Category Archives: Food

Anything I like to share with you on French cuisine.

Tarte Maroilles / Maroilles Cheese Tart

Maroilles (cheese)

Image via Wikipedia

This was our last weekend at the mill. The season has officially started with the first renters coming next week. For our friends Lynda, Lukas, and little Olivier I prepared this easy cheese quiche for lunch…

It goes like this:

  1. Unpack a ready-made shortcrust pastry you can buy in every hypermarché. In French: pâte brisée.
  2. Heat the oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Use a 23 cm flan tin and put in the dough and the non-stick paper that comes with the package.
  3. Mix some crème fraîche and three eggs and season really well with salt and pepper. Slice over the Maroilles cheese. You need more or less half a block.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden. Serve warm.
I can tell you: it’s magnifique.

Here is a version where you make the dough too: BBC Food.
I also like to thank Marlies who served this fantastic dish to us at Bel Any.

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Lazy Guy’s Cheese Fondue

Camembert of Normandy - French cheese

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Let’s stay in the French cheese department. If you really need to impress your friends and prefer to hide your incapacity in the kitchen, remember this Lazy Guy’s Cheese Fondue. It’s a no-brainer, dead simple and healthy finger food that –with enough wine– makes your guests forget that you didn’t even cook.

Just preheat the oven to 220 C, unwrap a Camembert cheese and carefully slice the rind off the top of the cheese. Return the cheese to its box, cut-side up, and place the box on a baking sheet. Add a little sea salt, freshly ground pepper and thyme leaves and drizzle with olive oil. Put it in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, until the cheese is browned on top and melted inside. Serve some raw cut vegetables to spoon your cheese fondue. Ready!

You need…
1 boxed Camembert (in a wooden box or it will burn)
salt and pepper
2-3 sprigs thyme, leaves only
1 tbsp olive oil
selection of raw vegetables like cucumber, red and orange pepper, carrot, Belgian endive and celery sliced in sticks of 2 inches.

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Are you a French Cheese Fan?

Fromage U Muntagnolu (Corsica)

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I guess you recognize this situation: You are looking for a selection of French cheeses and have absolutely no clue which ones to chose. Your friends who are coming over for dinner expect you to offer a wide selection. You vaguely remember a waiter explaining that you have to build up from soft flavors to intens flavors but here at the Carrefour they all look the same. And –oh wait– Mary is pregnant! You’re lost.

Now here’s the solution! It’s called Fromage and it’ll help all of you who are walking around at the Carrefour, Cora or E.LECLERC with an iPhone. No more mumbling at the cheese counter or staring at the endless choice of white molded Camembert-look-a-likes.

Download Fromage and surprise yourself (and your guests).

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Wine tasting

The French like wine. But don’t be mistaken. They do not drink wine all the time. It’s only to accompany  food. That’s what we’ve learned when we gave our first reception.

Here in France opening a bottle for dinner is a big thing. You don’t just grab a bottle and be surprised about the taste. You have Merlot, Haute Medoc, Pouilly-Fumé, Sancerre, Touraine, Saumur etcetera etcetera. And they all taste different. That you know – right? If not, stop drinking Coca-Cola.

Every year the big hypermarchés like Casino, Cora and Carrefour, offer a wine tasting. And we love it. We go straight to the desk. Spend at least Continue reading

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Homemade Cider (part 2)

After pressing all the juices out of the must, you fill the canister, add the yeast and close the lit with a water lock. I didn’t know that the temperature is supposed to be around 20º Celsius. This is never the case in our house so we had to stoke it big time. Placing the canister closer to the heater did help as well. 🙂

The water lock will prevent fresh air coming in the canister meanwhile it helps to escape the produced CO2. The Carbon-dioxide in the canister also prevents the start of any other bacteria and fungi ‘poisoning’ the cider.

The Production of alcohol takes place in the first days. The yeast seperates the sugars in Alcohol and CO2. The produced gasses will burst out through the water lock. It’s just Continue reading

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Homemade Cider (part 1)

Strongbow Cider is made in Hereford

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Ever since we have an orchard full of apple trees we wanted to make our own cider. Wouldn’t you be proud if you’d be able to bottle your own alcohol from your own fruits? And after all what is it about? Collecting the fruits, squeeze them, put them in a canister, wait and bottle – right? We found out the hard way that it is not that easy.

Here’s part 1:

the Preparation is KING. First you have to get the right apples. Best is to have a selection of apples from sweet to sour and even bitter varieties. By mxing different ones the taste is more likely to be successful. To sweet and the yeast will explode. To sour and the yeast will Continue reading

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Tasting real Champagne

Our favorite

When I say champagne you say Bollinger, Canard-Duchêne, Kruger, Perrier, Mercier, Moët & Chandon, Mumm, Piper-Heidsieck, Pommery, or Taittinger. But did you know there are over 2,000 champagne producers? We visited a few in the Champagne region  to find the right bubbles for Supergîtes.

Some of the larger houses offer a grand tour through the factory and a ‘free’ drink afterwards. But don’t be mislead: by paying for the tour (€10 to 15 euros) you already paid generously for that drop of champagne. Other smaller houses offer free tasting but expect you to buy afterwards.

It’s basically not easy to buy at a smaller house. The smaller producers are all family owned for decades and a bit reserved (or reluctant as you wish) to offer a tasting and hoping you will buy a car load of champagne. Probably most tourists do drink and drive and leave the poor wine farmer an empty bottle AND empty pockets. That’s so not us. 🙂

A proper Champagne tour starts at Epernay at the Avenue de Continue reading

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