One of the things that we like to do on our twinning trips is cooking! There is lots that both Great Hucklow’ers and Parisotains can teach each other about local delicacies, and this is the place we attempt to share that information.

Below are all the recipes that have come out of our twinning events. French, British, and local Derbyshire.

If you would like to post a recipe, then please send it to us via the contact page. Take note though – we may have to make and eat it ‘en masse’ before it gets posted up….

We may also be testing your language skills here as some recipes are in French, some native English and some translated English. Enjoy…


Aniseed Ratatouille

This summer recipe I learned from my grandmother is distinctive in two ways : first the aubergines are fried apart so that they melt, second its flavour is made by aniseed which gives it a very subtle taste.

The secret: my grandmother used to replace the aniseed by a dose of Pastis, the famous southern aperitif !

Ingredients (Serves 4)

1 kg of courgettes
2 big aubergines
1 red or yellow pepper (the sweet one)
1 kilo of tomatoes
4 big onions (fresh) or 8 little
2 cloves of garlic
thyme, oregano, rosemary
a splash of Pastis or a star anise

Cut the aubergines in the length in thin slices. Fry the slices four by four in a frying pan with a lot of oil, sprinkle them lightly with a little sugar. Mop up each slice on kitchen paper (alternate one slice or two between each paper on the plate).

Chop the peppers and the onions, fry them gently in a thick bottom casserole, add the courgettes cut in slices, when they are golden, add the peeled tomatoes* cut in pieces, the mopped up and cut aubergines. Chop the garlic and put it in the pot, put salt, pepper, thyme, oregano and rosemary.

Add the aniseed or the Pastis.

Cover and let it cook gently for one hour.

Serve it hot with rice, red meat or fish in the oven.

Ratatouille is delicious cold too !


Le Poulet à la Normande


1 blanc de poulet par personne
1 cube de bouillon
Des champignons de Paris (frais ou en boîte)
1 pot de crème fraîche
2 cuillère à dessert de farine
25g de beurre

Faire chauffer l’eau dans une casserole avec le bouillon cube.  Quand l’eau bout, mettre les blancs de poulet à cuire pendant 10/15 mn.  Faire chauffer un peu de beurre dans une poěle, cuire les champignons pendant 10 mn.  Dans une casserole, faire chauffer le beurre, quand il a fondu, ajouter la farine pour faire un roux, mouiller avec du bouillon du poulet, remuer.  Ajouter la crème fraîche (1/2 pot).  Faire chauffer doucement.  Ajouter du bouillon si la sauce est trop épaisse.  Couper le poulet en tranches, le mettre dans un plat, ajouter les champignons et verser la sauce sur le poulet.  Servir.


Veal in White Sauce

I have been taught this recipe, typically French, by my grandmother; its particular taste is due to a smooth sauce made with thick cream and lemon. It’s a winter dish, served with pilaf rice.

The word “blanquette” probably comes from a sparkling white wine from Languedoc (south-west of France), called “Blanquette de Limoux”. This wine has first been made by monks in Middle-Age; they would have discovered the “sparkling” process.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

800 grammes veal shoulder (ask to the butcher blanquette with or without bones, up to your taste)
4 carrots
2 big onions + cloves
half a lemon
1 cup full of thick cream
1 bunch of herbs
4 desert spoons of corn flour
100 grammes of Paris mushrooms
2 glasses of dry white wine ( with no bubbles !)

In a large casserole, cook the pieces of meat in a little oil until it gets white.

Add two glasses of white wine and two glasses of water.

Stick one clove into each peeled onion. Prepare the bunch of herbs : a bay leaf, thyme and rosemary sticks tied with a thread. Peel the carrots and cut them in slices. Wash the mushrooms.

Add onions, herbs, carrots, mushrooms, salt, pepper and a few coriander seeds in the casserole.

Let it cook on gentle fire with a lid on for one hour and a half.

After, in a thick bottom  saucepan, prepare the sauce : melt 30 g of butter, add the flour and mix with a wooden spatula. When it turns light brown, add a spoonful of mixture from the casserole and mix until the sauce gets thick, then add rest of the broth.

Let it get simmer and thicken on gentle fire, add the cream and the lemon.

Taste and add more seasoning if necessary .

Put the sauce back in the casserole, mix and let it heat up a few minutes.

Serve it hot with rice.


Pork Fillet in Pastry

It’s my mother-in-law’s recipe. She pretends she does not know how to cook!

This pork fillet very nice appearance makes it a perfect dish for guests, who should appreciate its delicate flavours. Moreover, as it’s a dish which does not need any last minute preparation, the cook can have an aperitif while it’s cooking.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

1 pork fillet
1 flaky pastry
10 slices of thin bacon
1 egg yolk

Pre-heat the oven up to 200°

Chop finely 2 cloves of garlic with parsley. Lengthways; stuff it with the mix of parsley and garlic, put salt and pepper and close it up.

Roll the pastry out into a rectangle and cover it with mustard, then  cover it with  bacon slices. Place the fillet on top of the bacon at right angles. Roll the pastry around the meat and carefully close the ends.

Paint with beaten egg yolk.

Place it in a dish in the oven for about half an hour (more, if the fillet is big); serve with steamed potatoes and fresh spinach (+ cream).


Olives Cake

When you have guests and you don’t want to make a proper dinner, I suggest this recipe: it is fashion to serve this cake for *aperitif dinatoire*. Serve it with ready made *tarama* or Greek cucumber (next recipe). Easy to realise, this cake can be kept two days in a foil.

Ingredients (Serves 6)

150g flour
1 sachet of 20g of chemical yeast
4 eggs
4 tspn of oil
5cl milk
150g green stoned olives
150g hazelnuts
150g grated cheese
salt, pepper

In a salad bowl, mix flour and yeast, add the eggs one by one then the oil, milk, salt, pepper, olives, broken hazelnuts and the grated cheese.

Butter a cake tin and pour the mixture in.

Place in cold oven, bake 30 to 40mn at 165°

Turn out when it’s cool and serve with cherry tomatoes around.


This cake can be made with black olives and smoked bacon or with diced ham.


Green stoned olives = olives vertes dénoyautées
Hazelnuts = noisettes

Tarama is a Greek mixture (fish eggs and cream) you can buy ready made in fish shop or supermarket. I add a trickle of lemon and pepper before serving.


Lemon Cream

This is a delicious fresh desert, lightly acid, you can serve after a hearty meal. Lemon is well known for its richness in C vitamin and it cures throat aches. Lemon trees grow in South of France. You’ll find French lemons in the market in January, February and March.

Ingredients (Serves 6)

6 natural yellow lemons (without chemical)
6 eggs
40g Maïzena  (corn flour)
450g sugar
½ litre boiled water
1 pinch of salt
20cl thick crème fraîche

Boil the water and let it cool slightly. Grate the lemon zest, press to get the lemon juice and mix it all together with a blender. Break the eggs in a big bowl, add sugar and salt. Beat them with a whisk until you get a smooth cream

Ad the preparation zest + juice, then add tepid water to the Maïzena

Add tepid water bit by bit and keep on turning

Pour into a casserole on gentle water and let it cook three minutes quivering

Pour in a bowl and let it cool up

Add the crème fraîche and mix well.

Place in the cooler for at least 6 hours before serving.

This cream can also be served in individual ramekins.

I usually serve biscuits together, as for ice-creams.


Potatoes’ Fricassee

In my grand-parents’ farm, at harvest time, there were many workers ; then, invariably, the evening dish would be a fricassee with garden salad in the summer. It’s an economical and quite nourishing dish, ideal for a big family.


200 grammes de bacon or breast of pork
2 big onions or 6 small onions
4 garlic cloves
thyme, rosemary and laurel tight together and one clove = aromates
3 to 4 dessert spoons or flour
aroma Soya to colour the sauce
1 concentrate stock

Fry the diced bacon in oil, add the onions. When it turns to a nice golden colour, reserve it. Pour like rain the flour into the fat left; mix it well so it gets thick and add a little water, then add slowly 4 glasses of water, the concentrate stock and let it get thick. Add the potatoes cut in two or four according to their size, add chopped garlic, salt, pepper and aromates.

The sauce must cover the potatoes (1 cm above)

Let it cook 30 to 45 minutes depending on the quality of the potatoes, gently.


Mackerels in creamy sauce

This family recipe can be served in summer, very fresh, as a main course.

I serve it with special bread such as  whole-wheat or French bread, and then serve cheese and a sorbet.

Mackerel is a cheap fish, rich in D and B12 vitamins, it belongs to the oily fish family.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

4 average mackerels
1 salad (batavia or romaine)
500 grammes of cream  (or fromage blanc for a lighter dish)

Cook the cleaned mackerel with a handful of salt and a spoon of vinegar. When it starts boiling, let it cook gently about 10 to 15 minutes, according to the fish size.

Take the skin and the bones away. Keep them in a cool place. Pour the cream in a large salad bowl, add two spoonfuls of balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and the chopped herbs.

Cut the fish in pieces with the fingers and put it in the salad bowl.

Mix, taste and correct the seasoning if necessary.

Wash and cut the salad leaves in fine pieces.

10 minutes before serving, add the salad and mix the whole.


Leg of Lamb with French Beans and Potatoes

It’s a typical Sunday recipe that gives good leftovers to be eaten cold with a salad. The only problem is how to cut the lamb’s leg with bone; one can also buy a shortened leg which is easier to be cut. End of summer is the best season to buy French beans and they really fit with lamb.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

1 lamb’s leg of 1 kg
1 kg of spring potatoes
½ kg of French beans


Pre-heat the oven up to 250°. Peel the potatoes and wash them. It’s also possible to leave their skin on if it’s very thin, then just rub them. They’ll taste better though.

Rub the gratin dish bottom with half a clove of garlic. Lay the lamb’s leg in it, make some holes in the lamb’s leg skin and put pieces of garlic (cut in the length) into them.

Set down the potatoes around, season with much pepper and cooking salt on the meat, pour some olive oil on it, then sprinkle thyme and oregano on it.

Put it in the oven at 200° (45 minutes per kilo) and baste it with half a glass of water while it’s cooking.

Serve it with fresh French beans, steam cooked, and chopped parsley.

Cooked tomatoes on the frying pan can also be served with this dish.


Lamb’s leg: gigot d’agneau

Shortened: raccourci (part of the bone can be cut by the butcher)

Spring potatoes : pommes de terre nouvelles

* My grandmother’s trick to make garlic easily digestible: take off the germ in the middle of the clove.


Leek Quiche

Quiche is one of my favourite recipe for dinner, first because it’s easy to make, second because everybody likes it and last because you can put anything you like in the quiche, according to the seasons.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

1 flaky pastry (I buy it ready made)
1 pound of leek
20 cl of cream (liquid)
4 eggs
optional : a piece of salmon sprinkled with lemon and cut in cubes

Pre-heat the oven up to 100°

Wash the leek, cut off the green end, cut it in small pieces, then fry them in a saucepan  in olive oil for a short while; add a trickle of lemon, salt and pepper and let it cook gently for 15 minutes.

Spread the flaky pastry in the pie dish, make holes in it with a fork, place two forks or dried beans in the bottom of the pastry, so that it does not rise up and put it in the oven for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, beat the eggs with cream (or milk if you like it lighter). Add salt, pepper, grated nutmeg.

Mix with the cooked leek. Add raw salmon. Pour on the pastry.

Put half an hour in the oven up to 150°. Serve with a salad.


Summer Quiche

Instead of leek, add 100 grammes of grated cheese and  put slices of goat cheese and tomatoes over the preparation. Then sprinkle it with oregano, salt and pepper. Quickly made !

Courgette quiche

Same recipe, but with cooked (10 minutes) grated courgettes, 100 grammes of grated cheese and slices of tomatoes over.

Quiche Lorraine

Same recipe, but fried smoked bacon dices should be added to the preparation. I advice a few slices of tomatoes to decorate the quiche.


Duck Breast with Gratin

It’s a typical recipe from south-west of France . As this piece of meat has tasty fat, the potatoes will be delicious.

The duck breast is a fillet of lean meat cut from the duck or sometimes goose (lean  in French is “maigre”, so « magret » is nearly the same word).

Ingredients  (Serves 4)

2 duck magrets
1 kilo of potatoes
1 kilo of apples

Pre-heat the oven up to 250°

Peel, wash and cut the potatoes in thin slices. Place them in a gratin dish, first rubbed with garlic, and add salt, pepper and grated nutmeg. Add a chopped garlic clove.

Put the gratin in the oven 45 minutes.

Peel and cut the apples in pieces, cook them in a pot with a lid on, add two spoonfuls of honey and some grated nutmeg.

Prepare the magrets : make incisions deeply in the fat as to make slices, put some pepper and place them on a grill on the fat side.

When the gratin has already cooked 15 minutes; place the grill with the magrets exactly above the potatoes : the fat will melt basting the potatoes.

Let them cook as for a red meat (time : 15 minutes, cooked : 20 minutes). Take them out and keep them warm in foil. Turn down the oven.

When the gratin is cooked, put salt on the magrets, cut them in slices and serve them surrounded with the cooked apples.

This dish is excellent with a green salad (chicory for example).


Courgette Quiche

Quiche is one of my favourite recipe for dinner, first because it’s easy to make, second because everybody likes it and last because you can put anything you like in the quiche, according to the seasons. This is a summer one, lovely decorated with slices of tomatoes.

I advice to buy small courgettes: they contain less water and are tastier.

The word *quiche* comes from *küchen* in German (kuche in Alsacian) which means cake and is at the origin of all quiches and salty tarts.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

1 flaky pastry (home made or ready made)
500g of courgettes
150g of grated cheese
20cl of cream (liquid)
4 eggs
1 tomato

Pre-heat the oven up to 100°Wash the courgettes, cut off the ends, grate them with a food processor, then fry them in olive oil in a deep saucepan for a short while. Add a clove of garlic finely cut, nutmeg, salt and pepper and let it cook gently with a lid on for 10 minutes.

Spread the flaky pastry in the pie dish, make holes in it with a fork, place two forks or dried beans in the bottom of the pastry, so that it does not rise up and put it in the oven for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, beat the eggs with cream (or milk if you like it lighter). Add salt, pepper, grated cheese.

Mix with the cooked courgettes. Pour on the pastry. Decorate with thin slices of tomatoes.

Put half an hour in the oven up to 180°. Serve with a salad.


Summer goat cheese quiche

Instead of courgettes, put slices of goat cheese and tomatoes over the preparation. Then sprinkle it with oregano, salt and pepper. Quickly made!

Winter leek quiche

Same recipe, but fry the leeks cut in pieces, and add a trickle of lemon.  Don’t forget slices of tomatoes over.

Optional: a piece of salmon sprinkled with lemon and cut in cubes will make it richer.

Quiche Lorraine

The original and best, coming from Lorraine, a French region next to Germany. Same recipe, but fried smoked bacon dices should be added to the preparation


Flaky pastry = pâte feuilletée ou pâte brisée (for pies)
Fried smoked bacon dices = lardons salés et fumés


Chicory in Ham

Another family recipe! Your children will at last appreciate chicory because, thanks to a little trick*, they will not be bitter. A good cheese béchamel sauce will be served with this complete winter dish, quite cheap.

Do you know where the “endives” come from ? They come from wild chicory. This wild plant was used to provide salad and then it was discovered that  roasting the roots  became an acceptable coffee substitute. Mr Brésiers, head gardener of  Brussels Botanic Garden, covered his chicory plants with earth  and suddenly discovered thick white buds : endives. Since then, they have been cultivated everywhere in north of France and in Brittany.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

8 chicory (not too big and white)
4 slices of ham
25cl milk
30g butter
grated cheese
1 lemon

Wash the chicory and remove the base and cone, which is bitter, with a potato peeler. Steam them with a trickle of lemon. If they are big, cut them in 2 parts.

Heat up the oven to 200 °

Meanwhile, prepare a béchamel sauce: melt the butter, add two tablespoons of cornflour (or wheat flour), mix and add the milk gradually; mix with a whisk until the sauce gets thick enough. Add salt, pepper, grated nutmeg and grated cheese.

Take the endives out and dry them on paper. Roll each one in a half slice of ham and lay them in a gratin dish. Pour the béchamel all over, add some grated cheese and a few dabs of butter on the top.

Cook ten minutes in the oven and put the grill on the last three minutes.

* the trick is to take away the bitterness with lemon.


Chicory = endives
Ham = jambon : it’s better to buy it sliced by the “charcutier”


Chicken à la basquaise

This recipe comes from *Pays Basque*, south-west France, between sea and mountains. It was first a kind of * piperade* (vegetables with peppers and chilli) together with bread, then it changed into a recipe with fish or chicken. It’s an original way of cooking chicken in the summer and you can make a soup out of the left over.

I like it better not too hot and I advise to cook it in a good white wine (Sauvignon, for example). If you don’t want it too fat, take off part of the chicken skin before cooking.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

A farm chicken
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
1 bouquet of fresh onions
4 tomatoes
Thyme, rosemary, oregano
White wine
Olive oil
Optional: chilli or hot pepper

Cut the chicken in pieces, reserve the liver. Fry them in a trickle of olive oil, season them, reserve them and take off the fat from the pot afterwards. Cut the peppers and remove all the seeds and the white stuff (that’s what makes the peppers indigestible). Chop them and cut the onions. First fry the peppers in olive oil and when they have melted, add the onions; let them fry gently a few minutes more. Replace the chicken pieces in the pot; add 2 glasses of white wine. Peel and cut the tomatoes, add them with a chopped clove of garlic and chopped hot pepper if you like it hot.

Add thyme, rosemary and oregano, taste, and add salt and pepper if necessary. Let it cook gently 45mn. Add the piece of liver 5mn before serving.

I usually serve this dish with white rice *Basmati* or * Boulgour*: crushed durum wheat.


Chicken farm = poulet fermier
Peppers = poivrons
Hot pepper = piment d’Espelette


Caviar d’Aubergines’ Cake

This summer recipe, light and subtile, is vegetarian and without any flour.

Its tomato sauce with olives gives a nice colour to the cake.

It’s a pleasant dinner dish, together with a green salad.


4 aubergines
1 kilo tomatoes
6 eggs
25 cl thick cream
100 grammas black olives
Garlic, thymine, oregano, laurel, basil
Olive oil

3 stages of preparation:

1. Caviar d’aubergines

Wash, cut off the ends and dry the aubergines. Cut them in the length in thin slices. Fry the slices in a frying pan with a lot of oil and add salt. Mop up each slice on kitchen paper (alternate one slice or two between each paper on the plate).

Plunge in boiling water 4 rape tomatoes in order to peel them easily. Then cut them in pieces and take off part of their seeds.

Put in casserole 2 spoonfuls of olive oil and add the tomatoes, thymine, oregano, laurel, and 3 garlic cloves, peeled and cut.

Add salt and pepper and let it cook 10 minutes on gentle fire. Add the cut aubergines and let it cook half an hour more at very low heat.

Blend the mixture and let it cool up

2. Cake

Beat 6 eggs with thick cream, add the caviar d’aubergines, mix well and pour into a cake tin.

Place in hot oven (200 °) half an hour. Check if it’s ready with a knife.

Turn it out when it’s cool.

3. Tomato sauce with olives

Make a sauce with fresh peeled tomatoes, add black olives (without stones) finely cut and basil. Add pepper. Best served warm.

* Tips for less work : buy a ready made caviar d’aubergines or make more tomato sauce at the beginning and save a part in which you will add the olives.


Beef in Carrots

This year, on the markets carrots have different colours and shapes: some are even half purple and some enormous!

This recipe is like beef casserole, but with carrots. It’s a traditional dish, cheap, that you can eat warm or let it cool in the fridge: it’s also delicious cold and then it’s called beef in jelly.

This recipe’s secret is to add two spoonfuls of tomato paste: it will make the sauce more appetizing with a warm colour.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

800g Diced Beef
½ kg of carrots
1 onion
1 clove
2 cloves of garlic
1 bunch of herbs (rosemary, thyme, laurel) tied together
3 glasses of dry white wine
Tomato paste

The day before, marinade the meat in white wine with minced onions, garlic, herbs, salt, pepper, coriander seeds, clove and a spoonful of olive oil.

In a casserole, fry the meat on all sides in oil. Add the minced onions from the marinade. When it’s all brown, sieve the marinade and add the liquid. Heat it up. Add sliced carrots to the sauce.

Season and had two spoons of tomato paste and a little spoon of sugar.

Cover and let it cook gently for three hours.

Serve it hot with steamed potatoes, or cold in jelly with a green salad.

Beef : ask the butcher for “bourguignon” or “paleron” in pieces

Carrots: ask for “une botte de carrottes” sold with their leaf stalk in the market because they are tender and sweeter.


Spagetti with bacon & mushroom

Chopped up bacon (1 – 2 rashers per person), cook in 1 -2 oz butter (with optional garlic) in wok or frying pan for a few minutes until browned.
Add matching amount of chopped mushrooms, cook few more minutes stirring.
(Bring a pan water to the boil, add spaghetti.)
Add 1 tbsp plain flour to the bacon & mushrooms and keep stirring next adding milk to develop into a sauce (can be 50/50 milk and water) cook approx. 2 minutes, when fluid enough simmer, add black pepper, 1/2 tablespoon tomato puree and 2 oz grated cheddar. when spaghetti is cooked should be ready to serve.

For best taste use quality bacon and field/open mushrooms.

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