Thursday, July 20, 2006

More on Notable food in Italy

More olive oil. Found that the really nice dipping oil was, many times, labeled 'frutata'. We asked at the restaurant & they wrote down the brand name they use. The search was on! After many shops filled with temptation we found it. We now have a couple of bottles, in fact I used some last night on cold green beans. Very nice.
Dinner on the way home in Le Muy was very good. The owner/chef makes all of his own bread and it turns out he loves to make terrines. I had his terrine entree which gave me four different types accompanied by olives, cornichons, home made fig jam & an outstanding onion confit. This in itself would have made a wonderful dinner, but the entrcote which followed was also excellent. Fresh from the oven croissants & rolls for breakfast completed the stay.

Disaster struck at lunch in Le Vigan. The worst meal we've ever had in France! And they tried to overcharge us. The details are too greusome to relate. Its a real shock as it happens so seldom in France.

We were asked by our hosts to cook a French meal while in Lucca. Knowing this in advance we were able to load up the car fridge with a few goodies. Naturally we also took wine, a couple of cases. For nibbling we had rilettes & some cheeses. For non-alcholic drinks we took a couple of bottles of the wonderful French fruit syrups so we could make Diablas by adding some diet lemonade. For THE meal, however, we brought fois gras & magret. Out menu was:

Fois gras on toast FOLLOWED BY:

Roasted tomatoes with olive, garlic, basil & balsamic vinegar FOLLOWED BY:

Barbequed magret accompanied by L'aillade de Toulouse
Roast new potatoes; green beans & sauteed green & red peppers with spring onions & radishes FOLLOWED BY:

A salad of butter lettice with fresh basil & cilantro; tossed with a light vinagrette. FOLLOWED BY:

Italian cheeses FOLLOWED BY:

Baked apricots with vanilla gelato.

Of course we took our time eating this & everyone seemed to enjoy the meal.

I'll start posting the recipies in the next day or so, but can start with the fois gras as it was so simple.

Sauteed fois gras

1) Buy fresh fois gras, Separate the lobes & carefully pick out the veins

2) Carefully slice the fois gras in to about 1/4 inch thick slices. Layer the slices with cooking paper between each to keep them separate. Freeze if not cooking immediately.

3) Toast some nice thin rounds of French bread.

4) Heat up a frying pan to hot. Have your salt & pepper ready to hand.

5) Place several fois gras slices in the hot pan. Immediately salt & pepper lightly. Turn the slices over (they should cook no more that 90 seconds for each side.

6) When done put each slice on a toast round & serve immediately.

7) If you need to do a second pan full carefully pour off the fois gras butter into a container. Keep it was its absolutely delicious. Now fry your second pan full as before.

Die & go to heaven. Serve with a sweet wine. Let your budget be your guide on this. Chateau D'y on downwards

More later.

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