Sometimes in the Greater Daglan Area, people are in the mood for a light lunch. You know, no fancy entrée, no cheese course, no mignardises after dessert, that sort of thing. And since today was a holiday, La Toussaint, or All Saint’s Day, my wife and I had the inclination and the time for just such a meal.
As we’ve done often, we turned to one of my favourite, and most trusted, cookbooks. It’s Saveur Cooks Authentic French, by the people who produce Saveur magazine. It’s beautifully done; the recipes are well chosen, easy to follow, and indeed authentically French; and there is only one recipe on each double-page spread, including a large photo or series of photos plus an interesting or helpful sidebar article. I would recommend that you get one for yourself, but it’s hard to find — we once tracked down a second-hand copy for ourselves through Amazon. In any case, here it is:
As I wrote at the start, we didn’t have an entrée with this meal (unless you count the kir I drank as I finished cooking), but went straight to the plat principal. And for that, I made a blanquette de veau (pieces of veal cooked in white wine, beef stock and heavy cream, with onions, garlic, leeks and lemon juice, and then garnished with capers), served with roasted tomatoes (baked with salt, pepper, olive oil and thyme) and mashed potatoes. Here it is, as assembled on the plate:
My wife Jan had decided on trying to bake the Saveur cookbook’s version of tarte aux pommes for dessert — and I say “trying” because it’s such a challenge to make the crust with gluten-free flour. (She’s allergic to gluten.) But she persevered, even though the pastry was very difficult to work with, and the tarte turned out beautifully. Here it is:
So after the main course, we each had a tidy slice of her tarte, topped off with some freshly whipped cream, like this:
See? It really is possible to have a light lunch in France!