05 January 2010

Christmas in Laroque

Now I'll paste in a TMI batch of photos from our holiday here in Domaine des Albères. If 2010 proceeds according to plan, we'll be in Lansdale in December, to celebrate Christmas and then, on 10 Jan 2011, my dad's 90th birthday. We can look back on this record of a very different sort of lowkey holiday.

Small spruce, to be replanted in garden.

Seared foie gras, fig jam, toasted fig & nut bread

The garnish at corners of plate is physalis (Cape gooseberry)

Michael prepares oysters for Christmas Eve

The oysters were "perles vertes."

Sancerre and Côte Rotie

Michael made a pungent tarator sauce to accompany the oysters and crayfish.
Loup de mer (sea bass), terrific recipe from one of our favorite cookbooks, Joyce Goldstein's The Mediterranean Kitchen (out of print, but a used copy is now on its way to Kate). Recipe follows pictures, readable if clicked to enlarge.

Fish dish was accompanied by Picard veggies, "moelleux aux légumes verts" and "charlottes d'asperges," both good but not great.

Dessert was as tasty as it looked on the Picard box.
Christmas dinner began with foie gras, fig bread, and mangoes poached in wine.
Compare the main course to, again, the Picard box.

Wine was an expensive and disappointing St. Julien.
Turns out Thibault's parents near the Loire served Cheri & family these same delicious Picard potatoes, "écrasses de pommes de terre à la forestière."

Dessert was from my River Café cookbook: "Dada's Christmas Cake." Internet version of recipe at end of this post.

A treat later in the week, reblochon cheese baked with white wine and garlic.

Dada's Christmas cake

[The recipe in the book called for glacé cherries. Since I don't like them, I candied fresh cranberries, a really good substitution. I also used Grand Marnier instead of rum.]

250g unsalted butter, softened
350g candied mixed lemon and orange peel, coarsely chopped
350ml dark rum
200g hazelnuts roasted (see previous recipe), coarsely chopped
300g blanched whole almonds, roasted and coarsely chopped
100g ground almonds
100g caster sugar
200g plain flour
3 organic eggs
The chopped peel of 3 lemons
200g honey
100g apricot jam
150g raisins
500g chocolate (with 70 per cent cocoa content), chopped

Pre-heat oven to 150C/gas mark 1. Line a 23cm cake tin with greaseproof paper and grease with extra butter. Marinate the candied orange and lemon peel into the rum for at least one hour. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and light. Add the eggs one at a time, then fold in the flour and ground almonds. Drain the marinated dried fruit, reserving the rum and add to the mixture, then add the lemon peel, honey and apricot jam.

Finally, fold in the roasted nuts and the chocolate and the reserved rum. Pour into the prepared tin and cook in the pre-heated oven for 45 minutes.

Good blog post on Picard, by an American in Paris:

1 comment:

  1. Fabulous! I especially love how you decorated the house.
    Happy new year!