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Posted: Tue 23 Feb 2016 15:44
by russell
Allan wrote: We plan to feed some French friends beef wellington but there is a danger they might confuse it with bœuf en croûte
Don't mention Waterloo!

Russell

Posted: Tue 23 Feb 2016 17:36
by martyn94
Sue wrote:No oysters for me!
Is it that you've tried them and don't like them, or just don't like the idea? If the former, I sympathise (mostly because you're missing something very good). My sister has an aversion to anything with that sort of texture, starting with egg white: it's a genuine gag reaction, so I've learnt long since that she's not just being fussy. But I wish she didn't: it would make "menu planning" that much easier. If the latter, be brave and start with quite small ones.

There's all sort of apocryphal stories of London apprentices rioting because they were expected to eat oysters for 4 meals a day. It was just cheap protein.

Posted: Tue 23 Feb 2016 18:27
by Allan
I love old fashioned dishes like beef and oyster pudding. Whenever I go to London, I try to have lunch at The Ritz. They used to serve a different traditional dish each day. As I recall, Thursday was steak and kidney pie day and it was brilliant.

A few years ago, they hired a 'celebrity' chef who proceeded to ruin the restaurant.

Go with your oysters Martyn.

Posted: Tue 23 Feb 2016 21:00
by Sue
I like oysters it is the thought of mixing the beef and oysters. I imagine that oysters are a little like anchovies in that the melt when cooked.

Posted: Wed 24 Feb 2016 11:39
by martyn94
Sue wrote:I like oysters it is the thought of mixing the beef and oysters. I imagine that oysters are a little like anchovies in that the melt when cooked.
They don't melt, but they do save you the effort of adding salt. Poodling around on the interweb I came across this slightly mad blog by someone dedicated to cooking their way through Jane Grigson's "English Food" (I should just open a page at random to get my main course, though my copy is currently 800km away)

http://neilcooksgrigson.blogspot.fr/200 ... dding.html

As another blog post of his makes clear, you can use the same filling in a "pie", and I'll probably start with that, in the temporary absence of suet. Now to find the pie dish...

Posted: Wed 24 Feb 2016 12:25
by Allan
I think the blog idea may have been pinched from Julie Powell who wrote a blog in 2002 about cooking all the recipes in Julia Child's French cookbook. The story was made into a film starring Meryl Streep.

Are you going to seriously rise to the challenge and attempt to buy raw suet from a French butcher? Good luck with that.

Out of interest, back in Yorkshire, there is a pub that regularly wins pie making competitions and their star product uses a suet and herb pastry

Posted: Wed 24 Feb 2016 13:10
by martyn94
Allan wrote:I think the blog idea may have been pinched from Julie Powell who wrote a blog in 2002 about cooking all the recipes in Julia Child's French cookbook. The story was made into a film starring Meryl Streep.

Are you going to seriously rise to the challenge and attempt to buy raw suet from a French butcher? Good luck with that.

Out of interest, back in Yorkshire, there is a pub that regularly wins pie making competitions and their star product uses a suet and herb pastry
I used to buy lamb's kidneys and veal kidneys from my butcher in Normandy who used to step into his cold room and give you the whole shebang if you wanted. Not the only butcher I've used (but not recently) who carried on doing things properly essentially as a matter of self-respect. I always felt guilty that I didn't make much use of the fat. As you say, fat chance (as it were) of that nowadays: his successor sells dodgy pre-cut stuff that (to be fair) is much more in line with what his punters can afford.

I always (ie about twice) found the Julia Child book tiresomely didactic (as well as the nonsense about measuring things in cups).

Posted: Wed 24 Feb 2016 13:23
by Sue
Have bought suet from a butchers in Roses, Spain but not the same as Atora and a real faff to grate.

Posted: Wed 24 Feb 2016 14:50
by martyn94
Sue wrote:Have bought suet from a butchers in Roses, Spain but not the same as Atora and a real faff to grate.
l

Atora is quite heavily processed. According to their website they knock out 3,200 tons a year (a "million dumplings a day", which seems like pretty mingy dumplings, though I haven't tried to do the maths). Invented by a French guy living in Manchester, apparently (like Marxism at about the same time, except that Engels was a German). Atora seems to have outlived Marxism, though both of them are past their glory days.

Re: Indian spices

Posted: Thu 13 Apr 2017 07:02
by Rosario03
martyn94 wrote:I have a yen for a curry every now and then, and normally stock up on spices, dal etc when I'm in Paris. But inevitably you forget things or run out. I deeply resent paying silly prices for tiny jars in the supermarket, even if they had what you want. I've found a wider range in sensible sizes at good prices at La Jonquera, but their range only goes so far.

I found myself short of a few things (garam masala, cumin seeds and mustard seeds, for what it's worth) the other week. I tried some research into online sources on the interweb, but found nowhere in France which seemed any good, and some initially-attractive offers from the UK and Germany were crippled by lethal delivery charges.

Eventually I settled on this outfit on eBay

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/181483625936? ... cc1db&cp=1

The merit for me was that they deliver from India, so that you get the same "post free" prices here as anywhere else. The downside was that they took about 17 days paris taxi Airport to arrive (at the short end of what they indicated). The garam masala seems OK and fresh, and the seeds are as you'd expect.

�8-odd for 3 100g bags is materially more than an Indian supermarket, if I had one handy, but not grotesquely so, and a lot better than going back to Paris earlier than I would otherwise have done.

I offer this for what it may be worth. If anyone knows of a good bricks-and-mortar outlet round here, I'd be glad to know. The only place I've stumbled over is "Asia Center" at Mas Guerido, and that seemed pretty dim and pricey (even for Chinese and SE-Asian stuff).
Humm, I have exactely the same problem :/

Posted: Thu 13 Apr 2017 07:20
by Sue
You could try ordering from here http://currypax.com/

Posted: Thu 13 Apr 2017 09:04
by Kate
Martyn....is this you or is it spam? :? Don't get it!

Posted: Thu 13 Apr 2017 09:12
by Daphne
Curry Pax highly recommended

Posted: Thu 13 Apr 2017 11:08
by martyn94
Kate wrote:Martyn....is this you or is it spam? :? Don't get it!
I don't know what you are on about: I guess you may now have deleted whatever it was. For the record, I haven't posted on this thread for over a year. Was someone pretending to be me?

Posted: Thu 13 Apr 2017 15:25
by Kate
No, it was the post above from Rosaria03 just out of the blue....but maybe it's genuine. Sorry, didn't mean 'is that you' so much as 'have you posted this recently'?

Posted: Thu 13 Apr 2017 17:24
by martyn94
Kate wrote:No, it was the post above from Rosaria03 just out of the blue....but maybe it's genuine. Sorry, didn't mean 'is that you' so much as 'have you posted this recently'?
It made sense to me, once I read it. (Incidentally, my own post is wildly garbled, over a few words. A plague on auto-correct, not for the first time).

Maybe they were just browsing and found me, though you do have a search function. The question remains: is there anywhere round here, or any couple of places not too far apart, which reliably has a pretty comprehensive range of middle-eastern/south Asian/ south-east/east Asian spices plus ideally a few of the corresponding fresh/frozen herbs (kaffir lime leaves, thai basil, holy basil, curry leaves, lemongrass, galangal, "Vietnamese mint", usw...). Szechuan "pepper" is hardly very exotic any more, for example, but where?

Or for that matter, an "epicierie orientale" with cheap "violette" olives and lots of dried pulses, and cooking figs. That must exist somewhere, but the olive stalls on the markets here sell every sort of olive but that, and at twice the price.

In passing, I'm sure that currypax(TM) are fine, but I take a certain masochistic pleasure in doing it for myself (and usually adding extra cardamom seeds, just to express my inner swede).

Indian spices

Posted: Thu 13 Apr 2017 18:52
by Sue11
There is a small shop on the edge of the main market square in Figueres which sells all manner of dried fruits, nuts and spices. These can be purchased by whatever weight you require. Sorry, don't know name of it, but not too far away.

Posted: Fri 14 Apr 2017 11:08
by sue and paul
Frutos secos/ Fruits Secs is the name of the shop

Posted: Sat 15 Apr 2017 15:25
by cufc
Going back to getting hold of spices, I have mine sent by SpicesofIndia. You soon save the cost of delivery on spices, pappadoms, pickles, chutneys and pastes.

We're making our annual Curry Night for the French in our village next month: they love it!!!

Posted: Sat 15 Apr 2017 17:01
by martyn94
cufc wrote:Going back to getting hold of spices, I have mine sent by SpicesofIndia. You soon save the cost of delivery on spices, pappadoms, pickles, chutneys and pastes.

We're making our annual Curry Night for the French in our village next month: they love it!!!
Thanks. In truth, I tend to buy them in Paris when I'm there: it's just that there's always something I forget.

I'm interested in your curry night: I've always found French people (generalising wildly) a bit "frileux" about spicy food (and not only chilli-hot, just spicy). But maybe people are more adventurous down here.

Posted: Sat 15 Apr 2017 17:21
by Lanark Lass
Have you tried some of the markets? I have bought spices at St Cyprien plage and Le Boulou, for instance. A good selection available.

Posted: Sat 15 Apr 2017 17:26
by cufc
We were surprised how well attended our first one was and how much they enjoyed it. This is our fourth year now. I find the bits and bobs hardest to find here like chutneys, pads and decent naans. A curry ain't a curry without them all!!!

Posted: Sat 15 Apr 2017 23:33
by Lanark Lass
The 5 Continents at Mas Guerido sells Pataks chutneys. Not sure about naans tho'

Posted: Sat 15 Apr 2017 23:36
by martyn94
cufc wrote:We were surprised how well attended our first one was and how much they enjoyed it. This is our fourth year now. I find the bits and bobs hardest to find here like chutneys, pads and decent naans. A curry ain't a curry without them all!!!
I just make my own mango chutney (it's about the only thing you can reliably do with supermarket mangoes which never quite ripen): the "brand leader" seemed pretty gluey and sad last time I had it, as well as a silly price. Though I guess it's pretty "Anglo-Indian" in any event. Garlic/lime/mango/ginger/aubergine pickles should also be easy enough, if you can shift enough to make it worth bothering.

Posted: Thu 31 Aug 2017 18:15
by meithcnul00
Hello there,
Spices offer much more than a decorative addition to meals. Aside from making food taste better, they can help to protect against obesity, as well as chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Thanks

Re: Sounds tempting

Posted: Sun 08 Oct 2017 14:28
by martyn94
mariad wrote:I have never had this Mango Chutney mentioned here. But i don't know why all of a sudden i find myself salivating just reading through the lines.
I should have responded to this before. You can get Spanish mangoes nowadays at your supermarket which are ripe enough to make chutney (you need them still quite firm, but not rock hard as they used to be). The recipe I usually use is on a bookshelf many kms away, but I found this on the internet

https://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/mango-chutney

I used only five mangoes, from memory: mine were quite big. You can replace “malt vinegarâ€￾ with the cheapest red-wine vinegar. And “cassonadeâ€￾ for “soft light brown sugarâ€￾. And any sweet onion (eg Toulouge or red ones) for “Spanish onionsâ€￾.

It seemed to come out OK, but I don’t yet know: as the recipe says, you need to leave it for a while (apart from running my finger round the empty pot and licking it, obviously).

Brits eat it with Indian curries (or the British idea of Indian curries). But it’s nice with eg cold roast pork, or any well-flavoured hard cheese.

It had the additional advantage for me that my sister went on to Amazon and bought me a spice mill: she was sick of me complaining that I didn’t have one. It seems to work OK: details on request

Re: Sounds tempting

Posted: Sun 08 Oct 2017 14:39
by martyn94
martyn94 wrote:
mariad wrote:I have never had this Mango Chutney mentioned here. But i don't know why all of a sudden i find myself salivating just reading through the lines.
I should have responded to this before. You can get Spanish mangoes nowadays at your supermarket which are ripe enough to make chutney (you need them still quite firm, but not rock hard as they used to be). The recipe I usually use is on a bookshelf many kms away, but I found this on the internet

https://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/mango-chutney

I used only five mangoes, from memory: mine were quite big. You can replace “malt vinegarâ€￾ with the cheapest red-wine vinegar. And “cassonadeâ€￾ for “soft light brown sugarâ€￾. And any sweet onion (eg Toulouge or red ones) for “Spanish onionsâ€￾.

It seemed to come out OK, but I don’t yet know: as the recipe says, you need to leave it for a while (apart from running my finger round the empty pot and licking it, obviously).

Brits eat it with Indian curries (or the British idea of Indian curries). But it’s nice with eg cold roast pork, or any well-flavoured hard cheese.

It had the additional advantage for me that my sister went on to Amazon and bought me a spice mill: she was sick of me complaining that I didn’t have one. It seems to work OK: details on request
I should perhaps have added, if it seems like a lot for a beginner, that it will literally keep for years, and only get better, if made as described. Just keep it in the dark.