Tag: French cooking

Salade Lyonnaise


salade lyonnaiseThis weekend while having lunch at Het Hert (great, little restaurant in Naarden, by the way), my husband and I discussed our vacation plans. Every year the same question arises: “Duras or something else?” — in France, obviously. We have been visiting Duras every summer since 2009 and every time we fall in love with the village and surrounding area even more. Driving into Duras always feels like coming home. So much so, that I’ve even joked about having lived there in a past life. We love that place so much. But we also love all the other villages and cities in the area. Like Miramont, Sainte-Foy-la-Grande, Monségur, Issigeac, Soumensac, Marmande and Bergerac. And of course places like Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux and Arcachon, which are a little further away and well worth the drive.
So, as you may have guessed, it didn’t take long for us to decide that this summer it was going to be Duras, for the ninth time! We rented a beautiful house from one of our friends there and I am already looking forward to August! Our hotels for overnight stops in Vierzon and Orléans have also been booked. Yay!
But first, plenty of other things to look forward to — like our trip to Le Touquet-Paris-Plage in April and working on my cookbook. Most of my days are spent immersed in studying, writing about and practicing French cuisine. Yesterday I made a lovely Flan Parisien (hurray for the new oven — which came in a week late, but still). For lunch, I quickly threw together a Salade Lyonnaise. Of course, I could not find frisée salad (something to do with it being Sunday and living in a Dutch suburb), so I had to settle for romaine, which wasn’t a bad alternative. I wrote a very rough recipe, which I am sharing with you today. The full (and improved recipe) will be in my book — more about that in due time!
Have a great week!

Salade Lyonnaise
Serves 3

  • 1 1/2 tbsps red wine vinegar
  • 4 tbsps sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp dried chervil
  • 1/2 dried parsley
  • Fleur de sel & freshly cracked pepper
  • 6 handfuls of crisp lettuce leaves
  • knob of butter
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 100g lardons
  • 1/4 baguette, cubed
  • 3 tbsps white wine vinegar
  • 3 fresh eggs

In a large bowl, whisk the vinegar, oil, mustard, dried herbs and salt and pepper to make a dressing. Reserve 1 1/2 tbsp of the dressing and toss the lettuce leaves in the rest, making sure they are coated with the dressing. Divide over 3 plates. Melt the butter in a frying pan and gently sauté the shallots. Add the bacon, increase the heat and cook for about 5 minutes. Stir in the cubed bread and toss for another five minutes. In the meantime, bring a large pan of water to a simmer for the eggs. Add the vinegar and stir with a whisk to create a whirlpool effect. Add each egg one by one to the water and poach for 2 1/2 – 3 1/2 minutes, depending on their size. Add the reserved dressing to the bread and bacon, give it a final stir and divide over the salad. Top with the poached egg, season with a little salt and serve.

Haddock with Herbed Crème Fraîche Sauce

haddockI was very excited to find a small tub of Crème Fraîche d’Isigny Sainte-Mère at my local supermarket yesterday. My heart began to flutter, and I smiled like a kid at Christmas as I quickly grabbed that only jar and tucked it safely into my basket. It’s funny how I can get more excited about a tub of cream than a new pair of shoes.
For those who aren’t familiar, this is the mother of all creams. It has a velvety texture and a rich, slightly tart flavor. Once you’ve tried this crème fraîche, all others will just not cut it anymore.
So what did I make? A beautiful fish dish of line-caught Icelandic haddock served with steamed new potatoes and a silky, herbed crème fraîche sauce! Here’s the recipe!

Haddock with Herbed Crème Fraîche Sauce
Serves 4

  • 4 haddock fillets (approx. 150g each)
  • 3 tbsps flour
  • fleur de sel
  • freshly cracked pepper
  • 2 large knobs of good quality butter (it will make a difference, trust me!)
  • 1 tbsp mild olive oil
  • 200ml dry white wine
  • 3 rounded tbsps  Crème Fraîche d’Isigny
  • 3 tbsps chopped chives
  • 2 tbsps chopped flat leaf parsley

Dry the haddock fillets with kitchen paper and slash them on the skin a few times. Flour and season well with salt and pepper. Heat the butter and oil in a large frying pan. Once the butter is melted and bubbling a little, add the fillets skin-side down and allow to cook for 3 minutes. Flip them over and give them another 3 minutes. Remove to a plate, cover with foil and keep warm. Add the wine to the pan, scraping up all the bits at the bottom. Leave to bubble for a few minutes. Stir in the cream and herbs and allow to bubble for a few more minutes. Plate the fillets and divide the herbed cream sauce over them.


Tartiflette my way (or potato gratin, if you wish)

tartifletteExcept 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.