Do not get me wrong by the title, I am not submissive (in the household) and I dont do the dishes after I cook as I dont like to get my hands dirty, so either your husband gets a maid or he does it himself. You can’t cook AND do the dishes, that would be slavery…… I prefer to cook, organise a well kept home with flowers and candles and dinner parties. So what is a modern housewife?
First of all she needs a husband or boyfriend…….then she needs to know how to cook at least some desserts and classics, why not take some classes with Alain Ducasse school in Paris, its great!
Second she needs to know the art of receiving. That includes making a nice athmosphere for the guests (inviting the right guests…) making a nice table setting(classic with a touch), the art of conversation(NOT the latest American Pie movie you saw) and dressing the part(classic is the best). In todays society I feel that has been neglected.
Third, she needs to know how to decorate a home, for that you just need taste (and money), or at least the same taste as your husband/boyfriend. If you do not have taste, it can be tricky, then you must have lots of money to hire a very good interior designer, or hire me…..But one tip I can give you is, never use more than 3 colours in your home, always have fresh flowers and candles. Oh, last but not least the bed, ONLY use WHITE perfectly ironed sheets of good quality and millions of pillows….
She also needs to know how to please her man by making his favorite cake or drink and……well, you know.
For this, she MUST be rewarded. Voila, now you know how to be the almost perfect housewife!
In winter you do not see the sun that often, so I decided I needed some sun on my plates and did Citrons Confits, its so easy and so good to use in your cooking.
Start to steralize a glass bowl by cooking it in hot water some minutes. Now clean some organic(!) lemons and cut them like I did on the picture below and stuff them with sea salt. Put them in the glass bowl and add some boiled water, but not too hot. Let them marinate a couple of weeks and add to your chicken, white fish or desserts and pretend you are in an exotic country, in the heat, on the beach eating some exotic dinner……
I am back! Sorry for the bad blogging but I have been in Sweden during Christmas and New Year, it has been very busy between all the meals……
Last night I did the traditional french cake called Galette au Rois, but I call it Galette a la Reine. The tradition is that every new year, any time in January, you hide something in the Galette and the person who gets it will have a lucky year. The tradition is that the youngest person in the table goes under the Table when the oldest person at the table cuts the cake. The youngest, which was me……, has to tell to who the parts goes to without seeing. This year I got the Feve!!!! I did not cheat, promise.
The galette I did is chocolate and cherry flavoured. The feve I chose to put was a horse, as it is the year of the horse. I decorarated it with a Royal french mark, like I have in my chimnee.
Here is the Recipe:
2 packages of puff Pastry
1 dl soya cream
100g dark chocolate
50g icing sugar
120 g almond powder
1 egg yolk
Splash of Armagnac
Start by heating the cream, add the chocolate and the butter. When melted, take of the heat and add the sugar, almonds, the egg yolk and a splash of armagnac. Now put the chocolate mixture to cool down before putting it in the middle of one sheet of puff pastry. Leave the bords clean. Put the feve, I used a porcelaine horse as you can see on the picture. Add the cherries and cover with the other puff pastry. Try to decorate the surface with a sharp knife as on the picture. Cover with the egg yolk. Put in oven for 30 min in 200°C. At the very last minute, sprinkle some icing sugar on the top of the cake and grill it for 1 min so the surface becomes caramalized and shiny.
When the cake is cooled down you can decorate it as you wish with icing sugar. Cut out any figure in paper and spinkle the sugar. Good luck! And no cheating…Its great with a nice champage.
In sweden, where I grew up, you must eat Lussebullar, Saffron Buns on the 13th december. It is an Italian Saint, which the swedish have been celebrating since ever, which is rather odd…. Each year there is a Lucia who sings in a white dress with candles in her hair.(kind of dangerous….dont try it at home!) After the songs of Lucia the sweds MUST eat their Luciabullar with hot wine called Glogg. As we are getting closer to Christmas I did some Luciabullar this afternoon. You can freeze them so its great to prepare in advance. I love the smelll of fresh bread in the oven.
1 1/2 dl sugar
1 kg flour
1 egg for a nice finish
Melt butter, add milk and sugar and let it cool to be fingerwarm, 37 C.
Put yeast in a big bowl and add half a cup of the fingerwarm mixture to mix the yeast into the liquid. Add the rest of the mixture. Add the rest of the ingredients. Work into a dough and let it rest in roomtemperature for 40 min.
After the 40 min, Put the dough on a clean surface and roll finger thick 20 cm lenghts. Do the buns like on the picture. Put on a plate that goes in the oven. Let rest in roomtemperature again for 30min. The put in oven for 7 min, 200C. Dont forget to put some egg yolk on top of the bun before you put in the oven for them to shine.
Time for comfort food!
When it is cold like it is these days I love to cook nice, warm, comforting food….I must admid that in a 13th century castle, the heating is not “a point”…. so not to freeze to death, I burn wood everyday and do lots of yummy food. Today I did Jarret de Porc, which is a typical porc dish you eat in Alsace, but I make the recipe a bit different, adding balsamic vinegar.
While waiting for the meat to get ready I went to a market and I found beautiful horns that I sprayed shiny with black varnish. It makes them more modern and kind of sexy. I just love horns.
Jarret du Porc a la Diana
Boil your jarret with any type of dried herbs and clove, for 30 min. Put the oven 180°C. When the jarret is cooked, start grilling them on all sides in butter for about 5 min. Add a glas of white wine or beer and a glas of balsamic vinegar. Let reduce for 5 min. Now put on a plate that goes in the oven. Add whole garlic cloves, potatoes with skin and honey, salt and pepper.
Put in oven for 1 and 1/2 hours, add water if it gets dry.
As it is the time of Beaujolais Nouveau, it suits perfect with this!
Preview of my book on Castle Cooking
Here is a small teaser of what I had at Chateau Rivau, close to the wine region, Chinon, France. You will have the recipe and an interview with the owners in my recipe book, far from being finished, as I have 40 castles to visit, and I didnt even reach half…. Its hard work…..The owners are passionate about gardening and have lots of varieties of pumpkins. As starter they made a pumpkin soup with fois gras, then we had a very original Choucroute made with a spagetti pumkin, delicious! With Organic Chinon wine from the region, of course!