Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Life is peachy / La vie au goût des pêches

After losing at crazy golf, Cheri's forfeit was to cook dinner for four all by himself. I have to say I did doubt a little as to how he was going to manage saying as I do most of the cooking à la maison but I shouldn't have worried. Take a look at the peach tart he made for dessert! 

This is admittedly quite a simple recipe, but really tasty. Roll out a ready prepared packet of puff pastry, cover with sliced fresh peaches and brush with melted butter. Sprinkle all over with sugar (you need to use quite a bit to caramelise the peaches) then pop in the oven for 30 mins. Half way through cooking, brush with a little more butter and sugar if you think it's needed.

 A perfect dessert - fruity, not too stodgy and very gourmand! It's worth waiting until the summer months to try it out as that's when peaches are at their juciest and cheapest.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Chicken in a bag / Les papillotes de poulet

Nothing makes me think more of home than a good old roast dinner, lovingly cooked by my Mam. When I'm feeling homesick I like to give the Sunday lunch a try but whereas Mam's chicken is always lovely and juicy, mine has the unfortunate habit of turning out dry. 

I was therefore intrigued to see a new product in the supermarket designed to overcome this problem: Les papillotes de poulet, or chicken in a bag. 

The magic bag
There are a variety of flavours available (lemon and herb, tarragon and garlic) but I opted for tomato and paprika, knowing that Cheri likes a bit of spice. The instructions are clear and simple: Unfold the plastic sachet and pop in your chicken, then add the packet contents and a couple of soup spoons of water. Close up the bag and pop in the oven for approximately 1 hour 30 depending on the size of the bird.

Ready for the oven!

Cooking time over, it was time to see the results! Even before taking the chicken out of the oven, an inviting smell of roasted tomatoes managed to coax Cheri down from the study. And taste-wise? I have to say I'm impressed! The chicken was well-cooked, moist and juicy, and the mixture of paprika and tomato made a lovely jus for our mashed potatoes. The fact that you only add water (no oil or butter) to the chicken is also a plus.

The only down-side is that the sachets are quite pricey, on average at least 1 euro 50, but the results are worth it, especially if you only cook a roast chicken from time to time. 

The only test that remains will be to cook this for my Mam the next time she comes over!