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Thread: Bon Appetit

  1. #1
    MANICHAEAN MANICHAEAN's Avatar
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    Bon Appetit

    Bon Appetit.

    Was it the Fates that had me pick up that tome on French country cooking yesterday? Or had I had my fill of Italian & Indian cuisine over recent months? After all, there is a limit; even to the number of pasta shapes invented, or the seemingly innumerable combinations of exotic spices from the East in a curry.

    But my initial enthusiasm for different fare, ranging from the coasts of Brittany to the sunshine of Provence was thrown into disarray by one particular recipe I stumbled across. It both grasped my attention and confused me at the same time.

    Its name was “Grillade Mariniere de Valence,” which roughly translates as “Braised Sailors Steak of Valence.” This is puzzle on a number of counts; of which the main one is that Valence being an inland town, what the hell has this got to do with a steak for a sailor?

    “Alors mes amies,” this is where the story evolves.

    Before railroads came to this part of France, the River Rhone towpath was the most effective highway of goods from the Mediterranean to Burgundy in the north. Big draft horses pulled barges upstream, and the current alone sufficed for the return journey. These operators were referred to as “marins” (sailors), and unfortunately; according to one's tastes, some horses past their prime were converted into steak to provide a robust working man's meal.

    The dish still survives, but using chuck or other stewing steaks instead.

    The cooking itself is fairly straightforward, if you enjoy the French penchant for; garlic, onions, anchovy fillets and a “beurre manie.”

    It goes as follows:

    Season steak lightly both sides with pepper / Olive oil in pan / Top with thinly sliced sweet onion / Place steaks on top, with more onion. / Make beurre manie (crush butter with fork & work in flour to make a paste.) / Dot paste on top of onions. / Cover pan and sweat for 30 minutes on a low heat. / In a small bowl mix: 2Tsp parsley, 3Tsp olive oil, 2 Tsp red wine vinegar, 5 chopped anchovy fillets, 4 chopped garlic cloves & pepper. / Spread on top of onions to bind. / Cover again and low heat 1.5 hours.

    Serve with garlic & rosemary baked Heirloom potatoes and sauteed zucchini.

    Bon Appetit.

  2. #2
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Very entertaining post, Recipe with history and all.
    I would have to leave out some of the ingredients but three cheers for the zucchini, which(hier tenderly called abobrinhas) are chief guests of my fridge, they are quickly ready and go with almost everything. Right now I have two gigantic specimens there.

    You don´t look like a pizza enthusiast to me, but if one wants to give a pizza a touch of sophistication, one can cower it with Mozzarella from buffalo milk, top the cheese with zucchini and those small tomatoes that look like cherries, with a finishing touch of basil. It´s one of my favorites.
    #Stay home as much as you can and stay well

  3. #3
    MANICHAEAN MANICHAEAN's Avatar
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    Ah Ha. I detect another foodie enthusiast!!!!

    I use zucchini a lot in my Italian bolognaise sauces, though not strictly purist.

    As for pizza, I improvise making small ones on pitta bread, so as not to gorge myself on some of the monster sizes I see.

    Trust you are well buddy.
    M.

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