All posts filed under: French

Savoury Tangy Rhubarb Lardon Tart / Cremant du Jura

This post is credited to Cyrille and his mum, and, if I may add one more person, the winemaker of this lovely sparkling wine we drank, which was far more superior than some Champagnes I’d previously drunk. Cyrille had shown me some family recipes and this tart was one of them, which was delicious. We normally think of sweet rhubarb desserts, rhubarb crumble or tart, rhubarb chocolate mousse, etc. and it was a good idea to incorporate sour rhubarb with salty lardons. In fact, rhubarb is a vegetable, not fruit, therefore it shouldn’t be strange to use it in savoury dishes. Many of you probably have stories to tell regarding rhubarb; how much sugar grandma and grandpa would add to make the sour stalks edible. Some love it or hate it at the beginning but before you know it, you’re hooked. Oh, right now I can feel saliva starting to fill up in my mouth just imaging the taste of rhubarb. Rhubarb actually originated in China, in 2700BC, for medicinal purpose. You can read more …

Burgundy Revisited

The sights of Burdundy didn’t disappoint me as the vineyards were sporting the best of the best autumn colours. Though it was a week earlier to all the events lined up in Burgundy including Hospices de Beaune Wine Auction and Beaujolais Nouveau. I can’t always be lucky with dates, can I? Sometimes we just have to go with the flow and this tour was set out for the eyes to indulge rather than for the palates, and especially not for my interest, but for that of Cyrille, who would never have bothered to visit Burdundy if I hadn’t made the plan for him. The towns in Burgundy seem to have a mystical and mysterious ambience. We drove around and between the vineyards, getting lost at one point on the hill somewhere, thanks to the old GPS, but got a good view looking down the slope. This town, Gevrey-Charmbertin, is always wet whenever I’m there; it doesn’t seem to like me as much as I do him. I love its masculine and meaty personality, as I’m …

Finding Best Jura Wines and Comté / Jura Gastronomy

Ok, let me take you on a journey of the Jura and its gastronomy including the wines and Comté. This region, shadowed by Bordeaux and Burgundy, is not very well-known. Even the cheese, Comté , is not as famous as its competitor, Gruyère. I threw this question, “Which cheese is the best among  and Beaufort ?” to French people. It’s a darn hard question if you’re a cheese lover. Ok, then, “Which cheese is stinkier Comté or Gruyère?” To my surprise, Gruyère. Hmm…my obsession with cheese led me to a Gruyère fruitière 2 years ago but it didn’t sweep me off feet as much as Comte did. Before this trip, I visited by chance a Comte fromagerie, caves de affinage, where cheeses are ripened, but I didn’t have a camera with me at that time and only hoped to have another chance for a visit, which didn’t happen. I still remember the shock, the strong, sharp ammonia odor stinging my nostrils and then my eyes – I couldn’t keep my eyes open – when I walked inside …

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls with Lentils / Wine Tasting Revision

I will be cramming for the next few days using the period of the calm before the storm as I have so many stories from my holiday that I’d like to tell you, whether you’re interested or not. But I can make you interested with my food shots or make you stop doing whatever you’re doing and put little thoughts into food and life for a few seconds. I made this dish from leftover confit de canard that I cooked on the previous night. I couldn’t eat two legs but Cyrille, the gourmand, easily finished two legs. I saved one leg for next day’s lunch but I didn’t eat it. Instead I used it for the dinner menu. Without the confit, this can easily make a beautiful vegetarian dish as in the one stuffed with wild rice and nuts. So-called stuffed cabbage rolls exist in many countries. Polish Golumpki is one example but all eastern European countries have it one way or another. Turkish dolma is one variation and Morrocan stuffed cabbage, stuffed with rice …

Market Day in Jura

I’ve tried to write as many posts as I could while on holiday in Jura, but I am once again being swamped with so many photos that have been added to my already-overloaded hard drive. One has to have strong willpower to stay sober and focused when good food and wines are always around. That’s what I think whenever I’m in France. I’ve collected so many cheeses and discovered some great local sparkling wine Crémant du Jura and the best Comte shop, which I will share with you in another post. The Jura wine tasting happened to start at a local market. Jura wines aren’t cheap so I didn’t want to buy whole bottles to try at the risk of disappointment, especially when I’m not a white wine drinker. Luckily, the golden opportunity to taste and learn about Jura wines came and I went to the market. This farmer’s market rotates around Jura and it was in Bellegarde-sur-Valserine two weeks ago, which you can catch only once a year. I was worried that the market …

Rhône-Alpes, Mont Blanc – Celebration with Champagne and Organic Wine / Slow-Cooked Salmon with Parsnip Chips

Let’s change the sights for today. I’m heading towards Mont Blanc. As we drove towards the far eastern end near the Switzerland border, the landscape changed dramatically. It was an interesting comparison, geographically speaking. The Mont Blanc was approaching closer and closer, making me want to climb up there one day. Barren and rocky mountains peaks started to appear and the houses looked different and the temperature was higher as well. I imagined arriving in Turin or Milan, Italy through the Mont Blanc Tunnel. I’m still fascinated by arriving in another country by road as the first experience of the Euro Star ride from London to Paris during my first trip to Europe. I remember the Champagne and good wines I drank and the exquisite on-board meal served by an extremely hospitable waiter with a towel draped over an arm. At that time, I thought, “Wow, I must be in France! The food and the attitude of people has changed!” What is still mysterious to me is that kind of ticket I bought to have …