Posting ideas and photographs for menus. Responding to idea requests. Getting ready to cook for our guests at ChezLeMoulin in Samouillan France next year!
Cucumbers and courgettes, coriander and radishes, tomatoes and beans....it’s all growing fast in the new raised beds. Dinner under the pergola! This weekends menu: Goats cheese and figues, home made sourdough bread, coronation chicken and an aromatic salad of fresh herbs and bulgar wheat with pomegranate, and a pickled cucumber salad, followed by chocolate brownie and vanilla ice-cream.
Dinner last night on the terrace with our B&B guests and some friends ....
Frozen petit pois
Salt and black pepper
I make this just like my regular hummus, but swap out for peas...bring through the boil and rincé with cold water. Quantités are all on taste. I use about a third of a 500g bag of peas to 2tbl spoons of tahini. Olive oil to blend. All I n the food processor and blend. Keeps well in the fridge for about four days.
Smoked aubergine dip
Salt and pepper
Put the aubergine under the grill and char the skin, it should go black. Turning it to make sure it is black all over. Leave to cool, peel the skin and place in the blender with all the other ingredients. Blend, taste and season.
Keeps about 4days in the fridge.
American style, baked cheese cake. I use the bbc food recipe on line. Changes made for available ingredients...ie a squeeze of lemon juice in cream for the topping, and a few other changes to achieve the right flavour with what I have in the fridge...
ChezLeMoulin breakfast, trying a few things other than croissants this week as the butter gets to soft to roll,? Danish pastries from brioche dough and muffins and a selection of sour dough breads
Chezlemoulin Food's cover photo
Chezlemoulin Food's cover photo
Bakewell tarts Moulin style. Made with lemon and almond pastry, homemade cherry jam, and frangipane with raspberry liquor. Served with homemade vanilla ice cream. Decorated with sugar flowers that are all in our garden now, roses, Daisy’s and Lily’s . The desert for last nights guest dinner. Breakfast....the usual favorites croissants and fruit...
The ducks are on patrol. No more duck eggs for a while, two of our ducks appear to be nesting!
We now have bees, our friends are teaching us how to care for them. They seem to be settling into our orchard very well. They have a quiet corner well away from people.
And my sour dough spent a weekend in the fridge while we were away. It’s bubbling away nicely . I made wholemeal bread....
I started a starter.....yep sourdough is back on the ChezLeMoulin menu! I hate to discard, and so I’ve used the discard to make bread. So my four day old starter has already made bread today. Tomorrow’s loaves are in the fridge ready to bake in the morning.
Sourdough starter is easy to start! It really is just flour and water. I use a mix of Organic rye flour and organic white bread flour. It just needs to be a sort of runny porridge consistency. I don’t worry about exact measurements or timing for feeding. Many recipes are very precise. Mix it together and leave it somewhere warmish, not hot. Top of the fridge is ideal. For about 12 hours. Take a look at it, day one is in my photo. Should start to bubble . Then add a couple of scoops of rye flour and water. I check it now and again through the day and about 12 hours later feed it again with rye flour. On day two throw away about half and feed again with flour and water....keep this up for about a week. Then you can feed it every few days. I used the discard to make bread adding about 5g of live yeast....you have to discard some every couple of days to keep it active. Too little fresh flour to starter means the bacteria don’t have enough food to sty active. If it starts to look like it’s separating then it needs feeding.
It’s like having a new pet!
This week it’s all about the cheese. I’ve been on a cheese making course with Louisa. A great time, and I’ve made a few things, so here are a selection , some cream cheeses and homemade bread, New York cheese cake, with fig and orange syrup....or strawberries, and fried cheese salad. There could be more cheese making this summer!
This week was scones.....savoury, herb scone with pea hummus and sun dried tomato and cheese scones with smoked salmon mousse. Some canapés for an evening with friends
Sometimes it’s necessary to make a wee plate of french deliciousness....
Hazelnut and lemon Madeleines
I’ve been neglecting my food....so here’s a selection from this month....the new tartiflette dish in use, naan bread for all those lovely curries.. using some of the lovely eggs for omelette with two types of chips and veg for a green green soup. Then apple crumble cake...... mmmm
Bees, this honey producer is going to teach us bee keeping and provide the bees and hives...as well as making organic honey they sell and make lots of other organic honey based products. Now trying to provide a bring your own container, waste reduction service too....🐝🐝🐝
Sur le marché bio à Auch, nous avons eu la visite de "ZeroWaste Gers" (zéro déchets), qui nous a remis ce bel autocollant: il permet de nous identifier comme vendeurs de produits en vrac, une démarche que nous avons adoptée il y a quelques mois pour la vente des granolas et riz soufflé.
Et bientôt, nous l'espérons, pour le miel! (nous le faisons déjà pour le magasin Day by Day à Toulouse, mais pas encore sur les marchés)
Alors, n'oubliez pas: venez avec votre contenant!
Christmas food and Presents at LeMoulin. Chocolate roulade, sausage rolls made with delicious ruff puff pastry. Spiced biscuits iced to take to friends and some orange flavoured marzipan bees and really Scottish shortbread as a gift for friends. Now it’s January there may be less rich food but there will still be delightful things to eat. I’m off for a run....more exercise may be the answer 🤣🍾🥂 happy new year. Time to work out some exercise themed food, in preparation for a cycling frenzy as the Tour de France is coming almost past our door! 18th of July...roll on. In the mean time there could be skiing ⛷ and winter wonderful food....
The cake is done, anyone popping by after christmas day will be offered a slice, and maybe a glass of something; Sloe Gin, Cherry Brandy.....
The cake is a basic Christmas Cake recipe, but the fruit is more of a mix with Saltanas, Cranberries, apricots, fig (I think...) and almonds and hazel nuts. Lots of Brandy. Then my new idea because I don't like marzipan . An almond and orange paste. Decorated with royal icing.
I made mincemeat last year, again my own recipe full of apple from the garden, brandy, suet, apricot, saltans....My lovely husband said it was much better than shop bought and asked what was in it..hmmm normally I record my recipe, either in a special book my youngest son gave me many years ago or written in the recipe book beside the original....This time oops.
Anyway I made Stary Mince Pies...
Watch this space for more sweet and savoury treats over Christmas
Pork bellie and crackling......and this weeks cake and icecream...
Oooh what a lovely cake......honey and chocolate, gooooey and delicious. This is a Nigella recipe, which I adapted to my french ingredients, it works well even though it seems a bit odd, a very runny mixture. Even the little bees came from the recipe.
Then homemade peanut butter! This will put you off the bought stuff forever, another little addition to my Moulin breakfasts I think. Thanks to Nikki at kingdom Vegetal for the recipe, I made it today.
This weekend we had an auberge espagnol in the village. I made a poppy and cornflower, cake flavoured with stem ginger and white chocolate and ginger syrup icing.
The great success of the weekend was my new invention, cheese and potato muffins. Great with soup and our french friends loved them so now I have to write the recipe in french 🍷
1 large potato cooked . Baked or boiled then mashed.
1 large onion, diced small and fried in a little oil until soft. Leave both these to cool completely
100g hard cheese grated
190g plain flour (t45)
2 tsp baking powder
Good pinch salt
1 egg made up to 120ml with milk (that’s two eggs in total)
60ml oil ( olive if fine)
1 tsp mustard
Oven at 180. Makes six large muffins.
Mix the potato and flour to make breadcrumb consistency
Add the onion cheese baking powder salt and mustardmix thoroughly, add the first egg, then the milk and egg and oil. Spoon into large muffin cases and bake until golden.
I reserved a little of the chees to sprinkle on the top before putting them in the oven.
Best eaten slightly warm, but they keep well for a couple of days.
Chezlemoulin Food's cover photo
Fun in the Moulin kitchen this weekend, salmon with aromatic vegetables and jewelled rice, tartiflette with charcuterie and apple and walnut chutney, petite four - brownies, chocolate coated brandy cherries and hazelnut shortcake and iced Bakewell tarts. Lots of mushrooms growing in the garden too!
This week our dark figs we’re ready, they aéré enormous...but we just ate them. There are still green figs and so more preserving. I made an orange syrup to preserve them in this time, a fig compôt for topping a lovely local formage blanc i buy in the market. It will make a delicious breakfast for any winter guests.
To make it I used half the quantity of sugar to the weight of figs. 1.5kg figs, about 700g sugar and the zest and juice of two oranges. Quartered the figs and mixed the juice and zest into the figs and sugar and left overnight. I added a very finely sliced thin skinned orange a star anis, and a couple of cloves. Brought to the boil and cooked for 30 minutes. The figs were soft and there was lots of syrup. It’s not jam so I wanted to keep it this consistency. Placed into sterilised jars. It’s brilliant pink, and you and still see the green of the skins and the slices of orange. Tastes amazing. Perfect with formage blanc or natural yogurt.
I also bottled some sloe gin from 2015 and made this years’. Winter is coming I think so it’s best to be preared❄️🧤🧣🍷
Birthday celebrations for one of our lovely guests, smoked salmon with horse radish and caper and mackerel pate and cherry tomatoes, on homemade rye toast; fois gras produce in our village with quince jelly from the garden. No pictures of the beautiful lamb we had, slow cooked then bbq’d with dauphinoise potatoes, chardonay and thyme carrots, creamed leaks and a port and veal gravy. Cheese...with homemade pickles, and then birthday cake and vanilla ice-cream...
Some wine was drunk...
This week in the Moulin kitchen I hope to be making fig chutney. The first of our purple figs are just coming ripe, the green ones are delicious right now. And soon we will have persimmons.
Recipe Time !!
Lemon and cardomen Cake with figs
The figs were the starting point of this recipe and the flavours of lemon honey cardamon and cream cheese are all things that go well with the fig.
250g Castor Sugar
175g Self raising flour
75g ground almonds
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cardamon seeds
zest and juice of large lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
2 dsp honey
a few cardamon seeds ( to taste)
150g cream cheese
75g icing sugar
Seeds from 1 vanilla pod
about 4 figs
Use creaming mix method for the cake. I add the zest and the cardamon at the beginning and whip it in with the butter. This works best when you add the egg slowly and keep whipping until the mix starts to lighten in colour. Bake at 180 degrees for about 40 minutes. i line a 9" square stone baking pan.
Make the glaze early and let the flavours infuse. use a honey you really like, I use a local very floral honey I get in our market.
Make the frosting and put in the fridge to firm up. This is an old frosting recipe for a passion cake (carrot cake). sometimes its a bit too runny ( this depends on the cream cheese) and I cheat and use a bit of ultratex gold to thicken it if its too runny ( a chef trick that no one talks about. its the stuff they use to thicken al those swipes and smears on plates, a corn based starch that doesn't affect flavours or colour, its gluten free so can be used for sauces too, and doesn't need to be heated)
To put the cake together.....
Once you take the cake out of the oven put it on a cooling rack with something under. Prick it all over with a cocktail stick, and drizzle on the syrup, reserving a very small amount. once its completely cold spread over the frosting and decorate with quartered figures. The drizzle a tiny amount of the syrup onto each bit of fig.
It’s bake off time and I’m channeling Tray bake! For the last night of the pétanque, I needed something to follow Moules frits. Today’s cake for 57 people , a new idea to use figues from the garden that are just coming into season. A lemon and cardamom cake, drizzled with a honey lemon and cardamom syrup. Topped with cream cheese frosting, a piece of fresh figue and a little additional dribble of the glaze. After the meal there were no crumbs left, usually there are a few half eaten deserts.
Autumn cooking is underway in the Moulin kitchen. This week I’ve been making autumn chutney, using veg and fruit from the garden and brambles collected locally. Trying out a new recipe, halibut with a lime crust and a lightly spiced potato salad. And finally I managed to make a rose cake, a the third attempt. The cake was a very light lemon and vanilla sponge, served with a plum mousse.
The vegan theme continued this week.... we had a Meze with smoked aubergine and lemon, hummus, quinoa with Mediterranean flavours, a selection of salads and mixed grain bread followed by bakewell inspired vanilla cake, and the following day curry with chick peas and lentils, spiced potatoes with roast veg, jewelled saffron rice and naan bread. Followed by a fruit jelly and the remains of the cake.
Today we did brunch for two lovely families, one staying with us and their friends who have a holiday home nearby. 2 vegan, 2 veg, and 7 who eat everything....
Vegan muffins, bircher muesli, fruit salad and bread
And additional for everyone else croisants, chocolatine, bread and non vegan Bircher muesli
Plus yogurts, preserves, juice, a variety of milk, and tea and coffee.....
This week it's all about the entente cordial ... Cherry cordial, elderflower cordial and in process orange and elderflower!
The cherries were too juicy for jam after a wet spring, so cordially yours... If you choose. 😍
First guests of the summer arrive tomorrow so a little practise session, as it's been a while. Croissants with cheese and ham and choclatine. French bread.... And the first fruit of the summer. Time to get preserving!
Love fresh ingredients, our own oranges, eggs for our lovely hens in the orchard....so time for a quick baking day.....two brownies, quiche with asparagus.....and I received my Lakeland order this week...jelly bags ready! Labels ready.....
I've been making ice cream for the summer... all our own eggs lemons and oranges, so lemon or orange curd? Ok both!! And the raspberries are looking good so expecting a bumper crop. Now what shall I plant in the veg plot???
This week it’s all about the lemons. The hens are laying daily and I had lots of ripe lemons so ...lemon cake, with blueberries, lemon curd and a delicious lemon icecream....things to make when it’s snowing!
Onion bhaji ..... So good I better not make them again...,unless there are more people to share them!
Soup.... brussel sprout and broccoli cream with crispy bacon; broccoli, green bean and toasted almond; parsnip and apple served with blue cheese; fennel, pumpkin and coconut served with cashew nuts an naan bread.... recipes to follow ###
Post Christmas cake, banana.... some to eat some to freeze and yesterday's soup of the day was parsnip and apple served with a swirl of cream and a little crumbled Roquefort.
Thanks to Rick Stein ... Lovely orange cake...gluten free too...very light and rather scrum my
Bread week! Soda bread, and two types of focaccia... One with tomato olives and rosemary and the other has a little chilli, peppers and cheese.....all ready for tonights choir in the church😁 just add mulled wine! I made a cake too ...
Time to be back in the kitchen... Making fun things 😀
Always good to have another go at a recipe you just devised...so here is the chocolate velvet cake with red fruits ... Sugared red currants, strawberries and raspberries and filled with chocolate cream and raspberries ! Ready to take to friends tonight. I have a cunning plan to transport it too! I hope hubby is sympathetic and drives slowly !! 🍓🍇🍰🎀
250g unsalted butter
240g castor sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons powdered red food dye
raspberry flavouring (I used MSK top notes raspberry x 4 pipets)
40g powdered chocolate
60g ground almonds
1tsp baking powder
150g self raising flour
Creamed cake method, 180 degree C for about 45 minutes
100g 70% chocolate
120g milk chocolate
double cream 150 cl app
knob of butter
melt the chocolate gently in the cream, mix until smooth and add the butter to make glossy.- i also added purple food colour...just for fun, same as the red MSK powdered food colour.
use most of this to cover the cake, and add more cream to whats left to serve on the side as chocolate cream sauce.
decorate with fruit...rasberries and another red fruit.