Tag Archives: Vegetables

Odaios Tented food exhibition – part 2

So here we are for the second part of our guided tour in the world of fine food hosted by Odaios (the first part is here).

LaFermiere_001

La Fermiere is a French dairy company founded in 1952 in Marseilles and was at the time the first company to put on the market high quality yogurts. It soon became renowned in the region and 60 years later, it is sold internationally and is synonym with quality and tradition. The range now extends to creamy desserts and rice puddings. Their yogurts are all using natural flavours (real Bourbon vanilla, fresh lemons, orange blossom honey…) and they are packed in beautiful terracotta pots, that customers can keep and reuse, thus making it environmentally friendly.

LaFermiere_002

SoliaColl

Speaking of containers, another company present at the food exhibition was Solia. This French company (yes another one!) is specialised in throwaway dishes, glassware and cutlery. Their designs is both beautiful and innovative, perfect for presenting food at fairs, catering events or canapés parties in the most elegant manner.

BeurreBordier_001

Staying with the dairy products we have a French butter and cheese company: Bordier. They are based in Brittany (where all the good salted butters are produced!) and still make their butter the traditional way (they are the last ones still doing so). For instance, they still use wooden paddles to manually shape their butter and the shapes vary from customized shapes and portions for restaurant or hotel use to the usual 250g stick of butter. They have also a range of very interesting flavoured butters: piment d’Espelette (a mild chili from the South of France), algae,Yuzu, smoked salt, lemon and olive oil and even vanilla (of course in the unsalted butter version)!  I tried the Piment d’Espelette and Lemon/olive oil and both were outstanding. I could see the lemon and olive oil butter very well on a fillet of steamed fish and the Piment d’Espelette would go nicely on some Provencal canapés.

BeurreBordier_002

 

KoppertCressColl

Probably the highlight of my day was Koppert cress, a dutch company, specialist in high end fruits and vegetables. Their products are of the best quality and freshness, most of which cannot be found in supermarkets. For instance, they have varieties of tomatoes I never heard of such as the pineapple tomato (the yellow funny shaped tomato you can see on the right in the picture above). They also have a great range of aromatic herbs, mini vegetables, edible flowers and other veggie oddities such as the oyster leaf: a leaf that has the taste of the sea! They supply very high end restaurants and fine food shops. Looking at their stall with all the vibrant colours was a feast for the eyes and I wish I could have brought home some of those beauties!

LaFruitiere_002

Last but not least is French company La fruitiere du Val Evel. They produce some of the best fruit purées and coulis out there as well as very innovative products such as the flavour pearls (small frozen balls of alginate with a soft liquid heart of fruit pulp or condiments), which not only look stunning but also add fantastic flavours to any dish. Their fruit purees and coulis are second to none, using only the ripest fruits, with carefully chosen varieties for maximum flavour and their package is designed to optimize taste and appearance. I tasted their strawberry and their mango purées and boy were they amazing. The fruit content is 90% and only 10% sugar (less for some fruits) and it really shows. The strawberry purée reminded me of my granny’s strawberry jam it was so good! My only complaint: they only sell in big packages (1kg minimum) so it is not really geared towards domestic use (although you can slice the frozen box to only use what you need). I think I might get a few of those for my macaron ganaches or fruit mousses, problem is: I would need a bigger freezer!!

LaFruitiere_001

There were many other companies present at the fair, which I didn’t have time to visit unfortunately: big names such as Elle & Vire, Movenpick and Valrhona  and other small producers so I am looking forward to the next year event!

Vegetable flan

In France, a flan can be either a sweet or a savoury dish. The sweet version usually involves a mixture of eggs, sugar and milk and is cooked in a bain marie in the oven and served with caramel. The savoury dish is more versatile and is usually made with vegetables or fish. Some flan recipes use a shortcrust pastry as a base although mostly the flan is cooked on its own. The recipe featured today is of the latter kind. I cook them in silicone moulds so I don’t need a bain-marie. However, you can use ramekin dishes or a big oven dish (preferably made of ceramic or pyrex) and cook in a deep tray filled with water so the water reached 2/3 of the flan dish. if you use a big dish, cook the flan for 1 hour.

(source : Demarle)

Ingredients

200g tomatoes (about 2 tomatoes)
500g courgettes (2 courgettes)
1 onion
Parsley
200g cream
35g corn flour
4 eggs
70g cheese (emmenthal, comté or gruyère)
Salt and pepper

  1. Preheat your oven at 160C
  2. To peel the tomatoes, immerse them in a bowl of boiled water for 30 sec, then run them under cold tap water to stop them from cooking and using a sharp knife, peel the skin off
  3. Cut the tomato in 4 and scoop out the seeds
  4. Cut the tomatoes and the washed unpeeled courgettes in small cubes and reserve
  5. Put the cheese and parsley in the Thermomix bowl and chop for 5 sec on speed 5. Tip out and reserve.
  6. Peel and cut the onion in quarters and put them in the TM bowl
  7. Chop them 3 sec, speed5
  8. Add the eggs and grated cheese/parsley and weigh in the cream and corn flour
  9. Mix 15 sec speed 3 or until well combined
  10. Add the cubed vegetables and mix again 10 sec, reverse speed, speed 1
  11. Pour into your dish and cook  in a bain-marie for 35 minutes for ramekin dishes and 1 hour for a big dish