A Newsletter

Yes, that’s right – a newsletter. I find myself with lots of things I want to tell you about and so Food Stories is having its first ever news bulletin. How quaint. First off, a little French food story. My partner and I recently visited his family at their home in France and I had to hold off telling you about it until after I posted my Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24 post (this was to avoid revealing the then upcoming delights of the stargazy pie). You see, we had a practice run on that pie, where Mark Hix’s rabbit and crayfish version was re-created (largely by Chris’ mum I must admit!) in all its glory.

We followed Mark’s recipe pretty much to the letter, with a few minor amendments like using shortcrust pastry (Chris’ mum is an excellent pastry maker) and less stock. You can see that no flavour is wasted as the heads of the crayfish are used to make a seriously reduced stock.

The rabbit was cooked first, before stripping all the meat from the bones and mixing with the crayfish and sauce. Four crayfish are reserved for the crust – you just make slits in the crust and pop ‘em in. The way they are holding hands reminds me of the famous painting The Dance by Matisse. Oh come on, surely you can see the resemblance….

Didn’t it turn out well? If you are going to try making a stargazy pie, I recommend the rabbit and crayfish version, as the rabbit gives the pie so much flavour and lots of meaty body. Although my later fish version was successful, the stock needs to be reduced much more and a lot of fish added to fill the pie – otherwise it can go watery. 

This all led on rather nicely to the Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24 event – read all about my meal (and about the history of stargazy pie here). Of course, it wasn’t just me who took part – 23 other bloggers form around the world did too. Here are the other posts is you haven’t read them already –

A Tomato Garden Party [Jersey Bites]
Behind the Kitchen with Chef Hu-Nam Kim [Zenkimchi]
Aha Aina – Recapturing the Global Flavours of the Luau [The Accidental Scientist]
Criminal Tastes – An Illegal Supper [The Nourished Kitchen]
No Menus – An Underground Restaurant Affair [No Recipes]
Eating with Tuscan Locavores [Wandering Italy]
Eat Like a King; Feast for a Maharaja [Passionate About Baking]
Eating Art: a Tasting Menu Inspired by Masterworks of Art [Feeding Maybelle]
Mid-Autumn Festival Banquet [Red Cook]
The “Found on Foodbuzz” 24 Item Tasting Menu [Food Wishes Video Recipes]
From Matambre to Empanadas – An Argentine Dinner [La vida en Buenos Aires]
The Four Corners of Carolina BBQ Road Trip [Hugging the Coast ]
A Sweet Trompe l’oeil [Cakespy ]
Hot Weather Lunch [Food Junkie not Junk Food]
First Annual Farm to Table Dinner [Miami Dish]
From provence to the Catskills – a Voyage from David to Bertolli [The Constables’ Larder]
Welcome to the Chateau – an Evening of Wine, Food and Art  [Chateau Petrogasm]
Aussie BBQ Bonanza – Celebrating Diversity [Fig and Cherry] 
Chocaholic Heaven [Culinary Escapade]
Royal Dining of the Nemanji? Dynasty [Palachinka]
East Meets West in a Tropical Garden City [Noob Cook]
Farmers’ Market Iron Chef: Battle in the Kitchen [Food Woolf]
A Spanish Menu – My gift to the Winners of the Olympic Games [Spanish Recipes]

The day after the event, we waved goodbye to summer (we had a weekend of extraordinarily good weather for September), with a final little BBQ dinner, using up the last of the tomatoes from our balcony in Chris’ fresh tomato ketchup – yum! I used up some herbs with that home made mayo oozing out the sides. 

I haven’t spent all my time hanging around my balcony of course, I’ve been out and about as usual – remember that cheese and wine tasting at La Cave a Fromage? I was a little sketchy about the details of the cheeses (and the wine) but have since received accurate info about exactly what was scoffed and quaffed and so here it is…..(cheeses clockwise from top right)

Brie de Melun
Lord of the Hundreds
Old Gouda
Mucca Blu
Cabecou Feuille
Sainte Agathe – red
Vin de Pays du Var – white 
Here’s what some others thought of the evening -
Unchained Guide 

Last but most definitely not least – a fantastic time was had by all last week at a London bloggers meet-up organised by my friends at Trusted Places. You don’t have to take my word for it though, there are lots of embarrassing photos to look at – find them in the Trusted Places Flickr group here

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Category: News 15 comments »

15 Responses to “A Newsletter”

  1. Kitt

    Love that pie! The crayfish need little thought balloons (either “Hallelujah!” or “Help!”… or maybe “Shake your booty!”).

    What a nice visit.

    Kitts last blog post..Happy reunion

  2. Jonathan

    This looks great fun. How do I get involved?!

    That Stargazy pie looks epic!

    Jonathans last blog post..The Stonhouse

  3. Lizzie

    That burger looks sooooo good. I wish I were having that now!

    Lizzies last blog post..Happy Birthday To Me

  4. peter

    I’m in awe of the langoustines and again, congrats on a spectacular dinner setting.

    peters last blog post..Pasta Shells With Fresh Tomatoes & Feta

  5. Christie@fig&cherry

    Congrats on your first newsletter! I loooove the plated shot of the stargazy pie. Still jealous of your cheese evening…

  6. Hilary

    That is one crazy looking pie!

    Hilarys last blog post..Shady Maple Farms Maple Syrup: The real deal

  7. Daziano

    Wonderful photos!!! I’m sure you had a wonderful French sejour!

    Dazianos last blog post..Sword fish, oven roasted beets and sautéed beet greens

  8. myfrenchkitchen

    A post chockful of information, intersting reads and links, mouthwatering pics…great!

    myfrenchkitchens last blog post..“Patat met” mayonnaise from Amsterdam.

  9. David Hall

    Stargazy pie – love it!

    David Halls last blog post..Turn It On

  10. JennDZ_The LeftoverQueen

    This is great! You should do newletters more often! :)

    JennDZ_The LeftoverQueens last blog post..Daring Bakers: Za’atar Spiced Lavash Crackers with Spicy Walnut Dip and Cilantro Chutney

  11. kittie

    Newsletter! Great idea :)

    I have equal cravings for the pie… and the cheese. Can’t wait until I get settled in my new kitchen so I can start cooking again – rather than just cupboard clearing!!

    kitties last blog post..RFJ: Sambuca Orange Salmon with Spelt Crackers

  12. Charles

    ZOMG ZOMG ZOMG those crayfish look like they’re dancing ring a ring a roses or the okey cokey (is that how you spell it?) Anyway it looks delicious.

    Charless last blog post..Fab A.’s Review of Jas musicals – London (1/5)

  13. Kate

    love the crayfish peeping out of the pie … as if they were trying to get out, but got stuck in the middle and were cooked to death …haha …nono just kidding … it all looks good …n yum rabbit sounds wonderful

    Kates last blog post..Date And Roasted Almond Ice Cream

  14. Nate

    oh, that plate of cheese looks so delicious!

    Nates last blog post..Chopped Shrimp Waldorf Salad

  15. shayma

    what an absolutely gorgeous pie. e brava.

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