Passionate for culinary arts – that how I’ve always been. A romantic woman searching for love – that’s who I was. I never thought that one day I’d be able to be both, particularly in France.
I packed my things and moved to the city of love and the country with the world’s best cuisine, French.
There I was, in eastern France, in a small village between Lyon and Geneva called Cerdon.
In this region, there are many products with international labels (A.O.C., Apellation d’origine controlée) most notably: chicken (le fameux poulet de bresse), cheese (le comté), wine (le cerdonnais), butter (beurre de bresse) and cream (crème de bresse). And you can imagine the types of dishes you can cook with such excellent products, la haute cuisine, so it was hard for me to introduce our Lebanese food into such a fancy world. However, one regular salad made the grade, and was able to please the sophisticated taste of my French family – the fattoush.
The mixture of acidity, freshness, fragrance and fruit syrup created a taste explosion and made our hosts linger in the garden of flavors.
Needless to say, I brought thyme seeds from Lebanon and planted some in my garden, along with the famous debess al-remen and sumac, essential ingredients to create the breathtaking experience.
I usually offer my fattoush with a local dish that we taste in cold winter nights – tartiflette.
. 1kg potatoes
. 250g bacon lardon
. 100ml white wine
. Salt and pepper
. Reblochon cheese (about 450g), sliced.
Preheat oven to 200C/gas 7.
Cook the potatoes (steamed) until tender. Cut in slices and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat a frying pan until hot, and fry the bacon and onion until golden brown. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and continue to cook until most of the liquid has evaporated.
Layer the potatoes into a gratin dish with the bacon mixture. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Layer the Reblochon slices on top.
Bake in the oven for 15-25 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown.