Showing posts from March, 2012

Carbonade Flamande

I'm sorry that I've been a bit quiet lately but sadly life's been keeping me out the kitchen and out of touch. Spring is finally here but, before we forget about the need for warming beef casseroles during the colder months, here's one of my favourite comforting beef dishes - although this recipe works at any time of the year, honest. My version sticks fairly close to the classic Carbonade Flamande recipe, or at least to the one I learnt in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais. There are plenty of variations around so please don’t shout at me if it doesn’t sound authentic or even truly ch’ti to you. The problem that I have with a lot of beer-based casseroles is that they can become too bitter for my taste. The clever thing about this dish is that the flavours are balanced by adding pain d’épices, which not only adds sweetness, but also adds a gentle hint of spice and helps to thicken the sauce. If you can’t find pain d’épices then you could make your own (my recipe is here ) or

Onion Walnut Muffins–A Random Recipe

For the March Random Recipe challenge Dom of of Belleau Kitchen has given us the number 17. I went to the least used shelf of the bookcase (the top one) where the 17 th book was ‘The Hudson River Valley Cookbook’ by Waldy Malouf. This book was published in the nineties, which is when I got hold of a copy, but I haven’t opened it in quite a while. Maybe I’ve been led astray by books containing more glossy pictures by chefs with glossy TV shows but more fool me, because there are some excellent recipes in this collection. The book opened at the page for Onion Walnut Muffins, which is probably because there was a piece of paper stuck in it at that point. I think I'd put it there years ago when I thought about making them but never got round to it. Maybe that’s not truly random, but having read the recipe, I really wanted to give them a go. The muffins are intensely savoury and make a great alternative to bread alongside any number of dishes. I’m sure they could also be adapted

Le Millas Charentais – Almost

I wasn't sure how to describe this dish but, in case you haven't come across it before, let's say that it’s a light and subtly flavoured flan-type thing and that it makes a very pleasing and simple dessert. It's a traditional recipe from the Charente or, at least, that's where I first heard of it. Since then I've found that there are many similar recipes from various parts of the south of France. They all have maize flour and eggs in common although there are plenty of other variations. If you've read any of the other posts in this blog you might have gathered that authenticity is not something that I worry about too much, so I certainly wouldn't claim that this is the real deal. My recipe is closest to the Charente version (well it has cognac) but is actually a bit of a mix between a number of the recipes that have fallen into my lap. Anyway, it's the way I like it – very eggy, fairly sweet and with a balance of lemon and cognac flavours. I hope