Sunday, December 28, 2008

Pomander Saveur Is In France!

I am thrilled to be spending the first days of the new year in France and will be sharing my experiences in and around the table. I arrived in Paris this afternoon and my father and I drove directly to our wonderful property in the Loire valley famous for its wild boar, Chinon, and marvelous chateaus. Airplane food gets worse every time I fly and eight hours of abstaining from over salted peanuts and boiled salmon left me yearning for a tasty snack. Fortunately we arrived at an appropriate time to start cooking and set to work preparing dinner. My father’s close friend, and an amazing cook in his own right, had begun working on the base of a consomm√© earlier that day (more details to follow in later posts). After straining and clarifying the first round of simmering, we were left with a pot of savory stock and a heaping pile of beef that had been simmering for hours. To make a meal out of the consomm√©, which will be served as part of the New Year’s Eve feast, he bathed some roughly chopped turnips, carrots, and leeks in the broth and served them alongside the stewed beef. This variant of pot au feu, a traditional French dish of lightly boiled beef in highly flavored broth, made a hearty and well-anticipated main course that we paired with a light salad and roasted pumpkin wedges from the garden. The highlight was the marrowbones, lightly cooked in the broth to retain their natural flavor and rich tenderness. Marrow spread on toast is a little taste of heaven in my opinion though I rarely get the chance to have it. My posts from France will be a bit different given the presence of multiple masters, my father included, from whom I have learned so much. My respect for them leaves me with a certain bashfulness in the kitchen and I feel content to just savor the delicious food and wine as a spectator. I look forward to sharing my experiences and hope to provide a little taste of France along the way. As always, I encourage you to enjoy and share delicious food and home cooked meals with yourself and others!

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