Posts Tagged ‘French’

The French Four: Markets

Bonjour! The sun is out and my spirits are high! It’s truly been a wonderful week full of exciting things. Lots to be grateful for! To celebrate, hubby and I started the week off with a lovely dinner out on Monday. Salmon tartare to start, steak au poivre to follow and crème brûlée to finish; all washed down with a nice bottle of wine.
One of the many things I’m grateful for is our return to Duras in August. For a moment, it seemed like life was getting in the way and we just weren’t going to make it this year. But hubby kept assuring me we would. And he was right. I’m counting the days. In the meantime, there’s plenty to enjoy here. Like making salads for lunch with my homegrown greens, seeing how beautiful the lavender in my garden is, afternoon walks with my Daschund Pastis and my rebel without a cause teenage daughter Kirstie, letting the sun dry my laundry (instead of the noisy dryer)…
But before I get carried away and make this into a very long post, back to the order of the day: this Friday’s ‘French Four’! French markets! Who needs cooking lessons when you have these around! The perfect source of inspiration. Bon week-end!

Le Sud Ouest Market IMG_0140 IMG_0290 IMG_0152

Strawberry Tartelettes & a Perfect Meal

Yesterday, I made a special four-course dinner, not for a huge group, with expensive wines and the works, but just for the three of us. A midweek celebration of life. I put my busy agenda aside for the afternoon, tuned in to some French radio and spent a glorious couple of hours in the kitchen. I made a velvety soup with two beautiful, deep green and smooth-skinned organic courgettes. I whisked the perfect dressing to go over a simple salad of tomatoes, capers and shallots. I sang along with Zaz and thought back to how the three of us sang along to that same song last year as we drove through France. I carefully washed and cleaned strawberries for our dessert, popping some in my mouth every now and then. I chose a nice wine. Smiled. Enjoyed. Rejoiced.
No reason to wait for special occasions to celebrate. The best moment will always be now.
Here’s what we had for dessert. So easy and very delicious. A sweet little tartelette to round off a perfect meal. I made them with strawberries, but I’m sure they’d be just as lovely with raspberries or peaches, for example.
I hope you’ll love them as much as we did.

Strawberry Tartelettes

tartelettesServes 4

  • 4 squares of puff pastry (12 x 12 cm)
  • 15 small, ripe strawberries, cleaned and halved
  • 80 ml cream
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsps sugar
  • seeds from one vanilla pod
  • icing sugar, to serve

Preheat the oven to 200°C and allow the puff pastry to thaw if frozen. Cover each tartelette mold with a sheet of pastry, pushing it down into the edges and trimming off any excess. Line each mold with a bit of parchment paper and weigh down with beans. Blind bake the pastry shells for 8 minutes. In the meantime, whisk the cream, egg, sugar and vanilla. Take the shells out of the oven, remove the beans and parchment paper and fill with the strawberry halves. Pour the batter over the berries and return to the oven for 12 minutes. Cover them with foil and give them a final 5 minutes. Unmold and serve with a little icing sugar.

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