|I'm not actually a dessert person but I appreciate this idea :)|
This weekend, for example, my DB gave me a choice, as my boys had gone to see their dad. We could either go away somewhere or eat out in a nice restaurant. An image floated into my mind of a nice hotel room and me spending Saturday evening munching on a tomato. I wondered where we could go in this cold weather and decided that I couldn't be fagged to go anywhere if it meant something crappy for dinner.
So I voted for staying put, with bed warmer, cosy cat and dinner out. We went to a restaurant called l'Authentique and had a lovely evening eating, drinking and chatting. After a fishy mise en bouche, I started with a millefeuille of brandade de mourue with prawns, mussels and a red pepper sauce, followed by taureau steak (Aubrac), all washed down with a delicious and perfectly balanced red from Domaine Henry, le Paradines 2010 at €25 per bottle. It was well-presented, very tasty and with good service. The place was full too.
Yesterday I went a bit cooking mad. I had cooked a turkey leg in the slow cooker on Saturday so turned it into individual pies in a leek sauce, meat for wraps or maybe turkey pasties, and stock for soup. Then I cooked a lamb Madras dish from Saturday Kitchen which I got into a bit of a mess with as I don't have a spice grinder and my small food processor does a crap job. By the time I'd decided that the burnt bits were not going to affect the overall flavour, the dish was almost ready, not to eat mind because my DB doesn't eat lamb. The boys and I may have it tonight, or I might be so fed up with it that I'll just chuck it in the freezer until I've forgiven it for being such a pain in the arse.
It brought home to me the importance of having the right tools because 'good enough' just isn't when it comes to some things.
This brings me to my favourite tele programmes at the moment. Right up there at the top is Saturday Kitchen which is great fun in a jovial, blokey kind of way, has some delicious-sounding recipes, and interesting guests. Last Saturday, they had Swedish chef Magnus Lisson who made a complex Porridge of grains from Jämtland. They cooked a haggis in a potato pancake dish which I might try as I'm partial to haggis and have a tin of it for emergencies.
When I'm not being nagged to free up the tele, I also then watch The Good Cook with Simon Hopkinson who demonstrates how to make restaurant-quality food in your own home. He was particularly enamoured with this recipe for grilled aubergines with olive oil, garlic, parsley and feta cheese.
On Mondays at 10pm (French time) we have Lewis, on Tuesdays there's Death in Paradise, on Thursdays and Fridays there's Silent Witness and on Sunday there's Mr Selfridge which I like watching because I used to have a summer/Saturday job there. If I have to miss one because there's something worth watching on French tele, then I can just catch up with BBC iPlayer on my IP hider.
Poupoudidou with Jean-Paul Rouve and Sophie Quinton. We were not expecting much joy from it (because we are not great fans of French navel-gazing films), but this one turned out to be a bijou. It's set in Mouthe, the coldest town in France and focuses on the murder of Candice Lecoeur, a (bottle) blond bombshell who is convinced she was Marilyn Monroe in a former life. The police chief has his reasons for deciding her death was a suicide, but a visitor to the area, David Rousseau (JP Rouve), a successful author of 'polars' (thrillers), is not convinced. He decides to stay for a bit, not necessarily because he wants to interfere in the police work, but because he wants to investigate Candice's past and hopefully find some inspiration for his next book.
The deeper he digs, the more dirt he finds, and his life becomes the target for someone who wants to keep him quiet. We really enjoyed the dark humour and irony in this film, the intriguing scenario, and the muffled ambiance reflecting the stifling effect of snow on sound.