RECIPE FOR THE PERFECT AUTHENTIC FRENCH FRIES
6 starchy potatoes
2 Quarts Peanut Oil (roughly about 1.5 liter)
Good-quality Sea Salt
Peel potatoes and cut each one lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices.
Transfer the sliced potatoes to a large bowl with water and a teaspoon of lemon juice to avoid them from discoloring and cover.
Refrigerate and let them soak overnight (at least 12 hours)
Drain fries at least 20 minutes before cooking.
Dry thoroughly on kitchen towels.
Pour peanut oil into Dutch oven (heavy casserole pan) or large saucepan.
Attach a candy thermometer to the pot to gauge oil's temperature and put pan over medium heat.
When the oil reaches a temperature of 370°F, add a third of the cut potatoes. The oil will drop to about 280°F.
Cook for 3 minutes and remove with a slotted spoon and set aside on a baking sheet lined with absorbent kitchen towels.
Oil should return to 370°F and add the next batch.
Repeat until all fries are done.
For the second fry, heat the same oil to 380°F.
Add half the fries and cook for 3 1/2 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oil, place on baking sheet and drain on absorbent paper while you fry the rest. Sprinkle with sea salt when they are still hot and serve immediately.
You can also use "Duck fat" for frying instead of peanut oil. In France and Belgium, duck fat is still used for frying the perfect French fries because it gives it a fantastic flavor.
Note: They're soaked overnight to remove excess starch. The first fry cooks the potatoes thoroughly. The second fry crisps the exterior.
Oysters are the most expensive shellfish available and are considered a luxury. In the South of France, oysters are, despite of their stiff price, much eaten. Oysters have such a delicate flavor, that most people prefer to eat them raw.
CLASSIC MIGNONETTE SAUCE
2 pink shallots, peeled and finely diced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
juice of half a lemon
1 tsp brown sugar
Tabasco sauce to taste (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Combine all the ingredients together in a sealed container, shake thoroughly and allow the flavors to blend for at least 1 hour before serving. Sauce can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Serve in a little bowl with the freshly shucked oysters.
A dish of elegance and simplicity with perfectly balanced flavors delivered with every mouthful. The lobster is served on rice and spooned with the sauce (which has been cooked with the lobster.
1/4 cop/50 ml butter
1 tsp crushed garlic
2 chopped green onions
14 oz canned tomatoes
Salt (we use sea salt) &
Fresh cracked black pepper to taste
Pinch of saffron
1 large cooked lobster
1/4 cup /50 ml cognac
1/2 bunch of fresh chives, chopped for garnish
Lemon wedges for garnish.
Remove the meat from the lobster and cut into large pieces.
Melt the butter in a shallow saute pan over moderate heat. Add garlic, green onions, saffron, salt, pepper & tomatoes. Cook for about 2 minutes, until the onions are translucent.
Add the lobster to the saute pan and flame with cognac. Cook very gently until the lobster is heated through.
Place the rice on a plate and sprinkle with chives.
Remove the lobster from the pan and keep the cooking liquid as a sauce. Place the lobster on the rice and drizzle with the sauce which has been cooked with the lobster.
Serve with lemon wedges and crispy French bread. Depending on your personal preference, you can also serve a little aioli or rouille on the side.
Tip: serve with a glass of cold Pernod (Pastis) (Provençale aperitif)
Rouille is a sauce that consists of olive oil, breadcrumbs, garlic, saffron and chili peppers and served as a garnish with fish soup, usually Bouillabaisse and mostly used in Provencal cuisine. This is an authentic recipe from Marseille.
2 chili peppers
4 cloves garlic
1 cup good quality olive oil
1 egg yolk
1 hand full of bread
1 Tbsp sea salt
Trim, deseed and finely chop the peppers.
In a mortar and pestle crush together the peppers, garlic, sea salt and 1 teaspoon olive oil to obtain a thick paste.
Crumble the bread, moistened with hot water or the hot broth (if you're preparing a fish soup or bouillabaisse) and press it into a tight lump squeezing out the liquid.
Add the bread lump to the paste and beat, adding olive oil, until you've raised a smooth sauce. If the sauce tends to separate, add another tight lump of bread and hot broth, and keep beating until smooth.
Keep rouille refrigerated until it's ready to be served, either the same day or the next day. If the rouille is stiff, thin it with a few drops of boiling water.
Aioli (Provencal sauce)
Ingredients & preparation:
Crush 4 or 5 large cloves of garlic. Season with a generous pinch of salt. Place in a large bowl with 2 medium egg yolks (free-range if possible), a tsp of Dijon mustard and 1 tbsp cold water.
Very slowly, whisking continuously, add approximately 500ml of neutral tasting oil or a mixture of extra-virgin olive oil and good quality vegetable oil. As the mixture starts to emulsify and thicken you can add the oil more quickly - but do not rush! If the sauce is too thick, you can thin it out by adding a little warm water.
Two weeks ago we've posted something about “Tapas” on our Facebook page which generated much interest. As you might well know, in the Mediterranean diet it is typical to begin the food with succulent starters to open up the appetite.
Spanish Ham Croquetas can be commonly found on all bar counters and in homes across Spain. It's one of the versatile tapas that can also be served as a light lunch or as dinner along with a salad.
Croquetas de jamon Serrano
6 medium sized White potatoes
3-4 Slices of Serrano Ham or the best quality ham you can get
1 crushed clove of Garlic
dash of milk
good Olive Oil for frying
a Tsp of Parsley
a pinch of fresh Basil
200 g of Breadcrumbs (fresh or bought)
Salt & Pepper to taste
1-2 Tbsp of butter
Boil your potatoes until tender, about 15-18 minutes.
Mash them until smooth and without any lumps. Add the butter and whisk with a wooden spoon until the butter is incorporated. Add a dash of milk and season well and stir again. Allow the mixture to cool at least for 30 minutes.
Finely chop the ham and saute with the garlic for about 5 mins in the olive oil on medium heat. Stir in your puree, salt, pepper, chopped parsley and basil.
Beat the eggs in a separate bowl and set aside.
Spread the breadcrumbs on a rimmed cookie sheet and set aside. Start forming your croquettes, which should be the shape of a cylinder and about the length of your little finger.
Dip in the egg and roll it around in the breadcrumbs to coat evenly then transfer to a good sized buttered or non-stick baking sheet.
Place croquettes in the fridge to set for about half an hour, minimum.
Please note that is is an important step to prevent them from breaking while frying. Traditionally these croquettes are fried in olive oil over a medium heat until golden all over and hot through but you can also bake them in the oven (200C degrees)
2 oz red wine vinegar
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp salt or to taste
6 oz neutral oil (canola for e.g.)
Mix vinegar, mustard and salt in a bowl
While whisking continuously, add oil in slow stream until the oil is completely incorporated. You can keep the vinaigrette in the fridge for a week.
You can than add 1 tbsp of freshly chopped herbs and shallots.
GARLIC CONFIT............for all those garlic lovers out there.
Sounds fancy but it's French for gently cooked garlic over low heat in olive oil. The end result is similar to roasted garlic, sweet and tender. Because of it's many uses, it's easy to have on hand. Make a large batch and keep it in a tightly covered jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Use it on baguette, another take on garlic bread.Puree it in dips & sauces. Drizzle it over pizza or add it to mashed potatoes. Delicious!
1 cup olive oil
35-40 cloves fresh garlic (about 1-1/2 heads)
Salt and pepper
Heat the oil in small saucepan over low heat.
Add garlic and cook over very low heat until soft, about one hour.Please be careful not to let it brown.
Keep covered in oil in a clean, covered jar in the fridge for up to 2-weeks to a month.
With roastbeef you can make a selection of delicious and elegant canapes. We kept the preparation of this beautiful piece of roastbeef very simple by just seasoning the meat with salt & freshly ground black pepper. Make sure the meat is very well seasoned because you will loose about 25% of your seasoning during cooking.
Place in a 350ºF degree oven. The amount of minutes depends on the weight.
For a 4-6 lbs roast, we recommend 20 minutes for medium with an internal temperature of 135ºF
juicy tender piece of meat.
Provencal Tomato sauce
Cooking time: 35-55 min
1/3 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 tomatoes, chopped ( should yield about 6 cups)
pepper ( to taste)
2 tablespoons fresh marjoram ( or 2 tsp dried)
Heat the oil in a heavy pot. Add the onions and saute for about 10 minutes, until they are translucent. Add in the tomatoes, salt, pepper and herbs - simmer for 20 minutes.
Remove the bay leaves and your sauce is ready!
You can easily freeze this sauce, when making larger quantities, for up to 3 months in an airtight container. In the fridge 3 days maximum.
This sauce is versatile and has many uses, apart from pasta, you can use it as a lasagna sauce or on polenta rounds as a vegetarian dish, fish and many other Italian dishes that require tomato sauce.