Tag Archives: potato chips

Nice, France unpacked

Two dogs and a dozen baguettes

“MISTER, I know you can smell these freshly baked baguettes but these are not for you!”

We are very lucky dog parents to a dynamic duo who don’t turn into troublemakers (well, not always) as soon as no one is looking. But with a keen sense of smell and Mister B’s taste for bread, I bet it wasn’t easy having a warm bag of fragrant baguettes securely tucked in and sitting in the back with them. Poor guy, just look at his face!

Potato chips from France
Note the Mackie’s Mature Cheddar & Onion and Haggis & Cracked Black Pepper!

If I were to come up with a Top 10 list of goodies to bring back from France, potato chips would be at #1, cheese #2, wine #3, chocolate, cookies, baking ingredients, seasonal produce, soap bars, kitchenware (♥ Emile Henry) and baguettes for the rest and in no particular order. If anyone here in Italy knows of where to find Mackie’s line of products, ice cream included, please share in the comments!

Groceries from Auchan

L-R: McVitie’s Hob’Nobs, 1 kilo-size icing sugar (Italy sells tiny bags), bottle of vanilla extract (difficult to find anything larger than teeny vials over here), wine, Scott’s porage oats.
Front: pâtisson/scallop squash, vanilla beans, thai oiseau peppers, turkish figs, McVitie’s Sablés Anglais, potimarron/red kuri squash. All purchased at Auchan – La Trinite – in Nice.

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Provence unpacked

Baguettes for the freezer, wine, a couple of rose plants and various only-in-France items. The difference between two days in Provence (compared to last year’s 6) is going home with less stuff. The flipside to that is that less becomes more with every bite of cheese, every sip of wine, and everytime I lick my fingers clean of those potato chip flavors that aren’t available in Italy. A visit to Le Petit Jabron’s farm is totally optional as their products are sold at Super U (large shopping center just north of Sisteron). For yummy sandwiches, breads and desserts, Boulangerie Marie Blachère in Peipin is excellent, and so is the Intermarché next door.

Cheese purchases in Provence
On the board…an assortment of goat cheese from Le Petit Jabron

Provence unpacked 2014
I have a real weakness for new potato chip flavors, and the Wasabi one was spicy!

Radis noir
What, you never seen a black radish before? It isn’t hot like the smaller red radishes, and it’s probably a little old since the interior was a bit woody.

Not yet lavender time in Banon
Having found the perfect petit village that is Cruis, maybe there’ll be a same time next year?

Topinambour on the table

I’m still seeing topinambour in the supermarket produce section and for the past 2 months, have been using them in a variety of recipe ideas to see which ones I like best. To tell the truth, I thought I’d be sick of eating them by now – they do generate that, uhm, extra bit of wind – but that is hardly the case, seeing how versatile they are in the kitchen.

Supermarket topinambour
Cleaned free of dirt and ready to prepare. The price runs about 2.50€/pound.

Ways to cook topinambour
In cod brandade, korean pickles (aka kimchi but I didn’t ferment mine), and quiche.

Ciafrit
As chips!

Salmon packets Salmone al cartoccio
En papillote with fish and other root vegs. This is my favorite way to cook salmon steaks as there’s no pot to wash – just toss the paper pouch away at the end. Season with herbs like dill, thyme or parsley and sea salt. I bake the packets at 200°C/390°F (fan on) for around 20 minutes and everything comes out perfectly done and tender.

Topinambour bagna caôda

This last one will seem familiar if you saw the bagna cauda posts in October. In the town of Carignano, they make their bagna cauda without garlic and use topinambour instead. MotH and I like garlic in ours, so I’ve added it to the recipe although it’s fine if you leave it out.

Topinambour Bagna Caôda
1/2 pound of topinambour/sunchokes
1 head of garlic
4 oz. anchovies in salt
1 cup olive oil
2 oz. walnuts, finely chopped
1-2 dried hot pepper, crumbled (I use the tiny ones)

1. Clean and trim skins off sunchokes; cut into segments of equal size. Bring a pot of water to a boil, add sunchokes and cook until tender. Drain and put through a potato ricer or mash thoroughly with a fork.

2. Remove skins off each garlic clove and mince fine or put through garlic press.

3. Prepare anchovies by rinsing them free of salt and removing the main bone.

4. Heat anchovies in the olive oil over a low flame and cook until they dissolve. Stir in the minced garlic, mashed sunchokes, walnuts and hot pepper. Continue to cook over a low flame until mixture is heated through. If you want a more uniform consistency, use a hand blender and pulse with quick bursts. Spoon into individual fojòt to serve.