Duck With Port-Cherry Sauce

Last night we prepared a new meal for us, duck breasts with a port-cherry sauce. Living in the Dordogne there is no shortage of duck and we thought this would be an excellent albeit, fairly simple recipe.

The duck is marinaded for several hours in a mix of soy sauce and Sherry. Then you will prepare a sauce by reducing cherries, chicken stock, beef stock, Port and a thyme sprig until there is around ½ cup.

Around the same time you will start to cook the duck breasts in a heavy large skillet over medium heat until the skin is crispy, about 10 minutes. Turn duck over and continue cooking to desired doneness, about 5 minutes for medium.

Finish the sauce by adding cornstarch and whisking in butter until it is velvety.

Slice the duck thinly and diagonally, plate and serve. We paired this with a full bodied Bergerac wine which complemented the meal very well.

If you would like the recipe you can get it here.

Duck With Port-Cherry Sauce

The duck breasts scored and marinading.

Duck With Port-Cherry Sauce

The cherry sauce properly reduced with all the butter whisked in.

Duck With Port-Cherry Sauce

Once they are golden brown (after about 10 minutes) turn them over and cook until done.

Duck With Port-Cherry Sauce

The duck is ready to serve.

Duck With Port-Cherry Sauce

The cherry sauce properly reduced with all the butter whisked in.

Duck With Port-Cherry Sauce

Thinly cut the duck breasts diagonally to be served.

Duck With Port-Cherry Sauce

Duck with Port-Cherry Sauce, plated and ready to serve.

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Restaurant Eléonore

It was our last night staying in Monpazier and we decided to have dinner at Restaurant Eléonore. It was a short walk from the house we were staying at, which makes it so nice to be able to enjoy yourself and not worry about the drive home.

I had the à la carte menu with a selection of three plates while Jo Ann had the menu du jour so we were able to have a sample of both menus.

Everything we had that evening was superb and the restaurant has a good (albeit limited) selection of wines from the area and Bordeaux and which were reasonably priced.

The service was outstanding and totally matched the quality of the food and the wine. We strongly recommend this restaurant.

For more information about the restaurant you can check out their website,  The Michelin Guide or TripAdvisor.

Restaurant Eléonore en Monpazier

Mimosa with Quail Egg, Citron Confit and Cavier, a wonderful Amuse Bouche.

Restaurant Eléonore en Monpazier

Queues de Langoustines, with a condiment of mangue-papaye and crème coco au ccombawa.

Restaurant Eléonore en Monpazier

Foie Gras Mi-cuit Eléonore, wiht fine créme carottes and walnut oil dusted with a red wine sea salt. Very Yummy!

Restaurant Eléonore en Monpazier

Choco-Caramel-Café, with a creéme glacé sirop d’érable and noix pécan.

Restaurant Eléonore en Monpazier

Filet de bœf with racines de persil au beurre noisette, white asparagus and a sauce of port and Péridord truffes.

Restaurant Eléonore en Monpazier

Dos de Saumon with perles de Savoie à l’encre de seiche, leeks and ginger done in papillote and a watercress sauce The Perles de Savoie à l’encre de seiche is pearls of black ink pasta

Restaurant Eléonore en Monpazier

Pears poached in wine with a speculoos ice cream and an almond cookie.

Restaurant Eléonore en Monpazier

Château Terre Vieille Pécharmant 2010, an excellent choice for the night’s meal.

Restaurant Eléonore en Monpazier

Menu de Restaurant Eléonore à la carte

Restaurant Eléonore en Monpazier

Menu Edward the menu of the day

Auberge du Belvedere

It was a cold and somewhat dreary Sunday, so what is better than having lunch at a new restaurant recommended by some friends that we had not been to. This time the restaurant was the Auberge du Belvedere located just outside of Tremolat. The restaurant is clearly one of those out of the way locations and we even made one wrong turn getting there but that is part of the adventure.

When we did find the restaurant, the parking lot was full and as we walked into the restaurant, it was full of local families all having their Sunday lunch together. Sunday lunch in France is not a “fast food” event, so for the Auberge du Belvedere, you need to plan on spending 2 to 2 ½ hours for lunch (which with great conversation is still too short).

The meal starts with a glass of a Kir and then is followed by a multiple course meal. To cut to the chase, everything was excellent and so I will let the photos speak for themselves as to the quality of the food. The service was excellent and we totally enjoyed ourselves.

The restaurant is located at Lieu Dit Rocamadou, 24510 Tremolat, France (+33 5 53 22 49 01) and you can read more about it on their TripAdvisor.com page.

Ferme Auberge du Belvedere

Menu du jour at the Auberge du Belvedere

Ferme Auberge du Belvedere

The potage du jour which was a delicious soup of noodles, chicken and a comforting brooth.

Ferme Auberge du Belvedere

Pâte de foie gras and a foie de canard. Very yummy.

Ferme Auberge du Belvedere

This plate was the Entrée chaude du jour and was roast pork in a heavenly sauce. Very yummy!

Ferme Auberge du Belvedere

Confit de canard et pommes de terre sautées. Traditional fare that tasted wonderful

Ferme Auberge du Belvedere

Confit de canard et pommes de terre sautées. Traditional fare that tasted wonderful

Ferme Auberge du Belvedere

The dessert du jour, which was a light cake with pears, toasted almonds and what tasted like a Poire Williams sauce.

Salade de Chevre Chaud Marine

 

Last night we prepared a Salade de Chevre Chaud Marine, also known as Warm Salad of Grilled Marinated Goat’s Cheese. This is a recipe from “Le Cordon Bleu Classic French Cookbook, the Centenary Collection” and interesting cookbook of traditional French cuisine.

The salad was wonderful, visually as well as having an excellent flavor. If you would like a copy of the recipe you can find it in our recipe database at Searching4Zen.com.

Salade de Chevre Chaud Marine

Salade de Chevre Chaud Marine

The frisée and radicchio torn and tossed with all the wonderful herbs.

Salade de Chevre Chaud Marine

The cheese is ready to bake under the broiler.

Salade de Chevre Chaud Marine

Salade de Chevre Chaud Marine, plated and ready to serve.

Bistro Burger et frites de Patate douce

Spring is starting to appear and we were looking to break out the BBQ and have some good grilled hamburgers with some sweet potato fries. However not wanting to ignore the cuisine of where we are living now we decided to meld the good old American cheeseburger with Steak Frites, voilà un bistro burger et frites de patate douce. I do not know if that is the correct translation for sweet potato fries, but it sounded good when I checked it out on Google translate.

The mixture of bacon and beef makes for a very juicy and tasty hamburger with a slice of any type of melting cheese to coat the meat. Jo Ann had the idea of using the  béarnaise sauce which added a great flavor to the burger.

It was a great meal to imitate the BBQ this spring and I hope the weather will continue to provide us with the warmer temperatures.

Bistro Burger et frites de Patate douce

We grind our own meat for our hamburgers using a mixture of 80% beef and 20% bacon.

Bistro Burger et frites de Patate douce

The sweet potatoes are sliced and ready to be oven baked to create our frites.

Bistro Burger et frites de Patate douce

Whisking the Béarnaise sauce

Bistro Burger et frites de Patate douce

Bistro Burger et frites de Patate douce ready to serve. The hamburger is toped with the Béarnaise sauce which is also used to dip the frites into.

Slow Cooker Cassoulet

Cassoulet is one of the ultimate French comfort foods and has always been one of my favorite meals. However to prepare it the traditional French way, the recipe can take several days and many hours of preparation and cooking. We found a recipe on NY Times Cooking from Mark Bittman called “Slow Cooker Cassoulet” which got us thinking why we could not adopt our cassoulet recipe to a less labor intensive and time consuming method.

Although I am sure Cordon Bleu would not approve of this recipe, I can tell you that it was one of the most flavorful and tasty meals we have prepared. The total involved cooking time was only around 1 ¼ hours although it did cook in the slow cooker for five hours.

We paired this dinner with a new (to us) wine appellation from Crozes-Hermitage, which provided an excellent pairing to the cassoulet, even though Crozes-Hermitage is not really that close to Gascony, where cassoulet was first made.

This is a strong recommendation on our yum scale so you should give it a try, especially with how easy it is to make. You can find our recipe at searching4zen.com.

Slow Cooker Cassoulet

Slow Cooker Cassoulet

Arranging all of the vegetables before commencing with the slicing and dicing

Slow Cooker Cassoulet

Carrots, onions and garlic all diced and in the slow cooker ready to cook

Slow Cooker Cassoulet

Sautéing the duck confit until it is golden brown

Slow Cooker Cassoulet

Browning the sausages in the duck fat until golden brown

Slow Cooker Cassoulet

The cassoulet in a deep casserole pan, all that is needed is the bread crumbs and the parsley.

Slow Cooker Cassoulet

All of the meats ready to be put into the slow cooker

Alain Graillot Crozes-Hermitage

The wine which we paired with the slow cooker caussolet. Excellent melding of favors between the wine and the food.

Slow Cooker Cassoulet

Slow Cooker Caussoulet plated and ready to serve

Le Restaurant Victor Hugo

This past week we had lunch at a restaurant in Sainte-Foy-la-Grande which we had found on TripAdvisor.com. The lunch was great as the food was very tasty and fresh, the service outstanding and prices very reasonable.

I had the menu du jour which consisted of three items, a starter of cream of cauliflower soup, a main plate of Veal with pasta and vegetables and a nice apple cake in a yogurt sauce. Priced at €13.90 it was a very nice deal. I also asked the owner his choice for a glass of local wine which was also outstanding.

Jo Ann had a large Salad de Chevre Chaud and a wonderful (I only got a small taste) of a Chocolat Foundaut avec glace de menthe. Not only was it presented beautifully but it was very tasty. Jo Ann also had a glass of the local white wine selected by the owner.

If you are in the area of Sainte-Foy-la-Grande I strongly recommend visiting Le Restaurant Victor Hugo. They are located at 101 rue Victor Hugo, 33220, Sainte Foy-la-Grande. You can find out more about them at TripAdvisor.com.

Restaurant Victor Hugo

Le Menu du Jour.

Restaurant Victor Hugo

Veloute de chou-fleur.

Restaurant Victor Hugo

Blanquette de veau Tagliatelles, légumes. The veal was extremely flavorful as were the vegetables and the pasta.

Restaurant Victor Hugo

Salad de Chevre Chaud

Restaurant Victor Hugo

Chocolat Foundaut avec glace de menthe.

Restaurant Victor Hugo

Gâteau au yaourt pommes-caramel. Simple but very good.