M. Parret Makes a Veal Roast


Back in the day when M. and Mme Parret had the cheese shop they would also sell fresh milk, measured out in half liters, liters, whatever the customer wanted.  Michel and Monique were eating lunch with us on Tuesday and Michel wanted a Ricard.  Le Parret gave me a half liter milk cup to fill with cold water so that Michel could create  “la louche” with his drink.


It wasn’t as if he didn’t have a nice water pitcher exactly for this purpose in his cabinet!  We wrangled back and forth until I threatened to tell the world that he served a Ricard with a milk cup.  I won, but I want this cup :D


M. Parret is going into the hospital on Monday to have an operation on his knees, so this was one of many  “last” lunches and dinners before he is himself again.  We began with radishes and butter.


Boy howdy!  He’s going to be very grumpy about the hospital/invalid food.  I don’t think there’ll be a wine list :D


Monique made a scrumptious Quiche Lorraine for our entree.  Too bad this picture reminds me of Betty Crocker Cookbook 1951.


These were frozen potatoes for frying that M. Parret bought at Picard, even though he was in the market this morning and they had all kinds of potatoes.  I told him I wouldn’t tell anybody, but I lied :)


Poor M. Parret.  He’s going to be in the hospital for 2 whole weeks!  I’ll miss him.  Here he is explaining to Michel the difference between the American and French palate after I laughed at his potatoes.


He was a little nervous about his veal roast but it was perfection!  The carrots just right.


Then we had salad.  I wanted mine with the cheese but I didn’t want to instigate another lack of palate lecture :D


Of course the cheese was, as always, exceptional; comte, camembert, epoisse and the creamiest, richest Roquefort I’ve ever tasted!


Not over yet, we had M. Parret’s “creme”.  This was probably his best one yet.  No raisins.




Posted in Appetizer, Cooking, Dessert, Food and Wine, French, Main dishes | Tagged , , , , , , , | 37 Comments

Easter Leg of Lamb


1 month before Easter I ordered a Mont St. Michel, pre-sale leg of lamb.  The man at Maison Trotoux assured me he could get one and that it was a good thing I was ordering early because he had lots of orders for the specialty.  He wrote it down in his book with my name for the Friday before Easter.  I was still in Stuttgart on Friday but I asked Chantal if she would pick it up for me.  At first he insisted on talking to me but when she said I was still in Germany, he said he couldn’t get the lamb.  Well, on Saturday, I swung by his shop for an explanation that was useless.  He had assured me that he could get the lamb.  He lied. Looks like a 6 month to 1 year grudge I’ll be carrying.  That’s okay, there’s always Au Village Gourmand :)


Anyway.  I went to the market and found a gorgeous, normal, French leg of lamb. Resentfully, I stabbed it all over with a sharp knife, then prepped it simply with garlic, herbs and olive oil.


As I wanted to make a typically French Easter lunch and it isn’t fresh bean season until the fall, I went to Picard for some frozen flageolet beans.  Yes, it’s true that Picard was one of those companies that had horse meat in their frozen lasagna but forgive and forget and don’t buy frozen prepared meals anywhere :/


And to make it easy on myself, “les patates” skin on, roasted with herbs.  Easy and delicious.


We began the meal with a beet tiramisu but, Champagne befuddled, I forgot to take the picture before we ate it.  For the picture and recipe go here.  It’s really good!


The meal ended with a fresh strawberry mousse, my go to dessert when I’m obliged to make one ;)

Coming soon:  M. Parret Does Veal Roast

Leg of lamb with Flageolet Beans

1 large lamb leg

5 large garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped

1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped

1 tbsp fresh sage, chopped

Salt and pepper

3-4 tbsp olive oil

3 onions, quartered

1/2 cup grillaudes diced/lardons/chopped bacon

1 tbsp butter

2 shallots, chopped

1 large bag frozen flageolet beans, steamed for 10 minutes

3 tbsp chicken broth

2 tbsp flour

With a sharp knife, stab the lamb all over.  Mix the garlic, herbs, salt, pepper and olive oil together, then massage into the lamb.  Place the onions on the bottom of a lightly oiled roasting pan and place the lamb on top.  In a preheated 425 F oven, roast the lamb for 30 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350 F and continue to roast for 1 hour.

In the meantime, brown the grillaudes pieces in a skillet, remove and set aside.  Melt the butter in the skillet and add the shallots, sauteing until soft.  Stir in the beans, reserved grillaudes and chicken broth.  Cover and simmer for a few minutes.

To make a sauce for the lamb:  Remove the lamb from the roasting pan and set aside to rest.  Put the roasting pan on a medium flame, slosh in some white wine, stir and scrape up the bits on the bottom for about 2 minutes.  Sprinkle in the flour, stirring.  Add  2 1/2 cups of water and continue to stir until thickened.

Wine suggestion:  Julienas



Posted in Cooking, Food and Wine, French, Main dishes, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Irish Pork Pot Roast


I have lots of photos on my camera and can’t seem to catch up.  I guess I’ll begin at the beginning, before I left Stuttgart.

This pot roast is a pretty good recipe inspired by the new cookbook my husband bought for me, “Irish Pub Cooking.”


We’re all going to Sens for Easter but I wanted to leave something large behind for when my husband returns to Stuttgart.  I also made a mash of carrots and potatoes that wasn’t bad but not as good as the puree that Guy made.


They are really big on white asparagus here in Germany.  These were pretty.


Grilled with herbs.


Irish Pork Pot Roast

1 rolled pork roast about 3 lbs, seasoned with salt, pepper and some fresh thyme

1 tbsp olive oil

4 tbsp butter

4 shallots, chopped

8 celery stalks, chopped

6 juniper berries

2 fresh thyme sprigs

2/3 cup hard cider

2/3 cup chicken stock

2 tbsp flour

2/3 cup heavy cream

Salt and pepper

Brown the roast in the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter, then remove the roast and set aside.  Add the shallots and celery stalks to the pot and saute until soft.  Add the juniper berries, thyme sprigs, cider and chicken stalk, bring to a boil, add the roast, cover and simmer for about 1 – 1 1/2 hours.

Remove the pork roast and set aside, keeping warm.  Remove the juniper berries and the thyme.  Mix the remaining butter and flour together, then slowly whisk into the liquid in the pot, cooking for 2 minutes.  Stir in the cream and bring to a boil.

Slice the pork and serve with the sauce and a side dish of choice (fresh peas/carrot and potato mash).


Posted in Cooking, Food and Wine, Irish, Main dishes, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Shrimp and Sausage Stuffed Calamari


At some point when I was shopping in Stuttgart, I found a bag of enormous calamari tubes at the Italian grocery store.  My idea was to stuff them with some of the store’s fabulous looking sausage.  However, overtaken by life events, I forgot all about the calamari until yesterday when my husband said, pointedly, “There’s all that squid in the freezer.”  I pretended not to hear him because I wanted to make an Irish pork roast today.  He persisted, “You’re going back to France AGAIN and I don’t know how to cook squid.” Okay, okay.  He said the same darn thing about the shrimp, so that’s why this is stuffed with both sausage and shrimp.  Good idea.  Thanks for the inspiration,  Honey :)


These calamari tubes were really big, about the size of an obese quail when stuffed.  You could make this recipe with smaller tubes and just cook them for a shorter time in the oven.


I recommend that you use a homemade tomato sauce (olive oil, onions, garlic, tomatoes, basil, oregano, red wine) to cover the calamari as it bakes and some extra for the linguine.


This was very good.  Next time I’m going to double the garlic in my tomato sauce :)


Shrimp and Sausage Stuffed Calamari

2 tbsp olive oil

6 Italian sausages, casing removed

1 cup shrimp, finely chopped

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup chicken broth

2 tbsp parsley, chopped

5 enormous calamari tubes or 10-12 normal ones

4 cups homemade tomato sauce

1 lb linguine, cooked

Brown the sausage meat in the olive oil, then remove with a slotted spoon to a large mixing bowl.  Remove all but 2 tbsp of the oil from the skillet and set aside.

Add the shrimp, bread crumbs, cheese, chicken broth and parsley to the sausage meat in the bowl and mix well.  Stuff the calamari tubes with this mixture, closing off the large ends with wooden skewers.

Reheat the reserved oil in the skillet and brown the stuffed calamari on both sides, then place in a baking dish.

If there is any leftover stuffing, add it to the tomato sauce and heat.  Pour 2 cups of the sauce over the calamari, then place in a 400 F oven for 25 minutes (maybe 15-20 for smaller tubes).

Toss the remaining tomato sauce with the cooked linguine, slice the calamari and serve immediately.

Wine suggestion:  Masi Amarone



Posted in American, Cooking, fish, Food and Wine, Italian, Main dishes, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 57 Comments

Refrigerator Spicy Shrimp Stir Fry


I bought a lot of veg from Fresh Paradise, forgetting that I was leaving at the end of the week; bell peppers, mini courgettes, snow peas, mini asparagus, etc.  Couldn’t let them go to waste and there was that large package of frozen shrimp in the freezer.  Exclude the shrimp for a delicious vegetarian stir fry.


Spicy Shrimp Stir Fry

1/2 cup chicken broth

4 tbsp soy sauce

6 tbsp Thai sweet chilli sauce

1 tsp sesame seed oil

1 lb shrimp, shelled and cleaned

1 tbsp Chinese 5 spice powder

3 tbsp peanut oil

3 garlic cloves, slivered

1 inch fresh ginger, thinly sliced

4 – 5 scallions, diagonally sliced

1/2 each, red and yellow bell pepper, sliced

1 small bunch mini asparagus

1 cup snow peas

3 mini courgettes, sliced vertically

Mix together the broth, soy sauce, chilli sauce and sesame oil, then set aside.  Mix the shrimp with the 5 spice powder and set aside.

Heat 1 tbsp of peanut oil in a wok, then add the shrimp and stir fry for about 2 minutes, remove and set aside.

Add the remaining peanut oil to the wok and stir fry the garlic, ginger, scallions and peppers just until the peppers are crisp tender.  Add the asparagus, stir frying for  2-3 minutes.  Add the snow peas and continue to stir fry for 2 minutes.  Finally, add the courgettes and stir fry for about 1 minute.

Pour in the reserved broth mixture and the shrimp, bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

Serve with udon noodles or rice.


Posted in Asian, Cooking, Food and Wine, Main dishes, Recipes, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Grilled Veal Ribs with Japanese Potato Salad



It’s strange but I guess rolled meat roasts are not common in Stuttgart.  I did find one a while back but after that experience I always buy them in France to bring back to Stuttgart.  With so many other cuts of pork, especially roast like, I guess the Germans just can’t be bothered.


I went over to Fresh Paradise thinking that they might have the roast, but no.  They did have some veal baby back ribs that I thought were interesting, so I bought those thinking of a slow grill with Asian marinade.


A side of Japanese potato salad sounded good but I didn’t have any cucumbers.  But mind made up, I substituted some cute mini courgettes.


One thing about Germany, if you don’t know how to boil and egg you don’t have to.  These colored, pre-boiled eggs have nothing to do with Easter, they are available year round.  I imagine the color is applied to separate the raw from the boiled.  I love these eggs!


The courgettes were a great substitute.


Everyone in the family likes this potato salad almost as much as my Mom’s :)


For over 30 years, no matter which country we were in, we would attend the yearly U.S. Marine Corps Birthday Ball.  The Marines would always provide each guest with a souvenir; beer mugs, wine glasses, Champagne flutes.  Here’s one from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  Oorah!


Grilled Veal Ribs

5-6 slabs of baby back veal ribs

3 spring onions, whites and greens, chopped

8-10 garlic cloves, chopped

1 inch ginger piece, chopped

1/2 cup sake

1/4 cup rice vinegar

3/4 cup tamari soy sauce

1/4 cup fish sauce

1/4 cup honey

2 tbsp peanut oil

1 tbsp sesame oil

Mix all ingredients together and pour over the ribs.  Marinate over night.  Barbecue the ribs off flame, top down at between 300-325 F for about 3 hours, turning and basting occasionally.

Japanese Potato Salad

1 1/2 lb potatoes

2 carrots

3 mini courgettes, thinly sliced

1 small onion, thinly sliced

4 hard boiled eggs, chopped

3/4 cup of mayonnaise

Salt and pepper

Boil the carrots and potatoes together until tender.    Cube the potatoes and thinly slice the carrots.   Put in a mixing bowl with the chopped eggs, courgettes, onion and mayonnaise.   Add salt, pepper and mix well.



Posted in American, Asian, Cooking, Food and Wine, Japanese, Main dishes, Recipes, Salad, side dish | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 33 Comments

Babou’s Mustard


At our last coffee meeting before I left Sens, Babou, with tears gushing, handed me an empty jar and sobbed, “Since you’re going to Germany, could you bring me a jar of this mustard?”  This reminded me so much of our sojourn in Haiti when we were on our friend’s 36 foot yacht.  Whenever anyone went “below” where the bathroom and kitchen was located, someone would always say, “While you’re below” bring me a beer or wine or whatever.


So anyway, I popped the empty jar in my purse and when I went to the German butcher on Friday, I saw the mustard.  The problem was that the jars were smaller and there were different labels.  I asked the butcher about this (his English was excellent) and he said it didn’t matter, it was all the same as long as you ate the mustard with white sausages.


Well, you know me.  It’s like, okay, do you have any white sausages?  How do you cook them?  Apparently, you never boil them.  You boil the water, take it off the flame and then drop the sausages in for 20 minutes.  That didn’t sound or look right to me, my husband or my son.  I did the 20 minute thing but then I browned them a bit in butter.


The sausages are made of milk fed veal, mace, parsley and probably non fat dry milk.  Kind of like an English banger, but with a bit more flavor.  The mustard which is a little sweet helps but we all agreed we could give these a pass.

Posted in Cooking, Food and Wine, German, Main dishes | Tagged , , , , , , | 14 Comments