Archive for September, 2009

In 2006, I learned that veal is quite unpopular in the UK and whilst it is produced there, a lot of the production is then exported as the Brits just don’t want to eat it. Janet Street Porter did a section on the consumption of veal in Gordon Ramey’s F Word exposing that people did like the meat once they’d tasted it, it was just their perception of veal that stopped them buying it! After the show, Waitrose reported that the sale of veal had increased by 45%… oh the power of the television!

Veal is one of my favourite meats which I have had the chance to discover since living in France and its such a shame that more people outside of France don’t eat it. I don’t really like meat that much at all, I could be a part time vegetarian in fact, but veal is so tasty and tender I just love to eat it!

I was looking for something easy to cook for my guests last night and was happy with this recipe I found:

Veal Sauté with Aubergines
Serves 6

1.2 kg of veal, diced
2 onions
4 aubergines
2 tins of chopped tomatoes (or about 8 fresh tomatoes chopped)
3 teaspoons of curry powder
1 bunch of fresh coriander (or 6 soup spoons of frozen)
1 bunch of chives (or 4 soup spoons of frozen)
1 pinch of cayenne chilli pepper
1 Clove
Chicken broth (I used Maggi Bouillon de Volaille)
Salt & Pepper to taste

Peel and chop the onions and dice the aubergines and tomatoes (if using fresh tomatoes).
Heat some oil in the bottom of a saucepan and then gently fry the veal with the onions for about 10 minutes.
Add the curry powder and herbs (keep some of the coriander back to use for presentation). Season to taste and cook gently for 3 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, aubergines (there will be loads and loads but they reduce right down so don’t worry), the cayenne chilli pepper and the clove.
Cover with the chicken broth and leave to cook but stir frequently on a low heat for 1h30.
Serve with rice.

Drink suggestion: White Chateauneuf-du-Pape (Rhone Valley)

Whilst I didn’t drink the recommended wine (hubby had already opened red) I did enjoy this meal and I believe my guests did also. I think I’d put a little too much cayenne pepper and not enough coriander (I forgot to add the fresh coriander back into the dish before serving) as the taste was spicy but didn’t have the full flavour I’d been hoping for. All in all though, it was a quick dish for me to actually put together which meant that I spent time with my guests rather than time in the kitchen.

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Feeling Ill!

I found these funny Doctor related cartons on the Readers Digest Website. Click here to see more…

Last Thursday, I woke up feeling absolutely dreadful. Sore throat, difficulty breathing, bad raspy cough which had me clutching my sides… I didn’t think anything of it, but as the day progressed a few people suggested I checked with a doctor for Swine Flu. I’d been travelling the two days before on trains and was just back from Portugal also.

Feeling worse by the minute and with what I thought was a rocket high temperature, I checked out the symptoms on the internet before calling my doctor. He asked me what my temperature was? Don’t know, but hot was all I was able to say… Hubby went out and bought me a thermometer, took temperature, didn’t have one, it was just the house that was hot! Rung doctor back, he said keep an eye on it and call me tomorrow if you still feel bad.

Next morning, woke up, felt worse than I can ever remember feeling. Hubby called the Dr pronto and got me an appointment for late afternoon. “Quick, call another Dr!” I wailed! I couldn’t wait until late afternoon. So he called another Dr and got me an appointment a few hours later.

How great is that? That’s something I really appreciate about the French health system. General Doctor’s will more likely than not be able to slot you in on the same day. And get this – I was with the Dr a full hour!
In the UK you’d never be able to get a same day appointment in my local doctors surgery and you couldn’t just ring up another surgery to see if they could see you sooner. You’d also normally have to hang around in the waiting room well past your appointment time and then you would see the Dr in a flash. I’m sure I was never seen one for more than 5 or 10 minutes!

This Dr did a full check up, took all my past history as he’d not seen me before, commented on a condition I had which I didn’t think to tell him about. I was seriously impressed. Even more so when he told me I don’t have Swine flu but chronic bronchitis! I am relieved and am beginning to feel a wee bit better – better enough to sit in front of my PC anyway!

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I’m not normally one to comment on politics as I don’t know much about them and then to get bored very easily…

However, reading an article last night about the height conscious French president had me cracking at the sides and asking Hubby if he was sure it wasn’t April Fools day.

Apparently, Mr Sarkozy now wants to discard traditional economic measures and measure our happiness instead!

After much laughing, Hubby suggested that maybe it wasn’t such a stupid idea…

Have a read of the article and see what you think here: Nicolas Sarkozy wants to measure economic success in ‘happiness’

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