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French Recipes

21 August 2007

Beignets - a study in procrastination


Beignets, pronounced BEN-YAYS, are little French doughnuts or fritters made from choux pastry that are deep-fried and come with a variety of sweet or savoury fillings.

I tend to try to stay away from deep-fried foods for a number of reasons however these little nuggets are worth being a little naughty for once in a while.

So it was, on a rainy Sunday afternoon, I was faced with a choice: study or make beignets. Being the dedicate student I am, it wasn't a hard decision. I studied... for a whole 15 minutes until I had worked up such an appetite that the only responsible thing to do was make beignets.

Continue reading "Beignets - a study in procrastination" »

17 July 2007

Bastille Day Bouillabaisse


To honour Bastille Day on 14 July we held our own Fête de la Fédération at apartment 405. The specialité de la maison was Bouillabaisse followed by a very rich Chocolate and Orange Mousse. Nic wants me to put in lots of other French words that he's yelling at me, like tete-a-tete and rendezvous and aprés-ski, but I'm not going to.

Bouillabaisse, a Provencal fish stew originates from the town of Marseille and consists of at least four different types of Mediterranean rock fish and crustaceans like mussels or small crabs. The rich seafood is balanced with a light, sweet broth that is made from fish stock given its famous red hue from saffron threads.

I never fully appreciated the amount of work that goes into preparing this acclaimed dish. Bouillabaisse is no ordinary soup. It requires patience, effort and real application. In the end however the result was worth the effort.

There are three major steps in the preparing of this recipe. The first is preparation of the fish stock, then the Rouille; a Saffron and Garlic Mayonnaise with croutons, and then finally the Bouillabaisse itself. Don't forget, you can always make the process easier by just buying fish stock from your local fish shop which is what I will do next time.

Continue reading "Bastille Day Bouillabaisse" »

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