Spaghetti with Meatball, Says Minty

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Minty uses her Jedi mind tricks to do many things like buy Cadbury Dairy Milk, dried sausage and choose what we eat for dinner.  Well, technically, fettucini or linguine or very flat noodles with meatballs. No matter, you make, you boil, you eat with sauce and stuff, ’nuff said.

I didn’t think to write up Spag with Meatballs until I was well on my way. Mostly because I’m sick. I feel like resting as this old dog would do.

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or sun bathing like this young barn cat.

DSC_0983Yet people need food and our kitchen needs to keep on keeping on.

Noodles ready.  I made them with spelt.  In French it’s called “épeautre.”

  • 1 1/2 cups of spelt
  • two eggs

mix and knead. roll in a pasta roller

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Sauce on. Very simple. For kids, I try to avoid too many notes.

  • 1 small onion
  • a bit of garlic
  • tomato paste
  • big can of toms
  • duck fat
  • salt
  • pep

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Balls frying.

  • Ground beef
  • salt
  • pepper
  • dash of allspice
  • duck fat

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Start the sauce.  Defrost the beef.  Make the noodles.  Boil the water.

DSC_0978When things magically converge on a meal, boil the noodles.  You can warm your balls in a low oven.

DSC_0989 Wet your noodles with a bit of sauce and plate.  Scoop some sauce and on go the meaty balls.  Top with some parm.

DSC_0998Minty loved her Spaghetti with Meatball.  Zélie said, “NO!”  “NO! PEGGY MEAT BALL!!”  That’s how she rolls.

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Bavette, Gets ’em Wet

DSC_0876A  simple cut for a fry pan.  I’ve sizzled up many a bavette and each time I wonder if maybe I could have finished up in a hot oven.  Yet each time, after a quick hot fry, it comes out juicy and tasty.

This is before:

DSC_0852It’s a Bavette.  100% grass-fed beef bavette from our farm.  In English, we call it a flank steak.

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Hot pan a go-go.  A minute or so on one side,

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Then introduce the other with the hot heat and some gros sel.

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The hot duck fat gets that beef to be yum with a few flips.

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After a rest, some pepper and a pat of butter, dig in.  I had no veg with this guy because I’m preparing Bambi.

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Bambi is soaking.  The kids had manchons de canard or Gascon Buffalo Wings as I like to call them.

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Kevin fell victim to the black seat of nap.

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Then we had cheese.  The kind of cheese that needs pink Champagne to make it real.  Though, lacking in pink bubbles, this bavette was big enough for the both of us and oh what cheese!

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Hot Chocolate for Late Night

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We live in the heart of Gascony.  This means duck, wine, beef!, floc and Armagnac.  I love Armagnac.  These farmhouses get cold in the winter and nothing warms your body like a hot, hot chocolate with a splash of Armagnac.  It’s a bit chilly now, but not that bad.  Though we like to practice and prepare our winter habits in advance especially after a long day and especially when Die Hard 2 is up for viewing.

  • Cacao Powder, 3 soup spoons
  • Suger, five soup spoons then taste
  • Milk, 1 litre
  • Cream, 1 cup
  • Armagnac, shot per cup or less

DSC_0778We have a big jug of Armagnac.  I pour it into something that will pour it into something smaller as to not lose any along the way with silly overpours.  The cup on the right is for the cook.  I have my Gascon Hot Chocolate neat, hold the chocolate.

But for the boys, it’s nice to sip some sweet after a day of work on the farm.

Milk and cream heat up in the pan.  Add the sugar.  Add the cacao powder.

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Whisky whisky.

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Check out the browny-ness. Does it look inviting? No? Add a dash more chocolate powder magic. And maybe some sugar.
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Pour some Armagnac in a mug. Add the hot choc. You can also not add the Armagnac and be equally warmed.
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Sit back, enjoy the action man movie and warm up. If you get the Strawberry Shortcake mug, don’t panic.
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Naked Tomatoes

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A customer of ours generously gave us some lovely tomatoes. Gorgeous things with amazing colors and shapes. I cut them up and stuck them on a plate. I could have stopped there. My basil was whining so I chopped some up and added a bit of salt, pepper and vinegar from down the road. A bit of a coldy chill in the fridge and this should be a nice treat with the lettuce they brought over.

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Meatballs For The Pub

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If you’re at the pub and someone shows up with hot meatballs, a rush of happiness fills the air.  I love to make meatballs.  Pair that with the Irish pub in Jegun to watch a lovely evening unfold. It’s so easy and straightforward.  These babies are technically “Swedish Meatballs.”  Though, after chatting to the two Swedish people I know, I’m guessing there is room for some artistic Swedish creativity when it comes to making balls out of meat.

When the balls were ready, they looked like this.  I then rushed over to the pub for a giggle and some night life.

DSC_0489It is very simple.  You need:

  • Mince or ground beef for the American crew ( I hear those crazy kids at Grasspunk do some mean mince )
  • Allspice
  • Nutmeg
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Butter
  • Cream
  • Beef broth
  • Dash of flour

No chopping required.  Put some mince into a big bowl.

DSC_0373You could ball them up like so, but first, add some spice.

DSC_0434And an egg.  I added four eggs because I did a lot of meatballs.

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DSC_0409Then a dash of Allspice.  In France, they call it “quatre-épices.”  Everything sounds great in French.

DSC_0426And some nutmeg.

DSC_0430And some pepper.

DSC_0431Duck fat in.

DSC_0442Ball them babies up and start browning.

DSC_0444If you do a lot of meatballs and your pan looks sad, change out the oil and start anew.

DSC_0450You could chuck in some beef broth and cream to let it bubble in an average oven.  I’ve had bad luck with that, so I made a cream sauce instead.

Butter in.

DSC_0455A little flour to brown.

DSC_0463Then the beef stock.

DSC_0467Slowly. Nice and creamy.

DSC_0468Then the cream.

DSC_0471It’s a bit white at first, but when it snuggles in with the meatballs, it gets all browny browny.

DSC_0473The cream sauce is poured in with the browned balls.

DSC_0477In the oven for thirty minutes or so. Then, voila!  Yummy meatballs for the pub!

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Chile Relleno Surprise

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Surprise! It’s not actually chile relleno, but rather a lovely layered relleno pie to the tune of my fav Puebla dish. And probably the only Puebla dish I’m aware of.

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I saw these gorgeous peppers that spoke to me. I wasn’t sure where to go with them. Stuffed with cheese in an eggy mess was the first thing that came to mind.

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You ever skin a pepper? It’s very simple.
– A quick roast on a pan ( I used some lard. That’s how I roll. ).
– After ten minutes of hot heat oven action, sweat it in a bag. — Prepare some cheese or chop something while you wait some minutes.
– Pull one out and peel off the skin. It’s very thin. Like a Kimono bursted.
– You are left with soft, silky peppers.

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With last night’s mushies and green beans, I layered like this in a lard coated loaf pan:

– pepper
– mushie bean mix
– zuch
– roughly mixed egg
– cheese, easy going melty stuff

: rinse and repeat

The last layer is pepper followed by cheese

I cooked in an average oven until browny and melty.

Cheese:
If in France, a young Gouda and/or Comte

Otherwise, Jack or Moz

Tonight, Olives For Dinner

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It’s hot. I’m sick. The kids are on the verge of a summer vacation. For some reason – it may be the porky Mexican Guac fiesta for lunch – I’m not all that hungry. But, damn those olives. Is it the salt? The fat? The vinegar? Who knows, but Olives-It’s what’s for dinner. I just can’t get enough. So I leave you with an olive-worthy tune by B. Mars. Treasure. Poo. No official vid. So imagine M.J. + Earth + Wind + Fire == Olives for dinner.

You can hum this. Spit out the pits.

Cheesy Poofs, Cheesy Flops

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I loves me some cheesy poofs. My super bargain oven makes cheesy poofs like nobody’s bidness. Though if your batter is runny, you will most certainly make cheesy flops thus setting up your evening for sadness and despair. Nobody wants a cheesy flop. Sure, they taste okay, but the crunch and fluff of a proper cheesy poof makes giggles happen.

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I use the Saveur recipe which works perfectly if you pay attention to a few things.

1) runny batter makes flops. Add more flour.

2) salt and pepper and then salt and pepper again. It makes a difference

3) oven is set to super hot, but not too hot. My oven runs hot. Too hot, too quick and you get a flop. Hot and steady ( like my men ) and you will arrive at poofdom.

Recipe is :

115g butter
1/2 c milk
1/2 c water
Sal n Pepe
1c flour
4 eggs
1c melty cheese

Make a roux
Add eggs one at a time
Add cheese

Spoon on a pan
Top with milk and cheese

Cook until poofy
Happy happy joy joy

Garlic!

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I remembered to plant garlic in the autumn. I found time to keep it free of weeds. Now, I get to enjoy my efforts. This garlic is going into a little zuch, tom, fennel number to be served with big arse pork leg. My iPhone touch screen smells lovely.