Herblay, January 17, 2016
To start the new year off, I thought I’d share a recipe that has become a staple here at home. It’s easy and is as good for a crowd as for a romantic dinner for two. I’ve made it with an assortment of seafood for special occasions (see note at the end) but mostly I make it with humble little cockles that I get fresh from our local market. Cockles are cheap, delicious and easy to deal with! You can use canned baby clams too but you’ll miss the wonderful sound this makes when you serve it up. I adore noisy food!
The recipe I based mine on is from my well-stained, well-loved copy of Jamie’s Italy by Jamie Oliver. Here goes. Continue reading
Hello at last!
First of all, I’m sorry about being absent for so long. This year’s vicious flu knocked me sideways for a while.
I want to share this simple recipe with you because it was an experiment and the results were yummy. Thanks, Beth for taking the beautiful pictures! The first time I made this, when Beth was home, it was without the herbs so you may wonder why you don’t see them in the photo. This dish was super good without them but it reached a whole other level of deliciousness with them.
In France, the fresh scallop season ends in early March. Sadness ensues. This year when their days were numbered, I wanted (needed) something that would taste like spring. And so I discarded my standby scallop recipes and got thinking; something light, lemony and luscious was required.
Here it is. You could make this with any fresh seafood to welcome spring if you can’t get scallops where you are.
I’m back once again in beautiful Belle-Ile in Brittany (lucky me!). The Man and I have been here for the past three weeks making and selling juice, smoothies and popsicles at Juju & Co with our good friends Philippe and Edouard. We are located right on the port and have the pleasure of watching the tide come in and out of the Sauzon harbour. As I mentioned in my post ‘French Toast Topped with Apple and Salted Butter Caramel‘, it’s common for people to go out during low tide and hunt for palourdes clams.
This time I was determined to learn how to catch the little devils, so I packed my yellow rubber boots before heading out to Brittany…
Oh boy, you ladies are in for a treat. During a recent stay in Herblay mom and I put together an Asian themed dinner – I took care of the starter and she concocted the main (no dessert, sorry!). The results were really delicious and I know that Dad was a happy camper during the meal! In this post I’ll detail the crab and shrimp ravioli in seafood broth starter and next week mom will follow up with her main course. I have to say, one of the best things about being in France is being able to spend time in the kitchen with mom.
I’m pleased to say that this starter is an original recipe of mine, although I need to give mom credit for inspiring me with the crab ravioli she’s made in the past (which was – obviously – yummy). This recipe will take a some time to make but it’s really worth it and easy to do. It’s a great if you want something simple to make but sure to wow your guests.
There is a secret ingredient, and that’s…. Continue reading
Well hello everyone,
It’s great to finally surface from the dental doldrums of the past few weeks. I have missed posting, communicating and also cooking.
I thought I would share one of my all-time favorite starters as a way to get back in touch. This is my own made up avocado seafood salad which means it’s a little different every time I make it. There are a gazillion variations to take you from Thursday night supper in the kitchen to Saturday night company you want to impress in the dining room. Not bad for a main course at a ladies luncheon either.
There are also lots of different ways to plate it. This comes in handy when you peel back that avocado skin and whoops-black spots. No problem, forget fanning out perfect slices, save the good bits and do the chopped avocado version. Continue reading
With all the excitement of seeing Beth again after three long months of Bethlessness, I wanted to make a great dinner-I really did-but it didn’t happen. I had too many ideas and ran out of time so we all sat down to a very ordinary supper of spicy shrimp and avocado to start and spaghetti as main. It was great to be together and catch up on all her comings and goings but I felt badly that I hadn’t treated her to something special. We made plans to meet again around the table the next night.
In the morning I made a stock with a bag full of shrimp heads and carcasses that I had in the freezer and added the ones from the night before. So easy!
Ok, so the stock was ready and I found some Japanese wonton wrappers tucked away in the freezer, so as you might imagine, I’m in an Asian frame of mind. I ran out to the market for coriander, chives and coconut milk but when I got there, there was something I hadn’t anticipated. There at the back of our beautiful Herblay market (pictures to come!) was a new and fantastic Italian stand. Oh my, all that fresh pasta, all the gorgeous antipasti. I couldn’t resist. Menu change on the spot! From Asian to Italian in six and a half seconds. I resisted the pasta because I had my wonton wrappers at home. I went for the antipasti: luscious big marinated artichokes, hot little peppers stuffed with tangy goat cheese, fresh ricotta, sun blush tomatoes (tomates confites). On my way back through the market I picked up some rucola, olives and more shrimp. Happy me. So the menu was now a big, showy antipasto platter followed by some kind of shrimp ravioli that I had to concoct. I was worried about the ginger in the stock but it worked fine and added depth to the flavor. Not genuine Italian but delicious all the same.
I want to share a recipe that I made up last week and that was really, really yummy! One of the great things about being in Carlsbad is the new revamped farmers market on State Street. There are so many local producers that sell their fresh and delicious food, it totally inspires me to cook.
A couple of weeks ago I bought some lemon garlic pasta from the Pappardelles stand in the market and was dying to pair it with something scrumptious. In the end I fell under the spell of Carlsbad Aquafarm‘s eco-friendly mussels (local and gentle with the planet, what’s not to love?). I was a little daunted as I’d never cooked mussels before. It was surprisingly easy and yielded great results!
Here’s the recipe, it makes enough for two to four people depending on whether you have it as starter or a main course.