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Food,

Crepes

 

Crepes are such a classic French treat that most visitors couldn’t imagine coming to France and not having at least one. In fact, crepes are so beloved in France that there is an entire holiday dedicated to eating them! It occurs on February 2nd of each year and is called “la Chandeleur.”

 

Of course, la Chandeleur, or Candlemas as it’s known in some English-speaking countries, wasn’t originally intended to be a day dedicated to crepes. This medieval holiday has centuries-old roots that some claim are Christian and other claim are Pagan. For most modern French, though, this holiday is simply about gathering with family, friends, and a feast of crepes!

 

This year, join in the festivities with a meal of homemade crepes! Slather them in chocolate spread, jam, honey, butter and sugar—whatever your heart desires. But don’t forget to pair them with a glass of wine! We recommend B&G Vouvray for a light accompaniment, B&G Sauternes for a decadent addition, or B&G Extra Dry sparkling wine for a festive touch!

 

Crepes

 

  • 250 g flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 5 L milk
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 50 g butter, melted and cooled

 

In a mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients (flour, salt, and sugar). Make a well in the center of your dry ingredients and add the eggs. Mix gently with a whisk until the mixture is well incorporated, then slowly add the milk, a little at a time, making sure to fully incorporate after each pour.

 

Once the batter is smooth and free of all clumps, whisk in the melted and cooled butter until well combined. The batter should be relatively thin with an even consistency.

 

On the stove, heat a crepe pan or skillet over medium heat and lightly grease using a paper towel soaked in oil. Once heated, spoon a small amount of batter onto the hot pan and quickly rotate the pan in order to cover the entire surface with the batter. Flip once the bottom has turned a golden brown. It shouldn’t take more than 1-2 minutes on each side.

 

Repeat until you’ve run out of batter!

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Food,

Scallops in Beurre Blanc

 

 

 

Scallops, which are farmed extensively in Normandy and Brittany, are a staple of holiday meals in France. Their delicate flavor pairs nicely with a rich and creamy sauce, which is why scallops in beurre blanc is always a big hit. Plus, it couldn’t be any easier to prepare. This lightly charred and buttery dish is practically foolproof and makes for a perfect entrée to your Christmas dinner!

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Food,

Brioches Perdues

 

The history of French toast is hotly debated, but one thing is for sure—it isn’t actually French. In fact, it dates all the way back to the Roman Empire. Fast forward a couples of millennia and cultures around the world have their own rendition of this classic dish.

In France, the most basic rendition of this dish is called pain perdu. Literally “lost bread,” its name comes from the fact that it is traditionally made using old bread that would otherwise be thrown away. Simply soak the old bread in some eggs and milk and you’ve got an easy, delicious breakfast.

However, to turn this recipe into something truly French, all you need to do is replace the bread with brioche and voilà, you’ve got brioches perdues! The rich, buttery flavor of French brioche makes this version of French toast much more decadent and more suitable as a dessert than as a breakfast.

Treat yourself to this delectable dish for National French Toast Day!

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Food,

Rouelle de Veau with Carrots

Looking for a hearty recipe to keep you warm on chilly autumn nights? We’ve got the recipe for you!

Simple, yet flavorful, this one-pot dinner is just as good for entertaining guests as it is for an easy weeknight meal. Braising the veal shanks makes them fall-off-the-bone tender and the stewed carrots add a welcome hint of sweetness.

But the best thing about this recipe is that it gives you an excuse to open a bottle of white wine! Add two glasses to the pan while cooking, then pour a third glass just for you, to be enjoyed while you wait for dinner to be ready!

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Food,

Meager from Les Sables d’Olonne with Eggplant, White Beans, and Fried Onions

 

Les Sables d’Olonne is a little seaside town south of Nantes and north of La Rochelle, home to France’s fourth-largest fishing port. Here, fishermen specialize in trawling fish like hake, sole, and tuna. Meager is another fish that is abundant in Les Sables d’Olonne.

Delicate in flavor, but firm in texture, meager makes a practical canvas for playing with flavors and textures. In this recipe, enjoy the diversity of textures—the crunch of fried onions, the tenderness of cooked eggplant, and the smoothness of the white beans.

Preparing this dish with meager from Les Sables d’Olonne gives it a local touch and special flavor, though any meager filets will do.

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Food,

Aïoli

Like many other specialties from Provence, aïoli goes back a long, long way. In fact, the first recorded mention of it dates over 2,000 years! When you taste it, you’ll understand why it’s stood the test of time.

Creamy, garlicky, and mouth-wateringly delicious, aïoli is the perfect partner for fresh veggies—raw or cooked. But that’s not all…you can also spread it on sandwiches, dollop it onto roast meats, use it as a dip for seafood, or as a topping for hard-boiled eggs.

Making aïoli is very similar to making homemade mayonnaise. It involves lots of stirring and patience. You can use a whisk to make the job a bit easier, or you can do it the traditional way with a mortar and pestle, as described in the recipe below. This way may require a bit of extra effort, but it’ll be worth it for the authentic taste!

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Food,

Sea Bass Carpaccio

The Mediterranean city of Sète on the Languedoc Coast doesn’t attract quite as many tourists as the beach hubs of the Côte d’Azur, making it a low-key destination for seaside fun and also, of course, for food and wine.

In this port city, you’ll find docks lined with fishing boats and trawlers bringing in the catch of the day. As a result, the city is abundant with fresh sea food, like this sea bass I had the pleasure of trying during my visit.

Sea bass, also called branzino, is a popular fish all across the Mediterranean. Here, it’s prepared in the style of Italian carpaccio, which gives you a sense of Sète’s local gastronomy. As a port city connecting hubs around the sea from North Africa to Italy, Sète is home to an interesting mix of cultures, especially when it comes to food.

This simple, delicate dish is perfect as an appetizer or a light meal. A wonderful choice for the summer and a perfect companion for a glass of white wine!

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Food,

Tapenade

I love snacking, so you can imagine just how pleased I was to discover the many small dishes that come from the French Mediterranean Coast. Panisse, socca, pissalidière, aïoli, marinated bell peppers and olives…so many yummy finger foods to devour! Still, as delicious as all of these dishes are, none of them compares to tapenade.

Tapenade is a typical Provençal recipe that combines olives and capers. The the star ingredient may be olives, its name actually comes from the Occitan word for capers, tapena. These two primary ingredients give it a briny, salty flavor, while the addition of anchovies gives it an umami kick.

It’s great for dipping breadsticks or dolloping onto little slices of toast and it’s so appetizing, you’ll practically inhale it. What’s more, tapenade is simple to make. Check out the recipe and see for yourself!

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