Traveling From Home – France (part 1)
Last week was rather busy so I didn’t get a chance to work all of the stuff we wanted to study about France into our homeschool schedule. Today’s report will be very short. I’ll continue on Friday with the fun, unusual and interesting things that we’ve learned about France. And, to be honest, we’ll only be scratching the surface because there is a vast array of things to do and things to learn. It’s impossible to cover everything in one or two weeks. But, what we have learned and experienced was great!
We had an absolutely faabulous French meal on Friday evening: Filet Mignon aux Oignons and Gratin Dauphinois. My camera batteries went dead at the wrong time. So, I don’t have pictures of my own. (But, I am that much closer to a decision to get a different camera!) This, it turns out, is simply a fancy name for the French version of pork roast (the nicest cut) with scalloped potatoes.
I found the recipe for the pork Filet Mignon aux Oignons at French Food Cook. To be honest, I didn’t follow the recipe precisely. French cooking includes not only ingredients, but cooking techniques that make it uniquely French. So, my version is likely not to be considered fully French.
First, I didn’t mince the onions. Instead, I cut them in half and then sliced them up. (My husband loves cooked onions so I just left them with a little more shape.)
Second, I didn’t use wine. I used chicken broth as the cooking liquid.
Third, I put the whole thing into the oven (covered) and baked it until it was tender rather than cooking it on top of the stove.
Result? This was one of the most flavorful and delicious pork roasts that I have ever put in my mouth. It was large enough that we had plenty of leftovers to eat again. (The combination of salt, pepper, onions, chicken broth and juices from the pork made an absolutely amazing, flavorful au jus.)
The Gratin Dauphinois was tasty and different from any potato dish we had eaten. I used nutmeg that I freshly ground (as opposed to bottled, pre-ground nutmeg) over each layer as the recipe stated. Nutmeg is what gave it a unique flavor. The recipe called for single cream. Not knowing what that is, but figuring that I was on the right track, I used light cream.
(Our family is used to scalloped potatoes. This, although it looked like scalloped potatoes, was very different both in flavor and preparation. It was much easier and less time consuming to prepare.)
So, as we go on with this week we’ll learn some more about France. Some time during the week I intend to make a dessert recipe I found at French Food Cook called Berries Cake.
Avoir une semaine merveilleuse!