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Friday, October 26, 2012

A Few Good Films

Some good stuff I have watched over the past few days. Worth re-watching now and then.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Chicken And Root Vegetable Couscous With Preserved Lemons.

These photos are a little out of sequence but you get the general idea and this is not the first post on couscous. There are a million and one ways to make this dish and every cook has his own little secrets. The best thing to do is get a basic recipe and through networking, research or trial and effort find the one you like best and stick to it.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Small appetizer plate  of hard boiled egg, tomato salad with shallots and beetroot vinaigrette. These are not tinned beetroots by the way. I cook them myself in a slow cooker with garlic, bay leaf, whole peppercorns and jalapenos. They are delicious. You strain the juice when they are cooked, then you peel the beetroots and put them in a bowl with the juice and a good measure of red wine vinegar. You can cook a huge batch of them at the same time and keep them in the 'fridge.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Claude's Mushrooms

My friend Claude went out collecting mushrooms in France and this is what he  came home with. Wow !

Friday, October 19, 2012

JP In All His Glory In Brasil Around 1976

Chicken Breast Filled With Tapenade / Crushed Tomato Sauce / Couscous

Tapenade Recipe
1/2 pound of pitted kalamata olives
3 anchovy filets
Minced garlic to taste
2 tablespoons of capers
2 or 3 basil leaves
Juice of 1 lemon
Extra virgin olive oil

Place all ingredients into a food processor and turn this mix into a paste. Add the olive oil at the end to get a proper consistency. I usually add a few white breadcrumbs to give it a little body, especially if I am going to put in in something like a piece of fish or chicken.
This is also used as a spread for appetizer and can be served on toast or crackers. Be sure to make a lot of it as people usually love it.
It is a dish from Nice and the south of France and is very popular there where it is also know as ' Caviar Nicoise'.
As an ingredient it works very well with chicken of fish.



Baked Beans On Toast / A Holdover From The Poor Days In London

This was a staple from my days in London when I was an apprentice and had absolutely no money to spare. It was easy and it was filling. One slice of toast , one small can of Heinz baked beans and two poached eggs with a large pot of tea. It is still a tasty breakfast , lunch or snack.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Claude Patry ~ Paul Bocuse

In culinary terms,this is an extraordinary montage of my good friend Claude Patry and his mentor Paul Bocuse. It spans Claude's thirty seven year distinguished career as a first class chef. 
The top photo is of  Bocuse and his crew long before he became famous internationally and he was just setting out to world wide fame. Claude is on the extreme left  and Bocuse is on the right. At this stage Bocuse was just an ordinary chef with his own restaurant; but he had something the others didn't have. He had a lot of showmanship and business savvy. My friend Claude did his apprenticeship there long before all the cooks of the world were  knocking on Bocuse’s door to learn the business and get a reference from him.
This montage shows Claude in 1969 as an apprentice and then in 2006 just as he retired. I was supposed to go back to France for his retirement party but unfortunately, and much to my regret, I couldn't make it. 
After leaving Bocuse Claude came to The Meridien Hotel Cairo Egypt where I got to know him. We have remained friends ever since. When he left Cairo he went to Paris where he worked in a Russian restaurant and, as I was in Paris at the same time, we saw each other weekly and  our friendship continued. He later went to work in Michelin star restaurants such as Roger Verge's Moulins de Mougins. He then opened his own restaurant which was very successful for many years.
He was an excellent cook, he had a great talent for his profession and it all came very naturally to him. He was more cut out for the finer side of cuisine and individual restaurants than the rough and tumble and incessant politics of  hotel life.