On Saturdays, hubby and I have made it a tradition to enjoy a cozy, candlelit dinner for two. Complete with old records and a nice bottle of wine. It’s something both of us really look forward to. Those Saturday dinners are always an opportunity (if we’re not having steak-frites!) to try something new. Like this warming dish of roast poussins and mustardy celeriac mash. I first made this dish on a cold winter’s evening after a visit to the market in Hilversum where I purchased two beautifully plump little poussins along with a fragrant head of celeriac, from which I made a comforting, earthy mash. It’s a dish that’s perfect for these colder months and one which I’m sure you will love.
Roast Poussins with Mustardy Celeriac Mash
- 2 fat, little poussins
- 4 bruised garlic cloves
- small bunch of thyme, rosemary and 4 sage leaves
- dash of the following herbs: smoked paprika powder, Herbes de Provence, tarragon
- salt (preferably fleur de sel) and freshly-cracked pepper
- mild olive oil
- 150ml dry white wine
For the mash:
- 1 large potato, peeled and chopped
- a little more than half a head of celeriac, peeled and chopped
- 2 tsp grainy mustard
- 75ml cream
- good knob of butter
Stuff the little birds with the bruised garlic and herbs, rub them with oil and sprinkle each one with some of the spices. Place them on a roasting tin and leave them in the fridge for at least three hours. Preheat the oven to 190°C. Roast the poussins for about one hour. Add in the wine about twenty minutes before the end of the cooking time, making sure you scrape up all the bits at the bottom of the roasting tin.To make the mash, put your chopped potato and celeriac in a pan with salted water and boil for twenty minutes or until tender. Drain, add the mustard, cream and butter, and mash. Serve the poussins with the mash, and drizzle with the dark, winey pan juices. A sprinkle of parsley would be nice too.
Except for yoga, the odd run, and my love for walking and the cross trainer, I’ve never been very athletic. In fact, I dreaded gym classes in high school as much as I dreaded math. Running and general fitness, I was OK with. As long as it didn’t involve a whole lot of coordination or competitive sports. I still have nightmares about playing American football with BOYS — thank heavens I went to an all-girls school as of my sophmore year! That’s probably the reason you won’t see me headed for a ski vacation any time soon. I prefer to spend my winter break drinking wine by the fireplace in the French countryside. This, unfortunately, means I’ve missed out on ever having tasted an authentic tartiflette, a dish from the Savoie popular with the skiing/snowboarding crowds and served at restaurants around the slopes.
Slowly but surely, my life is returning back to normal after the past month when I literally shut out everything in order to finish a major book translation. There was urgency to the assignment, and the subject was very delicate. I can’t wait to see the results in print. I will definitely let you know when the book is out.
Hopefully, I will have a bit more time to blog more frequently. This morning I sat down with my coffee and made a list of all the recipes I still want to share with you. Most, of course are French. I still need to make a perfect Îles flottantes, for example. And, I would love to get back on YouTube again. I miss cooking in front of the camera. I won’t promise anything, but I will try!
This weekend I slowly started to give the house little hints of Christmas; a string of lights on the mantelpiece and lots more candles. It’s so funny. When summer is almost at its end, I will be the first one to start lamenting its departure. I hate to think about the dark, dreary days ahead. The cold, or worse… the snow. I really am not a fan of snow — unless it’s on Christmas day and no one has to leave the house because we’re all in our pyjamas stuffing our face.