Bonjour et bienvenue to the February issue of La Marmite.
Meilleurs voeux à tous pour la nouvelle année. Best wishes to all for the new year. May it bring you much joy, good health, and lots of great culinary adventures!
Tomorrow, February 2nd, is Chandeleur and many people in France will be eating crepes to celebrate. Most people will probably wait for the weekend though if they are planning on having a crepe party. Here are some ideas for throwing your own crepe party along with a recipe for chocolate crepes. Enjoy!
Head on over to Easy French Food to learn the basics of crepe making. With just a little practice, it is easy to learn how to make crepes.
Once you have the basics down, you might like to try flipping the crepe with a one handed toss while holding a coin in your left hand. According to French folklore, anyone who succeeds at this feat will be guaranteed good fortune throughout the year. You could even make this into a party game and have guests try their hand at flipping their own crepe.
Most people either roll or fold crepes around their favorite filling.
Of course you can make plain crepes and fill them with chocolate, but you can also add cocoa to crepe batter itself. The chocolate flavor in these is subtle and tastes best when complimented with a bright blast of sweet fruit - apricot jam is perfect.
By the way, I always make crepe batter with a hand mixer equipped with a whisk attachment. The batter comes out smooth with no effort and clean up is simple.
Pâte à crêpes au chocolat
Makes about 18 10-inch crepes.
Many people in France still celebrate Chandeleur with a religious procession. Candles are lit and carried through the street. You might like to recall this aspect of the holiday by lighting the room with lots of candles while enjoying your crepes.
Finally to really mix up the celebration, why not play a little music from Bretagne? (Although they do not have an exclusive claim to them, the Bretons certainly do enjoy a lot of crepes.) The album here is traditional Celtic music, but you can also
find lots of other interesting music from this part of France.
In the News
Le BimiHere is a vegetable that has suddenly come to market in France and perhaps you can find it in your neck of the woods. Related to broccoli, bimi has a delicious peppery note. Cook it like you would broccoli with the advantage that the slender stocks are eaten as well as the florets. You might find it sold under the name of broccolini.
VerrinesIf you recall a while back I spoke to you about verrines, a very popular appetizer presentation in France. Here is a new website (in French but with lots of great photos) that is devoted exclusively to these little yummies: Idees Verrines.
Did you remember to celebrate Epiphany with a king cake? The folks in Montrouge certainly did. They paraded through the street with an enormous galette that was then enjoyed by over 2000 people. Follow this link to a completely charming video that includes footage of the bakers at work on the huge cake: La Galette Géante.
The next issue is due out in early March. Until then happy cooking and eating.
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Your friend in France,
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