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Easter with the French Chef at Home

April 13th, 2017 Posted by Uncategorised No Comment yet

With less than a week until Pâques, or Easter as it is known in England, here at French Chef at Home we have been reflecting on the French traditions around this holiday.

As a traditionally Christian holiday, Easter serves to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection on the Sunday. Catholic tradition dictates that Church bells don’t ring between Good Friday, “Vendredi Saint”, and Easter Sunday to commemorate the death of Christ and his resurrection. The French tradition states that les Cloches de Pâques, “Easter bells”, fly to Rome during this period to be blessed by the Pope before returning home with presents for the children.

As the bells fly back on Saturday night, Easter Sunday begins with la chasse aux oeufs, an exciting egg hunt. The children (and the young at heart) of the family collect chocolate or sugar eggs, hens, roosters, chicks, bunnies, lambs and flying bells. Originally the eggs were real, boiled and then decorated by children.

These prizes are all symbols of Easter in France and represent nature’s rebirth and resurrection after winter. Easter provides the perfect opportunity to celebrate the coming of spring and the hopefully warmer weather.

Just as in England, Easter is a family holiday where people gather together with their loved ones. Food is often the focal point of the celebration, with chocolate Easter eggs and lamb traditionally served. Boiled eggs can also make a fantastic starter to your Easter feast, in keeping with historic tradition.

Boiled eggs can make a fantastic traditional Easter starter

Boiled eggs can make a fantastic traditional Easter starter

L’Agneau Pascal, (Easter lamb) is a common favourite in France, largely because Jesus is identified with the sacrificial lamb of the Jewish tradition. Lambs also symbolise new life. Cooking lamb for seven hours is a fantastic way to serve the meat a little differently. This meal is very easy, bringing the whole family together both for the cooking and eating.

Cooking the lamb for seven hours ensures it is very tender when served and falls right off the bone. Combine with traditional vegetables such as carrots and onions, and add a splash of white wine and Armagnac to take your delicious English casserole to France. Serving with a spoon, a la cuillère in France, finishes off a perfect Easter dish.

Enjoy – and we wish you a very Happy Easter et Joyeuses Pâques!

A winning combination: French cuisine and Yorkshire liqueur

December 21st, 2016 Posted by Uncategorised No Comment yet
Yves talks through the quails eggs

Yves talks through the quails eggs with Brontë Liqueur

A winning combination: How French cuisine and a Yorkshire liqueur created a perfect winter menu.

On a dreary December Day Yves invited Sir James Aykroyd to try the delicious winter menu he had created. Using Sir James’ Brontë Liqueur as the foundation for the three dishes, Yves perfectly combined traditional French cuisine with a Yorkshire liqueur steeped in the county’s history.

Sir James first discovered Brontë Liqueur, not in his home county of Yorkshire, but 6,400 miles away in South America. Four decades later Sir James constantly looks for creative ways to use Brontë Liqueur, to widen its appeal beyond an after dinner drink. He’s already discovered that it tastes great with fizz to create a Brontë Royale, as well as a range of cocktails and wanted to see how it pairs with gourmet cuisine.

With its unique taste of blackberries, sloes, wild honey and jasmine, Yves created three dishes to showcase the alluring combination of ingredients. For his Fried Quail Egg on Toast with Red Onion Chutney, Yves simmered the onion with honey and Brontë Liqueur. Pheasant was cooked with Brontë Liqueur and blackberries, a key ingredient, for the warming Pheasant Casserole. Finally. blackberry purée was combined with the liqueur to make chocolate truffles, a perfect Christmas gift for loved ones.

Whether you’re looking for an alternative Christmas dinner, or simply want to try a new take on liqueur, Yves recipes using Brontë Liqueur are a great choice. Try not to taste too much of the Liqueur while cooking though, you don’t want to run out before you’ve even started.

To see the three recipes follow these links:

Fried Quail Egg on Toast: http://www.frenchchefathome.com/fried-quail-eggs-bronte-liqueur/

Pheasant Casserole: http://www.frenchchefathome.com/pheasant-casserole-bronte-liqueur/

Chocolate and Blackberry Truffles: http://www.frenchchefathome.com/chocolate-truffles-bronte-liqueur/

Enjoy an Evening in France with the French Chef

April 7th, 2016 Posted by Uncategorised No Comment yet

Make the most of the lighter Spring evenings and enjoy an Evening in France at The French Chef at Home’s pop up event being held at 10 Devonshire Place, Harrogate.

On Wednesday 27 April at 7pm Yves will cook a magnificent six course French tasting menu, matched by a flight of wine pairings courtesy of Patrice from Le Bon Vin who will talk guests through them.

The evening’s menu is as follows:
-Three appetizers
-Potato and mustard velouté
-Scallop and beetroot tarte fine with honeyed dressing
-Smoked cod loin with crustaceous sauce, carrots and asparagus
-Confit ox cheek with truffled sauce, mushroom and parsnip
-To finish: Pistacchio crème brulée, Louis XV and milk chocolate and caramel tartlet

Yves is classically trained under acclaimed chef Alain Ducasse. His cooking combines the traditional gourmet flavours of France with seasonal fresh Yorkshire produce. He set up French Chef at Home to create authentic and bespoke French cuisine at people’s homes for special occasions, corporate events or just a luxury night in. Yves also offers tutorials in your own home for between one and four people.

Tickets for the Deonshire Place event are £35 and available to buy here: http://www.10devonshireplace.com/pages/events