02 February 2009

Recipes from a Provencal Kitchen

Michel Biehn's cookbooks are visual feasts. Recipes from a Provencal Kitchen is no exception. If you never cook a single recipe, it won’t matter, as the pictures are good enough to eat. Biehn is a very European and old-fashioned cook, so the recipes are chatty paragraphs that explain how to cook a dish as opposed to long lists of pre-measured ingredients. Some people don't like that, but it the way I cook, so I don't mind.

Here is an example of Biehn's style. Marinated goat cheese makes a great hostess gift. As I said before, everybody brings wine, so be different! I often add a few red peppers to the oil.

A Jar of Goat’s Cheese in Olive Oil

If you go to Banon, do not forget to buy a supply of their famous little goat’s cheeses. Buy them fairly dry, so you will be able to preserve them easily in olive oil. Choose a large sterilized glass jar with a lid. At the base put a layer of these little cheeses and ideally sprinkle these with savory, a herb we call pebre d’ase around here. Savory will flavor the oil and the cheeses, and it will be unnecessary to add any other herbs. You are not making a bouillabaisse! Fill the jar with alternate layers of cheeses and savory. Cover with a good olive oil, seal the jar, and marinate for a month before using. Savory grows wild in southern Europe and tastes like a cross between mint and thyme –thyme could be used instead.

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