Rosemary, lardon & black olives Fougasse
Last Saturday night I received a phone call from my mom-in law requesting me to come over to their place to help her organize the upcoming Christmas family gathering. Contrary to most norm, my mom-in law and I blend well together. I would say all my french and provençal cuisine inpirations I owe it to her. She hails from a family gourmet, that have secret recipes handed down from generations to generations. Her mom or "Mamie" as we often call her have killer recipes for all the fabulous traditional french desserts and pattisseries. Chez Mamie everything is "fait à la maison". For someone who is passionate in cooking and an amateur gourmet like me, I'm truly lucky to be surrounded by talented people like them. Well, we have finally decided where to organize the two-day celebration. Since there will be fifty guests (adults and children) we scratched the original plan of doing it in family's chalet in the Alpes because it's impossible we fit all together. We decided to do it instead in the family's ancestral farmhouse in the heart of Provence, that has been fully restored and converted into a Hostel. It is a beautiful 4 story house that dates back Middle ages that "gossip says" was owned by the friend of the royalty. The scenery is much impressive during the summer because it is surrounded by an immense plantation of lavander, sunflower and grapes. After hours of discussions we have finally agreed on the menu, what wines and champagne to serve and the desserts that needs to be prepared.
After this tedious discussions on "what to eat and how to serve them" (hey don't you think we are really gourmet) I volunteered to prepare a "brunch" for everybody. I was excited because she has a bigger kitchen and she has a garden full of fruits and herbes that I could use for the menu I planned to prepare.
Chicken liver & Fig Bruschetta
1 baguette sliced
30 g of butter
3 tbsps of honey
3 tbsps of extra virgin olive oil
1 cup of sliced raddicchio
2 ounces of chicken liver
2 tbsps of herbes de provence (thymes and rosemary)
6 fresh figs ( you can use dried fig too)
Beat the butter together with honey. Spread over this mixture over sliced bread and grill until brown. Brown over a skillet pan the chicken liver with olive oil and herbes de provence. Top each toasted bread with raddicio, sliced fig and chicken liver.
Rosemary, lardon (bacon) & black olives Fougasse
Fougasse is a typical Provençal bread eaten with a hearty salad. It is similar to Italian focaccia.
300 g of flour
1 tbsps of yeast
5 g of salt
7 tbsps of extra virgin olive oil
1 cup of lardon or chopped bacon
1 cup of black olives
3 tbsps of fresh rosemary
The night before, prepare the dough. In a bowl mix the flour with salt and add little by little the water. Dissolve the yeast in about 2 tbsps of warm water. Add this diluted yeast on the flour mixture and work on the dough until it becomes elastic. Cover with a humid towel and let the dough rise. After the first rise, you can add some olive oil and work again on the dough. The next day add the rest of the ingredients and form a big ball and flatten it with you palm. Cut 4 incisions on the dough as if its an ear of a wheat. Bake it for 10 minutes at 220° on a pre-heated oven.