Sauce Nantua

This is going to be my last sauce recipe for a little while. This classic French sauce took it's name from a small town in the Bugey region, just north-east of Lyon, in France that has been renown for its culinary tradition since the middle-ages.
Recipe for 1/5 litre of finished sauce:


Prepare 2 dl of basic bechamel sauce. Add the cooking liquid, cream and allow to reduce by a 1/3.

Take your pot of the heat and whisk in the crayfish butter and the brandy.

Strain the sauce trough a fine chinois. Season with the cayenne pepper and check the rest of seasoning.

(optional) Just before serving the sauce add the black truffle cut into a fine julienne.

"That fellow Béchameil has all the luck! I was serving breast of chicken á la crème more than 20 years before he was born, but I have never had the chance of giving my name to even the most modest sauce."
Duke of Escars, 17th century

Suitable for vegetarian, pregnant women. Contains gluten, dairies. Nut free.


Beurre d'écrevisses, Crayfish Butter

There is a recipe that can be made in advance and kept in the freezer for months. It come into the making of the classic sauce Nantua. The fresh water crayfish butter can be served with fish or meat. A classic meat/crayfish association is pan fried veal sweetbreads with crayfish tails and a foamy crayfish butter.
Crayfish is a fresh water crustacean which leaves in mountain streams or rivers in the plains of the east of France, Germany and Central and Eastern Europe, U.S, Canada, Madagascar, South America and Australasia. Most crayfish cannot tolerate polluted water, although some species such as the invasive Procambarus clarkii are more hardy. Some crayfish have been found living as much as 3 m (10 feet) underground. On the old continent, wild crayfish has become rare as water pollution and over fishing depleted the stocks. Another factor is that crayfish's growth is quite slow. It take 5 to 6 years for fresh water crayfish to reach adult size.
In Europe there are 4 main kinds of crayfish: the red stream crayfish (écrevisse a pied rouge), the white steam crayfish (écevisse a pied blanc) which is the finest and most expensive, the stream crayfish (écrevisse des torrents) and the American crayfish which was introduced in Europe just after WWI. In Europe the most common type of crayfish on the market is the farmed Turkish crayfish which comes farms in central Europe. In the U.S, 98% of the crayfish harvested in the United States come from Louisiana, where the standard culinary terms are crayfish or écrevisses.
Recipe for fresh water crayfish butter:
  • 250g cooked crayfish heads and shells.
  • 500g unsalted butter.
  • 1 dash brandy.

Reduce the crayfish heads and shells into a fine paste, either using a mortar, food processor (if you have a strong one) or what I find quite efficient: a rolling pen.

Place this paste along with the brandy and the butter into a pot and place this one into a double-boiler or bain-marie. Allow the butter to melt completely. Let this mixture infuse for and hour at a temperature just below the butter melting point.

Strain, using a fine chinois, pressing the paste to make sure to extract all the butter.

Place this flavoured butter into a terrine and put it in the fridge to set. Then cut into slices and freeze them until needed.

A little tip: I like to very gently roast the crayfish heads and shells in the oven for 2 to 3 hours at 70 degrees Centigrade with a sprig of thyme and oregano and a couple of cloves of garlic and a dash of olive oil before pounding them. It will make the butter all more flavorful.

"In this small fish I take it that human wisdom is admirably figured and symbolized; for whereas the crayfish doth move only backward, and can have only retrospection, seeing naught but the perils already passed, so the wisdom of man doth not enable him to avoid the follies that beset his course, but only to apprehend their nature afterward."

Sir James Merivale

Suitable for vegetarian, pregnant women, coeliacs. Contains dairies. Nut free.


Sauce Grand-Veneur

There is a classic sauce recipe for large game. The sauce Grand-Veneur (huntsman's sauce) based on a sauce poivrade in which some game trimmings and strained marinade has been added to the bouillon and then finished with blood and red currant jelly.
Recipe for 3/4 litre of finished sauce:
  • 8 dl of sauce poivrade for large game*.
  • 2 tablespoons red currant jelly.
  • 1 dl double cream.
  • 1/2 dl game blood, preferably hare blood.
  • 1/2 dl of marinade.


Prepare a classic sauce poivrade for large game. Set it aside in a bain-marie.

Strain the marinade, dissolve the blood into it.

Dissolve the melted red currant jelly in the cream and add it to the sauce.

Just before serving add the blood/marinade mixture to the sauce, strain it, check the seasoning and set the finished sauce in a double-boiler.

Note that a sauce thickened with blood cannot boil once the blood has been added. The blood cooks at 55 degrees Celsius, above this temperature it will coagulate and leave lots of little lumps into the sauce.

* A sauce poivrade for large game is a sauce in which game trimmings and bones 100g/litre of bouillon have been added to the mirepoix. Meanwhile some of the marinade, in which the game has been left to tenderize, 3 dl/litre of beef or chicken bouillon, is added to the liquid used has a base for the sauce.

"A sauce.....adds something, really two things: a taste as well as the opportunity to think about how the thing was made. This is the same kind of pleasure we derive when we look at a painting; the eye is pleased, while the mind explores the aesthetic windings of a technique and a willed structure."

Raymond Sokolov

Contains gluten, dairies, sugars. Not suitable for pregnant women. Nut free.


Sauces Vin Blanc

The sauce that I was used to serve with the dish on the photo above, was based on the classic French sauce: the sauce vin blanc (white wine sauce). Auguste Escoffier, in the guide culinaire, describes three basic recipes for the sauce vin blanc. Here I will give you his directions for the white wine sauce as well as the one that I was used to make as a base for the seafood sauce that was used to accompany this fish dish.

First sauce vin blanc recipe:

In a thick bottom saucepan, bring the fish velouté along with the fish stock and white wine to the boil and allow to reduce by a good third.

Reduce the heat, then whisk in the egg yolks. Allow to simmer, very gently, for 10 minutes.

Just before serving whisk in the butter. Note that at this point the sauce cannot come to the boil anymore.


The second and third white wine sauce recipes are close members of the hot emulsion sauces category (like the hollandaise or bearnaise sauces).
Recipe number two:
  • 1 dl good, clear fish stock.
  • 1 glass dry white wine.
  • 5 egg yolks.
  • 500g butter.
  • salt and pepper.

Clarify the butter.

In a thick bottom saucepan, bring the fish stock and white wine to the boil. Allow to reduce by half.

Off the heat, add the egg yolks and start working the eggs like you would do for a hollandaise sauce. When they have reached the right consistency, start whisking in the clarified butter.

When all the butter has been incorporated, check the seasoning and set aside in a bain-marie until serving time.


Directions for the sauce vin blanc's third recipe:

  • 5 egg yolks.
  • 1 dl of good, clear fish stock.
  • salt and pepper.

In a thick bottom saucepan, start whisking the egg yolks with a spoon of fish stock over a medium heat.

Keep working the egg while adding a spoon or two of fish stock from time to time until the sauce thickens and all the fish stock has been used. Make sure not overheat the pot (egg yolks start cooking at 55 degrees celsius).

Then, whisk in the clarified butter as you would do for a bearnaise sauce. Check the seasoning and set aside in a double-boiler until serving time.


My own version of the white wine sauce goes like this:
  • 1 litre good, clear fish stock.
  • a glass of good dry white wine.
  • 1/2 litre double cream.
  • 2 long shallots.
  • few stocks of parsley.
  • salt and pepper.

In a saucepan, bring the fish stock and white wine to the boil. Add the parsley and the shallots finely sliced and allow to gently reduce by two third.

Add the cream and reduce by half. Strain and check the seasoning.

“How can one make friends without exquisite dishes! It is mainly through the table that one governs!”

Jean-Jacques Regis de Cambaceres

Suitable for pregnant women, coeliacs(excepted the first recipe), vegetarian. Contains dairies. Nut free.



Royale café, London, Oscar Wilde's favourite absinthe tasting place

"Absinthe has a wonderful color, green. A glass of absinthe is as poetical as anything in the world. What difference is there between a glass of absinthe and a sunset?"

Oscar Wilde

As Oscar Wilde many 19's centuries authors, essayists and paintors have abused of the green liqueur: absinthe. They, even named it the "green fairy". It was known to make its afficionados develop madness, suicidale thoughts and muscle disorders. It was caused by the the high levels of the thujone aromatic compound that were present in the early absinthe drinks. This lead to a ban of this liqueur by the French autorithies in 1910. Nowadays, as the E.U have authorised again (1994) the production of absinthe as soon as the thujone compounds level does not exceed 10mg/litres, the green fairy connoisseur can again enjoy their favourite drink. There a site that I found where such liqueurs can be purchased: Buy absinthe or access to buy Absinthe .

Like all alcoholic drinks it must be consumed with moderation.


Beurre Maitre d'hotel

There is a very simple sauce recipe: the beurre Maitre d'hotel or parsley butter. It is made in no time and is traditionaly used to accompanie grilled meats or fish, but can also be used to stuff snails, mussels and clams, mussels and cockles before grilling them. It can also, be kept for up to a month in the fridge and freezes well.
Recipe for 8 people:
  • 150g (51/3 oz) butter, kept at room temperature.
  • 1 clove of garlic.
  • 1 lemon juice.
  • 1/2 buch of flat parsley.
  • salt and pepper.


In a bowl, place the soft but not melting butter along with the lemon juice, pepper (salt if using unsalted butter), the crushed and very finely chopped garlic. Start mixing (not working) the butter with a fork or wooden spoon.

Thouroughly, wash and dry the parsley and chop it very finely. Add it to the butter and keep mixing until all the ingredients have binded well together.

Take a sheet of tin foil, cover it with a sheet of cling film. Place the parsley butter on all its lenght and roll it into a sausage. Tie each ends of the tube and squeeze them by rolling the tin foil between your fingers until it becomes very tight.

Keep refrigerated.

Butter is "...the most delicate of foods among barbarous nations, and one which distinguishes the wealthy from the multitude at large."


Suitable for pregnant women, coeliacs, vegetarians. Contains lactose. Nut free.


Sauce Bigarade or orange sauce

The sauce bigarade or bigarade orange sauce takes its name from a type of bitter orange: the bigarade. This orange has a rough, greenish skin. It is cultivated in the south of France, especialy in the Nice region. The flowers of this orange tree is used to make orange blossom water. The bigarade sauce is a traditional accompaniment of roast duck. Now, this sauce that I translated by bigarade orange sauce is not to be associated to the orange sauce, sauce a l'orange that is a very different sauce all toghether. There are three recipes for the bigarade orange sauce: A. Careme's recipe, a white bigarade sauce (based on a white veal stock) and a modern more economicaly sound, brown one (based on a brown veal jus).

Sauce bigarade: Antonin Careme's recipe:
  • 1 bigarade orange (or a bitter orange).
  • 1.5 dl of finished espagnole sauce.
  • 20g butter.
  • a pinch of cracked pepper.

Cut the zest of the orange making sure that there are no white bits on it. Blanch them briefly. Press the orange.

In a thick bottom pot, place the orange zests and the juice and reduce by half.

Add the espagnole sauce and and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Skim from time to time. Add the cracked pepper and strain through a fine chinois.

Just before serving, whisk in the butter.

Recipe for the white sauce bigarade:

  • 15 cl dry white wine.
  • 1 bigarade orange (or a bitter orange).
  • 1.5 dl white veal stock.
  • 1 teaspoon arrow root.
  • 2 tablespoons water.
  • 1/2 lemon juice.
  • 1 shot of cointreau.

Zest and press the orange (make sure that they are no white bits on the zests). Blanch the zests and set aside.

Take the tray in which you have roasted your duck, carefully get rid of the fat and collect the glaze at the bottom of the tray with the white wine and strain this liquid, set aside.

In a thick bottom saucepan, put the orange juice, lemon juice and the duck glaze. Bring to the boil and reduce by half.

Add, the veal stock and the cointreau, allow to reduce for 5-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix the arrow root with water. Whisk the thickener in the sauce and allow to cook for 5 minutes. Strain through a fine chinois.

Finally, add the orange zests and check the seasoning.

Recipe for the brown bigarade sauce:

  • 1 bigarade orange (or a bitter orange).
  • 1/2 lemon.
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar.
  • 2 dl veal jus.
  • 20g sugar.
  • 1 shot Grand Marnier or curacao.

Zest and press the orange and the lemon (make sure that they are no white bits on the zests). Blanch the zests.

In a thick bottom saucepan, place the sugar and the vinegar cook until it reaches a golden blond caramel. Add the jus and allow to simmer for 5 minutes or so.

Add the juices and the Grand Marnier and simmer for another 10 minutes. Skim if needed. Strain through a chinois.

Just before serving add the zests and check the seasoning.

“An empty stomach is not a good political advisor.”
Albert Einstein

Suitable for pregnant women, diabetics, recipes 2 and 3 are suitable for coeliacs and lactose intolerant people. Nut free.


Sauce Espagnole

The sauce espagnole is the corner stone of all brown sauces. This sauce is based on a brown veal stock thickened with molecules: a brown roux. This sauce is used as a base for numerous sauce such as the sauce Robert, genevoise sauce, bordelaise sauce, etc. It is also used as cooking liquid for numerous braised meat dishes and stews.
The cooking procedure for the sauce espagnole's has been set by Antonin Careme and still is in use nowadays.
Here I will give Careme's recipe and a modern version of this sauce that nowadays, make more sens economicaly speaking.
Careme's recipe goes like this:
  • 300g of cured ham, in the form of two slices, 9mm thick.
  • 2 partridges.
  • 1kg of veal cushon.
  • 2 litres + 2 litres of veal bouillon.
  • 200 carotts.
  • 200g onions.
  • 6 cloves of garlic.
  • 20g celery.
  • 200g of mushroom trimmings.
  • 1kg fresh tomatoes.
  • 125g butter.
  • 125g flour.
  • 2 cloves.

In a large pot, place the two slices of cured ham at the bottom, put the two partridges and the veal cushon on the top of them and pour in 2 litres of veal bouillon. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and allow the bouillon to reduce to a glaze. Skim, from time to time. At this point, prick the partridges and veal cushon to allow the meat juices to join the glaze.

Pour the rest of the bouillon onto the glaze and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer. Skim from time to time.

Meanwhile, in a separate pot, sweat off the vegetable cut into a mirepoix and set aside. In the pot, make a brown roux with the butter and the flour. Dilute it with a couple of spoons (large ones) of bouillon. Pour the diluted roux into the bouillon along with the mirepoix, mushroom trimmings, tomatoes, cloves and bouquet garni.

Let the sauce simmer for 1h30 in the corner of the sauce. Make sur to skim regularly.

Strain the sauce and set aside until needed.


Modern sauce espagnole recipe:

  • 2.25 litre brown veal stock.
  • 1/2 litre white wine.
  • 50g carotts.
  • 50g onions.
  • 20g celery.
  • 20g green of leek.
  • 100g mushroom trimmings.
  • 1 bouquet garni.
  • 30g butter.
  • 30g flour.
  • 1kg fresh tomatoes.

In a large pot, sweat off the vegetables cut into a mirepoix, then set aside. In the same pot make a brown roux with the butter and the flour.

Dilute this roux with the veal stock. Add the mirepoix, tomatoes, mushroom trimmings, bouquet garni and the wine. Bring to the boil and allow to cook gently for 3 to 4 hours. Skim from time to time.

Strain using a fine chinois.

“To preside over a political chamber or to hold a post in an embassy, is to take a course in gastronomy.”

Antonin Careme (1783-1833)

Suitable for pregnant women and diabetics. Contains gluten and dairies. Nut free.


Bread Sauce

There is a sauce that when I came across it, tickled my curiosity. Here, in Ireland it is traditionaly served with feathered game alongside some gravy. In France, it is still quite unknown.
Personally, I serve it on the side with some jus made with game stock. So, there is the recipe that I like to use:
Recipe for 1/2 litre of finished sauce:
  • 1/4 litre of milk.
  • 1/4 litre of light game bouillon (or vegetable bouillon for vegetarians. I know it is quite unlikely that they use this sauce but I like to thik about everybody).
  • 200g fresh bread crumb (make sure to trim the crust off).
  • 200g butter.
  • 1 shallot finely chopped.
  • 1/2 onion finely chopped.
  • 1 small clove of garlic, crushed with tip of a knife.
  • 1/3 bay leaf.
  • 1 sprig of thyme.
  • 1 sprig of rosemary.
  • 3 juniper berry.
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg.
  • salt and pepper.

In a thick bottom pot, sweat off the onion and the shallot with the butter. Add the bread crumb and the garlic, allow to cook until all the fat has been absorbed by the bread.

Pour the bouillon and the milk. Give it a good stir and add the thyme, rosemary, bay leaf and juniper berries. Allow to cook, gently, for a good half hour.

When this is done, take the pot of the heat and allow it to cool down.

Remove the herbs and juniper berries and pass through the food processor.

Put the sauce back in the pot and bring it slowly to a gentle simmer, add the nutmeg and check the seasoning. Reduce the sauce if needed and set aside in a bain-marie until serving time.

"At the time of the Congress of Vienna, the ambassador (Talleyrand), taking leave of Louis XVIII, said to him: ‘Please believe me, Your majesty, I need saucepans more than written questions.’"
Lucien Tendret (1825-1896) French lawyer

Contains gluten, lactose. Not suitable to diabetics. Suitable for pregnant women and vegetarians. Nut free.


Sauce Poivrade or pepper sauce

There is a recipe for a classic pepper sauce: the sauce poivrade. This sauce is a classic accompaniement of marinated meat and games.

Recipe for 1/2 litre of finished sauce:

For the mirepoix:

  • 150g carrots.
  • 100g onions.
  • 100g unsmoked pork belly.
  • 50 celery.
  • 1 sprig of thyme.
  • 1/2 a bay leaf.
  • 30g butter.
  • 1/2 litre white wine vinegar.
  • 1 dl white wine.

For the roux:

  • 40g butter.
  • 40g plain flour.

For the sauce:

  • 1 dl white wine.
  • 7.5dl beef bouillon or chicken bouillon.
  • 2 tablespoons minced mushrooms.


In a thick bottom saucepan, sweat off the mirepoix with the butter, for 20 minutes. Then, add the vinegar and the wine and allow to reduce by half.

In a separate pot, make a brown roux with the butter and the flour. Dilute it with the bouillon, allow to cook for 30 minutes. Skim from time to time.

Degrease the mirepoix and add it to the thinckened bouillon. Add the wine wine and the mushrooms and allow to cook, gently for 1 hour. Keep skimming from time to time.

Crush 12 black peppercorn with the bottom of a saucepan and add them to the sauce. Allow to cook for another 5 minutes. Make sure not to let the sauce cook more than 8 minutes as black peppercorn turn bitter if they cook more than 8 minutes.

Stain the sauce through a chinois.

If the sauce is to go with a marinated meat, use the strained marinade to dilute the roux. In the case of a game add the meat trimings to the bouillon.

"The assistant of the stock, the roux, brings to the brown sauce only a flavor note of little importance, beyond its thickening principle, and it has the disadvantage of requiring, in order that the sauce be perfect, an almost absolute elimination of its components. Only the starchy principle remains in a sauce properly skimmed. Indeed, if this element is absolutely necessary to give mellowness and velvetiness to the sauce; it is much simpler to give it pure, which permits one to bring it to the point in as little time as possible, and to avoid a too prolonged sojourn on the fire. It is therefore infinitely probable that before long starch, fecula, or arrowroot obtained in a state of absolute purity will replace flour in the roux."

August Escoffier

Contains gluten and lactose. Suitable for diabetics, pregnant women. Nut free.


Reform Sauce

The Reform sauce is an English variation of te classic French sauce poivrade. It is usualy served with lamb chops and used to fill a type of omelet. When the sauce poivrade is based on game stock, with added redcurrant jelly at the base of the Reform sauce is used to accompany game chops.
Recipe for 1/2 litre of finished sauce:
  • 1/2 litre of finished sauce poivrade.
  • 2 tablespoons of finely chopped gherkins.
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped egg whites.
  • 2 tablespoons of finely chopped button mushrooms.
  • 10g of julienne of black truffle (tuber melanosporum).

In a thick bottom sauce pan, sauté the gherkins and mushrooms. Add the sauce poivrade and the julienne of black truffle.

Check the seasoning and set aside in a bain-marie until serving time.

Just before serving add the chopped egg whites and a nob of butter.

"They can, on certain occasions, make women more tender and men more lovable."

Referring to truffles: Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870)

Contains lactose and gluten. Suitable for diabetics and pregnant women. Nut free.


Sauce Duxelle

The sauce duxelle is a classic sauce in which the main ingredient is mushrooms. As they need to be minced it is possible to use mushroom stems instead of whole ones. Other little tip, if it happens that on a lovely fall's afternoon, you have been mushroom picking, save the stems of your wild mushrooms to complement the button mushrooms mince, it will give it that deep, earthy flavour of wilderness.
Recipe for 6 six people:
  • 150g buton mushrooms, washed thoroughly and minced.
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped.
  • 3 shallots, finely chopped.
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed.
  • 1 tea spoon of tomato paste.
  • 1 dl (1/2 scant cup) white wine.
  • 21/2dl (1 cup full) chicken, veal or vegetable bouillon.
  • 15g finely chopped flat parsley.
  • 10g+15g+25g butter.
  • 15g flour.
  • 1 pinch nutmeg.
  • salt and pepper.

In a thick bottom saute-pan, bring 10g of butter to a gentle sizzle. Sweat off the shallots and onions for 5-8 minutes. Add the minced mushrooms and allow to cook very gently for another 15 minutes. When the mushrooms have given out all their moisture, raise the heat and reduce down that cooking liquid, stiring constanly. Stir in 15g of butter, the tomato paste and the flour. Make sure that are no lumps. Allow to cookslowly, for 5 minutes.

Pour in the wine and the bouillon, bring to the boil and allow to reduce by one third.

Turn down the heat, season with the nutmeg, salt and pepper. Add in the garlic, and let the sauce cook for another 8-10 minutes.

Finaly, wisk in the butter left over. Now, at this point of the recipe it may happen that the sauce is not thin enough or looks chunky, it might be that the mushrooms are not minced finely enough. So, I would then let the sauce cool down a little bit and pass it through the food processor.

Check the seasoning and set aside in a bain-marie until serving time.

Just before serving add in the chopped parsley.

"I confess, that nothing frightens me more than the appearance of mushrooms on the table, especially in a small provincial town."

Alexandre Dumas, early 19th century

If using vegetable bouillon suitable for vegetarian, suitable for diabetics. Contains gluten and lactose. Nut free.


Béchamel sauce

This basic sauce was named after the Marquis Louis de Béchameil (1630-1703) who was the maitre d'hotel of the French King Louis XIV. It is believed that this recipe was based on an old traditional sauce that would have been improved by the chef of Louis XIV and who had dedicated it to Louis Béchameil. At first, the béchamel sauce was a reduced sauce velouté enriched by a large amount of creme fraiche. Nowadays, it consists on a white sauce made with milk instead of a bouillon. The béchamel sauce is the base of quite few classic sauces such as the aurore sauce (béchamel with tomato), the Mornay sauce (béchamel with egg yolks, gruyere and parmesan cheese), the Nantua sauce (béchamel with crayfish and crayfish butter), etc.
This béchamel sauce recipe is also refered as béchamel maigre (lean bechamel):
  • 50g onion.
  • 50g carrot.
  • 50g cured ham (optional).
  • 30g+30g butter.
  • 30g plain flour.
  • 3/4 litre milk.
  • pinch of nutmeg.
  • salt and pepper.

In a heavy, thick bottom saucepan, sweat off the vegetables (and cured ham) cut into a mirepoix with 30g of butter. When this is done, add the rest of the butter and the flour, allow to cook whihout any coloring, for 10 to 15 minutes.

Dilute this roux with the milk that has been boiled (not boiled over!) and gently bring to the boil while stiring constantly. Add the bouquet garni and the seasoning and allow to cook very gently for 45 minutes. Stir from time to time.

When cooked, strain the sauce through a chinois and rectify the seasoning.

If the sauce is not to be used straight away, dot a few bits of butter around the surface to avoid the building of a skin.

"The destiny of nations depends on the manner in which they feed themselves."
Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin. The Physiology of Taste (1825)

Suitable for vegetarians, pregnant women. Contains gluten and lactose. Nut free.



Once again, pancake tuesday is upon us. I propose you a traditional recipe from my homeland of Brittany: "crepes de froment", sweet, wheat flour pancakes. Traditionaly they are eaten sweet as a dessert or snack. In Brittany (France) a pancake party usualy starts with savoury buckwheat pancake (crepes de blé noir or galettes bretonnes) and followed by sweet, wheat flour, crepes.

Recipe for 15 large pancakes or 20-22 small ones:
  • 250g stronghold flour.
  • 45g buckwheat flour.
  • 1 egg.
  • 120g sugar.
  • 120g melted butter.
  • 1/2 litre of milk.
  • a dash of calvados, brandy, dark rum or cointreau.

In a large bowl mix well all the dry ingredients. Add the egg and the melted butter. Stir this ingredients very well.

Then, start gradualy to stir in the milk and the alcohol.

Allow to rest at least for one hour at room temperature.

Using a non-stick pan, pour a small amount of batter and spread it all over the pan by tilting the pan a little bit. Cook them for abot 6 minutes on each side.

A great variety of fillings can accompany these crepes. From, sugar, honey to marple sirup, chocolate sauce, stewed apples, caramel au beurre sale, jam, marmalade, fruits and ice-cream or flambé. My all time favourite, has to be banana and bitter chocolate sauce with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream, uhmmm!!

"the good one ripes, the bad one rots"
Victor Hugo

Suitable for pregnant women and vegetarians. Contains lactose and gluten.


Sauce Soubise

The sauce soubise or onion sauce is dedicated to the Marechal de France Charles de Rohan, Prince de Soubise who like a lot aristocrates of his time (XVIII's Century) was very interested in culinary arts. This classic French sauce is based on a bechamel in which is added an onion puree.
Recipe for 1/2 litre of finished sauce:
  • 250g (87/8 oz) onion.
  • 60g (41/2 tablespoons) butter.
  • 12g plain flour.
  • 21/2dl (1 cup) clear veal or chicken bouillon, or 21/2dl milk.
  • 2 tablespoons creme fraiche.
  • pinch nutmeg.
  • pinch caster sugar.
  • salt and pepper.


Peel and wash the onions. Slice them as finely as possible. If the onions are old, blanch them. Otherwise, put them in a thick bottom saucepan with 40g of butter and stew them gently (sweat off), covered, for 20-25 minutes (without coloring them).

When this is done, stir in the flour, allow to cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the bouillon or milk and add the seasoning. Bring gently to the boil while stiring constantly. Cover and let the sauce cook, at a very gentle simmer for at least 45 minutes. Stir from time to time.

Force the sauce through a chinois and put back on the heat. Then add the rest of the butter and the creme fraiche. Let the sauce cook for another 5 minutes. Check the seasoning.

Set aside in a bain-marie until serving time.

"Make [food] simple and let things taste of what they are."

Curnonsky (Maurice Edmond Sailland 1872-1956)

Suitable for pregnant women, lactose intolerant (if using the bouillon), Coeliacs replace the flour with rice four, nut free.