Disclaimer: Not a regular Roquette Noisettes blog, sorry. There are recipes though. Promise.
So this blog is a long, long time in the making.
The story begins in February, when I had great intentions to do a summer blog on clafoutis – a French pudding-like dessert that is normally baked with cherries or red berries. As we had visitors staying, I seized the chance to make a dessert and the clafoutis turned out beautifully. It was a sunny day and I make use of the sunshine to take nice photos on my DSLR camera before we would devour it after dinner that night. From there it all started to go downhill…
We went out for dinner, but of course didn’t have dessert because it was waiting for us at home. As we reached our apartment, we noticed that a side window was cracked, and the window was ajar. Walking into the apartment, the first thing we saw was that the TV and desktop computer were still there. So maybe, someone had tried to break in unsuccessfully? Perhaps they heard a noise, or someone came around the corner and they lost their nerve. After a brief look around the house, we decided that there was no immediate reason to panic and continued on with our night. Time to serve dessert!
As I started serving the dessert I glanced at our desk and panic started to set in again. I was certain I had left my good camera on the desk after using it that afternoon, but it wasn’t there. I started searching the house. The camera was gone. My laptop and hard drive were gone. My work laptop and phone were gone. As I searched the list grew. Police were called. Clafoutis was sadly not devoured as per schedule. Le salaud (language note: that’s French for bastard).
Nearly four months on and the sort-of happy end to the story is that the culprit has been arrested and will likely be getting some jail time too thanks to his extensive criminal history. The not so great news is that my stuff is long gone and I’ll need to replace it out of my own pocket (life note: get contents insurance – it’s cheap).
The other bad news is that my photos were on the camera that was taken, so I do apologise for sub-par iPhone photos. Take it up with the burglar. To make up for the lack of content, I’ve thrown an extra main recipe in that you will love.
The GOOD news is that both of these recipes are impressive and very easy. We did end up eating the clafoutis the next day, and it was fantastic. Although I made it in summer it could easily be a warm winter dessert and you could replace the figs and raspberries with whatever fruit is in season for you (or, just use chocolate because it’s delicious).
The chicken roasted in red wine is an adaptation of a Rachel Khoo recipe from My Little French Kitchen and it is incredible. The wine gives the chicken so much sweetness, and the vinegar has that tang that keeps you going back for more. The vegetable instructions seem a little finnicky – but it is so worth it for the perfect veggies. This would be a parfait meal for a dinner party!
Poulet rôti au vin rouge:
Cooking time: Approximately an hour and a half including roasting time
-150ml red wine
-100g tomato paste
-3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked
-1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (or fresh if you have it)
-100ml red wine vinegar
-4 decent sized chicken thighs – bone removed
-500g washed baby potatoes
-4 small onions, peeled and quartered
-6 carrots, peeled and quartered
-Salt and pepper
In a bowl mix the wine, vinegar, tomato paste and herbs, then place in a marinade bag with the chicken thighs. Massage to make sure the marinade has coated the chicken and leave the bag in the fridge for half an hour or longer if time allows.
While the chicken marinades, place potatoes in saucepan of cold water with the lid on, and bring to boil. Boil for 1-2 minutes then drain.
Arrange the onions, carrots and cooked potatoes in a large baking dish and pour over the water. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius.
Arrange the marinated chicken over the vegetables, skin side up. Pour the rest of the marinade over the chicken. Cover with foil or baking paper and roast for 30 minutes. Remove the foil or baking paper and baste the chicken with the marinade, then roast uncovered for a further 15 minutes. Serve with green beans or peas.
Clafoutis aux figues et framboises
-1 cup full cream milk
-2/3 cup caster sugar,
-1 Tbs vanilla essence
-1/2 cup flour
-A pinch of salt
-1/2 punnet raspberries
-2 to 3 figs, quartered
Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsuis. Combine milk, 1/3 cup sugar, eggs, flour, salt and vanilla in a blender and blend until smooth.
Butter a round baking dish and pour about a 1cm layer of your mixture on the bottom of the pan dish. Bake for 7-10 minutes until the batter is set but not baked. Remove from the oven, but leave the oven on.
Place raspberries and quartered figs over the set batter and sprinkle with remaining sugar. Pour over the remainder of the batter and return to the oven for 45 minutes to an hour or until the clafoutis is puffed and brown.
A word of warning, when you take the clafoutis out of the oven it will be puffed, but it will quickly sink. This is meant to happen, so don’t worry.
Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve with cream or ice-cream.
Bon appétit and may the clafoutis bring better luck to you than it did me.