The right tools are essential to successful performance in your kitchen. The French excel at this of course, and have invented dishes to satisfy every possible accoutrement.
This weekend I tried two recipes that require the use of a moulinette or food mill. I was able to get my hands on, after much searching and comparing, one of the best moulinettes on the market, made by European manufacturer Paderno. Made entirely of stainless steel, it is used in major restaurants. It is the secret to wonderfully creamy soups, sauces and preserves.
I admit it is pricey, but it is a tool that will last forever and you will find yourself using it more and more.
Confiture de carottes
- 1 pd. peeled carrots
- Water, as needed
- 2 cups sugar
- Zest of 1 lemon and juice of 2
- 10 whole chopped or slivered almonds
- 2 Tbsp. Cognac
Remove the pan from the heat and add the almonds and Cognac. Cool and spoon into a sterilized jar. Keep in the fridge.
The other recipe I tried was a soup. What with the cold winter we are having here in Florida, a nice creamy pea soup is a welcome meal any time. This recipe is classic of a typical French brasserie. It even carries the name of the trendy 6th arrondisement – Saint-Germain-des-Prés. It freezes wonderfully, so make double the recipe and stock up!
- 15 oz. split peas
- 2 oz. lardons
- 1 cup veal stock
- 1 bouquet garni: thyme, leek, bayleaf, celery
- Freshly ground pepper
- ½ cup butter
- Croûtons and crème fraîche to serve
Soak the peas for 2 hours in cold water, then drain and boil in 4 cups of lightly salted water, skimming off the foam. When the peas are ready, drain (keeping half the water) and sieve through the moulinette.
Sauté the lardons in a pan, removing the grease. Add the sieved peas, pour on the veal stock and the liquid and add the bouquet garni. Simmer for 15 minutes at a very low temperature.