Thursday, 28 June 2007

France Trip

I have been lucky enough to spend around two weeks touring France with my best friend. We packed up her little VW Polo and set off across the channel to see where life took us. Food is France is fantastic as far as I have experienced; even the produce in the supermarchés are of far superior quality and a lot fresher than what you would find in England. The weather drove us South for a stay near Agen but on our way back to Bourlougne for our return ferry, we decided to stay for two nights in Chartres. It is such a beautiful city and I would really recommend a visit if you are in France!
We ate some fantastic meals. One of which was in Le Pichet, a restaurant recommended by one of our trusty guidebooks. It was lovely; small, quaint, homely and with a truly fantastic menu. It was also very affordable - something that was important as we ended our trip! Read more about it on Chartres Office de Tourisme website. Just across the road from Le Pichet was a great restaurant which served, as part of its starters, a selection of Spanish inspired, French tapas. They were truly divine! Two of the three I chose were salads and I thought I would share with you my versions of the Recipes...

Roasted Red Peppers with Almonds and Honey
You will need:
Red Peppers (sliced longways)
Almonds (flaked)
Honey
A little chilli or sweet peppers (such as Peppadew)

- Place the peppers on a baking tray with a little oil and glaze with honey (warmed to make it runny if necessary)
- Roast at around 180C (350D, GM: 4) for twenty or thirty minutes or until soft and slightly crisping at the edges.
- Mix together honey and hot water at 2:1 to make a sticky syrup and add almonds and chopped chilli/peppadew.
- Place the roasted peppers in a bowl and add the dressing.

Fennel and Orange Salad
You will need:
Fennel
An Orange
White Wine vinegar
Raisins (soaked)

- Finely slice the fennel and remove the orange segments. The best way to do this is to cut the top and bottom off the orange until you can just see the flesh, then cut downwards removing the skin to reveal the flesh. Run your knife either side of each segment to remove it.
- Place the fennel, orange and raisins in a bowl. Drizzle with orange juice (squeeze the remaining flesh and pith of the orange into the bowl) and a little white wine vinegar.
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