Yum!!! Description to come….
This one goes out to Mary Anne 😉
I read a very old (1735) cookbook and very loosely followed a recipe for roast rabbit. I marinated rabbit legs in red wine and vinegar with garlic and herbs and a touch of nutmeg for two days. According to the recipe two days is the perfect amount of time to achieve juicy, falling off the bone rabbit. The recipe was right! It was seriously delicious!
After marinating for two days, I dredged the rabbit in flour and seared it until golden brown on all sides. I added sliced onion and garlic with a generous glug of red wine and herbs. I baked it in a dutch oven at 220* c for about an hour then added baby potatoes and carrots with a splash of water. Roasted another forty minutes and Bon appetite!
We started with a green salad with tomatoes and mushrooms in a sharp dijon vinaigrette. The rabbit was tender and tasted something like dark meat chicken mixed with a pork chop. The potatoes and carrots were lovely, sweet and fork tender, but the best part was the pan drippings! The gravy that resulted in the pan was ethereal! Smooth and velvety with sweet and earthy wine notes coupled with bright vinegar and floral herbs. Wow! After nibbling the bones, we finished our night of cards and rabbit with some excellent caramel chip milk chocolate.
The afternoon brought more cool weather and showers, so I put the leftover chicken to good use. I simmered chicken bones and leftover vegetable bits with bay leaves, garlic, pepper, celery, and onion for about five hours. The result was a rich, dark, beautiful chicken stock perfect for chicken noodle soup!
Ive become a bit obsessed with apéritifs. We got two new ones- Pastis and Chamberyzette. The Pastis is almost unpalatable, very harsh black licorice flavor (my mom might like it). But the Chamberyzette is divine! It starts a little bitter and herbal then turns to a mild sweet fruity strawberry syrup flavor! Bonal is still my favorite, but I love trying new things!
We had delicious chicken noodle soup with salad and French bread with butter. Mmmmm!
Since we spent the whole day inside (rain and fear of driving down a mountain in it), I had plenty of time to roast a whole chicken and make a lovely wild mushroom risotto with sautéed radish greens and chicken-mushroom gravy.
There’s a serious damp chill in the air, so roasting meats in a hot oven was a must! Everything was very tasty although the plating fell short- sorry Adam. He says that although home is not a restaurant, I should be plating dinner like it is. He suggested molds, rings, forms, and towers of stacked fare with micro-green garnishes. We will see about that. Don’t get me wrong, I believe you eat with your eyes first, but I think a bigger part of me loves a rustic home-cooked look. It seems more comforting and true somehow. Also, I don’t even have a microplane here, let alone a ring mold. Hmmm…
Thanks to our lovely friend Elodie, we already knew about a regional speciality called Raclette. She recently hosted a lovely Raclette dinner- we were hooked. It wasn’t until a few weeks before we left for Europe that we learned that Raclette is a very popular regional dish here in Savoie! Lucky!
I started the meal with a generous glass of Bonal, of course. I made fresh green salads with a sharp mustard and red wine vinaigrette- just the way we like it. We also had skewers of onion, mushrooms, and zucchini, crusty French bread rubbed with garlic, and boiled baby potatoes. All covered in hot, bubbling slices of Raclette. Wow! I’m so glad Elodie taught us all about this fun and delicious French tradition!
Finally! A great, hot meal! We adventured down the mountain and explored the Super U- a large grocery store in Aigueblanche. We stocked up like real Americans! We were getting lots of funny looks from all the skinny, small basket bearing French customers:) But we didn’t care. We have a large refrigerator (according to European standards anyway) and lots of pantry space. We do not have confident mountain driving skills. We opted to buy enough for a whole week- totally unheard of here.
Anyway, I made a delicious zucchini carbonara with what Adam described as “the cutest pasta of all time”, Epinettes- adorable wheat flower shaped pasta. I also made a green salad with tomatoes, mushrooms, black Nicoise olives and balsamic vinaigrette. It was filling, hot and just what we needed to forget the first couple days here in France. I should not forget to mention that we ate dinner on our deck with the most spectacular view of all time and that the weather is positively perfect. Things are looking up:)
Wow. France is not going well. We got up bright and early after a long, hungry and thirsty day of travel the day before and headed to Lyon to return our rental car. Everything was going fine, until traffic came to a complete stop on the A 43. At first we thought, “no big deal. It won’t take them that long to clean up the accident”. Then after two hours stuck in one spot on a hot, French motorway with no water, we thought, “Oh my god! We’re gonna die out here”. Finally after 2 1/2 hours, police came through and directed everyone to slowly exit the motorway via a narrow, gravel shoulder. We were so relieved, but concerned we would have to pay the €150 late return fee on the rental.
We rushed to Lyon and arrived two hours late. Thankfully, the clerk was very kind and didn’t charge us the fee. She had heard about the accident. We still don’t know what happened, but it must have been really bad:/ By the time everything was settled we were exhausted. We stopped by a small convenience store-like grocery and picked up a couple things for a simple dinner. Why is it so difficult to get three squares around here?!? We had arugula salads with apple and shallot balsamic vinaigrette. Fried eggs and crusty French bread with country pâté. Not bad.