Monday, April 07, 2008

Pancakes by another name

Another day another repas. This one, last Friday, was with the mixed French/ English crowd. 14 French, 5 English & the lone Yank. The venue was a cooking school in the back of beyond. It was sort of near the pretty little village of St. Andre de Najac in the middle of Aveyronaise country side. We liked it immediately because as you drove into the little hamlet there were signs saying no smoking in this entire place!

The dining room was pretty, exposed stone walls, beams and a nice staircase going up. The propriétaire greeted us warmly in both languages then, he determined to practice his English talked to us in that language whilst we equally determined answered in French. After a few minutes we all had a good laugh. We were also introduced to our Chef, a hearty lady from Brittany. And then to table!

- The amusées were a perfect whole long radish complete with leaves placed upon your napkin; then a dish with thinly sliced radish, a little pot of cauliflower foam & broccoli foam and pieces of rolled crepe with a tuna & herb filling. Thus our first pancake.

- Next came a bowl of poached cod with carrots & shallots in a clear chicken broth. This was accompanied by a think buck wheat galette. Very nice and our second pancake.

- This was followed by a croustillant de crottin de Chavagnol. The infamous little droppings! (see previous post for explanation) The cheese had been almost melted and placed inside the croustillant. This was served with a fig compot.Guess what? The croustillant was a very thin crepe cooked at high heat so that it was crispy. This worked quite well & was our third pancake.

- Finally, dessert. You guessed it; a crepe. This filled with a creme Anglaise and served with a wonderful orange & Grand Mariner sauce. Our 4th pancake.

Coffee & rich chocolates followed. Wines were a red & a white from the Tarn; a Count's estate no less. They were Ok, but nothing special.

An interesting meal with some good conversation even though I was having problems hearing with that many people talking in a noisy room. 20 Euros plus 9 Euros for the wine coffee, not bad.

We said goodbye the the chef & the owner and the evening was topped off by the sight of a tiny hedgehog trundling across the road. We had to stop & shoo him off.

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