Crooked House

A country life in France

Proper cooking

Since we moved into the Crooked House in mid-April, the hot weather has been relentless. We have lived mainly on salads and bread and cheese. Attempts to use the cooker have resulted in failed dishes (it’s a really rubbish oven!) or an overheated kitchen and a very hot and cross cook. It feels like a very long time since I have done any serious cooking.

The weather is cooler now and we are more acclimated to the heat and more able to eat cooked meals. We also have an occasion to celebrate and that new air fryer to help with the task of preparing dinner. So, it’s the full three course job this evening.

Keeping things simple and making good use of some French convenience foods means that the cook will not be too tired to enjoy the meal. Overall, I do believe that we are having a very French meal (although the Sherry element doesn’t often appear on a French menu!):

  • Sherry, cheesy nibbles and cocktail nuts
  • Baked fresh figs stuffed with Brebis Bleu cheese, fresh thyme and honey,  wrapped in air-dried ham and served on a bed of Rocket; more Sherry
  • Confit duck with Sarladaise potatoes and baby veg; a Saint Emilion Grand Cru Classée
  • Chocolate mousse and fresh Raspberries and perhaps a glass of Crème de Framboise
  • Coffee and petits fours

Convenience food? Well, there is little more convenient than a confit duck leg just requiring a little crisping up in the oven. Baby veg are also very convenient, requiring no peeling or trimming and, I confess to having bought a ready-made Chocolate Mousse (well, it looked so very inviting in its chunky glass jar) although I do acknowledge that few desserts are as quick and simple to make oneself as a proper chocolate mousse is. Could have made my one, but I haven’t and I am guessing that the ready made bought one is simply sensational anyway. French convenience food in general is amazingly good in comparison to its UK counterpart.

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