjoying a drink at one of the many restaurants and bars in front of the church.
“Sunday: Today started off very gray with a light drizzle of rain. It was rather cold, but we still headed to the market in Chalon-sur-Saône after a breakfast of bacon and eggs cooked in our rustic French kitchen. I did the cooking as Hans tended to a fire to get the kitchen nice and toasty and provide a little atmosphere to our first full day back in Bourgogne.
Even though it’s winter, the market at Chalon is phenomenal! What an explosion of color! And what beautiful food presentations! There was pink garlic, freshly-slaughtered, fat Bresse chickens, artisanal cheeses, fragrant pastries and even an oyster stand. I took notice of a beautiful butcher’s truck where tongue and pigs’ feet were on display. Odd to some, normal to the French.
After the market, we drove back to Buxy for lunch, only to find that the only restaurant serving lunch on Sunday was the local bar, Bar Le Bacchus. We decided to give it a try, and it turned out to be exactly what we were looking for. We had steak-frites with a bottle of local Givry wine and for dessert the best îles flottantes ever. Not all that bad for ‘bar food’. After a meal like that, there was little choice but to roll back home and spend the rest of the day by the fire”