Some down-home French cooking

The ingredients at yesterday’s lunch may have been all French, but the idea actually came from a U.S. food show that my wife Jan and I were watching several days ago. “Mmmmmmm,” we both thought (yes, there were simultaneous thought bubbles over our heads), “let’s try that.”

So on Friday morning we drove from Daglan to a specialty shop in Gourdon, and bought a nice lobe of foie gras. (The price here in Duck Country: a mere 16 euros. You’ve got to love that.)

And so here’s what we did to make our down-home and super-tasty Friday lunch, replete with those magical tastes and textures of sweet, fatty, salty, herbaceous, crispy, jammy and creamy.

First, Jan sliced two potatoes into thin strips, double-frying them until they were certified frites, and then sprinkling salt and fresh thyme leaves over them. Then she made a lemon mayonnaise for dipping. Then she made up a batch of her homemade Caesar dressing, and tore up some Baby Gem lettuce leaves.

Then I got into the act, by first heating up a non-stick frying pan and then cutting several thick slices of foie from the lobe of liver. Then it was just a matter of sautéeing the foie for just a couple of minutes per side.

The assembly? We scattered the frites on plates, placed the foie slices on top of the potatoes, and then spooned some fig chutney onto the liver. Then Jan placed a bit of Caesar salad onto the corner of each plate. And, voila!

Sweet, jammy, fatty, salty, crispy -- What's not to like?

Sweet, jammy, fatty, salty, crispy — What’s not to like?

Believe me, it was a lunch when no dessert was considered. Even by me.

This entry was posted in Food, French food, Life in southwest France, Recipes and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Some down-home French cooking

  1. Paul says:

    I hope your surgery went well. I always tense a little when I hear someone will have a scalpel near their brain or spinal cord.

    My wife and I will be spending 2 weeks in Domme beginning May 18. I found your blog while searching the internet for new information about the area and you have supplied it.

    I want to buy a whole lobe of foie gras to sauté scallops I slice from as part of our dinners. When we spent 2 weeks in Sarlat 6 years I was able to buy pre-cut scallops at the local marche. I was successful in not turning them into a grey puddle in the pan, mostly due to the advice of the manager of our house. Maybe you have crossed paths with here; her name is Susan, uses the name Carlux on her blog and forum posts, and is also from Canada originally.

    My question is about where to buy a whole lobe for only ~16 euros. Since you went all the way to Gourdon for your purchase I wonder if whole lobes are not very common to find this time of year? I have checked the websites of several ‘fermes’ but none show prices for whole fresh lobes; in fact many have prices higher than 16 euros for canned. Would you be wiling to divulge the specialty shop you went to? I would be more than willing to drive to Gourdon for a 16 euro lobe of foie gras.

    Once again I hope your surgery went well and you are recovering without the pain and discomfort you must have had before.

    Mary Belle & Paul

  2. loren24250 says:

    Thanks very much for your kind comments. The (four-hour) surgery went well and is pretty much healed over; now it’s a matter of a few weeks of rehab. Now, on to the foie question:

    The answers will be found in two blog postings.

    The Gourdon store was discussed in “Mixing shopping and lunching,” on Dec. 9, 2011. It describes the Martegoute store and restaurant in Gourdon. It’s on the main road into Gourdon, and is not far past the Intermarché complex, on your left as you head into Gourdon.

    Martegoute has an even bigger store (worth a visit) on the main road between Salviac and Cazels, quite close to Salviac. It’s covered in “Today’s Périgourdine haul,” posted on Nov. 10, 2012.

    Both posts are easy to find, using the right-hand column of the blog.

    By the way, haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Susan yet (the former Canadian). Maybe one of these days.

    I happen to be re-reading “The Crowded Grave” by Martin Walker, another in the “Bruno, Chief of Police” series that’s set in “St. Denis,” which I believe is a fictionalized Trémolat. Very charming stuff, and worth tracking down. Anyway, the book includes a nice description of how Bruno cooks and serves foie.

    For now, best wishes. Enjoy the GDA!

    • Paul says:


      Thank you for your quick reply. After I posted my comment I regretted not adding that I didn’t expect a reply until you felt better. Keep up your rehab. The few people I know who are not happy with their back, knee, hip operations are the ones that weren’t diligent with rehab. I imagine in France, as well as here in the USA, rehab begins the moment the anesthesia wears off.

      I did use the search function for Gourdon. I then failed to notice or click the ‘older posts’ button at the bottom of the 1st page; my fault for missing the relevant posts. I had found the Martegoute shop on Gourdon’s TI page and went to their webpage. They don’t mention fresh whole lobes of foie gras on their webpage. Your photos show them in the cold case with a price I hope to find. You buying some for your recent post makes me think fresh would not only be available in the fall (autumn for your British readers). Maybe most producers will have fresh lobes even though they are not listed to sell online.

      I will check out Martin Walker’s “The Crowded Grave”. His book sounds like one that would be good to have on our Kindles for the flight over and during our stay in the Dordogne. We have enjoyed Clara Black’s novels about Aimee Leduc’s adventures in Paris.

      I have been thinking of Tremolat since Le Vieux Logis is one of the 2 restaurants we have been to that we will revisit. The other is La Belle Etoile: especially now that I’m assured we will be able to drive into Roque-Gageac. Two new restaurants on the must visit list are Le Petit Paris (after all it is in the center of the GDA) and Cabanoix et Chataignes in Domme, our new neighborhood.

      I am not surprised that you have not met Susan; after all Carlux is on the other side of the river. Here is a link to her blog. She is also a fan of Le Vieux Logis.

      I hope my cardiologist does not find my posts here.

      Mary Belle & Paul

  3. Paul says:

    I missed including the link to Carlux’s blog.

  4. loren24250 says:

    Thanks for the blog link.

    On the restaurant front, good idea to return to Le Vieux Logis. We have walked past the (often recommended) Cabanoix et Chataignes, but it’s never turned my crank. I keep hearing that the food is good, but it just looks too “ordinary” for me. The best restaurant that’s closer to Domme than Le Vieux Logis is Le Grand Bleu, in Sarlat. In my view, a close second to Le Vieux Logis in the GDA. Happy dining and exploring!

  5. scadams555 says:

    Glad to hear you’re feeling better!
    I have been out of the loop for awhile so, I was surprised to hear of your operation.
    I am off to the neurosurgeon on Friday. And so it goes.
    I very much look forward to your next post.


  6. loren24250 says:

    Thanks, Steve — good to hear from you. Whatever awaits you at your neurosurgeon, I hope that all goes well. Cheers!

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