Smoked Haddock Cajun Rice

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Smoked Haddock Cajun Rice

Ahhh… Summer! After hurricane Ophelia 8 months ago, some dramatic snow falls in March, we are now getting a proper heatwave; and I don’t mean 19 c heatwave, no-no, I mean proper nearly 30 c which hasn’t been seen since 1976… I remember it you know, summers of 1976 and 1979, forest fires everywhere; we almost got caught up in one once, scary really! The Canadair Fire fighting planes flew all the way from the south of France to Brittany… But what I remember most, is all these long hours swimming in the sea, or at least learn how to, with my sister and my Dad, Mum carefully watching us from the safety of the shore…

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Marie Lou’s Paupiettes

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Chicken Paupiette

My mother passed away in 1997 this month, only three years after I had moved to Ireland, an untimely and very quick November harvest as she was only three weeks in her 50th birthday. In these short years, I visited a couple of times, in the summer of 96 and April 97. I would always ring a couple of days before sailing, to build up the excitement on both sides I guess and the question from the Gallic side of the channel, and like a good French mother, was always the same: “ What would you like to eat?”… The answer came out bizarrely honest that it even surprised me: “Paupiettes please!” a dish made of sausage meat wrapped in a thin layer of veal or chicken escalope. It is stewed in a mushrooms, white wine and tomato sauce and served with rice. A comforting classic in our house; it wasn’t “cupboard love”, I was never that kind of a young lad, too proud maybe? But my friends, when your Ma asks you what do you want to eat, you better think fast and tell her nice, as I think in the 25 years we’ve known each other, she only popped the question twice…

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