Sunday, 15 July 2012

Bastille Day Dinner

Margaret's table setting for the meal.

Fleur de Lis serviettes

The centre piece: a small statuette Martin brought back for me from Paris,  a bottle of brandy, a few red, white & blue things and a small replica gargoyle from Notre Dame.

Initially dinner was going to be for three.

Then five.

Then six.

Then eight.

All that changed was the main: had been planning a French CafĂ© style steak and triple cooked chips.  Not too happy doing steaks properly for eight people at once so went to Plan B.

And so, the meal:

Pink fizzy drink (The Arrogant Frog brand, I couldn't resist.)
Musette de Paris CD on as mood music. (Stereotypical French piano accordion music)

French Onion Soup.
◊ cooked 2kg of sliced, sauteed onions in the slow cooker for 6hrs.  Will definitely do that again.

Boeuf Bourguignon
◊ Made at lunch time and put in the hay-box for the afternoon and then into the oven when the potatoes went in.

Potato Dauphinoise
◊ Nothing different here, potatoes, onion, garlic, cream & milk baked until crisp on top and soft in the middle.

Green Salad
◊ With French Dressing, of course.  Proper vinaigrette, home made.

Tarte Tatin and cream.
◊ Used Golden Delicious apples and had enough for a double layer of apple crescents (cut into eighths).

Cheese platter was abandoned due to lack of interest.



  1. "crisp on top and soft in the middle"? Sounds like me.

  2. Sounds like you sauteed the onions (to caramelise them) before putting them in the slow cooker. Can you confirm, as this seems a brill way of doing FOS.

  3. PS - would be interested to hear of any experience of making a risotto in the slow cooker.

  4. Yes, Bill, that's right.

    I usually make my risottos in the rice cooker - stirring occasionally only - haven't tried the slow cooker for that yet. That was JCosmo's idea.

    Slow cooker makes brilliant overnight porridge.

  5. What, no photos of the actual food? :) It all sounds delicious, Lee. French onion soup sounds particularly good - what did you use for stock?

  6. I don't seem to be able to take good food pictures - don't have a good light source and the flash is not flash, if you know what I mean.

    I made a beef stock in the pressure cooker with some osso bucco, onions, carrots etc.

  7. And I take it that you're still snoozing after that feast!!

  8. Went north African this weekend - Spanish Eggs, Lamb Kofta with hummus and hot carrot salad, honeyed oranges and dates with Greek yoghurt.

  9. Sounds fantastic! You mention a 'hay box' - is that some kind of super-insulated container? It would make an interesting way to keep the food 'cooking'.

  10. The 'haybox' is a large wooden box. I covered my casserole with Alfoil, suspended it on dowels and then filled the space around it with polyurethane foam (gap-filler squirty stuff). With a bit of fiddling I ended up with a base and a lid that would then fit over the casserole. Put a thermocouple in there once and, from 100degC, it was still over 60degC 13 hours later.

  11. Sounds pretty neat. I love the technical talk 'gap-filler squirty stuff' LOL but I know what you are talking about. Thanks for the answer.

  12. Hey! I wrote an article a while back about cooking with hay!

  13. You're taking a long time of that meal, Lee. Surely you've digested it by now!!!! ;)

  14. Knock! Knock! Anyone home?


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