I’ve got in to the wonderful (or wonderfully bad) habit of justifying my culinary escapades with the excuse of improving my repertoire and general kitchen handiness. Depending, of course, on the current state of Intermarché’s shelves.
I stroll around the supermarket and I look for what is on special and what is a new ingredient. This week a 2kg bag of endives appeared in my basket. After consulting my new bible, I came across Gratin aux Endives. I’ve never seen endives in NZ but the little bullet shaped lettuce intrigued me when I first saw them at the market in Bonneville. They have a slightly bitter taste when eaten raw and probably not my salad of choice so I thought why not cover them in cheese?? And Swiss Gruyere at that!
I braised half the endives and then topped them with home-made bechamel sauce. I had to restrain myself from abandoning my gratin aux endives plan and just eating cheese sauce for dinner. Damn, that stuff is good. But you know what is better? Baked bechamel sauce!! I also made a tomato salad to try to compensate for the artery clogging qualities of my gratin. My diet pre-intervention was slightly less abundant on the cream and butter front, but cooking with lavish quantities of butter is so much more fun!
I have made two successful recipes from 2000 Recettes this week and already have plans for my next: pot-au-feu. One of Intermarché’s greatest assets is their vege department. You are always guaranteed to find something on special. Generally it is vege packs for pot-au-feu but I normally make these into a soup. Though, this week I am up for a challenge…
Last week I read about the many delights of Nutella Hot chocolate on one of my favourite food blogs. This sounded like something I needed in my life but I lacked one crucial ingredient: Nutella. I was put off buying Nutella after I read in some trashy French magazine that Marion Cotillard stopped buying Nutella because it contains palm oil. I’m slightly in love with this woman so I put my Nutella love on a back burner for a while. But then I remembered that she still smokes like a pack a day (I’m not a stalker, I promise!) so maybe she could smoke and I could eat Nutella… That’s a good compromise, right?!
So, enter, Nutella hot chocolate! Delicious, hot, creamy, nutty, chocolate goodness! After a few mugs (over a few days not a few hours…) I still could not get the right consistency for the Nutella. So I thought I would melt it slightly first. Bad move. Nutella and microwaving do not go well together. My microwave just about caught fire. I completely nuked the blob of Nutella (such a waste!). A bubbling, black, smoking muck was dying in the bottom of the mug. Though around the edges the Nutella had become sort of like a hard moose, almost cake like. This got me thinking, could Nutella make the transition to cake form?!?
I’ve just realised how many times “Nutella” is in the above two paragraphs… Moving right along.
My flatmate, Sarah, works at the Lycée Hôtelier in Bonneville so today we decided to treat ourselves to lunch out in their restaurant. For only €12 you can have le formule de midi which includes entrée, main, cheese, dessert and coffee. The service is intense as the whole operation is run by the students and for the most part there is one waiter for every table. The food was delicious, though I did spy the woman on the next table subtly undo her belt before commencing so I was glad breakfast had been small!
I also ordered a small pitcher of Côte du Rhône but thanks to Sarah’s sweet connections c’était offert! I couldn’t quite finish all the wine, even though it developed quite nicely in the glass. I think had I drunk it all I would have come home for a nana nap in the sun as it is 12 degrees here today!!
Off to the cinema tonight and then skiing on Sunday-just another typical weekend here in Bonneville!