Newsletter- Winter Solstice-Brie de Meaux on special-Saucisson Sec-Recipe 24 2015 Casserole Campagnarde

Dear French Market Shoppers,

Despite the freezing weather and fierce storms, this week started well as we have just moved past the Winter solstice. This is always a moment to celebrate for me as it means summer is finally on its way and we can start looking forward to warmer weather and shorter nights. Unfortunately there is a long way still to go and whilst we Capetonions are dying of cold in tonight’s temperature of 7 degrees, in J’burg I Hear its going down to 5 degrees.

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With this cold weather we thought it would be a good idea to suggest trying out indoor “lounge or bedroom” picnics, this novel idea must have started in J’Burg which is a much more inventive city than Cape Town. You just spread a rug in front of your fireplace or heater, scatter some cushions on top, lay out a platter of French cheese, pates, crusty artisanal baguettes and pour out the wine for your nearest and dearest, just as if you were sitting in a country field in the heart of France basking in the summer sun – lots of fun.

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To encourage you to have a picnic we are offering a special promotion of 20% off our decadent Brie de Meaux made by Donge This beautiful, unpasteurised cheese, was a favourite of the great French kings and is now widely appreciated across the globe. We have Bries from Meaux at different stages of ripeness, the younger ones have a very white crust with a slight mushroom aroma. The texture is still a little firm in the centre and the taste fills your mouth but is not too strong. Our more mature Brie de Meaux develops reddish spots on the crust which gradually darkens and the centre is completely soft. The aroma is more pungent and the cheese has a wonderful intense flavour. I recommend that you come in and taste it.

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We have received a new stock of Saucisson Sec. These small, knobbly shaped French salamis are great for picnics as well. You slice them very thinly and enjoy the taste of the meat which has been cured with black peppers and other spices. We have some which have hazelnut filling and others with herbes de Provence. (R139 each)

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Apart from Brie de Meaux and the Saucisson Sec we have lots of wonderful tasty cheese and several French pates and Terrines. Do come and explore them.

Our J’burg clients can come and relax out in the winter sunshine at Patisserie de Paris this Saturday. While you climb into a superb breakfast accompanied by renowned Illy coffee you can listen to some great classic Jazz which will be playing from 10 – 12.

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Now that we are in the middle of winter with cold, rainy days my heart yearns for bowls of steaming country stews because it fills me up and warms me right through to my toes. In France a simple country style dish is often referred to as Campagnarde, as in a dish that emanates from the heart of the countryside with loads of flavour but no fuss or decoration.

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Casserole campagnarde 021 (400x285)Casserole campagnarde, the recipe I cooked this week is made with Flageolets verts, French green kidney beans which are full of fibre and protein, cooked in a delicious tomato, onion, herby sauce and topped with some yummy herb sausages (Bratwurst) from my local Gardens Centre butcher (Raiths, they are the best in Cape Town). I could visualise in my mind cooking my recipe this week over an open fire, in the middle of the French countryside with some good friends, eating this casserole accompanied by lots of crusty bread and pitchers of fruity red wine, however I chickened out of the outdoor cooking, but I reckon there are lots of hardy S Africans who would enjoy cooking this in a potjie over a braai. The wine I would recommend to serve with this is a Chateau St Cosme Cotes du Rhone Rouge, a tasty shiraz from the southern Rhone Valley. Click here to view the recipe on my website.

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I hope you stay warm this weekend, snuggle up and enjoy your picnics.

Regards

 

Suzanne

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