Sunday, 25 June 2017


Image result for surprised cockerel

Our neighbours have a cockerel who, mercifully, doesn't wake us in the morning with the usual 'Coc-a-ric-o'.
Instead he sings at 6pm each evening with a welcome chant of 'A-pér-o!'
It seems that even the chickens in France understand the important things in life!

They make pretty good eating too- as was ably demonstrated at our final Atelier de Cuisine this month, before the long summer break.

On the menu for this 'end of term' special was a cold soup made from fresh green vegetables and coconut milk to start; chicken cooked in coca cola served with a potato and onion tortilla for main course; and a rhum baba style pudding with fruit salad.
The starter is a good one for when you have an excess of veg ( from your veg garden, or when cheap and in season in the shops).

Soupe Froide au Lait de Coco (de Joselyne)

Serves 6

2 courgettes
200g green beans
150 g peas
300g spinach or chard leaves or lettuce
200 ml coconut milk
seasoning (salt, pepper, nutmeg)

1. Prepare the veg, cutting the courgettes into small cubes.

Prepare the green veg
2. Cook in 600ml boiling water until tender
3. Add the coconut milk and cook for a further 5 minutes
4. Blitz the soup with a hand blender and add the salt and pepper (and nutmeg if you like it) until you are satisfied with the seasoning.

Blitz the soup with a hand blender
5. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours and then serve in dainty glasses.

Soupe Froide au Lait de Coco

Cold soups have featured before on the blog- like these Gazpacho Shots:

Gazpacho Shots with Aubergine Toasts

Gazpacho Soup II
Now for the main course, with that surprising chicken.
I would never have thought to mix my soft drinks in with my meat, rather than drinking them- but you can always learn from other people. I have altered Yvette's recipe here slightly, as I preferred to use fresh onions rather than dried. I hope she forgives me.

Coq au Coca (for 6)

6 chicken thighs (skinless but bone-in)
1x 330 ml tin cola
2 onions, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, crushed and finely chopped
1 heaped tbsp gravy granules

1. Preheat the oven to 210 degrees
2. Brown the onions in a heavy based casserole dish, add the garlic.
3. Lay the chicken thighs over the onions in the dish
4. Pour on the cola and sprinkle on the gravy granules

Chicken ready for the oven

5. Place a lid on the casserole and cook for half an hour in the oven.
6. After 30 minutes, uncover and contine to cook for a further 30 minutes until the sauce is syrupy and the chicken is tender.
Coq au Coca
As you can see, the chicken was served accomapanied by a delicious tortilla made with eggs, potatoes and onions. Here is the recipe:

Tortilla (for 6)

6 eggs
500g firm fleshed potatoes
1 large onion
salt, pepper, oil

1. Peel and slice the onion
2. Peel and slice the potatoes into thin rondelles

Potatoes and onions prepared
3. Cook the potatoes in the oil over a low heat for 15 minutes
4. Add the onion and contine to cook until they start to lightly brown
5. Beat the eggs, add plenty of salt and pepper and pour them over the potatoes and onions
6. Cook without stirring for a further 5 minutes until the egg looks set underneath
7. Slide it out onto a plate, turn it upside down using another plate and return it to the pan to cook on the other side for a further few minutes.

Tortilla really is the best friend of the leftovers cook- a handful of cooked potates, veg, leftover salad, even pasta can be used up and made into a meal with the simple addition of beaten eggs. I make it using leftover spaghetti bolognaise:

Spag Bol Frittata
Finally, it's time for the pièce de resistance- the dessert!

I would make these again any day- so simple, no need for yeast or proving. Decorate them as you want, with cream, fruit or crème anglaise.

Bouchées au rhum façon baba (de Joselyne) 
Makes 10 mini babas.

100g self rasing flour
80g sugar
2 small eggs
50g melted butter
For the syrup- 250ml water, 100 ml dark rum, 100g sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
2. Pour the flour, sugar, beaten eggs and melted butter into a large bowl and mix well.

Mix it all together in order
3. Pour into moulds (eg. dariole moulds or muffin cases), place on a baking tray and cook in the oven for 15 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, pour the syrup ingredients into a pan and heat over a medium heat until it reduces slightly.

Warm the syrup until it reduces slightly
5. Take the babas out of the oven, unmould them and place in a large gratin dish

Babas ready for their rum!
6. Pour over the warm syrup and let them soak it up. They will drink it all thirstily so don't worry that there is too much liquid.
7. Serve cold.
Bouchées au Rhum

And so we sat down to a delicious 4 course meal- this being the Auvergne, there was a cheese course in between- and celebrated the start of the summer holidays! 

Cock-a-doodle doo!

A la rentrée!*
*Some photos courtesy of Huguette- merci!