Wednesday, 23 October 2013

We are the Champignons, my friend

To contrast Fanny's first 'Bill of Fare' in this partwork, Menu 2 is hot and seems more homely and comforting for it. Today's starter is a simple soup - Creme Forestière - or plain old Mushroom Soup to you and I. Except, as ever with Fanny, nothing is plain even if it is simple. The main ingredients are mushrooms, shallots and garlic, three of my favourites. 


Fanny suggests using olive oil as always, but I substitute with some Scottish rapeseed oil, which I am sure Fanny would approve of, wouldn't she? Too late. After heating it in a pan with some butter, I add the very finely chopped shallots and cook them gently for 3 minutes. Fanny is very precise here. I then add the chopped mushrooms and grated garlic clove (Fanny recommends a very small one) and cook until they are all tender. No precision time here. 


Once tender, I add some flour and work it up to a rough paste. Fanny insists I use the back of a wooden spoon, but as you can see the rebellious part of me feels inclined to use a spatula, and it works just fine. So, rough paste achieved, time to add in some white wine, gradually. Ah, lovely, wine in soup, Fanny is a genius. Once it's incorporated, Fanny tells me to add in white bone stock - no surprise that I substitute this for a vegetarian alternative. 


The final additions after the stock are some seasoning including nutmeg and single cream. Even before adding the cream, the soup has a creamy and velvety texture, so this feels like a double luxury. The soup has a really vibrant colour thanks to the rapeseed oil - Fanny would be pleased. And that's it. It's very tasty and feels more substantial than it originally seems. The splash of nutmeg lifts it and works well with the shallots particularly. Fanny serves her Creme Forestière in soup cups and saucers designed by Picasso (nothing else would do) with nut sprinkled puff pastry triangles on the side, I chose a more basic bowl.


Fanny opts for another hot main - Le Sandwich Chaud - which she translates as a Family Buffin. It's essentially a homemade burger served in an English Muffin. So, I jump straight to hot pudding. For once it's nothing fancy at all. Baked Bananas. Which of course translates into French as Les Bananes Cuites en Manteaux. Everything sounds better in French. The ingredients again are simple. Erm, bananas.


The bananas are laid on a baking tray and given 20 minutes in a moderate oven. Fanny insists that the blackened skins form part of the presentation - telling me to cut a strip away of the pitch black skin once baked to reveal the flesh. Fanny suggests that dinner guests will really enjoy sprinkling their individual banana with brown sugar, lemon and orange juice. Dinner parties must've been a hoot Chez Cradock.


4 comments:

  1. Yum love mushroom soup, I have all the ingredients at home bar the shallots as I usually use an onion. Have never added flour to make a paste so will give that a try :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hadn't either and was surprised how luxurious it made it! Let me know how it goes! Thanks

      Delete
  2. Best blog post title, EVER. It's official. And I'll definitely try the flour in the mushroom soup next time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hee hee thanks! The flour made a big difference!

      Delete