Somethin' to say? Was zu sagen? Des choses a dire?

Follow mrlemarquis on Twitter If you want to make a comment but can't find the "make a comment" box, which keeps on disappearing, just send it either to twitter, facebook or to me at: iwmpop@gmail.com , and I'll maybe publish it for you....Only said maybe....! Here's the latest one: (Who IS this guy called Keith.....) "I just wanted to leave a comment to say that (from personal experience), although you get a bit stinky for the first few weeks, after that you don't get any stinkier! And those olives do look nice, don't they? All the best" Keith

hungry?Thanks to Tina Concetta Marzocca.

Actuelle informations...New....Neu....

Due to illhealth I have decided to post my articles here:Just click on the link....


Depuis peu vous pouvez suivre des liens par voie du "Twitter" vers des articles amusantes et/ou intéressantes.......... Allez-y.... essayez. C'est en haut...
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For some time, you can follow links chosen by mr le marquis and presented on "Twitter". These links are intended to inform and amuse you - every day, or nearly, new ones ....Try it out! It's just above...
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Zeit einige Wochen Können Sie interessantes oder amüsantes Verfolgen durch "Twitter"... Fast jeden Tag was neues von mr le marquis ... Versuchen Sie es...Zu finden oben...

here it is....you wanted it....!

somebody (!) wanted to know so here it is...

simple local vegetables

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Saturday, 29 October 2011

Fish & Chips......

 Well known, well loved, and now also served (in Britain anyway) with "Curry Sauce"......!
I've mentioned this famous and beloved "mass" British food before, and just this week, I let people on Facebook know - 'cos I'm kind - that in France, the shops "Lidl" were specialising in a product from UK called "Fish'n Chips" a sort of bastardized product....frozen, just needs throwing into hot deep oil (or the dustbin). I know lots of those people will be off, on Monday, to Lidl to stock up with this product, and yet - it's so easy to make yourself!
OK - it is a bit messy, and it does need a bit of practice, particularly for the Fish. Everything is in the secret of the "coating batter", and I'm going to break (a little bit) the rules of the pro chef, and I'm going to give you the recipe (almost all of it) for my famous batter, which is great for all batter dishes, sweet and salty....fruit beignets - fish - or even "spam fritters" which, strangely enough are actually quite delicious.....

Other uses are for scampi or king prawns, peeled and just with the tail left on to pick it up with - dipped into the batter and deep fried...also delicious ....  onion rings in batter.....
and many, many more things......

The secret is the batter....I repeat....



 This one shows a batter used which is made with beer instead of water as the liquid ingredient, and that is one part of the secret, not Beer, but an ingredient found in beer - YEAST...!
It's so easy, flour, water(lukewarm), yeast (dried or fresh), a little sugar (for the yeast to nourish itself from), salt and pepper (add later), a little colouring of a yellowish hue (saffron is the best but also the most expensive, and other colourants can be used). This is to give the slight colour of "golden" without risking burning the batter and the contents trying to get the correct attractive looking finished item.
Just mix them all together, get the thickness right (it should cover the back of a spoon without dripping)  (never mind the colour, the thickness is about right here).....
Now you need time, a cloth to cover the mixture, a warmish place so the yeast can rise to at least 3 times the volume, then beat it back down,,,,and YER READY......!
 Deep frying in oil is the best, although lard or dripping can be used. A decent oil (not palm oil though) should be used. Olive oil is the most expensive, but supports higher heat than sunflower or colza. It must be HOT...HOT....HOT.... otherwise the deep fried article will soak up the oil and be oily and greasy, not crispy as it should be......
Don't over cook......a typical Scampi needs only 2-3 minutes, a fish filet typically 4-5 minutes, or until the agreeable colour is achieved. Over cooked, the product dries out underneath the batter.
So....go enjoy.....This batter does not like being frozen and used again, but it can be used up to make a kind of pancake or even a version of the famous Yorkshire pudding.....try 'em....
There ya go...SOME of the secrets, the others you will all figger out by trial and error....I promised Harry  (Harry Ramsden - Yorkshireman of high reputation for Fish & Chips) not to give it all away when I worked for him for a short period just outside a place called Ilkely (on Ilkley moor 'bat hat fame) in Yorkshire, England.....we did daily around 3,000 portions of "Fish & Chips" - with tourist buses coming from all over....to see the famous Moors ..but really for the Fish & Chips....

Enjoy!
 

Monday, 24 October 2011

They know what to do with the Euro...!

The motto appears on a scroll beneath the shie...Image via Wikipedia
Ah yes.....all these UK experts who know all about it........

Ah oui - ces experts Britannique.....

On 01 January 2000 GB£1 bought €1.60




On 24 October 2011 GB£1 bought €1.15



Go figger......... Vous avez compris.....?


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Thursday, 13 October 2011

Getting Stuffed......

  Yes - it's the protesting season again, and the season when letter boxes all over France are full of special Seasonal offers.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foie_gras
These things and myself have one thing in common....."Foie Gras" (a fatty liver), mine probably due to "over indulgence" over years, and without doubt I shall be partaking again this year, just a little bit less - for health reasons!  Yes, the act and the pictures of "gavage" (the force feeding of ducks and geese) are not a pretty sight, unfortunately just as other photos of our human nourishment are not, and most certainly Abattoirs or slaughterhouses are not charming places, but I can't get involved in the debate surrounding these things, this is a blog about food and drink, and the arguments - both for and against - have very valid points.
The Southwest of France (Périgord) is probably the center of the French industry, sold all over the world,    but it is produced generally in many areas. Alsace, particularly the Strasbourg area is well known, amongst all its thousands of charcuterie and pâtés products, the Foie Gras is present, less than it used to be, but it is still present.
Basically Foie Gras is NOT good for the human being, it is too fatty, it is too high in Cholesterol and other things, but in the Season of Festivities, there are so many other things not good for us that one more or less is minimal, and in any case, just from its price, Foie Gras limits itself to small quantities. It comes in all forms, "fresh" - conserved, smoked, bottled, you name it - you can find it.
The most sought after, by Gourmets and Gourmands, is the fresh variety, simply because it allows itself to be prepared in so many different ways. This explains the price also.
Fresh Foie Gras is sold in what are called "lobes", sometimes in parts of lobes, and the classic and traditional way of preparing is uncomplicated, in words, but complicated in deed...."De-veining" the item (taking out very carefully all the small veins that are to be found) is long and difficult to inexperienced fingers. Care has to be taken that the look of the whole article is preserved, and not damaged, and the fact that one is dealing with a small fortune tends to give cramps.....!
The further preparation is relatively simple, thickish slices being passed quickly in hot butter, until slightly browned and then served on hot toasted bread.  Garnishes are, for myself, unrequired, maybe something for colour, but very little. The simplicity of the product should be allowed to shine through.
I know there are many places which serve elaborate concoctions, but if you look into it, this is generally to hide the fact that the expensive item - the Foie Gras - is in a very limited quantity, and often quality!
The other means of preparation available, like the "blocks" - the tins - the glasses, the pâtés, the terrines containing a certain amount of Foie Gras, can be used in various ways. They may be served as for the real item, they can be eaten cold, some people even make a sandwich from them, and - of course, the "exclusive" canapés for those "finger buffets"  Generally "over garnished" it is a shame to see the fine product being hidden away by mundane things like fruit and lettuce, but everyone to their taste.
If you are going to partake over the coming Festive Season, then think that it's not finished just with the expensive Foie Gras.....you need something else, like SWEET wine! Normally Bordeaux sweet white wine, it doesn't need to be a "Tokay" ( at a few thousand $$$$ a bottle for the genuine article) - a simple Sauternes will do the job admirably,   and even then, a "Château Yquem" isn't necessary either!

On the other hand, you can always stay with something you know, just

try a Rosé or "demi-Sec" variety... ..

......So long as it's "Demi-Sec"....

.............which has nothing to do with dry....!

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Bonne Appétit!....... Bonnes Fêtes....                 Octobre 2011

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Every year.......

 The 3rd Thursday in November, every year.
It's been going on for many years now, originally thought up as a publicity gag, it has been underlined in many peoples diaries as a party time!
and - why not......?  The facts of the matter are really quite simple. The tradition of tasting that year's wine is old....it probably all starts with a thing called "Federweisser" - a German/Austrian tradition, often very useful as a laxative cure, where the first pressings of the year are tasted just hours after starting the fermentation process. They are logically weak in alcohol content, but heavy in laxative quality. The first few pressings are bottled and sold commercially....as wine! Traditionally the dish which goes best with this invention is the modest "onion quiche" or onion tart, or - if you must, then go up a step in Societie's ladder and use an Alsatian/Lorraine dish   called "Flammkuchen" (it's really a sort of posh pizza!) Federweisser is celebrated in Alsace-Lorraine in France as well, less so than in the truly Germanic countries, but "verstopfung" (constipation) is International and must be relieved!
a roll of WC paper could be offered free of charge.

As you can see from the colour, it is not quite as enticing as certain other products representing the same thing - "Nouveau - Primeurs".


There are all kinds of competitions nowadays with large cash prizes for the first servings of Primeurs, notably from Beaujolais, but I know, because I have seen and touched them, that cartons and cartons of the new Beaujolais lie ready in depots all around France, well before the official date. Not allowed to be sold until the 3rd Thursday in November, I doubt that there are not a number of "tricks" going on, yearly, to win the prize.
In any case, my personal favourite is always the "primeur" - "Beaujolais Villages"
Even at this age, it is a polished product, smooth to the taste and very distinguished.
Yes - it does cost a little more, but in quality one understands why.
With time, a number of other traditions have sprung up around the festival of "Primeur". Many offers are made in the shape of the bottles
, which become collectors items (full or empty) and many importers and producers have started "hand-painted" bottle collections which also have become collectors items, or simply the printed label collections  often done by well known artists are collected with pride.
I am more concerned with the contents of a liquid nature.  Beaujolais is a well known wine producing Region of France, with wines from "horrible" to "magnificent".....It produces enormous quantities and - unfortunately, all that Beaujolais's isn't Beaujolais....It is a favourite to be copied, particularly in Chinese and Japanese circles.
In Europe, Beaujolais wine is not only good, but is also from inexpensive to much higher standards.
The quality is normally always good, the Nouveau, being what it is, a new wine, is experimental....you never know what it's going to be like! Dishes served at special evenings tend to be the simpler, hand held items, the same as described above for the "Federweisser" evenings.....Tarts, quiche, even onion soups....With Beaujolais of course, cheeses can be considered highly on the list of "little amuse-gueules" (small nibbles) since  a red wine can support good cheeses so well. The slight coarseness of the wines can also allow "stronger" cheeses like the Munster to be employed, preferably  well ripened!
Now Beaujolais is NOT the only wine presented as a "Primeur", nor is the first to be presented each year. 
Other French wine regions, having seen the success accorded, have taken up, many years ago, presenting their wines as "Primeurs" as well, and most of them are actually ready BEFORE the Beaujolais, due to Regional and climatic conditions. This is one of the largest of them, slightly more southerly than Beaujolais, so earlier on the market.
Many of them are actually better than the Beaujolais Primeur, bt are less well known and less available outside of France. Almost all of the "vins de Région" are present, with one notable exception - Burgundy (and with some exceptions the Bordeaux). If you get the chance to taste some of these inexpensive wines, don't hesitate.
The only advice I would pass on to you is the traditional advice....do NOT buy a bottle, take it home - open it - and expect it to taste good!
 ALWAYS remember, wine is a LIVING product. It is "alive", and - like you - it can bruise in transport, gets exhausted at long journies, needs "repos" or rest  just like you....so allow it a couple of days, minimum, to rest- like you - lying down!
This applies to ALL wines, particularly those that tourists take home, over thousands of kilometres, and open it on arrival, just to spit it out and ask themselves....."Did we REALLY buy and so enjoy this stuff for a month on holiday....?"
Let it rest and recuperate.....the longer - the better - it will reward you....
Finally, before you all go attacking, remember that the "Primeurs" or "Nouveaux" are relatively instable wines. They will change in colour and taste as time progresses, and the general recommendation is to consume them BEFORE Christmas.
I disagree with this, they are storable for much longer, with differing results. Stored correctly, they are keepable and drinkable in general for at least a year. They are not intended to be "laid down" over longer periods, although in certain cases they can be rebottled and laid down for some years.
  If you are lucky enough to have the conditions and room to do so, you can make some enormous profits, although the main fun and enjoyment comes from drinking it, with colleagues and friends around a good meal and conversation.
So - "Bonne Appétit" et "A la votre"........

Vauvert, France         -          Octobre 2011

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Tally-ho......

  It's the time of year.
"La chasse" is going to open very shortly, in France anyway, and of course there will be, as usual, some tragic accidents.
It's amazing really, hunters are allowed to go wandering through the vineyards with loaded hunting rifles whilst poor people are still picking grapes. It's a guarantee for bad things - yearly!
Well - there's nothing we can do about it, except try to miss the lead shot, and possibly get hold of a reasonably undamaged piece of game meat.
Here is a link to a competition (in French) to present your "Game recipes" and maybe win something.....http://www.recettes-de-chasse.com/
Game is a strictly limited subject, limited in when you can get it, where you can get it, and IF you can get it, so if you are fortunate enough, don't spoil or waste it! After all, these beasts are mainly quite magnificent creatures, the hunters and the Governments tell us that they MUST be "culled" (legally slaughtered) - personally I'm not too sure, but they are culled, so wastage must not be permitted.
Because many of them are beasts which are basically wild, they can be subject to certain dangers.  The most recent case is from Berlin in Germany, where reports of "over population" are coming through...it seems these little things are ruining the countryside close to the German Capital and must be "number controlled" (a nice way of saying - slaughtered).
The only problem is that they are also still suffering from the effects of a thing called "Tschernobyl" - the Russian Nuclear plant that exploded.
 Strangely enough, the nuclear cloud didn't stop at the Russian borders, but covered most of Europe in some way or other. In France, it was particularly funghi (mushrooms) which were concerned, and some game animals. The effects are not nice, and are long lasting...... Of course, we are assured that any game meat offered has been strictly controlled, but I'm not too sure about the controls done by most French hunters (chasseurs), and I would only recommend buying or accepting, meat from some officially controlled source. The problem there is that the animals are mainly breeded, and have become practically "domesticated", they no longer eat what their ancestors ate, so their taste is no longer the same.
Difficult, difficult, because why cull the real wild animals but be unable to consume them?
It is exactly for the difference in taste that game is so famous, and if that is no longer present, where is the point in paying hefty prices?
I recall the other problem, particularly in France. The hunters are a "devoted" bunch, devoted mainly to the pleasure of killing, and I recall seeing a neighbour being proud of the fact that he had managed to shoot down a tiny bird which fitted in the palm of his hand, and - when asked what he was going to do with it, replied that first of all he would try and kill another 3 or 4, to have enough for a portion on his plate!
The fact that the bird itself was so full of lead pellets that it was almost unrecognizable and the fact that most of his other lead pellets had gone zipping off into the wide blue yonder - endangering anything in the area (human or otherwise) - obviously was not going to deter his activities!
I have broken a tooth or two on lead pellets in game bird meats, and of course it is poisonous! The taste is also quite disgusting, and invades the meat in question. If you like eating lead pencils, then please do so, but you're not going to pay a fortune to do so - are you?

Of course, there are some marvellous game recipes, and most of them can be used with normal meat supplies, so why not try them?
Of course, the time of year also points to the upcoming "madness" - "Beujolais Nouveau" or "Primeur".
Right here in my area, it isn't the first new wine of the year, the local Languedoc wines bring out a "Primeur" towards the end of this month of October, and it's always worth trying.
There will be an article, specially prepared, on the subject of "Primeurs" later on, so - keep popping back in.....You're welcome!
Now - go get your bows and arrows.......

 

METEO chez moi-Bei mir-my zone

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Lecker...Tasty... Appétissante

Des bonnes choses - de presque partout...! Leckereien von fast Uberall...! Tasty things from almost everywhere...! *********
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******* iwmpop (mr le marquis)- Vauvert, France - Janvier 2011