French Onion Soup

The French classic

Servings

4

Ready In:

1 hour 10min

Good For:

Starter

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About this Recipe

By Sara Buenfeld, BBC Good Food 

We were very kindly given some beautiful home grown onions by our friends who have emigrated to warmer climes. What better recipe to make than the classic French onion soup?

This is an incredibly easy recipe to make. Just chop all the onions, cook until caramelised, add some stock and simmer.

Meanwhile my youngest made the french toast to go on top. Cheese is her favourite food so it wasn’t surprising that she gravitated towards this.

There are many, many versions of the recipe, I used this quick one from the BBC Good Food website.

Bon Appetite!

Ingredients

  • 50g  butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 kg onion
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 250ml white wine
  • 1.3 litres beef stock (or vegetable stock)
  • 4-8 slices french bread
  • 140g gruyere

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Melt the butter with the oil in a large heavy-based pan. Add the onions and fry with the lid on for 10 mins until soft.

Step 2

Sprinkle in the sugar and cook for 20 mins more, stirring frequently, until caramelised. The onions should be really golden, full of flavour and soft when pinched between your fingers. Take care towards the end to ensure that they don’t burn.

Step 3

Add the garlic for the final few mins of the onions’ cooking time, then sprinkle in the flour and stir well.

Step 4

Increase the heat and keep stirring as you gradually add the wine, followed by the hot stock. Cover and simmer for 15-20 mins.

Step 5

To serve, turn on the grill, and toast the bread. Ladle the soup into heatproof bowls. Put a slice or two of toast on top of the bowls of soup, and pile on the cheese. Grill until melted. Alternatively, you can complete the toasts under the grill, then serve them on top.

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Smoked Mackerel Pate with French Bread & Horseradish

Smoked Mackerel Pate with French Bread & Horseradish

Light fish pate whizzed up in minutes

Servings

2

Ready In:

15min

Good For:

Starter

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About this Recipe

By Sara Buenfeld, BBC Good Food 

So you may have gathered I am not a big fish fan but my other half loves smoked mackerel and I love horseradish. Given what a strong flavour horseradish is I thought this could work for me and it did!

All I can say is the result was brilliant, the flavours in the smoked mackerel pate worked well together and I will be having this again. Nick is delighted as he gets to eat smoked mackerel and I feel virtuous both making Nick happy and having some oily fish.

The best thing about this recipe is you can literally whip it up in 15 minutes and most of the ingredients are already in your fridge. Enjoy!

P.S. The kids weren’t so keen as they are now obsessed with Chicken Liver Parfait!

Ingredients

For the Pate
  • 25g unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 lemon zest
  • 160g smoked mackerel (split fillets) skinned
  • spring onion
For the Horseradish butter
  • 15g unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp hot horseradish sauce
  • 1 tsp flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • to serve French bread

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Tip the melted butter, lemon zest, mackerel and spring onion into a food processor and blend until smooth. Spoon into a ramekin and smooth the top.

Step 2

For the topping, melt the 15g butter with the horseradish, then stir in the parsley. Carefully spoon over the pâté to cover it. Press some parsley leaves on top, grind over some black pepper and chill to set the butter. Serve the ramekin of pâté with French bread, butter and extra horseradish sauce.

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Madeleines

Madeleines

Beautiful shell shaped lemon cakes

Servings

12

Ready In:

1 hour 30min

Good For:

Dessert

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About this Recipe

By Michel Roux Jr., BBC  

What cakes do you make for Pirates? That’s right – Madeleines. My little pirates were delighted with these shell shaped beauties. The first two were disappeared, then the next two so I had to hide them in a treasure chest to find the next day.

It’s okay though you don’t have to be a pirate to enjoy Madeleines –  just ask my friend who is obsessed with them. These strange shell cakes require their own special tin,  so I have to thank F1 for returning to France and justifying the purchase of my new tin.

The first batch won’t last until the weekend, so I will have to make another set to scoff with the race, the first from the Circuit Paul Ricard in my memory.

Thank you to Michael Roux Jr for the recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 free range eggs
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100g plain flour
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 100g butter, melted and cooled slightly, plus extra for greasing

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Brush the madeleine tray with melted butter then shake in a little flour to coat, tapping out the excess.

Step 2

Whisk together the eggs and the sugar in a bowl until frothy. Lightly whisk in the remaining ingredients. Leave to stand for 20 minutes before carefully pouring into the prepared madeleine tray.

Step 3

Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the mixture has risen a little in the middle and is fully cooked through. Transfer the madeleines to a wire rack and leave for a few minutes to cool slightly. These are best eaten within an hour of cooking.

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Baked Camembert

Baked Camembert

Camembert baked with Garlic and Rosemary

Servings

4

Ready In:

35min

Good For:

Starter or Dessert

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About this Recipe

I love Camembert, and I love baked Camembert even more. This recipe with garlic and rosemary in it was made for us by some friends, Sarah and James, so I owe them a big thank you.

It is very simple, you slice the top off, place some small garlic cloves (slice them up if you need to) and small sprigs of rosemary. Pop the lid back on and bake in the oven.

Serve it with some warm French bread and red onion chutney. It was to die for, if you like cheese as much as I do!

Bon Appetite!

Ingredients

  • camembert
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • few sprigs fresh rosemary

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Slice the top off the camembert carefully so that you can replace it. Place the cloves and rosemary sprigs into the cheese and pop the lid back on.

Step 2

Put it into a camembert baking dish and cook for 30 minutes at 160 C.

Step 3

Serve immediately with some warm french bread and red onion chutney.

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Chicken Liver Parfait

Chicken Liver Parfait

Quick chicken liver parfait recipe that keeps for two weeks (if no one eats it first!)

Servings

6

Ready In:

1 hour 35min

Good For:

Starter

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About this Recipe

By Jamie Oliver 

I have to admit as much as I love Chicken Liver Parfait, the thought of touching liver makes me feel a little squeamish. I got round it by making a super quick and super easy recipe from Jamie Oliver and using tongs to touch the liver…a bit pathetic I know!

The smell of the sage and brandy cooking distracted me and once they were whizz up into the parfait you could easily forget what went into them! Rather disappointingly we don’t have a gas hob anymore so I didn’t get to flame it.

This recipe takes about 30 minutes to make and an hour to set, but brilliantly (as it makes rather a lot) it can keep for up to two weeks in the fridge if you get the butter seal correct. However just to let you know ours has almost gone already.

Update: The kids are obsessed with the parfait and have requested that I make it again. I accidentally said chicken liver pate to them and my 4 year old daughter corrected me – ‘it’s parfait, mummy!’

Ingredients

  • 300g butter, softened
  • olive oil
  • shallots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 400g higher-welfare chicken livers, trimmed
  • a few sprigs fresh sage, leaves picked
  • 75ml brandy
  • 1 pinch ground mace
  • 1 loaf french bread
  • 1 punnet salad cress

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 110ºC/225ºF/gas ¼. Put half the butter in an ovenproof saucepan and pop it in the oven to slowly melt until it’s separated – this will take about 10 minutes. Strain the yellow clarified butter into a separate bowl and set aside to cool. Discard the remaining milky-coloured butter.

Step 2

Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan. Slowly fry the shallots and garlic for 10 minutes, until soft and tender, then remove to a plate. Wipe the pan clean with some kitchen roll, turn up the heat then throw in the livers and most of the sage. Cook the livers for a couple of minutes on each side, until lightly coloured but still a little pink in the middle – if you overcook them they will lose their smooth texture and become grainy.

Step 3

Pour in the brandy. If you’re using a gas hob you can flame it until the alcohol cooks off, but watch your hair! Simmer for a minute or so, then take the livers off the heat and tip them into a food processor with the cooked shallots and garlic. Blitz until you have a smooth purée. Add the rest of the softened butter and continue to blitz, then season well and add the mace. Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl.

Step 4

Sprinkle the remaining sage leaves over the parfait, then spoon over the clarified butter. Leave the parfait to set in the fridge for 1 hour. It will taste beautiful straight away, but it’s even better if the flavours are left to develop for a couple of days. If the butter seal isn’t disturbed it should last as long as two weeks, though it never lasts that long in my house!

Step 5

When you are ready to serve, slice up the bread and griddle the little toasts. Pile them onto a board next to your parfait with a pile of snipped cress on the side and dig in.

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Red Onion, Gruyere and Rosemary Fougasse

Red Onion, Gruyere and Rosemary Fougasse

Provencal style, leaf shaped sharing bread

Servings

4

Ready In:

2 hour

Good For:

Starter

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About this Recipe

By Mary Cadogan, BBC Good Food 

Fougasse is a type of flat bread that has been made since Roman times with its own variations across the empire from Pogacsa in Hungary to Monaco’s sweet fougasse. This fougasse is the type that would normally be served in Provence and is perfect with soup or as an appetizer.

As breads go this was simple and quick to make, a bit of kneading to start with. Then leave it to prove, add the toppings and a bit more proving until a short blast in the oven. The recipe makes enough for two leaves, so we made one with the ingredients below and another plainer one of salt and rosemary for the kids. It went beautifully with some tomato soup, perhaps try it with some gazpacho.

Thanks to the BBC Good Food site for the recipe. Next week we will try the sweet version from Monaco.

Ingredients

  • red onion
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 100g guyere
  • few sprigs fresh rosemary
  • pinch sea salt
  • 7g sachet of yeast 
  • 500g strong white bread flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Tip the flour into a mixing bowl. For easy-blend dried yeast, stir this into the flour. For fresh yeast, crumble it and rub into the flour as you would with butter when making pastry. Add the salt and sugar.

Step 2

Boil the kettle and measure 100ml into a jug. Top up with cold water to the 300ml mark. Test the temperature with your finger – it should feel perfectly hand-hot. Add the oil.

Step 3

Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the liquid all at once. Mix quickly using your hands or a wooden fork to make a soft and slightly sticky dough. Wipe the dough around the bowl to pick up any loose flour.

Step 4

Sprinkle the work surface with flour and tip out the dough. Knead by stretching it away from you, then folding it in half towards you and pushing it away with the heel of your hand. Give it a quarter turn and repeat, developing a rhythm.

Step 5

When the dough is smooth, put it back into the mixing bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave to rest for 1 hr (no need to find a warm place). The dough is ready when it springs back when you press it with your finger.

Step 5

Thinly slice the onion and gently cook in the oil until softened, about 5 mins. Cut the Gruyère into small cubes. Chop half the rosemary.

Step 6

Thinly slice the onion and gently cook in the oil until softened, about 5 mins. Cut the Gruyère into small cubes. Chop half the rosemary.

Step 8

Using a sharp knife, cut the dough in half. Roll or press out one piece of dough to a rectangular shape about 20 x 25cm, then transfer to a baking sheet lined with non-stick paper. Make a large diagonal cut across the centre of the dough almost to the ends. Make three smaller diagonal cuts either side of the large cut to make a leaf shape.

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Salad Nicoise

Salad Nicoise

Seared Tuna Salad Nicoise

Servings

2

Ready In:

25min

Good For:

Mains

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About this Recipe

Salad Nicoise seemed to fit perfectly for the Monaco Grand Prix. Last year we stayed in Nice and travelled to Monaco to watch the grand prix. This delicious and refreshing salad brings back those memories.

Salad Nicoise is one of those recipes that is not set in stone. Some recipes have tuna, some have anchovies and some have both. I’ve seen broad beans instead of green beans and even potatoes added. What is clear is that there is always soft boiled eggs, olives, oily fish, and lettuce leaves. Make up your own with your favourite ingredients, anything goes! Here’s my version.

In Monaco they also serve their salad nicoise in a bun called a Pan Bagnat. Handy for taking to the track to watch the cars go screaming by.  Maybe one for next year?

N.B. A top tip if you are going to the Grand Prix, the track opens up at night and there are awesome parties until the early hours ?

Ingredients

  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, halved
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 25g fresh basil, leaves picked, stalks finely chopped
  • 2 small little gem lettuce
  • 150g oil-cured black olives, rinsed and pitted
  • 300g tomato, halved or quartered
  • 100g green beans, cooked
  • 2 tuna steaks

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Cook the eggs in a pan of boiling water for 8 minutes. Drain, cool, shell and halve.

Step 2

Blanche the beans in boiling water. Sear the tuna steaks, about 4 – 8 minutes depending the size

Step 3

Meanwhile in a large bowl, whisk the oil, vinegar, mustard and garlic with the finely chopped basil stalks to make the dressing.

Step 4

Place the tomatoes, basil, lettuce leaves and olives into the bowl and gently toss with the dressing. Divide between two plates. Top with the halved eggs, beans and seared tuna.

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Cognac ‘n’ Herb Tapenade

Cognac ‘n’ Herb Tapenade

A rustic tapenade enjoyed throughout southern France (and Monaco of course!)

Servings

8

Ready In:

10min

Good For:

Starter

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About this Recipe

By Sasha Martin, Global Table Adventure

Cognac ‘n’ Herb Tapenade is a new delight in our home. Hailing from the hills of Provence, the rustic nature of this dish is not what you would imagine being served in the glamorous Principality but it’s taste is delectable and it is enjoyed throughout the region.

We shared this dish with friends who popped back from a morning in the park for lunch. It was made in a matter of minutes and no one mentioned ‘ANCHOVIES’. The only problem was the toddlers hogged the dish and we hardly got a look in.

A big thank you to Global Table Adventure for the recipe. We put ours through the food processor but they suggest that you slice it roughly.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup drained capers, patted dry
  • 2-4 anchovy fillets
  • 1/3 spring rosemary
  • 2 cups oil-cured black olives
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp cognac
  • to taste pepper
  • 1  baguette

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Put all of the ingredients except the baguette into a food processor and pulse until you are happy with the consistency.

Step 2

Slice the baguette thinly and grill until you have made crostinis.

Step 3

Serve and enjoy.

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