Yeah, yeah, yeah, another French bistro cookbook; a squab here some asparagus there, been there done that. Yes, Virginia, we are the repository of dozens of said cookbooks, but Mange Tout, is not one of them. It is bistro cooking and there is really a twist. The first twist is Bruno Loubet, himself. Born in Bordeaux, Loubet moved to England and just a few years was awarded Young Chef of the Year by Good Food Guides. He joined Raymond Blanc before opening a series of restaurants including L'Odeon in 1995. In 2001 he uprooted his family and went down under for eight years. In 2009, Loubet returned to London and opened Bistro Bruno Loubet. The ever-entertaining critic, Giles Coren, wrote of the event:
"...chef Bruno Loubet’s return to Britain is the most exciting comeback since Jesus appeared on the road to Emmaus just hours after the Crucifixion and said, “It ain’t over till it’s over.” (Or am I thinking of Rocky VI there?)... This, I immediately decided, is what a bistro is supposed to be. This is what happens when a
major, major chef decides to do bacon and eggs, to roll up his sleeves and get his boots dirty. One immediately knows this fellow can perform at the absolutely top level but today is going to relax on his technique and enjoy himself. It’s Philip Roth on Twitter."
The cookbook is indeed filled with twists. There is a traditional duck breast, but bathed and crisped in maple syrup with a walnut pesto. There is pheasant, not hung for days, but thrown into a pan with potatoes and carrots like a common pot roast. There are aubergines, but roasted with lime pickles and yogurt.
Think back a few posts and remember our love of Put An Egg On It, well Loubet does just that with these tasty little pancakes.
Pea Pancakes and Poached Eggs with Balsamic Syrup
350g of frozen small peas
2tbs of cornflour
Salt and pepper
1 whole egg
100ml Balsamic vinegar
2tbs of chopped chives
3tbs of white wine vinegar
4tbs of extra virgin olive oil
100g of pea shoots
For the pancakes
Cook the peas in boiling salted water for a few minutes, then drain in a colander. Place the peas in a food processor; add the cornflour, eggs and seasoning and process to make a puree.
Using a spoon make little round pancakes (about 8mm thick) with the puree.
Heat up a non-stick frying pan with a film of olive oil and the butter. When the butter is foamy, cook the pancakes on both sides and then place on an oven dish.
For the eggs
Heat a pan with water, salt and white vinegar. Have a tray with a hot damp cloth on the side.
Break your eggs gently in little cups (coffee for example) then slowly pour the eggs in the simmering water, letting them slide onto the side of the pan, (it will only take a minute to cook them). Remove them gently with a draining spoon and place onto the damp cloth.
Loubet's latest restaurant gets a nod in the new Modern Farmer magazine, reviewed at Lucindaville.