where to buy your fruit and veg……..

head out to foret fouesnant market on a sunday morning for a fresh visual treat. The market is great for fruit and veg, fresh cheese, wine, rotisserie chicken and potatoes, meat, oysters, saucisson, and opposite is the best bakery in the area.

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Tudal fruits sell fabulously fresh fruit and veg, focusing on in season local produce.

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For a lazy sunday lunch pick up your rotisserie or pork at Ty Glazig, with a bag of roasted potatoes of course!

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Well worth the queue for Jura speciality cheeses, including our favourite winter staple Mont D’Or.  (In summer I substitute with Le petit pont)

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Don’t forget to pick up some baguettes at the boulangerie opposite (and in summer try an eclair made with caramel beurre sale- delicious!)

Happy shopping, and happy cooking guarenteed!

 

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beef casserole – cupboard style!

My favourite way of throwing a dinner together, is shopping at a local market inspired by the ingredients on offer.  I throw a few fridge and cupboard staples into the mix, search the internet and adapt a recipe or two til I find something I reckon will work.

Yesterdays mix up was a huge hit at the Beach House.  With 1kg of casserole beef brought from Brussels, and a wander at Fouesnant Market on Sunday, I managed to mix together a great Beef Casserole with a little help from Google! Perfect for an Easter Monday supper…….

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Beef Casserole

Ingredients

  • 1 kg casserole beef (cheap cut)
  • 2 onions (roscoff of course!)
  • 3 garlic cloves (fresh if you can find them)
  • 3 leeks
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 tbsp worchestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree (I had to cheat and use ketchup but it worked perfectly)
  • 100ml red wine
  • 500ml hot water
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 cubes beef stock crumbled (I substituted pork ones – due to depleted stock in cupboard)
  • 50g butter and a couple of tbsp of olive oil

directions

Brown meat cubes in a little olive oil and set aside.

Melt the butter and olive oil in a large heavy casserole dish that can be placed in the oven.

Brown the sliced onion, 2cm slices of leek and carrot and garlic until lightly browned.

Add the flour and cook until incorporated (just a few minutes).  Add the worchestershire sauce and puree, crumbled stock cubes and then the beef.  Slosh in the red wine, and then add the water.  Stir well.

When the casserole is simmering, transfer the pot into the over (covered) and cook at 160 degs for 2.5 hours.  Check at this point as my casserole was perfect but you may need an extra 30 minutes in the oven uncovered, to thicken the gravy.

In the meantime prepare mashed potato to accompany the meal.  My current favourite is boiling cubed potatoes and swede until soft, and then masking it all up with a little milk, a large knob of butter and some horseradish sauce…….. delicious!

While all this is bubbling, I can thoroughly recommend a seat in the sun, a good book and a glass of red wine…….

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Bon Appetit!

 

 

 

 

pork in marsala

I love it when I have the chance to go ‘off piste’ with a recipe.  I just stick my head in the cupboard, and make do, with whatever.  This was one of the success stories during our February break, when I refused to do the original recipe route and head out to the supermarket!

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…….

Ingredients

1 (2-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
3 teaspoons finely minced fresh rosemary
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Marsala wine drizzled over!

red onions and leeks (any veg will do here) – to roast with the pork

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Directions

1) Preheat oven to 350°F. Place pork on a roasting pan; set aside.

2) In a small bowl, combine garlic, rosemary, sugar, and pepper; rub over all sides of pork. Brush with the honey and vinegar mixture.

3) Roast 30 minutes; remove from oven and brush the surface of the pork once more with the honey and vinegar mixture. Return to oven; roast until internal temperature reaches 160°F, an additional 30 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest 10 minutes; slice and serve.

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adapted from

Garlic and Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin recipe | Pork Tenderloin Recipes.

which I recreated successfully back in Brussels and can also recommend!

 

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cheese fondue and vacherin bake

Here are two other winter favourites at the Beach House, when the wind is blowing a gale and the time is right to enjoy comfort food while wrapped up all cosy and warm…….

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Classic Cheese Fondue

Ingredients

Preparation method

  1. Rub the inside of the fondue pot with the halves of garlic.
  2. Add the wine and lemon juice to the pot and heat until boiling. Lower the heat and gradually stir in the cheeses until melted, stirring all the time.
  3. If using kirsch/cherry brandy, blend with the cornflour, otherwise use water. Add to the cheese mixture and cook gently until the mixture is smooth – don’t let it boil or it will burn.
  4. Using the fondue prongs, dip the bread cubes into the cheese and serve.

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Baked Vacherin Mont D’Or

Ingredients

For the baked Vacherin Mont d’Or
For the garlic bruschetta

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
  2. For the baked Vacherin Mont d’Or, remove the lid from the cheese box. Make several slits in the top of the cheese with a sharp knife and place the garlic slices and rosemary sprigs into the slits.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil and season with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  4. Place on a baking sheet and place in the oven for 8-10 minutes, until melted.
  5. For the garlic bruschetta, drizzle the slices of baguette with olive oil and rub with garlic.
  6. Heat a griddle pan and griddle the bread for two minutes on each side, or until charred. Remove from the heat and cut into fingers.
  7. To serve, place the cheese box onto a serving plate and dip the garlic bruschetta fingers into the molten cheese.

Recipes via

BBC – Food – Recipes : Swiss cheese fondue.

BBC – Food – Recipes : Baked Vacherin Mont d’Or cheese with garlic bruschetta.

 

 

……

beg meil

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We’ve explored a lot of the coastline here over the last few years but unbelievably never made it to the headland directly opposite the Beach House, namely Beg Meil.  The lighthouse shines across the water every night, and in the winter months, the sun almost sets over it. But for some unknown reason, we’re always headed further north towards Benodet or into our bay towards Cap Coz, when we’ve ventured further in our beach repertoire than the local ones on offer.

Out of season is a great time to explore new areas – to check out what and where is worth the summer sweat (and of course where the potential cool places will be to eat at the beach!).  Beg Meil however, is one of those great undeveloped seascapes, with a long sandy beach, no beach side cafes – but super surf (and is without doubt a fab spot to continue my wild swimming!).

Once in Beg Meil, head up to the point (following the signs towards the lighthouse) where you can choose the dunes car park for a stroll through the forest and bracken cliff edges, or clamber over the rocks if the tide is low enough. (heading left round the point).  It’s worth your while to spy on all the beautiful bays and inlets, with private houses dotted along the headland (and to admire the pavilions that precariously sit perched on the cliffs above).

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The other option is to take your car around to the right, and follow signs for the campsites, where you’ll find the long dune walks along a beautiful stretch of the sea.

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it’s a great place to just loose yourself

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take a brisk walk

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run…..

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or even dance

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and don’t forget to keep your eyes open – beach combing is great here!

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I guess we’ll be back in the summer, picnic and all!

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Map of Beg Meil

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mont d’or pumpkin fondue

This is a recipe inspired by a trip to the market over Christmas, that we tried out on one of the blustery wet days we were marooned in the Beach House.  Easy and hugely satisfying, it continues my adoration of all things pumpkin in the deep winter months!

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Ingredients

  • small pumpkin (or any other type of squash)
  • left overs from a pot of mont d’or cheese (or reblochon)
  • small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic finely chopped
  • some white wine (I used riesling)
  • black pepper
  • olive oil

Directions

Chop the top off the pumpkin and scoop out all the seeds.

Fill the pumpkin to about a third full with the cheese.

Lightly fry the onions in the olive oil and add the chopped garlic.  Pour into the pumpkin, until two thirds full.

Add the rest of the cheese to the pumpkin until loosely filled to the top.  Pour in the wine.

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Put the pumpkin top back on the pumpkin and cook for approximately 45 minutes on 175 deg C.  Take the top off and grill on hot for 5 minutes until the cheesy crust is a golden brown.

Serve with crusty bread to dip for a deeply satisfying snack, and forget about the rain, the wind, and the waves!

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………

chilling at the spa…..

After a week of Christmas over indulgence, it was time to test out the local spa Naturalys, recommended by Melissa, a friend and guest at the Beach House last summer.

It involved an early start, as my appointment was scheduled for 9.30am, but well worth the 15 minute drive and the fact that I was up before the sun rose (which around here at Christmas time is a very late and lazy 9am!)

I was welcomed and immediately felt relaxed, in beautiful old farm surroundings, for my 1 hour Naturalys massage.  After the stress and strain of catering for Christmas, and the manic lead up to it all at work, it was bliss to relax and unwind under the calm hands of my masseur.

I left feeling an inch taller, more flexible, and so enthusiastic I’m booked back in next week for an anti-aging facial (I have the feeling that in 2013 I’m going to need it!)

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For more information, and to book an appointment – click on ………

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