Away, away, away

I will be away for a WHOLE week, promise lots of photos will be taken and local recipes will come back with me.
bye for now

what a rude "World"

One of the pleasure to leave in Greenwich is to take a walk by the Thames and gaze at the boats. None are bigger than "the World". It is a yacht made of appartments owned by rich people, of course it also contains "the facilities they are used to". Anyway, last year as we were having a quiet drink on the 1st floor of a pub which adorns the river when this mega-giant structure blocked the entire bay window for several minutes as it cruised by. I will not relate here the reaction of a party of students seating at the next table, they were a little worse for wear, bless their little cotton socks, and they thought the aliens had landed.
So when he told me that the very same cruiser-ship was coming back, I contacted them, I thought you would love to have a report on their restaurants and cuisine.

I should have known as I read the press-release, I put it to you: "We enjoy our life-style. We enjoy each other’s company and we also enjoy our own private apartments - our luxury residences at sea". Yes, and they will not share any of it, even for a quick-interview and a whistle-tour of the kitchens. Well, that is not fine but it does not stop there, several e-mails later I am still to receive a reply, and in my books, this is rude.

but I did not given up, and looked up at their menu, take this for example : "Cannelloni with ratatouille vegetables, ricotta cheese and cherry tomato sauce", I bet my ratatouille beats theirs any-day.
Thanks for his picture


No, Wikipedia, No. Sorry, mate, you have got it wrong, gratin is not a casserole with cheese or bechamel sauce topped with buttered breadcrumbs or at least not when considering a potato gratin. Who, in the first place, would top potatoes with breadcrumbs yurk.

Gratin Dauphinois


4 large potatoes
2 cloves of garlic
250g of cream
1 small glass of milk
salt and a little more pepper than your usual

method: serves 4

  • peel and slice the potatoes, the trick is to slice them with the food-processor so that the slices are very very thin and you can see through
  • put a layer of slices in an oven-proof dish, top with cream and a little milk salt, pepper
  • renew the operation until you run out of slices, every couple of layers add the garlic

AAAAH that's better, oh and by the way the answer to Wednesday's picture is winkle, I am sure that there is a way to cook them in a gratin too, just today I saw in the newspaper a recipe for mussels gratin, may be that one has breadcrumbs on the top, I'll go and check.

The answer was : Quenelles

Repeat after me: "Kuh-nehl", you've got it. One of the speciality from Lyon is "la quenelle" it refers to a delicate dumpling flavoured with either ground poultry mainly chicken or fish usually pike sometimes vegetables and it that case it will be mushrooms. When I go back home, I always bring back a couple of ready-made packets which are baked with a rich white sauce to which is added a little passata or concentrated tomato paste. That is the healthy version.

Lyon is renowned for its "cuisine" after all it is the capital of French gastronomy, though recipes are getting healthy and lighter, cream and butter are still very present among the ingredients.
to make your own quenelles you will need
250g chicken, 150g breadcrumbs, milk, a tea=towel, 25g butter, salt, pepper, 2 eggs.
  • food process the chicken until you get small crumbs (you can use fish or veg) add the 2 egg yolks and the butter process a little more
  • soak the breadcrumbs in milk
  • beat the egg white until stiff
  • drain the crumbs in a kitchen towel
  • add to the food processor and give it a whirl
  • salt, pepper
  • transfer to a bowl and slowly add the egg white

this semi-soft, semi-firm past is called a godiveau, to shape your quenelles, take 2 tablespoons of the same size, scoop some paste, close the second scoop on the top. You now have a quenelle shaped object. throw the quenelles in boiling water, simmer for 15 minutes. next bake for 30 minutes with the sauce of your choice.

For your next puzzle : what is this?

find the answer on the Saturday post


Back from vacation and a long birthday week-end. What a thrill to read that Blogger allows to post videos, without delay I made my debut as a film director : the story led to a small gathering of neighbours all willing to participate, the main character : a potato plant.
Sadly, I managed to erase the end product. Despondent, I sulked for several days, you will get the potato story as soon as I have overcome my disappointment.

I love lists; lists are good for all sorts of reasons, I even have a list of lists in which figures "the list of magical names": mostly places to visit because the ring to their name is so evocative ie: Katmandu, Tumbuktu.
So as I was contemplating a lonely butter-squash and what to do with it, I came across "wattaka", that is a good word to put on the list of recipes. I had to cook that dish. I had to find a recipe. "A taste of Sri Lanka" by Indra Jayasekera came to my rescue, so here is a slightly doctored Wattaka, or curried pumpkin in our case curried butter-squash. It is just gorgeous.


450 g Butter-squash
25 g Onion
2 Fresh chillies (these were fresh from the chillies festival plant)
4 Cloves garlic
50 ml Oil (ghee is an alternative
2 ts of curry powder
Salt Black pepper
1/4 ts Turmeric
450 ml Coconut milk
1 ts Ground mustard (to be honest, I misread and added mustard from the pot)
1/2 ts Lime juice (that I forgot)
  • Peel and de-seed the buttersquash cut the flesh is smallish dices (2cms)
  • Slice the onion and chilli and crush the garlic.
  • Heat the oil (ghee) and fry the curry powder, the onion, the garlic and chilli together. When the onion is soft add the butter-squash, salt, pepper, turmeric and coconut milk, cook until the buttersquash is done.
  • Add mustard to the pumpkin mixture, stirring as it thickens. Bring to the boil and simmer for a few minutes. Remove from heat springle lime juice.
The original recipe presents the wattaka in the shell, if you want to do so, don't peel the vegetable, wash it and scoop the flesh out, when the mixture is ready pour it back in the shell to serve.

For a little game before I go and sulk some more what are thiese?

answer on Wednesday


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