This is a Breton bouillabaise and there are versions of it all over Brittany. This is a fairly traditional recipe but I think it is even better if shell fish such as mussels, cockels, praires are added with the fish. If you are very brave include fish heads. Looks very pretty in a dish but without the fish heads.
For six people, this takes one hour.
Several slices of Conger eel, cut close to the head
1 kilo of potatoes
3 large onions
1 sprig of oseille
1 sprig of parsley
1 sprig of thyme
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
6 slices of fried bread when served.
How to make it
Clean and chop up all the fish.
Clean up the potatoes and herbs.
Peel the onions and cut into slices.
Brown the onions in the butter and then add the potatoes and herbs, then add 3 litres of water, salt and pepper, bring to the boil and then simmer for 20 minutes.
Start adding the cleaned up and chopped up fish, biggest and firmest first and boil vigorously for 10 minutes.
Remove bouquet-garni and any fish heads if you have put them in!
Put the soup in a tureen and serve with the slices of fried bread.
You can dab mayonnaise or rouille on the bread to make it interesting.
A chicken portion for each person
Salt and Pepper
Cream - in France you find it in cartons. It is long life and you normally get three little cartons cellophane wrapped together or a larger carton sold on its own.
How to make it
Brown the chicken portions in a heavy metal casserole or saucepan, add the chopped onions and cook till golden brown. Cover with cider, add salt and pepper and cook. Make sure the chicken is covered with cider whilst cooking. When chicken is tender - about 30 to 45 minutes -depends on the chicken quality - add the cream and chopped parsley and boil for a bit to reduce and thicken the sauce. Taste it and adjust seasoning accordingly. Serve with boiled potatoes or rice or mashed potatoes or even chips and whatever you chose.
These are pancakes made from buckwheat flour which can be eaten plain or with a variety of fillings. They are also used to wrap round a sausage - Galette Sausice - a more substantial and tasty hot dog. There is a knack to making these but once you have got it, you have a versatile snack dish to add to your culinary repertoire.
8 ounces of buckwheat flour - Farine de blé noir
Pinch of salt
1 pint of cold water
1.5 ounces of melted butter.
Fillings can be ham, cheese and ham and tomatoes, sausage, smoked salmon, creme fraiche, onion etc. etc. A Gallette Complete usually contains ham, cheese, tomatoes, onions, creme fraiche and has an egg broken on the top which is just cooked when served. If you are being Anglo Saxon and suspicious of runny eggs flip the gallette over to cook the egg more.
How to make them
Put all the ingredients into a bow and mix well to form a batter.
Leave the batter resting for two hours.
Grease a frying pan. It is best to use a large one. Ideally you should cook the gallettes in a pan specially designed for gallettes which is round and very flat and made from cast iron.
Tip some of your batter into the pan so that is forms a pancake but very thin. When it is just cooked through - add your fillings and flip the corners of the gallette over to form a square.
Slide out on to plate and serve on its own or with green salad.
8 tablespoons flour,
6 tablespoons sugar,
1 cup of milk,
Prunes soaked overnight in Rum
How to make it
Mix all the ingredients together until smooth. Pour into a well-buttered pan. Cook on low heat. Let cool and then take the flan out of the pan.
8 oz plain flour
2 cubes of yeast
Cup of water,
8 oz. sugar
8 oz. butter
1 egg yolk
How to make it
Add yeast with a teaspoon of sugar to water and leave for five minutes. Then stir this into the flour bit by bit slowly until the dough becomes sticky but elastic. Leave douch to "prove" for half an hour. Roll the dough using plenty of flour if it is too stick into a circular shape and then cover the circle with small pieces of butter. Sprinkle the sugar over this and then fold over the sides four times to make a square with the butter and sprinkled sugar trapped inside. Repeat the rolling and folding again and then roll it to fit the tin in which it is to be cooked. Glaze with the egg yolk and cook in a hot oven for 25 minutes. Serve warm.