Veggie Shawarma

DSC00071
Veggie Shawarma

This little recipe is just a follow up of my awesome story “The Con Artist”. I hope you read it, because the following recipe is going to make a lot of sense; well, at least, I hope so. You see, when we grew up in the unforgiving world of Rock’n’Roll fueled, penny less like many in the city of Rennes, administrative Capital of Brittany ( we all know Quimper is the real one!), we young Bretons had to treat each other once in a while. As I am writing these words, I noticed that a little red zig-zag appeared underneath the noun; this aggravates me greatly! Anyhow, it also appear to happen for the word “Zigzag” … Sigh! We drank bear during concerts and gigs and yet, we didn’t go to the temptation of “Mr Mc”… If we were lucky enough to have a few credits left, we went to the Lebanese, the Turks or even the Greeks for a soaking Shawarma. There was many different names for it, especially on St Anne’s square, our hunting ground, but we didn’t care… Our left wing upbringing made us all friends… 22 Francs for a Shawarma or a Djeros? Big money then for the poor, but we valued what was good to us!

Continue reading “Veggie Shawarma”

The Pizzaiolo (Recipe)

choice-8
Chestnut Flour Pizza, with mushrooms and leek, St Tola goat’s cheese and raw cream

First, I would like to dedicate this post to my fellow blogger Julia from “Julia chews the fat”; she inspired me to speak about an important part of my life, the day I became a “Pizzaiolo”, or for you and me, a pizza chef. The story started in autumn 1995, after spending five months in Galway, “Blue eyed girl” and I were coming back to Sligo. “Arnold The Hero” gave us a lift back, the skies were very low like today and my mood wasn’t much higher. Maybe it was the fact that I was leaving the “City of Tribes” for another little bit, maybe it was the fact that he played a cassette of Mano Solo ( son of “Cabu”, one of the cartoonist killed in the Charlie Hebdo murders). Don’t get me wrong, his material is great, just freaking depressing when you are hangover and rain is battering the Western land… Or maybe it was the fact that I had to find a job, no pressure so… A few days later, I saw an ad in one of the Italian restaurants of the town; bold as brass, I jumped in thinking I would have nothing to lose, I had no experience in the food business, or very little. I remembered what one of my peers once said to me: “ If you are in a night club, and you fancy a girl on the dance floor, if you stay on your chair, your chances are virtually none; if you get up your ass, and ask that girl if she would like to dance with you, your chances suddenly jump from 0 to 50%”. That is more or less what I did that day… And I got the dance…

Continue reading “The Pizzaiolo (Recipe)”

Monkfish Lentils Celeriac

dsc00028
Monkfish Celeriac and Lentils

Last Friday was my mother’s anniversary, and after 19 years of absence, I still like to make a little something special to mark the occasion. I was on my own, and since we were reaching the end of the week, my fridge and food press (cupboard) looked like a Russian supermarket in the 80’s. I closed the shop and called in to my Friends next door, owners of The Forge restaurant. I knew what I had at home, and wanted to use it before getting my usual Saturday shopping. I fancied a bit of fish, and I know that they have a great supplier. Pauric gave me a nice piece of monkfish for one, we have helped each other for years now, and like a friend of mine said when I was telling her the story: “you know you have great neighbours when you can do things like that”, and she is right, even if I don’t really make a habit of it to be honest. Driving back home, I started to chuckle and thought of a great one liner: “You know when you have socializing issues, when you go to the restaurant next door to get your ingredients and cook your own dinner at home”. There is a bit of truth there, for sure!

Continue reading “Monkfish Lentils Celeriac”

Samhain Chestnut and Almond Cake

dsc00076
Chestnut and almond cake

I went a bit nuts today; I went to the woods in search of inspiration for a cake I wanted to create for a long time… I also wanted to find myself, drifting and surfing on long gone memories when we had a family, when we spent October Sundays harvesting chestnuts in the forest back home. I love that descent into darkness, I feel great again, knowing that the clock will go back to its original solar time. I feel restored, in harmony with nature. We didn’t have Halloween, but we had the great “Legends of Death”, gathered from all around Brittany by Breton writer Anatole Le Braz, Anatole “The Great” or so it translates. The first time I read the book, I was 17, and after a couple of chapters, I went to sleep, or rather to bed, I don’t think I closed my eye lids that night… “Samhain” the Celtic origins of Halloween, when the wheel turns, welcoming the darker side of the year… I am aware that a lot of people feel depressed at this time of year, I get it, I sympathise and I don’t go on too much about it. I asked a Scandinavian friend of mine once, on how they deal with six months hardly seing the sun? She just replied: “we live in each other’s houses, we are very sociable folks”. I was humbled… What a great attitude…

Continue reading “Samhain Chestnut and Almond Cake”