Tag Archives: sauce

Diots de Savoie and wild mushrooms in the French Alps

The Alps

The Alps near Annecy. If I looked this good half the time, I mean, jeez.

So last week we were in La Clusaz in  the French Alps for our spring vacation.  Its usually a ski resort but this time of year the scenery is really beautiful especially down near Lake Annecy where we spent much of our time.  This part of the world is known for lots of delicious foods- raclette, fondue, tartiflette to name but a few.  Cheesy and heavy these are often fed to skiers after a long day out on the slopes or to spring time tourists who like cheese 🙂  Speaking of which, there are also lots of delicious cheeses like reblechon- tres creamy, tomme de savoie ( and other tommes)- semi soft, and abondance-  a 2 year old hard cheese to name a few local ones which are all awesome. Although \i have to say this is the probably the first time in my life I feel slightly cheesed out. We ate out a lot, but on the few nights we were in we decided to try some local cooking at home in the Chalet Le Grizzly where we were staying.

Diots de Savoie au vin blanc, et champignons sauvages sur du pain grillé
or in anglaise Sausages in white wine and wild mushrooms on toast

Diots are a delicious french  meaty sausage lightly flavoured with nutmeg that can be consumed raw- often with mustard, or cooked.  When cooked, they are traditionally simmered in a white wine and onion sauce, and often served with creamy cheesy garlicy crozets which are teeny tiny square pastas.  We used the basis of the traditional recipe for the sauce but added some extra vegetables to the mix in an effort to be healthy. This recipe is happy to be cooked in a single large pot so its nice and easy.  The first time we made this we also had some wild mushrooms from the local markets on toast but sadly we have no pictures of these because we forgot and ate them up too quickly.  But the diots were so delicious we made them again for family so we had 10 sausages, and this time we took photos.  We’re going to provide the diot recipe for two (and the mushrooms sans photos), so don’t get too confused if you follow it and your pot doesn’t look like it has 10 sausages like the pictures. Here’s how its done:

Diots de Savoie -Serves two

Ingredients:

Four Diots de Savoie from your friendly french butcher.  We reckon yorkshire sausages or the like could also work.

One Tbsp Flour

One Tbsp Butter and one Tbsp olive oil for frying

One large white onion

Two large garlic cloves

Two large handfuls of small new potatoes

10-12 Asparaguses

500 ml Chicken stock

250 ml  Dry white wine such as Apremont

Pepper (no salt as the sausages are salty)

Herbs de Provence

Crusty baguette for mopping up sauce

One large pot

Wine: Usually served with white wine. We can definitely recommend the local Savoie Apremont Sec- quite light and dry and a good accompinament to a heavy meal.  Or if you fancy the red a bottle of Arbin which is also a nice local wine – quite full bodied and pleasantly peppery.

Method:

Chop your garlic into small pieces, and cut your onion in half and slice into thin half moons. In your large pot melt the butter and oil.  Once foamy, lightly sauté the onion and garlic.

Half-moon onions

Don’t make the mistake of cutting the onions as per the anchovy pasta, aka. The ONLY Correct Way To Chop An Onion. It is not the only correct way.

Big Garlic

I can’t believe how goddamn big the garlic is in France.

Add the diots whole and cook until golden brown.

Diots Cooking

Apparently you can just eat these things raw. Not for us.

Sprinkle with flour to make a bit of a roux and stir.

Roux

Roux is so French I want to kiss it with tongues.

Add the white wine, stock ,pepper, herbs de provence, and new potatoes (If the potatoes are not very small cut in half first). Cook over low heat for about 30 mins (lid off). The jucy salty oils from the sausages should meld into your sauce, and it should gradually thicken.  Add the asparagus and cook for a further 15 mins.

Stewing

Stewing away.

Scoop out into shallow bowls. Eat!

Serving Diots

Make sure none of the sauce spills. Wipe the counter with a baguette if this happens.

Tips: If your sauce doesn’t thicken like you want it to, add a little sauce to a bowl and gradually stir in some more flour.  Once incorporated slowly add to the pot.  Also, if you have any of the sauce left over you can add some more veg to it and make it into a soup!

For the wild mushrooms (morels and girolles) on toast:

This recipe is super simple but really really delicious.  Its a great way to prepare any kind of flavoursome mushroom.

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp Butter

2 garlic cloves

Salt and peps

250g morels sliced thickly

250g girolles whole

crusty baguette

Melt the butter.  Once foamy add the garlic and saute for a few minutes.  Add the mushrooms, sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and saute till soft.  In the meanwhile toast slices of your baguette in the toaster or oven.  Pour the buttery mushrooms all over the toast. Enjoy!

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Anchovy Pasta

This recipe comes from The Geometry of Pasta. It is known in France as pasta des anchois.  It’s quick, easy, yummy, and costs nothing to make. Anchovy pasta has become one of Tom’s weekday staples, and we thought we would tell you the best way to cook this salty treat.

Delicious anchovy pasta

The parsley goes on top so we don’t have to think about how gross the sauce looks.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

1 large onion

2 tins anchovies (Sainsbury’s anchovies in olive oil are fine, but if you are really flashing your cash, splash (rhyme!) on John West anchovies in olive oil. Mr. West, for my money, makes the best damn anchovies money can buy!)

250ml white wine (Go for something dry and not too sweet.)

125ml water (tap water is fine, but if you’re feeling fancy, bottled will work too – just nothing with extra flavour – orange, other fruits, etc.- this will ruin the pasta – trust me!)

Enough spaghetti for 2 persons (whole wheat pasta tastes better with the sauce, nuttier and nutmeggy for some reason)

Method:

Chop the onion. I don’t know if I mentioned the way to chop and onion in a previous post, but here is the correct way to cut an onion, and all the other ways of doing it are just people ruining perfectly good onions. You chop it in half across the middle, so when you look at the chopped faces, you see a bunch of rings. Put both halves on the board face down, and make about three horizontal cuts most of the way through, but not all the way through in the same direction of the original cut. This means cutting the onion with the knife sideways. Then cut down, perpendicular to the previous cuts, about 1/4 inch apart from each other. Then turn the chopping board 90 degrees and, holding the onion to secure the sides so all the bits don’t splurge out,  make downward cuts perpendicular to those previous cuts. You will then find yourself staring at a pile of perfectly chopped onions. It seems complicated reading it (it was complicated writing it!), but trust me, do it this way once and you’ll never go back!

So throw all that onion in a frying pan and put it over a low heat. I have a gas hob and I put it on the lowest flame on the largest ring. Then open the tins of anchovies and drain the olive oil from them into the frying pan. Stir occasionally until the onions are translucent and soft, about 8 minutes. Then throw in the anchovies. They will just melt in the heat after a couple of minutes into a brownish goo, giving you some small insight into the fragility of life. Mush this goo into the onions and add the water and wine. Once this has started to boil (still on low low heat), put on the timer for 23 minutes. Then let it all chill out. During this time, I like to watch a little TV, some New Girl or something, just to pass the time, but you do what you want. Just let you be you!

When the timer goes off, put the pasta in some water with a pinch of salt and bring to the boil. The sauce should have boiled down to about a  quarter of its former glory. Stir the sauce constantly as the rest evaporates, and it begins to look a little dry. At this point, add about a quarter cup of the pasta water, to add a bit of moisture, and after 2 minutes, take it off the heat. This should be about the time the pasta has finished cooking. Drain the pasta and mix it in to the sauce. Split it between two bowls and rip some parsley over each.

A bowl of anchovy pasta

A beautiful helping of anchovy pasta.

That’s it, enjoy! And hold each other.

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