>Pumpkin soufflé experiment


This was suggested by some friends who had given us a very vague idea of the recipe. It was the first time for years that I’d made a soufflé and we discovered that we’d left our soufflé dish behind when we moved from Wales. Never mind, we can always improvise, using the most straight-sided dish we had, one of those dishes that charcutiers use to display paté and sell for a couple of euros when they’re empty.

IMGP3428 IMGP3430
IMGP3433 I cooked and mashed a piece of pumpkin and two potatoes, added 4 egg yolks, 5 beaten egg whites and 100 gm of grated Cantal cheese (a bit like Cheddar) and put the mixture in a greased oven-proof dish. I sprinkled some more grated cheese and some grated nutmeg over the top and put it in a hot oven for 30 minutes. I think it might have been better to roast the pumpkin, rather than boiling it, before mashing, so I’ll try that next time.

It tasted very good, but I think it would have even more flavour if the pumpkin was roasted first. When I’ve perfected the recipe I’ll post it on the Mediterranean cuisine blog with exact quantities.

And a mise en bouche

IMGP3450 When you order a set menu in a restaurant in France you often find extra small courses have been added and you’re offered a mise en bouche (literally, ‘put in mouth’) to start your meal. Lo Jardinièr made this one the other day, using slices of bread brushed with olive oil and toasted in the oven, slices of boudin noir (blood sausage) and one of the last of our tomatoes, garnished with basil leaves.

Winter is coming

There are cold nights forecast for the coming week, with temperatures perhaps reaching freezing point, so we’ve covered our emerging broad bean and mangetout pea plants with bamboo leaves to try to protect them. I’ve harvested most of the mint to dry for making tea with during the winter and picked (probably) the last small green peppers which I’ll pickle as I did with some of the ones I picked a couple of weeks ago. We found some quite big peppers too, hidden among the leaves, so we’ll grill those to eat over the weekend.

>Yes, it’s freezing


DSC00613 DSC00615

The river was still partly iced over at 11 a.m. this morning.

Lo Jardinièr’s boudin noir and apple salad


We cheered ourselves at lunchtime with this warm salad of slices of boudin noir (black pudding) and apple, sautéed in olive oil, on lettuce and lamb’s lettuce leaves from the garden.