Friday, 9 April 2010

French fancies

A leftover lunch today, so a bit of a cobbled together mess, but nonetheless a lunch I am pleased with.

Falling back on the bread in my drawer, I am enjoying what might be termed 'Classic French Sauce detritus on Rye'.

For I am eating cold Mirepoix and reheated tomatoes/mushrooms which were part of a recent attempt to make Sauce Espagnole which, I am informed, is one of the 'Mother Sauces' of classic french cuisine.

The tomatoes, while very tender and rich, are a bit salty thanks to prolonged simmering in beef stock. The mirepoix, however is a lunch revelation.

It's pretty easy to make if you either like chopping or cheat and use a processor. According to my copy of Larousse Gastronimque, you finely chop 50g celery, 100g onion and 150g carrot. You then soften all of these in some butter (25g, I think) adding a sprig of time and half a bayleaf. It should take, they say, 20 minutes.

You use just one tbsp to make Espagnole Sauce, so I had all this leftover Mirepoix which tastes wonderful - the slightly spiced and herbed flavour is abit like stuffin and, when cold, the veg have a lovely texture - mostly smooth with the occasional bite in the larger carrots.

It has a gentle sweetness so combined with the substantial, malted taste of the rye it is very pleaseing indeed. I shall be pondering how to use this mirepoix in other lunches over the next few weeks, though I suspect it will come into its own in Autumn. But it never hurts to be I now have a whole load of mirepoix in the fridge and I'd hate to see it go to waste.

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