Glorious Custard !

Custard takes me to my happy place.  A place that is filled with fluffy white flowers and is quiet as a mouse, except for the hypnotic buzzing of the bumble bees.  It’s sunny, but not too hot in my happy place and sometimes, just sometimes, there is a pristine white claw foot bath filled with silky smooth custard. 

Have I shared too much?  Surely I’m not alone?

This recipe is not the one I grew up with.  It’s gluten and refined sugar free and it doesn’t set as thick as my mums, but it is definitely just as luxurious.  I adore it.

Feel free to use pure maple syrup instead of the Rice Malt Syrup, but just remember that this will then add fructose into the mix.

Beef Champvallon !

Champvallon.  A rustic yet still fairly elegant dish which dates back to the reign of Louis XIV, supposedly invented by one of his mistresses.  Where the name itself comes from,  there seems to be no clear answer.  Perhaps from the tiny little French village Champvallon located in the region of Bourgogne, or perhaps named after the archbishop of Paris during Louis XIV's reign, Francoi de Harley de Champvallon?

Whatever the answer, this is a lovely little dish to have bubbling away in your oven while the rain falls outside and while you sip a well deserved glass of red.

Normally made with lamb, my version below uses beef, but feel free to revert back to the original.  

Champvallon is a simple, slow cooked casserole with a small amount of ingredients, baked between a crisp upper crust of potato and a softer bottom layer of potato, serving no purpose other than to soak up the favourful juices.

A Lentil Salad for Breakfast !

Me without breakfast is a sight you never want to see.  So when we boarded the early morning train from Paris to Figeac, before any of the shops or boulangeries were open, we made sure we were prepared.  

Breakfast in luggage.  Tick.

It wasn't a conventional breakfast, but it was the perfect breakfast.  Salade de lentilles a l'oeuf poche.  Lentil salad with poached egg.

Now, my little toteable version below isn't quite the same as what we had on that chilly early morning as the train rattled out of Paris, but it does bring back memories of happiness and contentment.  Contentment in the knowledge that breakfast was close at hand and that all would be right with the world....until lunchtime, that is.