Hunkering on down, food for winter days.

Looking out of my window this morning there was little to smile about. The mist was coming down and the last few days of crisp dry weather have been replaced by drizzle. The news of more lock downs and restrictions due to Covid did little to lighten the mood. And then I came across this feature we shot (myself and the wonderful photographer Ian Wallace ) for Delicious UK magazine back in 2019. It lifted my spirits (pun intended) with this first shot – hot buttered rum with Parmesan and rosemary melts – The log fire in the background added an extra layer of warmth and comfort. Enjoy.

Serves: 4

Hands-on time: 5 min

4 shots dark rum

8 whole cloves, lightly bashed

1 lemon, sliced thinly

8 tsp caster sugar

600 ml water

25g butter

4 long rosemary sprigs

Divide the rum between 4 tumblers and add 2 cloves, a slice of lemon and 2 teaspoons of sugar to each one, stir well until the sugar is dissolved. Bring the water to a boil, add the butter and stir until melted. Divide between the glasses and add a rosemary sprig to each one. Serve warm with a Parmesan and rosemary biscuit.

Parmesan and rosemary melts

Makes: approx 40 biscuits

Hands-on time: 10 min, plus 15 min resting

Oven time: 10 min

125g plain flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

100g unsalted butter, diced

60g Cheddar or Gruyere, grated

60g Parmesan cheese, grated

1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary

1 small egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 190c/170c fan/gas 5. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Place the flour, baking powder and cayenne pepper into a food processor. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Then add the cheeses and continue to blend until the dough comes together. 

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a brick shape. Wrap in cling film and chill for 15 minutes.

Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface until it is about 2 mm thick, to form a rectangle approximately 20cm x 32cm. Cut in half lengthways so you have 2 long thin rectangles. Turn the pastry sideways so one long side is in front of you. Take the knife and cut each one into long triangles. You will have approximately 40 triangles. 

Transfer to the prepared sheets and brush each one with a little beaten egg. Bake for 10 minutes until evenly browned. 

Leave to cool for a couple of minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Serve with the rum toddy.

Salad of pan-fried chorizo, caramel apple wedges and walnuts 

Serves: 4

Hand-on time: 12 min

150g chorizo

1 head radicchio, treviso or 2 heads red chicory

30g butter

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 small apples, peeled, cored and sliced thickly

2 tbsp apple balsamic or white wine vinegar

2 tbsp maple syrup

40g finely chopped walnuts, toasted

a few flat parsley leaves

25g shaved Parmesan cheese

sea salt and pepper

Slice the chorizo into 2 mm thick slices. Trim the end from the radicchio and cut lengthways into 4 thick slices. Season the slices with salt and pepper

Melt the butter in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add the chorizo and fry for 2-3 minutes until lightly golden and the red oil is released. Drain with a slotted spoon and set to one side. Add the radicchio slices to the pan and fry for 1 minute each side until just warmed through and starting to brown. Remove to warmed plates and set aside.

Wipe the pan clean. Return to the heat and add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. As soon as it is hot, add the apple slices and cook over a medium-high heat for about 2 minutes each side until golden. Add the vinegar, maple syrup and a pinch of salt to the pan and cook over a medium heat for a further 1 minute until the apples are tender. Return the chorizo to the pan along with the walnuts. Stir once.

Spoon the chorizo mixture over the radicchio and top with the parsley leaves and shaved Parmesan. Serve drizzled with a little extra oil, if required.

Honey, cider and thyme roast chicken with carrots, shallots and garlic 

Serves: 4-6

Hands-on time: 15 min

Oven time: 1hr 15 min, plus 15 min resting

4-6 thyme sprigs

50g butter, softened

2kg free-range chicken

12 shallots, peeled and halved

500g carrots, trimmed and halved if large

3 celery sticks, cut into 4

1 head of garlic

2 bay leaves
750ml dry cider

1 tbsp clear honey

sea salt and pepper

Heat the oven to 200c/180c/gas 4. Remove the leaves from half the thyme sprigs and chop finely (you need about 1 tbsp chopped leaves). Combine the butter and chopped thyme leaves in a bowl and season with pepper. Carefully slide your hand up between the skin of the chicken and the breast pressing as far as you can to reach between the meat and skin. Insert half the butter and press flat all over the flesh under the skin. Smooth flat. 

Pop the shallots, carrots, celery, bay leaves and remaining thyme sprigs in a large flameproof casserole. Cut the the head of garlic in half and add to the pan. Arrange the chicken on top and pour in the cider. Bring the pan to the boil on a medium heat, then cover the casserole with a lid and transfer to the oven. Cook for 1 hour.

Beat the honey into the remaining thyme butter and set aside. 

After 1 hour remove the chicken from the oven and spread the honey butter over the breast. Return the casserole to the oven and roast, uncovered for a further 15 minutes or until the skin is golden. Rest for 15 minutes and then carve and serve.

Buttered Kale

Serves: 4

Hands-on time: 10 min

500g kale

40g butter

1 garlic clove, sliced

a pinch red chilli flakes

grated zest and juice 1 lemon

Trim and discard the stalks from the kale and roughly chop the leaves. Rinse under cold water. Shake dry.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan pan and gently fry the garlic, chilli flakes and lemon zest with a little salt and pepper for 3-4 minutes until soft but not browned. Add the kale and stir over a medium heat until just wilted, about 5 minutes. Add a little of the lemon juice and adjust seasonings. Serve with the chicken.

Smashed Potatoes

Serves: 4

Hands-on time: 5 min

Oven time: 50-60 min

1 kg small waxy potatoes such as Charlotte

6 fresh bay leaves, torn

6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 220c/200c fan/gas 6. Line a roasting tin with baking paper. Place the potatoes in the prepared tin. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil, stir well and roast the potatoes for 30 minutes until they are al dente.

Remove from the oven and using a potato masher, mash the potatoes until they are really quite ‘smashed’. Add the bay leaves and remaining oil, stir well and sprinkle with plenty of salt and pepper. Return to the oven for a further 20 minutes or until they are crisp and golden.

Sticky fig and caramel self-saucing pudding 

Serves: 6-8

Hands-on time: 10 min, plus 10 min resting

Oven time: 35 min, plus 10 min cooling

150g dried figs, roughly chopped

125ml boiling water

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

150g self-raising flour

50g ground almonds

110g soft brown sugar

80g melted butter, plus extra butter for greasing

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 large egg, beaten

sauce

150g soft brown sugar

300ml single cream

100ml water

Dusting

1 tbsp icing sugar

2 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 180c/160c fan/gas 4. Grease a 1.5 litre baking dish. Place the figs, bicarbonate of soda and boiling water in a bowl and leave for 10 minutes to soften. Transfer to a food processor and blend until fairly smooth.

In a bowl, combine the flour, ground almonds and sugar. Make a well in the centre. Pour in the fig puree, melted butter, vanilla essence and beaten egg. Stir with a wooden spoon until smooth. Spoon the mixture into the prepared dish and smooth the surface flat.

Make the sauce. Sprinkle the brown sugar as evenly as you can over the sponge mixture. Meanwhile, heat the cream and water together in a saucepan until it just reaches the boil. Carefully pour the cream mixture over an upside down spoon directly onto the topping allowing it to cover it completely. 

Transfer to the oven and bake for 35 minutes. The sponge will have risen through the sauce which will be melted and gooey underneath. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.

Dust with the icing sugar and cinnamon mixture and serve with ice cream.

© recipes Louise Pickford

© photography Ian Wallace

Shot for Delicious UK magazine January 2019


A little Christmas cheer

All I want for Christmas is a better 2021

Merry Christmas to everyone from Louise Pickford food creative

This will be a strange Christmas for many of us around the world and for many there will be little to cheer and much to forget and move on to what we all hope will be a far better 2021. Thank you to all my subscribers for their support and I want to wish you all a very merry Christmas. If you are struggling to find a gift for someone or perhaps have left it too late for online shopping why not make something to eat or drink instead? Everyone loves a homemade gift, it feels very special and somehow more personal. Here are a few of my favourites from the last few Christmases to share with you and bid you all the best for the festive season.

Salted Cashew Nut Brittle

500 g granulated sugar

150 ml cold water

250 g cashew nuts

sea salt, to serve

Spray oil a thick baking sheet and set to one side.

Put the sugar and water in a heavy-based frying pan and heat gently over a very low heat until the sugar dissolves. Then increase the heat and without stirring allow the syrup to turn a lovely golden colour, about 10 minutes.

Stir in the cashew nuts and immediately pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Lightly sprinkle with sea salt and set aside to cool. While still warm loosen the slab, then leave to go cold on grease proof paper.

Using a small toffee hammer, break the brittle into chunks or bite size pieces and wrap in gift bags.

Golden Eggnog Truffles

Makes: about 30

300 g dark chocolate, chopped

300 ml double cream

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

3 tbsp Brandy or Cointreau

350 g white chocolate melts

a few sheets gold leaf

Heat the cream in a saucepan until it just reaches a simmer. Remove from the heat, add the dark chocolate and stir until the chocolate is melted. Stir in the spices and Grand Marnier. Leave to cool and then chill 2 hours until firm.

Using a teaspoon scoop up small pieces of the chocolate and using cool lightly damp hands roll into bite size truffles. Transfer to a tray and freeze for 2-3 hours until frozen.

Melt the white chocolate in a bowl set of gently simmering water (do not allow the bowl to touch the water). Remove the truffles form the freeze and skewer with a cocktail stick. Dip quickly in and out of the melted chocolate and leave to set on baking paper. Chill until required.

Just before wrapping, pop the truffles into mini muffin cases and top each one with a little gold leaf.

Tip: Truffles should be kept refrigerated for up to 3 days. Gold leaf is available from specialist cake decorators and some art stores and adds a hint of luxury to Christmas truffles.

Homemade Hot Chocolate Spoons

Makes: about 20

This is such a fun idea and for anyone who loves hot chocolate, they make a great Xmas gift. Simply bring a cup of milk to the boil, add a choc stick and stir until melted.

500 g dark chocolate, chopped

a few mini marshmallows

2-3 tbsp hundreds and thousands

3-4 pieces Turkish delight, chopped

20 small wooden spoons or ice lolly sticks

Melt the chocolate in a bowl in the microwave for 1 minute, stir well and continue to microwave in 10 seconds intervals, stirring each time, until the chocolate is melted. Or you can melt the chocolate in a bowl set of gently simmering water (do not allow the bowl to touch the water) stirring until melted.

Pour the melted chocolate into 20 mini muffin cases and leave to cool for about 30 minutes until the chocolate is starting to set.

Pop a spoon into the center of each one and then arrange marshmallows, hundreds and thousands and Turkish delight around the spoon, covering the top. Set in the fridge for 1 hour.

Carefully peel away the muffin cases from the chocolate and wrap in your choice of packaging.

Tip: These can be made a few days ahead and once set and sealed in packs will keep for 2-3 days in a cool, dark place.

Passion Fruit & Chocolate Shortbread Snowflakes

Makes: 48 (24 large/24 small)

6 large passion fruit

225 g unsalted butter, softened

115 g caster sugar, plus extra for dusting

225 g plain flour

125 g rice flour

a pinch of salt

100 g white chocolate, melted

Preheat the oven to 190c/170 c fan-forced/gas mark 5 and line two large baking sheets with baking paper. Remove the seeds from the passion fruit and pass through a sieve to extract as much juice as possible. Measure out 75 ml.

Place the butter and sugar in a food processor and process until pale and creamy. Sift in the flour and rice flour and work into the dough along with the passion fruit juice and salt and process briefly until the ingredients just come together.

Transfer to the work surface and knead gently to form a smooth dough. Divide into quarters and wrap each piece in cling film, chill for 30 minutes to firm it up.

Place one disc of dough on a lightly floured sheet of baking paper, top with a second sheet of paper and using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to about 2.5 mm thick. Stamp out snowflakes using cookie cutters and carefully transfer to the prepared trays. Bake for about 10 minutes until lightly golden. Cool for 5 minutes on trays and then transfer to a wire rack to go cold. Repeat to make 48 cookies.

Melt the chocolate and using a teaspoon drizzle back and forth over the snowflakes to give a frosted look. Allow to set for 1 hour and then wrap as gifts.

Passion Fruit & Chocolate Shortbread Snowflakes

Makes: Enough for 12 people

Home made crunchy bar crossed with toffee nut brittle – yum.

330 g granulated sugar

120 ml cold water

2 tbsp golden syrup

1 tsp melted butter

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp sea salt

topping

200 g dark chocolate

50 g flaked almonds, toasted

1/2 tsp chilli  sea salt

Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Place the sugar, water and golden syrup in a heavy-based saucepan and heat very gently, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Boil for 8-10 minutes (do not stir) until the liquid turns a warm golden brown or until it reaches hard crack on a sugar thermometer (154c/309f). Add the butter and gently swirl in the pan.

Immediately remove the pan from the heat and stir in the  bicarbonate of soda, ground ginger and salt until evenly blended. The mixture will foam up dramatically but this is perfect. Pour the foaming mixture directly onto the prepared baking paper tilting the pan. Tap the tray gently a few times on the work top to settle the mixture and leave until completely cold.

For the topping, melt the chocolate in a bowl in the microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir well and return to microwave and cook for 10 seconds at a time, stirring each time until the chocolate is melted. Or you can melt the chocolate in a bowl set of gently simmering water (do not allow the bowl to touch the water) stirring until melted. Pour the melted chocolate over the set toffee and spread smooth with a palette knife. Scatter with the nuts and sea salt and leave to set a second time.

Break the toffee into pieces and place in small individual gifts bags. Tie to seal. Eat with in 2-3 days.

Tip: If you don’t have a sugar thermometer you can test the toffee is ready by dripping a few drops from a teaspoon into a cup of cold water, when ready the toffee will form small hard balls as soon as it touches the cold water.

Duo of flavoured vodka

You can flavour vodka with any aromatic you like really from citrus fruits, nuts, coffee, vanilla, sliced fruit, ginger spices and even toffees! Just ensure the bottle you use is clean and seal well – strain the vodka after 4 weeks.

Pomegranate, orange and vanilla vodka

Makes 750 ml

1 large pomegranate

1 vanilla pod, split

grated zest 1 Orange

750 ml quality Vodka

Tap the pomegranate a few times all over on the counter top and cut in half. Pop the seeds and juices into a clean jar and add the vanilla and orange zest. Top up with the vodka, seal and store in a cool, dark place for 2-3 weeks.  

Serve over ice with a dash or Cointreau.

Coffee, vanilla and roasted pecan vodka

2 tbsp pecan nuts

10 coffee beans

1/2 vanilla pod

750 ml quality vodka

50 ml Tia Maria

Preheat the oven to 190c/170c fan-forced/gas mark 5 and roast the pecans for 5-6 minutes until golden, then let cool.

Pop the nuts, coffee beans and vanilla pod in a bottle and top up with the vodka and Tia Maria. Leave to infuse for 2-3 weeks in a cool dark place.

Delicious served over ice.

© Photographs Ian Wallace

© Recipes Louise Pickford


A NEW ERA IN SW FRANCE

Firstly I’d like to thank all of you who have subscribed to Come Cook In France for the last 4-5 years, it has been a pleasure sharing my work with you all. Secondly I want to wish all of you well in this very scary period of all our lives. Covid19 has had a huge impact on families all over the world and although personally my family and friends have remained safe and well it has made a big difference to livelihoods as well. Due to the impact of social distancing as well as a reduction in overseas travellers to France I am closing the cook school down in order to concentrate on my first love as a food writer and stylist.

Below is an example of the type of work myself and my (very talented) photographer husband Ian Wallace create together here in France. With our years of experience in the food publishing industry we are able to produce a complete feature ready for publication for magazines, books and even advertising campaigns.

Of course this doesn’t mean I wont be blogging from time to time, I most certainly will! In fact and with great timing I received the advance copies of my latest book published by Ryalnd, Peters & Small and Cico Books now available in all leading bookstores (and online here). It is a reprint of an earlier book I wrote called Paella and other Rice Dishes but with an extra 21 new recipes. The new edition resplendent with new recipes, photographs and a really lovely new cover also boasts a brand new title – La Paella / recipes for delicious Spanish rice and fideua dishes. It is a really super cookbook ideal for anyone who loves Spanish food and especially for those with a passion for paella and for the Spanish version of pasta known as fideua – a short pasta similar in shape to macaroni.

Here is a glimpse of some of the new dishes .

I hope you will continue to read and enjoy my upcoming blogs, they are a little look into my life as a food writer and stylist and how living in France adds another dimension to my love and understanding of the food we eat.

Published by Ryland Peters & Small & Cico Books

© recipes Louise Pickford

© photographs Ian Wallace


Yum in a bun – 5 reasons to cook veggie burgers this summer

With summer now in full swing in the northern hemisphere and most countries out of lock down, getting together with friends and family for a barbecue seems like hell of a good idea. That’s all well and good for meat eaters, but vegetarians often get forgotten when it comes to barbecuing – with a few grilled peppers or (the dreaded) kebab with chunks of under and over cooked pieces of something, that once resembled a vegetable, speared together on a stick.

Well you need to look no further than a good old burger or slider (a mini burger) and by taking a journey around the world for inspiration treat yourself to one of these delicious meat free options. A good burger is made by balancing and layering of flavours and textures set in a bun, bread or wrap. We need yum, we need crunch, we need gooeyness we need salty, sour and a little sweet – can’t really say it better than that.

Aubergine sliders with tahini sauce 

Here lovely rich flavours combine in this Middle Eastern-style burger with preserved lemon, pomegranates, tahini and ras al hanout – a classic spice mix. Simply make 4 larger burgers if you prefer.

Serves: 4

100g semi-dried tomatoes, sliced

½ preserved lemon, flesh discarded and skin diced

4 tablespoons pine nuts (35g)

4 tablespoons pomegranate seeds (50g)

4 tablespoons parsley leaves

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons honey

1 large aubergine (about 450g)

1 teaspoon ras al hanout

8 small ciabatta rolls (or 4 large)

50g salad leaves

salt and pepper

Tahini sauce

100g Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons tahini paste

1 small garlic clove, crushed

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Combine the semi-dried tomatoes, preserved lemon, pine nuts, pomegranate seeds, parsley, 2 tablespoons of the oil, the honey and some salt and pepper. In a bowl and set aside.

Make the sauce. Beat together the yogurt, tahini, garlic and lemon juice and season to taste.

Cut the aubergine width-ways into 8 thick slices. Combine the remaining oil with the ras al hanout and some salt and pepper and brush over the slices. Barbecue the aubergine slices for 4-5 minutes each side until well charred and softened. 

To serve, cut the rolls in half and toast the cut sides. Fill with the aubergine slices, tomato mixture, tahini yogurt and salad leaves.

Vietnamese sesame tofu banh mi burger with pickled vegetables

The tofu is marinated in a char sui sauce before being grilled and served in rolls with pickled vegetables, chillies, salad leaves and fresh herbs making this a delicious veggie alternative to the classic Vietnamese BBQ pork rolls, or ban mi.

Serves: 4

350 g firm tofu, drained

80 g hoisin sauce

4 tablespoons honey 

4 tablespoons dark soy sauce

2 tablespoons Shoaxing wine (Chinese rice wine)

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice

1 French baguette 

50 g salad leaves 

2 tablespoons black and white sesame seeds

a few fresh coriander, mint and basil leaves

4 tablespoons mayonnaise

4 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce

Pickled vegetables

1 small carrot

½ cucumber

½ small red onion

50ml rice wine vinegar

50g caster sugar

2 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon salt

a few sesame seeds, to serve (optional) 

Make the pickled vegetables. Thinly slice the carrot length ways and then cut into long thin strips. De-seed and cut the cucumber into long thin strips. Thinly slice the onion and combine the vegetables in a bowl. Place the vinegar, sugar, water and salt in a saucepan and heat gently until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil and then pour over the vegetables. Stir well and set aside until cold.  

Cut the tofu into 8 thick slices and place in a bowl. Combine the Hoisin sauce, honey, soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, sesame oil and Chinese 5 spice. Pour over the tofu, turning to coat thoroughly and leave to marinate for 30 minutes. 

Cook the tofu pieces on a hot barbecue for 2-3 minutes each side until charred and heated through.

To serve, cut the baguette into 10cm lengths and then cut each one almost in half. Fill each one with the salad leaves, fresh herbs, fried tofu and pickles and drizzle over the mayonnaise and sweet chilli sauce. Top with the sesame seeds.

Buffalo cauliflower burgers with blue cheese sauce

A classic American dish usually made with chicken wings is given a veggie makeover with chunks of cauliflower replace the more usual chicken. Pared with a blue cheese sauce, this is finger-licking good. The cauliflower is actually cooked in the oven, but you can toast the buns on the barbecue before assembling it.

Serves: 4

500g cauliflower florets

12 5ml full fat milk

75 g chickpea flour or plain flour

1 teaspoon mustard powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

2 tablespoons hot chilli sauce

1 tablespoon clear honey

15g butter, melted

4 burger buns

125g iceberg lettuce, shredded

Blue cheese sauce

75 g sour cream

50 g creamy blue cheese

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

½ teaspoon caster sugar

salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 220c/425f/gas mark 7 and line a roasting tin with baking paper. In a bowl, combine the gram flour or plain flour, mustard powder, cumin, paprika and a little salt and pepper. Gradually whisk in the milk with 50 ml cold water until the batter is smooth.

Dip each cauliflower floret into the batter and then shake off the excess so the cauliflower is just very lightly coated. Place on the prepared baking tray, leaving space in between each floret. Roast for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, warm the chilli sauce, honey and butter in a small saucepan until combined. Remove the cauliflower from the oven, drizzle over the chilli sauce and stir well until evenly coated. Return to the oven for a further 10-15 minutes until the cauliflower is tender and golden. Let cool for 10 minutes.

Make the sauce. Place the sour cream, blue cheese, vinegar and a little salt and pepper in a blender and whizz until fairly smooth. Stir in the chives, adjust seasoning to taste.

To serve, cut the rolls in half and toast the cut sides. Fill with the lettuce, cauliflower pieces and blue cheese dressing.

Super greens zucchini sliders whipped feta and kale crisps

Lovely vibrant green sliders served with crispy kale chips, perfect for vegetarians and meat eaters alike. You will need thick curly kale for the chips as it is more robust than baby kale leaves. Make all the separate parts ahead and barbecue the zucchini to serve.

Makes: 8

2 small zucchini (about 500 g)

1 lemon

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

8 small poppy seed rolls 

Kale crisps

100g kale, trimmed

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons sesame seeds

Rocket pesto

2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

60 g rocket leaves

1 garlic clove, chopped

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Whipped feta

100g feta

25g creme fraiche

Trim the zucchini and cut length ways into 3mm thick slices. Grate the lemon and squeeze the juice into a bowl. Add the oil and some salt and pepper. Place the zucchini slices in a shallow dish, pour over the dressing and stir well to coat. Leave to marinate for 30 minutes.

Make kale crisps. Preheat the oven to 150c/300f/gas mark 3 and line a large baking tray with baking paper. Shred the kale into bite size pieces, discarding the thick stalk and place in a bowl, combine with the oil and caress until the leaves are well coated. Scatter over the prepared tray and roast for 18-20 minutes until crisp. Season with salt and pepper and scatter with the sesame seeds.

Make pesto. Toast the pumpkin seeds in a small frying pan over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes until golden. Cool and place in a food processor with the rocket, garlic, oil and a little salt and pepper. Blend until smooth.

Make the whipped feta. Place the ingredients in a blender and puree until really smooth. 

To serve, cook the zucchini slices on a hot barbecue for 2-3 minutes each side until charred and tender. Cut the rolls in half and toast the cut sides. Fill the rolls with the zucchini slices, whipped feta, pesto and some of the kale crisps. Serve with the remaining kale crisps on the side.

Sticky sweet chilli halloumi sliders with crispy onions

I didn’t think haloumi could get any better but adding a little sweet chilli jam is a knock out. You can temper the heat of the chilli sauce by using large mild chillies if preferred. It is best to cook the halloumi on a flat griddle plate on your barbecue if you have one, rather than the grill rack – or cook in a frying pan in the normal way. Make 4 large burgers, if preferred.

Serves: 4

250g halloumi

1 tablespoon olive oil

8 small wholemeal baps (or 4 large)

50 g rocket leaves

8 baby tomatoes, halved

Sweet chilli jam 

6 large red chillies, seeded and chopped

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 teaspoon grated root ginger

1 teaspoon salt

100 ml rice wine vinegar

100 ml granulated sugar

Onion rings

125 g plain flour

30 g cornflour

250 ml sparkling water

1 onion, sliced

Sunflower oil, for deep frying

Heat the oven to 180c/350f/gas mark 4. Make the sweet chilli jam. Place the chillies, garlic, ginger and salt in a food processor, blend to a rough paste and transfer to a saucepan. Add the vinegar and sugar, bring to the boil and simmer gently, partially covered for 5-10 minutes until the mixture becomes a quite thick and sticky. Cool completely, bottle and store in the ‘fridge. Use as required.

Make onion rings. Sift the flours into a bowl, add the salt and then gradually whisk in the water to make a smooth batter. Let sit for 10 minutes. Fill a wok or old saucepan with 5 cm sunflower oil and heat until a cube of bread, added to the pan crisps immediately. Whisk the batter again and dip the onion rings in a few at a time and deep fry for 2-3 minutes until crisp and golden. Keep warm in the oven while cooking the haloumi.

Cut the halloumi into 3 mm thick slice. Heat the oil on the flat griddle of your barbecue or in frying pan over a high heat and fry the halloumi slices for 30 seconds each side until starting to brown. Brush with a little of the chilli jam and cook for a further 30 seconds each side until golden and sticky. 

Cut the rolls in half and toast the cut sides. Fill with the haloumi, rocket, tomato halves and the crispy onions and serve with a little extra chilli jam. 

Recipes © Louise Pickford

Photographs © Ian Wallace

Published in the book Burgers & Sliders © Ryland, Peters & Small and Cico Books


Summer dining, al fresco pizza night.

Warm evening, dusk falling, pizza oven at the ready – what else could anyone wish for. This feature was commissioned by Delicious UK for last summer’s August issue (2019) and we shot it on location here in France. The meal begins with a delightful cocktail called a Hugo, well maybe with a tweak, followed by three different pizzas, a great salad to share and a to die for summer cheesecake, with a hint of wicked about it. A definite recipe for success.

Elderflower Prosecco Spritzer with cucumber

I like to make the most of early summer elderflowers and make as much syrup as I can from the delicate flower clusters. It is so versatile and can be used in all types of dishes from cocktails like the one below; added to dressings, icings or sweet sauces. Here it adds a hint of perfume to Prosecco along with the refreshing bite of cucumber, tang of mint all topped up with a little tonic water, lemonade or fizzy water, depending on taste – my take on a Hugo.

Serves: 6

1/2 cucumber, peeled and seeded

ice cubes

180 ml elderflower cordial/syrup

1 bottle Prosecco

30 ml tonic water or sparkling water

lime slices

mint leaves

Cut the cucumber into thick slices. Fill wine glasses with the ice cubes and add 30 ml elderflower syrup, 150 ml Prosecco and 50 ml tonic water to each glass. Add the cucumber sticks, lime slices and mint leaves. Swirl and drink. 

Courgette, dolcelatte and mint with pumpkin seeds 

This fresh tasting summer pizza is a lovely option for this time of year when courgettes are at their best. Lemon flavoured olive oil adds an extra intensity to the finished dish and is available from most larger supermarkets. Alternatively infuse some extra virgin olive oil with lemon zest for several hours ahead of time.

Serves: 3

1 quantity pizza dough (see below)

1 courgette, trimmed

finely grated zest 1 lemon

a large handful mint leaves

150g dolcelatte, crumbled

150g buffalo mozzarella, sliced thinly

3 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

Lemon oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice, to serve

Preheat the oven to its highest setting and place either a pizza stone or oven tray on the middle shelf to heat up.

Meanwhile, very thinly slice the courgettes into ribbons. Place in a bowl with salt, pepper, lemon zest and 1 tablespoon lemon oil. Leave to infuse for 30 minutes.

Take your prepared dough and top with a third of the courgettes, mint leaves, dolcelatte, mozzarella and pepitas. Open the oven door and pull the rack out slightly with the hot stone or oven tray. Tip the board towards the stone/tray and pull the board firmly towards you so that the pizza base slips directly onto the heated surface. Cook for 6-8 minutes or until the dough is puffed at the edges and golden.

Serve drizzled with extra lemon oil. Repeat to make 2 more pizzas.

Tip: If you are a little wary of sliding the pizza into the oven, you can line your board with baking paper instead of flour. If you do this, sliding the pizza on the paper directly to the heated stone or tray is easier.

Pizza dough

Makes: 3 x 30cm pizza bases

There is little better than a thin, crispy, gooey pizza fresh from the oven but unless you have access to a giant pizza oven then cooking more than one pizza at a time is impractical, so cook one and share it between you, cooking the next and the next as you eat.

150 g plain flour

150 g strong white bread flour

2 teaspoons sea salt

1 teaspoon  dried active yeast

1 teaspoon olive oil

190-200ml water 

Combine both types of flour and  salt in a large mixing bowl. Place the yeast in a small bowl and stir in the water until dissolved. Add to the flour with the olive oil and work together until the mixture is just combined. Cover and chill for 15 minutes. 

Transfer to a lightly floured board and knead for 5 minutes or until the dough is smooth. Divide into 3 equal pieces and gently form into rounds. Place on a well floured tray, cover with cling film and chill overnight. Remove the dough from the fridge an hour before ready to cook. 

Preheat the oven to its highest setting and place either a pizza stone or oven tray on the middle shelf to heat up. 

Well flour a chopping board, set aside. Take one piece of dough, place it on a floured work surface and very gently press flat to form a disc. Using your fingers, again gently press the dough from the middle outwards until you form a rim about 1 cm from the edge, this will form a crust. Repeat this two or three times so that each time the dough becomes larger and thinner, keeping the crust in place. At this stage you can pick the dough up allowing it to hang down from to stretch it, turning it several times to form a 30 cm circle. 

Transfer the dough to the floured chopping board. This is now ready for the topping to be added.

Pizza with heirloom cherry toms, burrata and some herb pesto

This is definitely a pizza for the moment, with heirloom tomato varieties and burrata cheese. It is pretty dammed delicious

Serves: 3

1 quantity pizza dough (see above)

30 g mixed herbs, such as basil, mint and parsley

1 garlic clove, chopped

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

A pinch caster sugar

75 – 100 ml extra virgin olive oil

1 kg mixed heirloom tomatoes, halved, quartered or sliced

2 balls burrata, torn

salt and pepper

aa handful of rocket leaves and some shaved Parmesan, to serve

Preheat the oven to its highest setting and place either a pizza stone or oven tray on the middle shelf to heat up. 

Meanwhile, make the pesto. Place the herbs, garlic, lemon juice, mustard, sugar, olive oil and salt and pepper in blender and blend until smooth and vibrant green. 

Take your prepared dough and top with a third of the tomatoes, drizzle over a little oil and add salt and pepper. Open the oven door and pull the rack out slightly with the hot stone or oven tray. Tip the board towards the stone/tray and pull the board firmly towards you so that the pizza base slips directly onto the heated surface. Cook for 6-8 minutes or until the dough is puffed at the edges and golden.

Transfer to a plate and top the pizza with a third of the burrata, drizzle with the herb pesto and serve topped with rocket leaves and some shavings of Parmesan. Repeat to make 2 more pizzas.

Margarita with chorizo

My version of the classic Italian pizza. You only need half the amount of ragu sauce in the recipe for this pizza, but I recommend making it all up and freezing or bottling the rest to use next time.

Serves: 3

1 quantity pizza dough (see above)

1/2 quantity ragu sauce

100 g chorizo, thinly sliced

3 tablespoons drained capers

30 g pitted black or green olives

250 g buffalo mozzarella, sliced or crumbled

a handful basil leaves

Ragu sauce

Makes: approximately 500ml

1 kg ripe roma/plum tomatoes, roughly chopped

2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 tablespoon olive oil

1/2-1 teaspoon  sugar

salt and pepper

Make the sauce. Place all the ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, then simmer  gently for about 1 hour, or until thickened and reduced by half. Allow to cool. 

Make the pizza dough (see above)

Cook pizza. Preheat the oven to its highest setting and place either a pizza stone or oven tray on the middle shelf to heat up.

Take your prepared dough and top with a third of the ragu sauce, spreading it to within 2 cm of the edges. Add a third of the chorizo, capers, olives and mozzarella. 

Open the oven door and pull the rack out slightly with the hot stone or oven tray. Tip the board towards the stone/tray and pull the board firmly towards you so that the pizza base slips directly onto the heated surface. Cook for 6-8 minutes or until the dough is puffed at the edges and golden. Repeat to make 2 more.

Serve topped with fresh basil leaves.

Roasted pepper and aubergine Salad with labne and crispy fried spiced chickpeas

A great sharing salad to serve alongside the pizza of your choice. Labne is a thickened or strained yogurt, traditionally eaten in middle eastern countries. It is easy to make as you will see here, or you can buy it ready made. The salad can be prepared well ahead.

Serves: 6

250 g Greek yogurt

4 red peppers

2 medium aubergines

5 tablespoons olive oil

1 x 400 g can chickpeas, drained

Grated zest 1 lemon

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

150 g rocket or mizuna

a handful roughly chopped fresh herbs to include coriander, basil, mint , parsley and chives

salt an pepper

Dressing

juice half lemon

11/2 teaspoons agave syrup or honey

1/4 teaspoon sumac

3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 220 c/425f/fan-forced 200c. Line a baking tray with baking paper.  Place the Greek yogurt in a sieve lined with muslin. Let drain for 30 minutes until thickened slightly. 

Trim the peppers and cut each one into quarters, discarding the seeds and any internal membrane. Trim the aubergines and cut cross ways into 1 cm thick slices,  place in a bowl. Add 4 tablespoons of olive oil and some salt and pepper and stir really well, massaging the oil into the flesh. 

Heat a char-grill pan (or conventional grill) and once hot, cook the peppers on a high heat for about 5 minutes each side until well charred and starting to soften nicely. Transfer to a bowl and place a tea towel over the top. Set aside to cool. Then cut into strips.

Char-grill the aubergine slices, again over a high heat for 4-5 minutes each side until soft and golden. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, place the chickpeas into the prepared baking tray. Add the lemon zest, paprika,  remaining olive oil and some salt and pepper. Stir well and transfer to the oven. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until the chickpeas are crisp and golden. Set aside to cool.

Make the dressing. Place all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth. 

Combine the peppers, aubergines, rocket leaves and herbs in a bowl, then transfer to a large platter. Spoon dollops of the labne randomly over the top. Drizzle over the dressing and serve scattered with the chickpeas.

Yuzu Daiquiri cheesecake pots and salted praline crumbs

Finish off this lovely summer meal with a tangy, intriguing and utterly delicious cheesecake. Yuzu is a Japanese citrus fruit with an incredibly intense flavour – a combination of lime, grapefruit and mandarin. It is available from some larger supermarkets, special food stores or online. You can use a combination of the lime, grapefruit and orange or mandarin if you are unable to find yuzu. 

Serves: 8

200 g white chocolate, melted

50 g butter, melted

175 g digestive biscuits, crushed

75 ml Yuzu juice (see intro)

75 ml vodka

125 g caster sugar

600 g soft cheese

250 ml cream

Salted lime praline

125 g caster sugar

grated zest 3 limes

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over gently simmering water  (do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water) stirring until smooth.  Take 8  Champagne cups or martini glasses and dip the rims into the melted chocolate for decoration, let cool. Reserve the remaining chocolate, keeping it warm.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan and pour into a bowl. Add the digestives and stir well until evenly coated. Divide between the glasses pressing them down lightly using the end of a rolling pin. Chill until required.

Combine the yuzu juice, vodka and half the sugar in a small saucepan and heat gently, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Bring to the boil and then remove from the heat. Leave to cool completely.

Warm the cream in a small pan until just tepid and gently stir in the reserved melted chocolate until smooth. 

Place the cream cheese in a food processor with the yuzu mixture and blitz until smooth. Then stir in the melted chocolate mixture and blend again. Using a piping bag with a large plain nozzle pipe the mixture into the glasses (or simply spoon the mixture into the glasses). Chill for at least 2 hours. 

Make the praline. Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Combine the sugar with 2 tablespoons of water in a small saucepan and place over a very low heat. Stir gently until the sugar is dissolved, not allowing the mixture to boil until it is. Bring to the boil and cook without stirring for a further 5-6 mins until the liquid turns golden brown. Pour the caramel onto the prepared tray and cool and set.

Roughly crumble the praline and place in a food processor with the lime zest and salt and blitz to make a slightly chunky crumb mixture. 

To serve remove the cheesecakes from the fridge and top with the salted lime praline.

all recipes © Louise Pickford

styling Louise Pickford

all photos © Ian Wallace


A little biscotti or two

Well I awoke this morning to grey drizzle. I know we need the rain and I am really happy about that, but I just couldn’t help but feel a little ‘blue’ SO, I am going to revisit a recipe from a Christmas feature from 2019 and make these highly addictive biscotti with salted chocolate to cheer myself up.

I hope you all have a go and enjoy them as much as me.

Almond and salted chocolate biscotti

Makes: about 50

150g blanched almonds, toasted

250g plain flour

200g soft brown sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

60g chilled unsalted butter

3 eggs

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tsp vanilla essence

Egg wash

1 egg, beaten with 1 tbsp milk

Icing

200g dark chocolate

Sea salt

Preheat the oven to 180c/fan-forced 160c. Line 2 large baking trays with baking paper. Place the toasted almonds in a food processor and blend until coarsely chopped. 

In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Gradually work in the butter until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in the chopped almonds. 

Whisk the eggs, oil, and vanilla essence together and stir into the crumbed flour mixture. Gently mix together with a large wooden spoon until the dough just comes together.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead lightly until the dough is soft and slightly sticky, about 8-10 times. Divide the dough in half and with lightly floured hands shape each one into a 20cm log. Transfer the logs to one of the prepared baking sheets flattening them slightly into a brick shape about 3 cm wide. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the top and sides of each slab with egg wash.

Bake the slabs for 25 minutes or until the top and sides are lightly browned. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes. 

Using a serrated knife slice the dough into 1cm thick slices. Set the slices about 1 cm apart on the 2 trays (in batches). Return to the oven and cook for 10 minutes, turn the biscotti over and bake the other side for 8-10 more minutes until  golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes on the baking trays, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Make the icing. Melt the chocolate in a medium bowl in the microwave (or use a double boiler) stirring until melted and smooth. Dip one end of each biscotti into the melted chocolate and immediately sprinkle one side with a little sea salt. Transfer to the wire rack and leave until the chocolate is set.

© recipe Louise Pickford

© Photo by Ian Wallace photographer


The beauty of a good chicken stock

When a recipe calls for chicken stock, always try and make your own as it really is so worth the effort (which to be fair, is not a actually a big deal). Why? Well, because not only does it taste better, it has no additives, it is so good for you with naturally occurring antimicrobial properties from the bones, and if using a cooked chicken carcass you are also getting more out of your bird and there is less waste.

This recipe uses a whole, uncooked chook, but I adapt it whenever I have any chicken leftover from my Sunday roast. Basically it’s a win win recipe.

Homemade chicken stock

It is always best to make a chicken (or any) stock at least one day ahead of you needing it, as the fat needs to be removed, leaving you with a lovely clean clear liquid. Once made the stock is left to go cold and then it is ready to refrigerate overnight. This sets the layer of fat on the surface of the stock, which can then be more easily removed the next day.

In France (where I live) you can buy several different types of chickens including a boiling chicken, which is an older bird with a good flavour, but the meat is tougher, due to the age. If you can’t get this where you live, a regular large chicken will do. If you can stretch to it, always buy free-range chickens, for ethical reasons.

If you end up making the stock, but not using it within a day or so, then pop it in to the freezer, where it will sit happily for up to 3 months.

Recipe

Makes: approximately 2L/8 cups (the one shown above has been reduced)

2 kg/4 1/4 lb boiling chicken, washed
2 onions, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
2 leeks, sliced
2 garlic cloves

2 teaspoons sea salt

a few sprigs parsley

a few sprigs thyme
a few black peppercorns, lightly bashed

If you are using a raw chicken, wash and dry inside and out, then place in a large saucepan. Add all the remaining ingredients and cover with 2.5L/10 cups of cold water.

Bring the water to the boil skimming the surface with a large spoon to remove any scum. Simmer gently, partially covered, for 3 hours. Strain the stock and leave to cool completely, then refrigerate overnight.

Carefully skim off the congealed layer of fat from the surface of the stock. You can now either use it as it is, or if you want a richer, deeper flavour then return it to the pan and cook again, uncovered this time, until it is reduced and has a depth of flavour you are happy with. Only at this point adjust the seasoning.

Tip. If using a cooked carcass, no need to wash it, simply pop it in the pan and continue as above.

Image © Ian Wallace

Recipe (not used from the book) ©Louise Pickford

Image published by Bauer Women’s Weekly Cook Books for More Slow Cooker


Warming the cockles with French onion soup

Just when I thought the cooler days were behind me, I awake to rain and chill, so lunch today is going to be a soup to warm those cockles – in this case my tummy. This recipe from my Delicious UK January 2020 winter menu goes one step further in yumminess with a side order of gooey cheese melts.

Red Onion Soup with Cheesy Sourdough Melts

Serves: 6

The addition of the gooey cheese melts gives this classic French onion soup a lovely modern twist. You can use sliced sourdough bread, ciabatta or French stock for the melts.

75 ml olive oil

1.25 kg red onions, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme 

150 ml red wine

1.5  Litres good quality beef stock

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

50 g butter, softened

6 large sourdough bread or ciabatta slices

100 g Camembert, thinly sliced

75 g Gruyere, grated

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and gently fry the onions, garlic, thyme, and a little salt and pepper over a low heat for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until the onions are well caramelized. 

Add the wine and reduce by half, then stir in the stock. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer gently for 20-25 minutes until rich and flavourful. Add the parsley and adjust seasonings to taste.

Butter one side of the sourdough or ciabatta slices. Layer the Camembert and grated Gruyere over the non buttered side of 3 slices. Top butter-side up with the remaining slices. Press firmly but gently together.

Place a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add the sandwiches and top with a piece of foil. Weigh the slices down with a second pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes each side until the bread is crisp and golden and the cheese melted. 

Spoon the soup into bowls. Cut each sourdough slice in half and serve alongside the soup.

Tip: you can make the soup a day ahead and keep in the fridge, giving it even more flavour.


Green goodness in a bun – a super healthy veggie slider

A simple healthy slider (or mini burger) first published by my UK publishers Ryland Peters & Small in a book entitled Burgers + Sliders. This recipe was voted their best ever veggie burger, so go for it and get healthy and happy.

Super greens courgette/zucchini sliders whipped feta and kale crisps

Makes: 8

Lovely vibrant green sliders served with crispy kale chips, perfect for vegetarians and meat eaters alike. You will need thick curly kale for the chips as it is more robust than baby kale leaves.

2 courgettes or zucchini (about 500g)

1 lemon

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

8 small poppy seed rolls 

Kale crisps

100g kale, trimmed

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons sesame seeds

Rocket pesto

2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

60g rocket leaves

1 garlic clove, chopped

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Whipped feta

100g feta

25g creme fraiche

Trim the courgette/zucchini and cut lengthways into 3mm thick slices. Grate the lemon and squeeze the juice into a bowl. Add the oil and some salt and pepper. Place the courgette/zucchini slices in a shallow dish, pour over the dressing and stir well to coat. Leave to marinate for 30 minutes.

Make kale crisps. Preheat the oven to 150c/300f/gas mark 3 and line a large baking tray with baking paper. Shred the kale into bite size pieces, discarding the thick stalk and place in a bowl, combine with the oil and caress until the leaves are well coated. Scatter over the prepared tray and roast for 18-20 minutes until crisp. Season with salt and pepper and scatter with the sesame seeds.

Make pesto. Toast the pumpkin seeds in a small frying pan over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes until golden. Cool and place in a food processor with the rocket, garlic, oil and a little salt and pepper. Blend until smooth.

Make the whipped feta. Place the ingredients in a blender and puree until really smooth. 

To serve, heat a griddle pan until hot and cook the courgette/zucchini slices for 2-3 minutes each side until charred and tender. Cut the rolls in half and toast the cut sides. Fill the rolls with the zucchini slices, whipped feta, pesto and some of the kale crisps. Serve with the remaining kale crisps on the side.

© Louise Pickford http://www.comecookinfrance.com

© photography Ian Wallace http://www.ianwallacephotographer.com

Published by Ryland Peters & Small and Cico Books


2020 – An exciting year ahead at Come Cook In France

Residential workshops

So excited to be able offer residential workshops as well as my private day courses. These 3 day/4 night courses are co-hosted with local venues in the region and in 2019 we hosted our first one at the truly stunning Creative Workshop and Accommodation venue Les Soeurs Anglaises in La Dordogne, SW France. Next year we will be running 3 workshops together, throughout the year.

Dates at Les Soeurs Anglaises in 2020

Spring workshop 23rd – 27th April 2020 6 places available BOOK NOW

Summer workshop June 18th – 22nd 2020 FULL

Autumn workshop 17th – 21st September 2020 BOOK NOW

Details

● Four nights accommodation and continental breakfast 

● Welcome mezze dinner with wine. 

● Three fun, informative, half-day cooking sessions with after-class tasting meals 

● An excursion to a local farmer’s market and/or visit to an artisan food maker (vinegar, cheese, nut oils, mushrooms, and/or a vineyard) 

● Recipes and a Come Cook In France folder 

● 3 light meals (prepared by your host) including all beverages (wine, waters, etc.) 

● Local transport from and to Angouleme train station and Bergerac airport 

● *Air and train fares to and from collection points in France are not included. 

Prices

A: Single occupancy of Superior double bedroom with en suite: 1350€ per person.

B: Shared occupancy of Superior double bedroom with en suite: 1150€ per person.

C: Single occupancy of Twin bedroom shared bathroom 1100€ per person

D: Shared Twin bedroom / shared bathroom: 950€ per person 

Minimum 8 participants (max 12 residents)

  • A non-refundable deposit of 300€ is required for confirmation of booking

Itinerary

DAY 1 Travel day, you will be sent information regarding transportation to Les Soeurs Anglaises (pick-ups are generally late afternoon) from Angouleme train station and Bergerac Dordogne Périgord Airport (EGC). Welcome, meet and greet dinner at the house.

DAY 2 Morning at the local marché. After a light market lunch, there will be an cookery class in L’Espace kitchen where the evening meal will be discussed and prepared.

DAY 3 We will meet in L’Espace kitchen where we will prepare a three course lunch to enjoy al fresco (weather permitting). The afternoon and evening will be free time for you to relax and enjoy the accommodation. A light evening meal will be provided.


DAY 4 You will have another chance to relax and have spare time to yourselves. There will be a light lunch provided. The afternoon session will be preparing and cooking the four course evening meal, again to be enjoyed together al fresco (weather permitting).

DAY 5 Brunch followed by departures before lunch.

  • Please note that this is a proposed itinerary and is subject to modest modifications, depending on available fresh produce, new opportunities, and the wishes of the workshop leader
  • opportunities, and the wishes of the workshop leader

Toutvent Manoir

I am also delighted to be co-hosting with Toutvent Manoir. Re-opened in spring 2019, Toutvent is a beautifully restored 18th century French property situated in the Charente on the border of the Dordogne. Located 5-minutes drive from Aubeterre- sur-Dronne, listed in Les Plus Beaux Villages de France (The Most Beautiful Villages in France) the Manor house sits in an enviable hill-top position with stunning views over the Dordogne valley.

Dates at Toutvent Manoir in 2020

Early Summer workshop 14th – 18th May BOOK NOW

Details

● Four nights accommodation and continental breakfast 

● Welcome mezze dinner with wine. 

● Three fun, informative, half-day cooking sessions with after-class tasting meals 

● An excursion to a local farmer’s market and/or visit to an artisan food maker (vinegar, cheese, nut oils, mushrooms, and/or a vineyard) 

● Recipes and a Come Cook In France folder.

● 3 light meals (prepared by your host) including all beverages (wine, waters, etc.) 

● Local transport from and to Angouleme train station and Bergerac airport 

● *Air and train fares to and from collection points in France are not included. 

Prices

A: Single occupancy of Superior double bedroom with en suite: 1350€ per person.

B: Shared occupancy of Superior double bedroom with en suite: 1150€ per person.

C: Single occupancy of Twin bedroom shared bathroom 1100€ per person

D: Shared Twin bedroom / shared bathroom: 950€ per person 

Minimum 8 participants (max 10 residents)

  • A non-refundable deposit of 300€ is required for confirmation of booking

Itinerary

DAY 1 Travel day, you will be sent information regarding transportation to Toutvent Manoir(pick-ups are generally late afternoon) from Angouleme train station and Bergerac Dordogne Périgord Airport (EGC). Welcome, meet and greet dinner at the house.

DAY 2 Morning at the local marché. After a light market lunch, there will be an cookery class in Toutvent kitchen where the evening meal will be discussed and prepared.

DAY 3 We will meet in Toutvent kitchen where we will prepare a three course lunch to enjoy al fresco (weather permitting). The afternoon and evening will be free time for you to relax and enjoy the accommodation. A light evening meal will be provided.


DAY 4 You will have another chance to relax and have spare time to yourselves. There will be a light lunch provided. The afternoon session will be preparing and cooking the four course evening meal, again to be enjoyed together al fresco (weather permitting).

DAY 5 Brunch followed by departures before lunch.

  • Please note that this is a proposed itinerary and is subject to modest modifications, depending on available fresh produce, new opportunities, and the wishes of the workshop leader