france: October 2010 Archives

Prune and Armagnac ice cream

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smarmagnacgrapes0001.JPGIf possible, make this with those famous Agen prunes, and some really good Armagnac, both of course from southwest France.  This recipe uses American cups, and is one of the few examples of when I think it is marginally easier to do so.  1 cup = 240ml.

Duck confit

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Of course you can buy this in tins (especially easy in southwest France), but the home-made version tends to be less salty and more delicious.  While it does take some time, it is far from difficult.  And it will keep in the fridge for several weeks. 

smcookedduckconfit0002.JPGI was prompted to make a batch of duck confit again this year after a trip through Les Landes in France, where, it seemed, no day passed without a plate of duck confit being placed in front of us.  On one particularly successful day we had it twice.  Duck confit is also popular in nearby northern Spain, as we found on our trip through Catalonia a couple of years back.

Serve with crispy fried potatoes or braised flageolet beans.  I like to garnish with a drizzle of zingy green sauce made from lovage leaves whizzed up in olive oil and mixed with minced parsley, fried rosemary, crushed garlic, diced shallots macerated in cider vinegar, and chopped olives.  Yum.

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