My love for La France is intrinsically linked with my passion for food. I have been extremely spoilt in staying with Valérie who is a generous and wonderful cook. In France the main meal at Christmas time is usually on Christmas Eve. Valérie's son Grego offered to prepare this meal. Having lost weight for a film role he had been dreaming about an extra special Christmas Eve dinner. He devised the dishes, bought the ingredients and then he and Valérie worked as a team to create the dishes.
We started with champagne, foie gras on toast, radishes, carrot, foie gras and fig macarons from Pierre Hermé. I was rather sceptical about the foie gras and fig macarons as I have only ever known macarons as a sweet rather than something savoury. They however worked very well. I even bought some for New Year's Eve.
For entrée it was aumônière: parcels of chevre, sundried tomatoes, and dried duck breast. They were fiddly to make but the outcome was a huge success. This was followed by lamb crusted with gingerbread accompanied by rice with truffles, a cheese platter, homemade Christmas biscuits and bûche de Noël.
|Carré d'agneau en croûte de pain d'épicé|
|Bûches de Noël|
There were nine of us for lunch on Christmas Day. Christmas gifts were exchanged at different times throughout the lunch. I really like the way that this was done rather than the focus put on the gifts before the meal in Australia. Of course, this may just be the difference between different families rather than that between different countries. We again enjoyed foie gras and many other tempting nibbles with our champagne. Our main course were châpons (castrated chicken and turkey) with potatos cooked in the duck fat. Cheese and a chocolate bûche de Noël completed our meal. There was so much food that the young ones were sent off with large doggy bags that I am sure they are still eating.
|Wine on window sill for cooling|
Thank you Valérie, JeF and your families for the privilege of sharing these wonderful meals with you.