Cooking in a Postage Stamp of a Kitchen

Today we are going to eat in a small bistro called Le Provencal, in Fréjus marina.  Francois and Féfé are very discerning eaters and suffer mediocrity badly.  They know the couple who run the little restaurant so Nick and I have high hopes for lunch.  We are all trying not to eat too much so we forgo an entrée but share a platter of charcuterie and – food of the gods – a small ramekin of Saint-Marcellin cheese which has been melted in the oven.  It is served with toasted Pavé dippers.  For our main courses Féfé has chosen Carpaccio of Tete de Veau, Nick chooses Paleron de Veau and Francois and I choose the same: Pavé de Maigre with Tempura Broccoli, Girolles and little squares of pasta.  Maigre is a fish that is very similar to Bass.  It was all good.

After lunch there is quiet time, then a quick foray to the supermarket and you cannot walk past the bar at the end of our pontoon without being invited to ‘un petit rosé’ by  Féfé  and after this it is time for a second swim.  It is time to acquaint myself with the galley on board.  Francois is an avid and competent cook so I really don’t need to offer my services.  However, they do enjoy a good curry so I have volunteered to cook some curries during our three-week stay.   The first one I will prepare is Lamb Vindaloo.

Before we left St Vaast to join the Tailles on their boat I checked my spice requirements for the recipes I have brought with me and then made up little foil packets containing 2 teaspoons of each.  I’ve not made a Vindaloo before.  I sit at the table and prepare my onions, garlic, ginger and Nick takes the meat off a shoulder of lamb.  In the absence of a pestle and mortar I grind a melange of the requisite spices for the dish.  White wine vinegar is an important ingredient in the mixing of the curry paste.  When assembled the curry cooks on the hob for a couple of hours and then the flavour will develop overnight.

Meanwhile Francois has been preparing some mayonnaise to have with our avocado and prawns supper.  I make a tomato and basil salad and we are away.  After supper Féfé and I have a vocabulary session and then I leaf through some of the guide books on the boat.

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