Menu of the Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve in France is the most popular Family celebration in the year, like Thanksgiving in the US. Each year, one member of my family organize the dinner in his home and invite all the rest of the family. This year, the dinner is at home. I have invited my parents, my sister, my parents in law and my brother in law with his wife and their kids. We would be 13 people around the table if everybody could come.

Here you have the feast menu I will suggest to my family to celebrate Chritmas Eve. This time, it will be a lot of work but I love to cook, I have taken a day off to cook and my nanny will keep the babies during the day. In France, we love to stay around a table with a good dinner and, as we do not have many opportunities to find us all together in the year, we can stay sitting for a long time to talk, eat and drink, in the french way of life.

The menu :

The apéritif : soup of champagne, basil cakes like canelés, prunes in the bacon and glass cup of espuma of chorizo with a cream of asparagus.

The starter : Foie gras in three versions and presented like a dessert, with 1- a puff with foie gras ice cream, 2- a foie gras candy and 3- a foie gras crème brûlée. To drink, a Sauternes.

First main course : scallop in a champagne sauce. To drink, a Tariquet.

Second main course : quails in mandarins with a risotto in hazelnuts. To drink, a Pomerol.

Dessert : Baked Alaska. To drink, a Clairette de Die Imperial.

At midnight, we would have finished the dinner and open the gifts we have offered to each other, except for the kids who would sleep at that time. They will wait the morning to open the gifts Santa would brought for them.

If some of thoose dishes give you some ideas, I promess you will find all thoose receipes on my blog just after Christmas Eve and, maybe you could try it for the New Year’s Eve.

Home made tomato sauce

When summer arrive, we can find very good and flavorful tomatoes. At that period, I found someone who can keep the kids a day long. Then, with a lot of fresh tomatoes from my parents’ vegetables garden, I cook my tomato sauce for the year in bottles, because I can use it in a lot of recipes (with meats, pasta, fishes, eggs) and I don’t waste time when I need a tomato sauce to prepare a dish. Here, I’m going to share with you the recipe to prepare a fresh one. You need 35 minutes to do it.

You need : 8 tomatoes, 2.5 oz of concentrated by tomato, 1 carrot, 1 red onion, 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil, 10 basil’s sheets, 1 oz of sugar, 1 teaspoon of salt.

Wash the vegetables, peel carrot and onion, remove the green head of the tomatoes. Put all the ingredients in your blender and liquidize the preparation. Overturn into a hollow frying pan and cook it slowly during 30 minutes. Mix from time to time. The color will change from pink to nice red.  At the end of the cooking time, taste the sauce. If it’s too bitter, you can add a little bit more of sugar and cook it 5 minutes more. It’s ready.

Bon appétit !

Basque chicken

The recipe I’m going to share with you is one of my favorites for a family dinner. The Basque chicken is, as usual, a traditional main course in French cooking. To prepare it, you need 1 1/2 hours to prepare it.

You will need : 1 chicken, cut up into 8 pieces, 2.5 cups of tomato sauce (see recipe for my homemade  sauce), 1 onion (a red one is better), 1 green pepper, 1 red pepper, 1 yellow pepper, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 pinches of chili (Espelette chili is the best one for that recipe), salt.

First, cut the chicken in individual pieces. Take a casserole and put the oil inside. Heat the oil and add the chicken pieces and brown on all sides. During that time, cut the three peppers into strips. Add them to the casserole with the browning chicken. Cut the onion in little cubes and add it, too. Mix all the vegetables around the chicken. When all the ingredients have a nice color, add the tomato sauce, salt and chili. Mix all ingredients, cover the casserole and let cook over low heat slowly for 1 hour.

It’s ready to serve. You can accompany this dish with rice or potatoes.

Bon appétit !