French

Asparagus Hollandaise

asparagus8 spears
Salted water 
White wine vinegarSplash
onion¼
butter250g / 9oz
Eggs4

Peel and trim asparagus. Clarify butter. Separate the eggs – you only need yolks. Boil the asparagus for 2 minutes. Reduce vinegar and onion to a syrup. Clarify butter. Add reduction to yolks. Whisk over boiled water to froth. Slowly add the butter and whisk to a sauce. Serve with asparagus.

French Onion Soup (serves 6)

onions450 g / 1lb
Beef/chicken stock900ml / 2pt
Plain flourPinch
Red wineSplash
Vegetable oilSplash
Olive oil1 teaspoon
Butter112g / 4oz
Brandy/cognac2 tablespoons
garlic3cloves
herbsoptional
French mustard2 tablespoons
baguette4 slices
Olive oilDrizzle

Thinly slice the onions. Crush 2 cloves and then crush the third but keep separate. Heat the vegetable oil and butter in a pan. When hot add the onion and two-thirds of the garlic and mustard. Cook for 6 minutes until dark. Reduce heat and cook slowly for 10-15 minutes. Add the flour and mix well. Stir well, scraping the pan. Add the red wine. Add the stock and mix. When soaked up, cook for another 10-15 minutes. Add brandy before serving. For the croutons – lace the slices of baguette with the remainder of the garlic and the olive oil and bake one side till its crusty. Pop a crouton on top of each bowl of soup.

Coquille St Jacques

Scallops1
Button mushrooms3
lemon¼
Fish stock225ml / ½ pt
butter60g / 2oz
Plain flour60g/ 2oz
Double cream8 fl oz
Gruyere or gouda112g / 4oz
Herbsoptional
Eggs4
Maris piper2 large

Slice the mushrooms. Juice the lemon. Heat the stock and lemon juice in a pan  with the mushrooms and scallops for 1 minute. With a slotted spoon remove the scallops and mushrooms. Set aside. In a separate pan, melt the butter and stir in flour for 2 minutes to make a roux. Add the scallop stock to make the sauce. Beat to smooth consistency. Separate the eggs. Mix 2 yolks and cream and add to the sauce. Remove from heat and season. Peel and roughly cut potatoes and boil potatoes until soft. Drain and dry gently on stove. Add 2 yolks and mash to smooth consistency. Using a piping bag, pipe the mash  round an ovenproof dish. Place scallops in the middle with the mushrooms and cover with the sauce. Add the gruyere on top and glaze under a hot grill.

Quiche Lorraine

Savoury mini-tartlets12
Back bacon2 rashers
egg1
Double creamSplash
chives3

Cook the bacon and shred. Chop the chives. Mix cream, egg and chives and season. Add the bacon and egg mix to pastry and bake for 10-15 minutes at 200 deg c / Gas Mark 6 until firm in the middle.

Ratatouille  Tarte Tatin (serves 4)

butter90g / 3oz
aubergine1/2
Red pepper½
Yellow pepper½
garlic2 cloves
tomato4
courgette2
puff pastry300g / 10oz
plain flour (for rolling pastry)60g / 2oz

Roll the puff pastry into 24cm diameter. Rub the butter onto a round ovenproof pan (23cm diameter).

Cook all the vegetables and garlic in a frying pan. Place the puff pastry on top. Cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes at 200degC until the pastry is crisp and brown.

Author: Brian Hannan

I am a published author of books about film - over a dozen to my name, the latest being "When Women Ruled Hollywood." As the title of the blog suggests, this is a site devoted to movies of the 1960s but since I go to the movies twice a week - an old-fashioned double-bill of my own choosing - I might occasionally slip in a review of a contemporary picture.

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