Hungry for France


Published on

Travel Cookbook with Restaurant reviews & Recipes

Published in: Education, Travel, Business
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Hungry for France

  1. 1. Brittany3Waking to sea-gull cries scoredagainst a low roar of break-ers, the bracing brininess ofa gentle breeze was softened by the scent ofa stand of cedars next to the solid old stonehotel, and beyond the grassy green beardof the dunes, someone in a red jacket wasalready walking along the long flat toastcolored beach. I’d left the window open thenight before, and the ocean air was so ton-ic, I woke before my alarm. So after a veryearly Breton breakfast of fresh apple juice,warm buttery crepes with blackberry jamand coffee, I set out on my mission.Eve knew that some foods are perfectand so irresistible just as they’re found innature, and during my first day in Brit-tany, I ravenously succumbed to one ofthem, oysters. Now I was stalking another,langoustines. Before moving to France, I’dnever eaten a langoustine, or Dublin Bayprawn as they’re sometimes called in Eng-lish, but once I’d tasted the tight little curl oftender sweet iodine rich meat in one of theircrunchy easily opened tails, a permanentcraving was born.So I was on a quest ordained by a friendfrom Brest. “If you like the langoustines inParis, just you wait until you’ve had themfreshly landed in Brittany,” she’d teased.Then a few months later when anotherBreton pal invited me to a house party inhis family’s summerhouse in Benodet for aweekend, I left Paris a few days earlier andshacked up in what was to become one ofmy favorite hotels in France, the Hotel dela Plage in Sainte-Anne-la-Palud, so that Icould do some serious eating first.Carefully side-stepping big coiledsnakes of thick rope and staying out of theway, I watched as crates of plump pearlygray-pink langoustines were unloaded fromthe sturdy trawlers just docked at the stonewharf of Loctudy, the Breton port knownfor these succulent crustaceans, on a mistymorning in early June. Some of the catchwas headed for the busy criées, or morningfish markets, in Le Guilvinec, Audierne andConcarneau, while the rest was beingloaded into small vans headed tothe kitchens of nearby hotelsand restaurants.“Vous achetez?” fisher-man called down from hisboat mistaking me for a buyer.“Non, non, je suis ici pour lesmanger!” (No, I’m here to eat them!) Ireplied, and he laughed. Then I had an idea.Brittany & Atlantic CoastI watchedas crates ofplump pearlygray-pinklangoustineswereunloaded fromthe sturdytrawlersTLobrano_Hungry for France_design1_LowRes.indd 2-3 4/30/13 10:58 AM
  2. 2. 4Brittany5Brittany“So where would you go to eat langoustines?”“Oh, I don’t eat them myself. I like meat,” he said, and Ithought he was joking.“Okay, so where should I go to eat what you just caught?”He pointed to a place behind me. “It doesn’t look likemuch but I think you’ll be happy over there,” he said, whichwas an understatement that made me laugh out loud whenI found myself sitting in front of a metal platter as big as ashield and piled high with langoustines an hour later.Since I was her only customer, and I’d endeared myselfto her by refusing an offer of mayonnaise—“No thanks, I’lleat them just the way they are,” I’d said (“Good for you, youdon’t need to tart up anything as pretty as these are,” she’dreplied) and I’d picked the meat out of their delicate claws—most tourists can’t be bothered and just eat their tails, thefriendly older waitress kept me company during my feast.I told her about the fisherman’s joke that he preferred meat,and she explained he’d probably been telling the truth.Many older Bretons, and especially fisherman, don’t eatcrustaceans out of an ancient Celtic deference to drown sail-ors. “You wouldn’t want to be eating something that mighthave eaten a cousin,” she elaborated.She also explained the popularity of shellfish was a rela-tively recent development—until tourism began in Brittanyin the 19th century, the local diet had been sardines, fatback,buckwheat, eggs and milk. “Before the trains reached Britta-ny and brought in all the fancy people from Paris, the armor(sea, in Breton), was the dangerous place the men worked assailors and fishermen, and the argoat (land) was what fed usand where we felt safe.” Even after I’d eaten well over a dozenlangoustines, she insisted on making me a salted caramelsmeared crepe for dessert, and it was delicious. Then shetold me that a very talented young chef had just come homefrom Paris to take over his family’s auberge down the roadin Plomodiern—“He’s a local boy but I think he just mightbe the first of many, since we have so many nice things tocook around here,” advised a long walk on the beach to enjoythe good weather, and kissed me on both cheeks before sheushered me out the door, saying, “I hope you won’t forget thenice little feast you had with me today.”Since that special sea shack no longer exists, my favor-ite address in Loctudy is now the Auberge Penn Ar Vir, anexcellent little seaside place where chef Arnaud Le Levierserves one of the freshest catch-of-the-day menus in Brit-tany, including lots of langoustines, bien sur. Lingering overa long lunch there recently, I couldn’t help but think abouthow prescient that lovely lady had been all of those yearsago, since Les Glazicks, that little restaurant down the roadthat she recommended, now has two stars and shaggy greenBrittany, France’s nose, has become a gastronomic destina-tion on par with Burgundy, the Riviera or Alsace.She wasn’t the only one who roused me to appreciatingthe province’s bounty, though. I remember a chat with chefPatrick Jeffroy, one of Brittany’s best chefs, and his friendthe famous oyster producer Alain Madec as we scarfeddown freshly shucked bivalves in the shelter of Madec’sstone work shed overlooking the topaz colored waters of theBay of Carantec on a drizzly day under a low thick quilt ofpewter-colored clouds. “The first dish I ever cooked was son(bran) for my grandmother’s hens,” said Jeffroy, who grew upin the neighboring town of Morlaix. “We raised pigs, we hada vegetable garden and apple trees. Life was simple and lifewas hard.” Madec agreed, adding that for most Bretons, eat-ing was about survival for many generations. “Now, though,we’ve rediscovered our power—We’re Celts! And today ourwealth comes from the waters that surround us.” “We’re inthe midst of creating a whole new kitchen,” Jeffroy added,and working with Brittany’s remarkable produce—seafood,of course, but also some of the best vegetables, pork and fowlin France, that’s exactly what a new generation of youngBreton chefs have done.Lobrano_Hungry for France_design1_LowRes.indd 4-5 4/30/13 10:58 AM
  3. 3. 6Brittany7BrittanyL E S G L A Z I C K S6  Plomodiern  7After devouring what seemed like a schooner’s holdfull of langoustines, it didn’t seem likely I’d have anhonest appetite for dinner, but a drive out to the Pointe-du-Raz, followed by a long hike around this magnificent pen-insula with a sheer craggy stone shoreline changed all that.So that evening a gentle lady whom I immediately guessedwas the chef’s mother ushered me into the spacious diningroom with picture windows overlooking the countrysideand handsome art-deco paintings on the walls. Attractivethough this room may be, I sensed the formality it conveyedwas befuddling this woman, and we started chatting.She told me that her son, Olivier Bellin had just re-turned to Plomodiern after training with Joel Robuchon inParis and that she’d agreed to let him take over the kitchensof the family auberge, the culinary fiefdom of three genera-tions of women. “The cooking my son does is wonderful—Ijust hope that the locals like it, too, because it’s quite sophis-ticated.”As soon as my first course arrived, I understood thescope of Bellin’s daring. Hand-churned Breton butter—eventoday, Bretons much prefer this rich dairy condiment to ol-ive oil, came with hot buckwheat rolls and my first coursewas an exquisitely airy flan of foie gras whipped with lan-goustine cream, or a perfect Breton marriage of armor-argoat(land and sea). Still, I liked Madame Bellin so much that Ialso found myself quietly wondering if cooking this sophis-ticated could possibly find a following in the middle of theBreton countryside. Succulent roast rabbit in a silky gentlysaline sauce of cockles and shrimp was not only a spectacu-lar dish for being unlike anything I’d ever eaten and almostvertiginously satisfying in terms of its perfect balance be-tween the two complimentary poles of the Breton larder, butit also provided a very reassuring answer to my musing.Olivier Bellin knew exactly what he was doing—alternately teasing the locals with elegant creations ofhaute-cuisine caliber and then reassuring them by servingthem dishes they’d immediately recognize but love for thefact of their being so much better. And once can just neverbe enough once you’ve tasted his warm semolina cake withblood orange and fennel sorbet. Bellin recently opened acharming eight-room auberge, too, which makes for a su-perb gourmet weekend in one of the prettiest corners ofFrance.R E S TA U R A N T L E P E T I TH Ô T E L D U G R A N D L A R G E6  Saint-Pierre-Quiberon  7Caricatured in the rest of France as a story of crepes,oysters and peasant oddities like kig ar farz, meatwith stuffing in Breton, or a very sturdy pot au feu like dishof simmered meat, vegetables and buckwheat pudding,before the rise of the current generation of talented youngBreton chefs, Breton cooking has always had more astuces,or shrewd gestures, than it was given credit for. All Bretonsknow, for example, that the fresh fish caught off theircoastline should be cooked as simply and as a precisely aspossible.There’s no better address at which to experience thedeceptively modest mastery of modern Breton fish cookingthan the dining room of the charming Petit Hotel du GrandLarge on the long dangling peninsula of Quiberon. In aprevious life, chef Hervé Bourdon and his wife Catherineworked in advertising in Paris, and then they decided tothrow it all over for Brittany and a cozy six-room hotel andrestaurant serving what Boudon calls “the world’s best fish.”Bourdon’s menu changes constantly according to thecatch of the day, but dishes like lightly smoked oysters withcauliflower puree and turbot cooked in rosemary-scentedartichoke bouillon stun because the seafood is made somuch more eloquent by being contrasted with a single veg-etable. “Being a good fish cook is all about timing and re-specting the produce. Nothing I do should ever mask thenatural taste of the extraordinary fish that I’m able to getin Brittany.” His steamed sea bass with seaweed butter andLapsong Souchong flavored potato puree is another nod atthe humble ancestral genius of Breton fish cooks, too, andhe’s also an accomplished pastry chef, as seen in his mangonems and green-tea chocolate cake.“The cookingmy son doesis wonderful —I just hope thatthe locals like it, too,because it’s quitesophisticated.”Lobrano_Hungry for France_design1_LowRes.indd 6-7 4/30/13 10:58 AM
  4. 4. 8Brittany9BrittanyL A M A R E AU X O I S E AU X6  Saint Joachim  7Éric Guérin has loved birds ever since he was a child, soit’s no surprise that of the most talented young chefsin France decided to nest in La Brière, a remote and beau-tiful corner of Atlantic France, and named his delightfulauberge after its immediate surroundings, the marsh of thebirds. Though it’s only forty minutes from Nantes and tenminutes from La Baule, the chic beach resort, Guérin’s placein the heart of the snug huddle of thatched cottages on theIle de Fredun that comprises the village of Saint Joachim,has the allure of being someplace lost and confidential, andit’s both.This is also why Guérin’s cooking comes as sucha surprise. Given the winsomely rustic setting, you’dnever expect to find dishes as audacious, aestheticallyalert, and astonishingly cosmopolitan-- Guérin is an in-veterate traveler, as what he served me and an Englishfriend on a soft summer night. Our meal began with adelightfully seasonal miniature of steamed baby peaemulsion, burrata, cherry tomatoes and chopped peach,and progressed with a series other dishes that were asprecisely composed as intriguing edible still-lives. Theywere also spectacularly good eating, though, unlike thefussy pretty cooking of other young chefs that neverquite comes together on the palate. Dressed crab withavocado, pickled enoki mushrooms, chopped radishesand a black rice wafer displayed a charming Japonisme,while the rich but innocent taste of butter poached lob-ster was parsed out by pickled garlic, haricots vert, sliv-ered Kalamata olives and peas.Guérin’s fresh goat cheese soufflé with Moroccaninspired carrots and oranges marinated with cinnamonand carrot-apricot sorbet was one of the best dessertsI’ve had a longtime, too.“Every dish that I create is intend to convey an emo-tion,” Guérin told me when I ran into him at breakfastthe next morning. “I try to cook in a way that opens peo-ple’s minds, shares an idea and makes them think,” headded, before excusing himself to greet one of the manysmall local farmers who provision his kitchen.In addition to the original ten rooms, Guerin re-cently added five spacious beautifully decorated suitesto the auberge, which is a young warm friendly placewhere they’re lots of great things to see and do nearby,including a visit the walled city of Guerande, the centerof the salt pans that produce the world’s finest salt, fleurdu sel. But you might also just want to go for a quiet rideon the surrounding canals in a chaland, the traditionaltransport in this luminous, aquatic corner of France, orspend a quiet afternoon at the auberge’s wonderful spalistening to the bird song.Y O U P L A B I S T R O T6  Saint-Brieuc   7Though it’s located on the northern coast of Brittany,which is famous for its spectacular coastline, includ-ing the magnificent Côte de Granit rose between Perros-Guirec in the east and Trébeurden in the west, Saint Brieucis a workaday town rather than a tourist destination, andthis is what makes the success of young chef Jean-MarieBaudic’s cheerful bistro so intriguing. Baudic, who’s regu-larly and rightly named as one of the most talented youngchefs working in France right now, began his career in thekitchens of Patrick Jeffroy and then set out for Paris, wherehe was chef at Helene Darroze for several years before goingto work for Pierre Gagnaire.Baudic shakes his head in wonderment when hespeaks of the three years he worked for Gagnaire. “Hisintuition, his sense of improvisation, and mastery ofingredients is unequaled. He pushed me to my outerlimits, and that’s when I finally understood how I wouldcook. I wouldn’t have a menu—I’d go to the markets ev-ery morning and then decide what I would cook.” Ofcourse, nothing could be a great challenge for a chefthan to start all over again everyday, and this is whyBaudic’s cooking is so spectacular, propelled as it is bythe chef’s sincerity and spontaneity.Specifically making an overnight stop in Saint Brieucon a recent trip to Brittany for the pleasure of his cook-ing—he does cuisine du marche bistro cooking at noon,and then let’s his imagination take flight at dinner. Ona warm night, we started with an astonishing dish thatdidn’t exist yesterday and won’t exist tomorrow—lob-ster tartare with mango sorbet dressed with shellfishoil (oil in which shellfish shells have been steeped) withgrilled eggplant and fresh almonds, a perfect little sum-mer symphony, and continued with a simple but ethe-really good yellow pollack steak on a mousse of Par-mesan, onions and hazelnuts before concluding with abanana financier with apple gelee.We were the only foreigners in the dining room thatnight, which indicates just how far Brittany has evolvedaway its rude to nearly absent culinary culture of yorewhen a small town can support a chef of Baudic’s out-sized talent.“Nothing I do should evermask the natural taste of theextraordinary fish that I’mable to get in Brittany.”Lobrano_Hungry for France_design1_LowRes.indd 8-9 4/30/13 10:58 AM
  5. 5. Brittany1110BrittanyP R O D U C E R ’ S B O X  Maitre de Gout: Beurre Bordier  Until you’ve tasted the butter that Jean-Yves Bordier makes at his atelier in Noyal-sur-Vilaine just outside of Rennes, you’ve never really tasted butter. This butter is so good,in fact, that it graces the tables of many of the great chefs of France, Alain Ducasse,Joel Robuchon and Guy Savoy among them. Though he originally wanted to be a sailor, Bordierlearned to make butter from his cheese-merchant parents and it eventually evolved into hisguiding passion. So what makes Bordier butter, which comes in a variety of different versions,including unsalted, salted, salted with smoked salt and seasoned with either seaweed (heaven onfish), yuzu (Japanese citrus), Espelette pepper from the Basque Country or vanilla beans so good?“First of all, I use cream from the best possible organicmilk,” the amiable Bordier explained to me whenI visited his shop, which is located in the beautifulwalled Breton seaport town of Saint Malo. “I sourcefrom carefully selected herds of Norman and Holsteincows which graze on the rich pastures around Rennes(Brittany’s largest city). And then my butter is madeslowly.”What this means is that the cream ages for thirty-sixhours after it’s skimmed from the milk so that its flavorcan become more pronounced, and then it’s churned foran hour and a half in a specially designed machine insmall bathces. After the buttermilk is removed from thenew butter, ice water is added, and the butter churnsfor another hour and a half before being transportedto Bordier’s atelier for the final step, which is kneadingby a wooden cylinder for from fifteen to thirty minutes(butter made from rich summer cream requires lesskneading than that made from thinner winter cream).By contrast, industrial butter is made through a muchfaster process of thermic shock that usually destroysthe delicate taste and perfume of the cream.To taste this sublime butter at its source, stopby Bordier’s shop or restaurant, Autour du Beurre,both in in Saint-Malo. The cozy restaurants featuresdishes made with his butter on a regularly changingchalkboard menu, including, perhaps, turbot withcauliflower purée made with smoked-salt butter, steakgarnished with piment d’Espelette butter, and applecrumble baked with vanilla-bean butter. N.B. In Paris,Bordier butters are sold at the Grande Epicerie of LeBon Marché department store, Lafayette Gourmet atGaleries Lafayette, Fauchon, Da Rosa in Saint-Germain-des-Pres, Dalloyau on rue de Faubourg Saint-Honore,and the Breizh Café in the Marais, among other outlets.Lobrano_Hungry for France_design1_LowRes.indd 10-11 4/30/13 10:58 AM
  6. 6. Brittany1312BrittanyOne of my favorites in the region isBreizh Café in Cancale. This excellentcreperie has branches in Paris andTokyo, too. Try a “Cancalaise” galette,a neatly folded buckwheat galettefilled with potatoes, herring, crèmefraiche and herring eggs. N.B. There’san outstanding restaurant—La BreizhCafé Table, at the same address onthe first floor. Then in Theix there isCreperie La Chaloupe. Overlooking atidal basin and an old tidal-poweredmill in the pretty little town of Theixjust outside of Vannes and not farfrom the Golfe du Morbihan, thisexcellent creperie proudly lists itsalmost exclusively organic suppliersof eggs, dairy goods, flour andother ingredients used to create amenu of classic Breton galettes andcrepes. A galette with a slice of ham,Emmenthal, fried egg and sautéedmushrooms and a crepe spread withsalted-butter caramel make a terrificlunch, and they’re several good ciderson tap. When I am in Rennes, I nevermiss Creperie La Saint-Georges.Chef Olivier Kozyk chose the crepeand galettes as the gastronomiccanvases for his creativity—eachone has a different name and manyof them feature very unexpectedcombinations of ingredients. TheGeorge Washington, for example,is a buckwheat galette filled withgrilled ground beef, pickles, tomatoes,and an egg, a very French homageto America. The fashion-boutiquedécor of this places has made it afavorite night out for Rennes hipyoung crowd, too. At Saint Brieux, LaCreperie des Promenades is run byan amiable proprietress and mastercrepe maker Lena proudly discoursesof the local almost exclusively organicproduce she uses in her crepes andgalettes at this very popular placewith a terrific Sixties retro décor. Trythe seaweed filled galette, which isnot only really healthy—seaweed isrich in trace elements, but delicious—seaweed tastes like iodine-enrichedspinach.When the French rail system reached previously remote Brittany during the 19th cen-tury, newspaper articles about the beauty of France’s wave-la shed western-most regionlaunched a tourist boom that continues to this day. Tourism also brought two homely Breton staplesinto the mainstream of the French diet, the galette, a buckwheat (sarrasin, in French) flour crepe withsavory fillings like cheese, bacon, eggs, and sausage, and the crepe, which is made with wheat flourand is usually eaten for dessert with fillings like sugar-and-butter, caramel, and spiced apples. For atruly local feast, these famous French pancakes are consumed with a bowl of apple or pear cider. Ifgalettes and crepes delight visitors to Brittany, older natives of the province remember them as hav-ing once been staples of a much simpler and sparer diet in times past, while they’ve recently becomea source of pride among younger Bretons as an emblem of the province’s distinctive culinary identity.D E L I C E S D EL A R E G I O NG A L E T T E S& C R Ê P E S••••Lobrano_Hungry for France_design1_LowRes.indd 12-13 4/30/13 10:58 AM
  7. 7. 14Brittany15BrittanyBaked Oysters in Seaweed ButterWhen Sottha Khunn prepares thishearty Italian veal stew, you can see the French fingerprints. Forinstance, he deglazes the pot with Armagnac, adds a teaspoon of tomato paste at the end of cooking forcolor, and enriches the sauce with butter.Prepare the seaweed butter: Heat oven to 250 degrees.Place the nori on a baking sheet and bake until crisp andfragrant, about 15 minutes. Break into pieces and grind to apowder using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. Transferto a mixing bowl and add the butter, lemon zest, lemon juice,salt and pepper. Mix until thoroughly blended.On a sheet of parchment paper or plastic wrap, shapemixture into a small log about 1 ½ inches in diameter. Rollup, seal the ends and chill until firm. May be refrigerated for1 week or frozen for up to 1 month.Prepare the oysters: Heat a broiler, with a rack about 6inches below heat. Place the wakame in a small bowl ofhot water until rehydrated, about 10 minutes, then cut into12 tiny squares; set aside. In a small skillet, toss the breadcrumbs with the olive oil. Place over medium heat and stiruntil toasted, 2 to 3 minutes; remove from heat and set aside.Arrange oysters on a rimmed baking sheet. Top eachwith a small knob (about ½ teaspoon) of seaweed butterand 1 teaspoon of the toasted bread crumbs. Place underbroiler until warmed through and butter is bubbling, about2 minutes. Carefully (shells will be hot) transfer to a servingplatter, and garnish each oyster with a squeeze of lemon, abit of radish and a square of wakame. Serve hot.4 servingsFor the Seaweed Butter (Makes 1 Cup):1 sheet nori seaweed1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperatureFinely grated zest of half a lemon3 tablespoons lemon juice1 tablespoon salt1 teaspoon black pepperFor the Oysters:1 ½ inch square of dried wakame seaweed¼ cup fresh bread crumbs1 teaspoon olive oil12 Belon oysters, opened, top shellsdiscardedWedge of lemon2 radishes, finely shredded on a graterLobrano_Hungry for France_design1_LowRes.indd 14-15 4/30/13 10:58 AM
  8. 8. 16Brittany17BrittanyBuckwheat Galettes with Salmon,Capers, and DillWhen Sottha Khunn prepares this hearty Italian veal stew, you can see the French fingerprints. Forinstance, he deglazes the pot with Armagnac, adds a teaspoon of tomato paste at the end of cooking forcolor, and enriches the sauce with butter.Make the Crepes:Place flour in medium bowl. Whisk in eggs, ¼ cup oil, milk,1 ¼ cups water, and salt.Heat 10-inch-diameter nonstick skillet over medium-highheat; brush pan with oil. Add ¼ cupful batter to skillet; tilt tocoat bottom. Cook crepe until golden on bottom, adjustingheat to prevent burning, 30 to 45 seconds. Using spatula,turn crepe over; cook 30 seconds. Transfer to plate. Repeatwith remaining batter, stacking crepes between sheets ofplastic wrap. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead.Cover; chill.Assemble the galettes: Score flesh side of salmon fillet at 1½-inch intervals ½ inch deep in crisscross pattern; sprinklewith salt and pepper. Heat large nonstick skillet overmedium-high heat. Add salmon, skin side down. Cook untilskin is lightly browned, 3 minutes. Turn salmon over andpartially cook until just warm, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer toplate. Cut salmon, including skin, into ½-inch pieces; cool.Heat same skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoonbutter, green onions and 2/3 of smoked salmon. Sauté 2minutes; add reserved salmon. Toss until heated through.Remove from heat; add lemon juice, capers, and choppeddill. Season with salt and pepper.Melt 1 teaspoon butter in medium skillet over mediumheat. Working with 1 crepe at a time, add to skillet and heatthrough. Spoon 1/8 of salmon mixture onto bottom third ofeach crepe. Roll up and place on plate. Garnish with reservedsmoked salmon and dill sprigs. Repeat with remainingbutter, crepes, and salmon.Shrimp in Cream SauceWhen Sottha Khunn prepares this hearty Italian veal stew, youcan see the French fingerprints. For instance, he deglazes the potwith Armagnac, adds a teaspoon of tomato paste at the end ofcooking for color, and enriches the sauce with butter.Brush a large skillet with oil and heat over very high heat.Add the shrimp and sear until deep pink. Add the Cognacand bring to a simmer, then tilt the pan and carefully ig-nite. When the flames subside, stir in the crème fraîche andseason with salt, pepper, and cayenne. Reduce the heat tomedium-low and simmer for 10 minutes.Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shrimp to a bowl. Re-move the heads. Arrange the tails on a warmed platter.Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook until slightly thick-ened. Add the lemon juice. Strain the sauce over the shrimpand serve.For the crepes:1 ¼ cups buckwheat flour3 large eggs¼ cup vegetable oil plus additional for skillet¾ cup nonfat milk1 ¼ cups (or more) waterTo Assemble the Galettes:1 1-pound salmon fillet with skin3 tablespoons salted butter, divided8 green onions, thinly sliced8 ounces smoked salmon, finely chopped, divided3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice2 tablespoons drained capers2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh dill plus sprigs for garnish4 servingsOil for brushing2 ½ pounds langoustines¼ cup Cognac½ cup crème fraîcheSalt and pepperCayenne pepper½ lemon4 servingsLobrano_Hungry for France_design1_LowRes.indd 16-17 4/30/13 10:58 AM
  9. 9. 18Brittany19BrittanyCRÊPES WITH SALTED CARAMEL SAUCEWhen Sottha Khunn prepares this hearty Italian veal stew, you can see the French fingerprints. Forinstance, he deglazes the pot with Armagnac, adds a teaspoon of tomato paste at the end of cookingfor color, and enriches the sauce with butter.For the Crepes:1 cup all-purpose flour1 1/2 cups milk2 large eggs, lightly beaten3 tablespoons butter, 2 melted, plusmore for brushing1/2 teaspoon saltFor the Salted Caramel Sauce:3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavycream1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise1/2 cup sugar2 tablespoons light corn syrup4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) chilledunsalted butter, cut into 1/2” cubes1/4 teaspoon kosher saltLightly sweetened whipped creamTo make the crepes: In a medium bowl, whisk the flour withthe milk, eggs, 2 tablespoons of the melted butter, and thesalt. Cover and let stand for at least 1 hour.Lightly brush a 6- or 7-inch skillet with melted butter andheat over medium heat. Whisk the batter and add about 2tablespoons to the skillet, swirling to coat the bottom. Cookuntil the edge begins to brown, about 30 seconds. Flip usinga thin-bladed spatula and cook for 20 seconds. Slide ontoa plate and repeat with the remaining batter, stacking thecrêpes as they’re cooked.If you have any crêpes left over, use them to make a firstcourse or a dessert another day. Wrapped in foil, they can berefrigerated for 2 or 3 days. If at all possible, let the batter restfor at least an hour before cooking.For salted caramel sauce:
 Place cream in a small pitcher.Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Set aside.Stir sugar, corn syrup, and 2 tablespoons water in a heavysaucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increaseheat to medium-high; boil, occasionally swirling pan andbrushing down sides with a wet pastry brush, until deepamber color forms, 5-6 minutes. Remove from heat; graduallyadd vanilla cream (mixture will bubble vigorously). Whiskover medium heat until smooth and thick, about 2 minutes.Remove from heat; whisk in cold butter and salt. Strain into aheatproof measuring cup. Let cool slightly.Spoon 2 tablespoons caramel sauce over each crepe. Foldcrepes in quarters. Top with whipped cream.Serves 4;makes about12 crêpesLobrano_Hungry for France_design1_LowRes.indd 18-19 4/30/13 10:58 AM