Published by Tuesday, June 2, 2015 Permalink 0

Chartres-style Blanquette de Veau Recipe / Apple, onion, carrot and veal stew in apple juice and white sauce recipe

This dish hails from Normandy, where cream, butter, apples and calves are abundant. Chartres is not officially in Normandy, but its cuisine is similar.

by Jonell Galloway

1 kilogram or 2 pounds veal shoulder, cut into 2″ x 2″ pieces
12 pearl onions, or the white of 12 small spring onions, peeled and whole
1 apple, chopped
4 carrots, cut into large chunks crosswise
Apple juice
Veal or chicken broth
6 small new potatoes in jacket
4-5 tablespoons flour
2-3tablespoons butter
1/2 liter or 1 quart milk
Italian or flat parsley, chopped
Dutch oven or similar large pan

  1. Put the veal pieces in Dutch oven.
  2. Add the onions, apple and carrots.
  3. Cover with half apple juice and half veal broth. Salt and pepper.
  4. Simmer gently for 1 hour, then add the whole potatoes.
  5. Simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked.
  6. Drain broth from meat and reserve it to make white sauce.
  7. Melt butter in a large, deep frying pan or saucepan. When melted, gradually whisk in 3-4 tablespoons of flour, stirring constantly until the roux starts to gently brown.
  8. Gradually whip in the milk until sauce starts to thicken. Continue whipping until all the milk is absorbed. It should be extra thick. If not, put one more tablespoon of flour into a ladle and add white sauce to ladle. Mix well to form a smooth paste, then whip this into white sauce.
  9. Gradually whip the broth from the stew into the white sauce. When smooth and thick, pour this back into the stew.
  10. Gently mix, turning the meat and vegetables over in white sauce.
  11. Simmer very gently for 5 minutes, stirring carefully so that meat and vegetables don’t fall apart.
  12. Serve, sprinkling with chopped parsley.

Note: This is often served with rice. If you prefer rice, leave out the potatoes. Small turnips can also be added at the beginning, as well as other vegetables, according to taste.


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Swiss Food: How to Make Raisinée

Published by Thursday, January 16, 2014 Permalink 0

Jonell Galloway, The Rambling EpicureSwiss Food: Raisinée: The History and the Recipe

by Jonell Galloway

The Vaudois word raisinée refers to a syrup made of the must of apples and pears. It was originally cooked in grape juice, thus the name — raisin means grape in French. Often called vin cuit, or “cooked wine”, it is in the form of a dark brown, viscous liquid. In still other parts of Switzerland, another concoction similar in consistency to jam and using the same ingredients is called cougnarde and probably dates back to at least the Middle Ages. Raisinée was used as a sweetener in many regions in Europe, and the tradition has lingered in Switzerland, especially in the cantons of Vaud, Fribourg and Neuchâtel. Today, it is mainly used for cakes and pies, and is not fermented, so it not technically a wine.

Pouring Raisinée, BW Photo


In the 17th century, raisinée meant a thick fruit jam, generally made of apples and pears, and slow-cooked in concentrated grape juice. According to the Encyclopédie d’Yverdon, published in the 1770s, raisinée was made from the must of very ripe green grapes cooked until reduced by two thirds, then kept in barrels. Drinking it was said to give energy to people of a frail nature.

Cooking Raisinée over a wood fire, CaveSA











Raisinée is no longer drunk as a cooked or fortified wine, although in the 18th century one finds recipes for fruit must syrup made from apples and pears (dropping the use of grape juice) and used to replace sugar. Like today, the apple and pear juice was cooked until thick, until a drop on a plate didn’t run anymore. During periods of scarcity and hardship — for example, during and after World War II when sugar was low or not available — it was and still is used as a sweetener.

Cantons like Fribourg and the Vaud have kept up the tradition more than elsewhere, partially because they have a history of orchards. Recipes had been maintained and they were brought back to life in the 1980s.

Traditions similar to this were to be found in Mesopotamia and Ancient Rome.


Use apples and pears not suitable for eating. The fruit shouldn’t be overly ripe. You should be able to crush it and press it, but it mustn’t turn into a purée. The juice is filtered to get rid of hard bits. It is then decanted overnight (no more).

Unlike industrial fruit concentrates, the juice is not clarified. It is simply brought to a boil in a large copper kettle over a wood fire. Try to use up any bits of wood not suitable for a regular fire. A coil-type steam burner can be used to prevent risk of overheating, especially when making large quantities.

Cooking Raisinée over a Wood Fiare
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Food Art: Apples, Lace and Pie, food photography by Prerna Singh

Published by Tuesday, February 21, 2012 Permalink 0

Prerna Singh runs the award-winning food blog Indian Simmer, which was a finalist in the prestigious Saveur Best Food Blogs this year. Her photos are at the same time sophisticated and rustic, giving a natural yet polished look to the simplest of foods. She grew up in India, but now lives in the U.S. with her husband and daughter.

Prerna uses a Canon 50mm f1.4 lens and photographs in natural light, occasionally using reflectors.

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Simon Says: Daily Food Quote, May 26, 2011

Published by Thursday, May 26, 2011 Permalink 0

by Simón de Swaan

An apple is an excellent thing — until you have tried a peach.–George du Maurier (1834-1896)

George du Maurier was a French-born British cartoonist and author known chiefly for his cartoons in the satirical magazine Punch and for his novel Trilby, which romanticized the life of the artist.

More can be read about him at Victorian Web.

Simon Says, Simon de Swaan. The Rambling Epicure. Editor, Jonell Galloway.

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