Dear French Market Shoppers,
I hope that you all enjoyed your Valentine’s day celebrations and the little cheese hearts that I brought in. As I drove home over Camps Bay Drive, after work on the 14th, there were lots of people on the embankment having picnics and watching the setting sun over Camps Bay, it was a spectacular evening. I celebrated by making little heart shaped butter biscuits with French butter that I have just received from Normandy in the north of France.
This Gourmet butter is made in the region between the rivers of Elle and Vire where the deep pastures, Bocages, provide perfect grazing for the dairy herds. This enables the production of very creamy milk which is essential for top quality butter. You can really taste the difference of the Normandy cow’s milk butter. I like to eat the butter just with some fresh crusty bread, there is nothing to match it. I have received a reasonable stock of Salted (Buerre demi-sel) and Unsalted (Buerre Doux) butter in the shop and expect to get this on a more regular basis. The price for a 200g packet is R59.
I was honoured to be selected by the French Embassy to supply cheeses for some of their recent events in Cape Town. I was delighted to see the appreciation of the guests of French cheese, the ultimate example of fine French food production and savoir faire. Her Excellency Elizabeth Barbier, the Ambassadress, informed us that UNESCO has announced that there will be a worldwide celebration of the “Gout de France” Taste of France Day on the 19th March. Famous French and local chefs around the world are planning French style dinners. I am busy making plans… so watch this space….. See this YouTube clip for more info https://www.youtube.com/watch?x-yt-cl=84503534&v=EwEEymE6WjY&x-yt-ts=1421914688
Every day I am seeing cyclists training for the Cape Town Cycle Tour (formerly the Argus Cycle Tour). A new product, which I have brought in recently from Italy, will interest those of you who are training but require Gluten Free products and need to prepare quick meals. This is a Gluten Free, Express Risotto which comes in 3 flavours Parmigiano, Tartufo (truffle) and Porcini (mushroom). The Risotto cooks in 15 minutes so it is great for those wanting a quickly prepared filling meal. You can also add grated Parmegiano on top if you chose.
This weekend was highlighted by our Gourmet lunch where we have to make a dish for the first time and pair it with 3 wines. I had to produce a desert this time and I decided that Marrons d’Ardeche, Chestnuts, would be the main ingredient. I made a deliciously creamy chestnut ice cream which had a distinct rum flavour (I think I overdid the rum a bit). I accompanied the ice cream with some little heart shaped butter biscuits to celebrate St Valentine’s Day. Both recipes are quick and easy to make (if you have an ice cream maker) and they look very pretty. I paired them with 3 sparkling Rosés, my favourite was the Louis Bouillot Cremant de Bourgogne Perle d’Aurore Brut Rosé which I have recently added to my wine stock. It has a very delicate taste with fine bubbles and an exquisite pink colour. You can see the recipe on my website at http://frenchmarket.co.za/french-recipes/suzannes-weekly-recipes-for-2015/suzannes-recipe-07-2015-glace-aux-marrons-et-biscuits-st-valentin/
I might say my hosts surprised us by taking us for a walk afterwards along Seapoint Promenade to an outdoor Salsa dance. This happens every 2nd Sunday from 3 – 7 and is open to the public. We managed to dance off a bit of our excellent lunch.
Our weather has cooled a little bit but I expect that many of you will be entertaining your overseas visitors this weekend so do come along and select some fine French cheese to finish off your meal.
I look forward to seeing you again soon