International Dinner #40: Bonsoir France!

French Dinner Header

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Salut! We are back after a bit of an extended break – so I’ve got a backlog of dinners to put online now…

Samuel chose France for this weekend. And while I did mention the stereotypical escargot and frog’s legs, I don’t think I would have been able to source them if I tried!

Sooo I had to go for something a little less adventurous, but just as typically french as those iconic dishes. French cuisine has so many signature dishes that finding something for the boys shouldn’t be too difficult… narrowing it down to just a couple of dishes will be the trick!

Uncooked Croissants

Cooked Croissants

Gougères Bourguignones
(with chocolate or jam, or cheese, tomato and ham)


Now, I knew croissants had a bit of butter in them.. I wasn’t quite aware how much though… basically you make your dough, then you make a slab of butter about 10″ x 10″ and 1/2″ thick and fold your dough over  it, then fold and roll, fold and roll to create that layered flakey croissant goodness… I felt a sense of accomplishment having actually made these from scratch, but geez – I won’t be doing that again in a hurry, to say it was time consuming is an understatement…

And for our second starter the the Gougères Bourguignones, they looked interesting although my end results were slightly less puffy, cheesey balls and more deflated not so fluffy balls… I think the batter was a little to wet, or maybe the oven was a little hot.. they’ll take some experimentation to get right.

The boys enjoyed both these starters and we didn’t have any left at the end of the night.

Croissant 1000/1000
Gougères Bourguignones 7/10


Pommes Duchesse Coq au Vin Coq au Vin

Pommes Duchesse
Coq au Vin


We used to have potatoes like this as kids, but I haven’t had them for a long time – just as good as I remember, and popular with out boys too – bite size!

Coq au Vin is another good solid, simple to make French dish, I handed the quartering of the whole chicken over to my sous chef (err.. I mean wife) I hate bones and stuff like that. She quartered it then basically you brown it off in a fry pan, then cook it in a large pot with a bottle of red wine, herbs, mushrooms etc, really simple and a perfect winter dish. And apart from the mushrooms the boys were into it as well. Which just meant I got extra mushrooms. We did manage to get them to eat mushrooms a while back we put them in the spaghetti bolognese and I called the mushroo-mallows, it works for a few weeks until Sam figured it out – a bit like the Salmon that we called pink chicken, that lasted a couple of months… darn kids always learning stuff… makes it hard to fool them.

Pommes Duchesse 9/10
Coq au Vin: 8/10


Creme Brulee Creme Brulee

Creme Brûlée

I’ve made Creme Brûlée before, and it turned out perfectly, this time however… a new oven, and I didn’t have the temperature right, so I had to make another batch with worked just fine. And luckily I had been given a little butane torch for my birthday (or father’s day) the previous year so I could caramelise the sugar on top perfectly.

I thought these were guaranteed to be a hit with the boys, but Sam found them a little bit too sweet, and after the novelty of cracking the sugar top, Ryan had half before he handed it over to me – but in his defence, he’s not really into sweet food.

Creme Brûlée B  8/10 “Nice, but too sweet”

11/10 “You’re not going to finish… pass yours over here”




One thought on “International Dinner #40: Bonsoir France!

  1. Oh French food is such a delight. Im sure you can find escargot somewhere. Most French restaurants in NZ buy them canned so that would be totally legit to do that at home too. They’re quite expensive though and with kids, it can be a hit or miss. Though I remember eating escargot with my 6 year old cousin, she couldn’t get enough of them! I’ve heard croissants take a long time. Well done for trying it out! I hope to be so bold one day.

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