I know I don’t need to tell you that it’s Burger time. I’m very pleased that, at last, I dusted off my grill and got back to what this blog was about. We sold beef burgers to our customers and I thought I should try out our burgers on the BBQ. I’ve only ever tasted them in a hot pan. So we got the grill going to see how our burgers held up. Someone gave us a classic Weber Grill without legs. The grill is in great condition. I’m not sure what happened to the legs. Sometimes what happened in ‘Nam, stays in ‘Nam. Brent found some bricks with rounded tops that held it steady. I think I shall call our new BBQ “Timmy.”
I’m used to lighting the charcoal with a chimney deal. A bit of paper in the bottom and charcoal on the top. Things get hot and then action pours onto the scene. Instead, we lit it with a fire starter and made a little pile.
After the burgers were about ready, we popped the cheese on. Yes, yes, “American Cheese.” We like the irony of living in the land of cheese and using milk product spread in plastic. We also enjoy Comte, so don’t you worry.
Peppers were okay. Still need a bit of work.
The burgers were great. I loved the charcoal touch to the flavor. Below is Kevin’s burger. Plenty of sun and bun. Not a fan of the bun, he did the best he could with the French “Maxi Bun ” by filling in with lettuce and condiments.
It’s very hot right now and the fruit is abundant. Time for Pavlova! Pavlova is my FAVORITE dessert. I’ll spare you how much I love this food.
I use a recipe from a blogger friend of mine at The Kitchen’s Garden. She shared with us Mama’s Pavlova. This is a no fail Pavlova shell. Though I’ve had variations on the outcome ( all my fault ), I’ve never had a disaster.
You should read her recipe, but here’s what it looked like when I followed along.
I whipped my egg whites and friends until it could hold a spatula to attention.
After it cools, I put some whip cream on it and peaches. Any seasonal fruit will do. Kiwi fruit, strawberries, nectarines ….
If you have friends in Australia, ask them to bring out some canned passion fruit syrup. This acts as the area rug and pulls the pav together. It is impossible to find in France, so I am very careful with each drop we use. Hopefully you have better sources.
I thought grated Flake was the tradition, but apparently after sample size n= 2 Australians, this is some fancy ass addition.
Mama’s Pavlova has never let me down! Thanks Celi!
We don’t eat a lot of bread, but when runny cheese is on offer, it’s time to make some toast.
We were given a day old baguette, perfect for toasting. I loaded up the frypan with duck fat and chucked some rounds in.
From there, you can add melty, runny cheese or other cheeses and paste ( pâté ) to top you off for the evening meal. It’s hot again, you see, so evening meals tend to be light.
The vacherin was nice, but a bit bitter. Next runny cheese shall be my favorite … Chaource. Matched perfectly with pink Champagne!
For me, using fondant for a fancy cake is a cheat. I am WAY more impressed if you can make a beautiful cake with skill and fluff. Lucy, my daughter, wanted to do a certain cupcake recipe that involved fondant. She looked up the ingredients in fondant and was not impressed with all the extra crap included in this culinary play-dough.
So she watched a youtube video on how to make fondant and off she went.
Making fondant is a very sticky process. There was a moment there where she thought, ” well, I blew it.” There was no way this sticky marshmallow mess would arrive at something you could roll out and carve.
But, she kept going. eventually, a dough ball came around.
After her cupcakes were cooled, she managed to complete her recipe.
Homemade fondant requires
- powdered sugar
She used this recipe on Youtube … uh … which is in French, but you might be able to follow along or find an equivalent.
For me, I am excited to share that you can make this stuff!! And as I don’t like fondant, her fondant was wonderful.
July, the time of the village parties. In July, we prepare Duck Confit and Fries. … and salad and cheese and the rest. Very hot last night, but with the breeze we managed to keep things moving. Guests arrived for a giggle and a drink before dinner. Our kids each drank a can of coke. ’tis the season! They don’t drink Coke very often, so a nice cold “Coca” on a hot day is even better than a treat. The confit is prepared in a large round hot plate that has some name in French that escapes me. Though, I’m sure in French it sounds better than “large round hot plate.” I grabbed this rare shot of the villagers “blessing” the Large Round Hot Plate. All arms in, a chant in Gascon before they put the confit into the large round hot plate to be cooked and offered to the…
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Emptied out the freezer today. People throw hot peppers at me. Peppers everywhere. There are these pepper people who pass peppers around because people of France don’t use hot peppers in their food. So us pepper people peddle peppers.
When I get enough peppers, I make chili sauce. It all started with Substance P. Substance P is a neuropeptide and an important element in pain reception in the brain. Thus, my sauce. I wanted to make something very, very hot.
Substance P wasn’t all that hot. I took out the seeds. It is important to wear gloves when you seed hot peppers. I didn’t. For a week my fingers were very sensitive to hot water. My NK1-receptors were on fire. Totally burnt out.
But the sauce was not that hot. So I made other sauces as follows;
- Substance P
- Cement Shithaus
- and The Mothership
Each with their own ingredients.
Today, I share with you The Mothership.
Chuck this into a pot:
- all your hot peppers without the tops
- apple cidre vinegar, 1 cup
- ginger nub
- pepper corns
- brown sugar, 2 tbs
- water, 1.5 cups
boil for thirty minutes or so
let it cool
You need to taste it to make sure it’s rounded out. It will need more salt and maybe a dash of sugar. I add a special ingredient, but I couldn’t possibly share. For this is the Mothership.
Ameoba blender shot:
It’s good to know a grass-fed beef farmer. Even better is to be a grass-fed beef farmer. We farm and sell grass-fed beef direct and as such, we need to taste a steak from everything we sell. This is how we get better
Today, we tried a 1.146kg T-bone steak. I like my steak rare, but not everybody does. With a big steak like this, you can accommodate everyone. I did this
– preheat oven 180C
– brown the steak in duck fat, I gave it a good few minutes on each side, then did a few quick flips
– stick the pan with the steak in it, in the oven
– after five minutes, I flipped the steak and put it back in the oven
– after another five minutes I pulled it out and let it rest
Those who want medium, got the first cuts. Those who want medium rare got the inner bits.
It’s been awhile since I’ve cooked one of these babies. It fed two men, me and our small four-year-old. We also have some leftover for a breakfast fry up.
I’ve had my fair share of fancy sauces. I’ve made foie gras in jars to be served cold. But by far, my fav is seared foie gras served with chutney.
Pre-heat oven to hot
Salt, pepper and nutmeg the foie
Take raw garlic and smear on cast iron pan.
In a cast iron pan, sear that baby.
Empty fat …. save for foie gras fat potatoes for breaky tomorrow
Put foie back in and stick the chunky bits in the oven. ( if there are smaller bits, like in the photo, set those aside cuz they is done )
Slice in slices. serve with chutney. Mango would be great or French man said fried fig, but we had a bunch of green tomatoes last year, so Green Tomato Chutney paired with our foie gras. … easy peasy. yummy yummy.
Saves you making sauces. Sear a liver and chuck a chutney at it.
We went to see a guy about a lamb. He has a few on his property and one was sent off for our family. Lunch today: lamb chops, sweet pots and mushies ‘n’ onions.
Chops: fried in duck fat and a bit of tallow, then salted an pepped
Sweet Potatoes: oven baked with the oven fan on … in duck fat. The fan cooks them quickly and give a crunchy outer and sweet mooshy inner. lovely.
Mushies ‘n’ onions: bubbled away slowly in butter until they shimmer and shine. a little salt and pep.
I had a feline friend join me for lunch. He’s a big fan of lamb. Reminds him of the time he spent in Siam.
Then some cheese with walnut pieces. Counter-clockwise:
Cantal entre deux, Saint-Nectaire, Roquefort.
Though this Roquefort is welfare Roquefort. Similar to Champagne, Roquefort can only be called Roquefort if it is actually from Roquefort. That means the generics are lovely and half the price. Though a non-mass-produced Roquefort will be worth the money. Don’t tell Société or Papillon that.
Walnut pieces were local and in pieces because my son deconstructed the nutcracker.
We use a meat tenderiser to access the nut meat.
Cat finished his lamb fat. After a kitty Purell, he snugged in for an afternoon snooze by the fire. Today was the magic day the metal box of warm went on.
The dogs got their bone. Not cold enough to sit by the fire, they retired outside to finish their treat.