Losing Weight · Low Calorie Meals · Meals For A French Kitchen

Poulet Et Bacon Tarte


I love food, so dieting is hard. Any recipe that’s tasty and can keep me away from chocolate and junk is good in my eyes, hence this pie. It’s about 375 calories a generous slice so, if served with roasted vegetables, it’s a great way to stay on track. Here is the recipe if you want to try it yourself.

Ingredients and Method (serves 6)

spray oil

1 chopped onion  image

2 garlic cloves

1 medium leek, sliced thinly

100ml white wine

150ml water

1 chicken stock cube

3 chicken breasts cut into cubes

200g smoked bacon lardons

300g half fat crème fraiche

freshly ground black pepper

Ready to roll puff pastry

1. In a large frying pan spray some oil then fry the onion and garlic with the bacon lardons and chicken.

2. When the chicken is cooked through add the wine and water, then dissolve the stock cube into the liquid. On a low heat reduce the liquid to about half by simmering for about 15-20 minutes.

3. Take the pan from the heat and then stir in the crème fraiche, grinding pepper into the mixture to taste.

4. Put the mixture into a 1.5 litre pie dish. Unroll the pastry and lay it over the top of the dish, trimming the edges. If you want to use the trimmings to decorate the pie top. Brush milk lightly over the pastry top.

5. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 30-35 minutes at 200C/180C Fan/Gas6.




Meals For A French Kitchen · Recipes

Meals For A French Kitchen; Camambert Sauce


Ok, this one isn’t exactly a recipe for a meal as I figure you know how to cook your own steak the way you like it. However this Camembert sauce recipe is simple and delicious!

Ingredients and Method

3tbsps Sparkling dry cider

175ml double cream

1tsp each of dried thyme and sage

120g Camembert cheese with the rind removed

1 – 11/2 tsps Dijon mustard

  1. Once your steak is cooked remove from the pan and place it somewhere to kept warm.
  2. Pour the cider into the pan and bring to the boil, scraping the base of the pan.
  3. Add the cream and herbs and bring back to the boil.
  4. Add the cheese and mustard and stir together. When retrieving the meat pour any juices into the sauce and stir in. Pour of your sauce and serve with a salad or fresh veggies. Voila!


Lou Messugo
Meals For A French Kitchen · Recipes

Meals For A French Kitchen; Duck With A Raspberry Sauce



I haven’t been posting as much because here in the Normandy countryside the Internet connection is bad. I mean really, really bad. It’s something we have to look in to for our move and I’ll post anything I found out about it here (if anyone has any advice in the meantime I’d be grateful to hear it).

I just wanted to share this delicious recipe for duck with a raspberry sauce. I used duck legs as you can buy two legs for the same price as each breast (roughly €5 per breast), and as I was cooking for nine this was a necessary saving. To compliment it I saved it with roasted potatoes and carrots with crumbled feta over the carrots. In all honesty I wish I’d cubed and cooked the feta too, hence it not being in the picture. But the tanginess of the cheese compliments beautifully the sauce. It was delicious and I was really pleased as this was the first time I’d cooked duck.

The ingredients are listed for four persons, so obviously vary according to your needs.

Ingredients and Method

4 duck breasts image
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 teaspoons demerara sugar
250 ml red wine
150 ml crème de cassis
1 tablespoon cornflour
250 g frozen or fresh raspberries, depending on the season

500g potatoes suitable for roasting

8 carrots with their tops if possible

6tbsps of olive oil and 25g butter

1. Preheat the oven to 170C/150C Fan. Peel the potatoes and cut them into small cubes. Part boil them in a pan of water. Put three tablespoons of olive oil in the base of a roasting tin that will contain all the potatoes. Drain the water and put the part boiled potatoes in the pan, ensuring they’re smothered in the oil, adding more oil if you think necessary.

2. Take off the leafy part of the carrot stem, but leave some of the stem. Put the other  half of the olive oil in the base of a roasting dish big enough to comfortably hold all the carrots and move the carrots about in the oil until they’re covered in it. Put the carrots and potatoes in the oven to slowly roast.

3. Pour the wine into a measuring jug. Score the duck through the skin and fat, but not all the way through to the meat. Heat a frying pan and add some butter. When melted fry the duck legs, skin side down, until the skin browns. Lift the duck legs out of the pan and take two tablespoons of fat and add it to the wine before tipping away most of the fat left in the frying pan.

2. Mix together the sea salt, cinnamon and demerara sugar. Sprinkle it over the skin of the duck legs, pressing in with your fingers. Season with a little black pepper. Reheat the frying pan and cook the duck breasts, skin side up, for 10-15 minutes until you can see the meat is cooked. Keep the legs in the frying pan to help them stay warm. If need be light a very low flame underneath them in order that they do stay warm, but not so they cook further.

3. Meanwhile, pour about 100 ml of the red wine into a small bowl and mix in the cornflour until it’s smooth. Then heat the red wine in a small saucepan and add the cornflour mixture along with the crème de cassis. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, until the sauce has thickened. Add the raspberries and simmer to warm the fruit through.

4. Check the vegetables, as they should be nearly roasted by now. Once their almost done put the duck legs in the frying pan in the bottom of the oven for about five minutes.

5. Place a duck leg on each plate and add two carrots, crumbling some feta over the top of them. Then add the roasted potatoes cubes. Pour some sauce over the duck leg and put the reminder in the jug to place on the table.

We had ours with friends in the May sunshine. We started out meal with a salmon pate which, in desperation of limited cruet dishes, I served in teacups! I thought they were quite pretty.

If you try it, tell me what you think. I’d love to hear from you.



Lou Messugo
Meals For A French Kitchen · Recipes

Meals For A French Kitchen; Pork Chops With Braised Red Cabbage



This braised red cabbage recipe comes from the Alsace Lorraine region of France and is delicious served with this pork in its creamy sauce.

Ingredients and Method

For the cabbage

red cabbage (1/4 of a whole one was sufficient for my family, but you may want 1/2)

1 cooking apple (or 2 eating apples) image

2 tbsps cider vinegar

75ml red wine

25g butter



imageFor the pork chops

pork chops (1 per person)

15g butter

75ml white wine

400ml pork stock (or chicken if you have none)

3tbsps double cream

1 1/2 tbsps Dijon mustard

  1. Finely shred the red cabbage and peel and roughly chop the apple. Layer them in a casserole. Add the cider vinegar and 75ml red wine. Stir in as best you can and then dot the butter set aside for the cabbage over the top.
  2. Cover the pan and cook on the stove over a low heat for 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile take the butter reserved for the chops and heat in a pan. Brown the chops on both sides. Add the wine and stock and cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Remove the chops, keep them warm, and strain the liquid. Return the liquid to the pan and bring back to the boil, cooking until reduced by 2/3.
  5. Add the cream and mustard and serve over a low heat, not boiling, until the sauce is thickened slightly.
  6. Remove the lid from the braised cabbage pan, stir and cook for a further five minutes or until the liquid is evaporated.
  7. Serve the pork with the sauce and braised red cabbage.

I also served mine with potatoes boulangère. Delicious.image


Meals For A French Kitchen · Recipes · Uncategorized

Meals For A French Kitchen; Chicken With 40 Cloves Of Garlic


When I mentioned that I’d cooked this to my wonderful French tutor she immediately broke into a huge smile with recognition. Apparently her daughter, half English and half French, is a far bigger garlic enthusiast than she and loves this recipe.

The garlic itself sweetens as you roast it and you serve it with huge chunks of bread; so you can open the cloves and smear their contents onto it for eating. That and a simple green salad with balsamic vinegar makes this a wonderful roast to see on a summers day.

The recipe itself is very simple. I was telling my friend how easy it was even for a roasting novice like myself; she looked at me with eyes wide open. How could I have made it to this age and not cooked a roast chicken??! My answer ‘Toby’ sufficed. Le Marie is a wonderful cook, in fact I refused to stuff the bird with the ingredients and let him do that. If you’ve avoided putting your inside the innards of a chicken until this age I simply think you should continue in that vein don’t you?

Ingredients and Method

2 celery stalks

2 rosemary sprigs

4 thyme sprigs

4 flat-leaf parsley sprigs

1 x 1.6kg chicken

40 garlic cloves, unpeeled

2 tbsp olive oil

1 carrot, roughly chopped

1 small onion cut into 4 wedges

250ml white wine

1 baguette

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/ Gas 6.
  2. Roughly chop one celery stalk and stuff it, along with 2 sprigs each of the herbs and 6 unpeeled garlic cloves into the chicken’s cavity. Tie the legs together and tuck the wings underneath.
  3. Scatter about ten more cloves of garlic into the base of the roasting pan or large casserole dish. Put the remaining sprigs of herbs, celery, carrot and onion in their too. Then place the chicken inside the pan and brush liberally with oil and season well with salt and pepper. Scatter the remaining garlic cloves around the chicken and add the remaining oil and wine to the dish.
  4. Cover with tin foil or the casserole lid and bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until the juices run clear when the chicken is pierced with a skewer.

If you want you can strain off the juices into a saucepan – once you’ve removed the chicken and garlic cloves and placed them onto a serving dish (I just served it as it was as I like balsamic vinegar salad). Spoon the fat from the liquid then boil until reduced to serve with the chicken.

Lou Messugo.
Learning French · Meals For A French Kitchen · Recipes

Meals For A French Kitchen; Suprêmes de Volaille Veronique


This dish, as other dishes with grapes, are called Veronique or à la vigneronne after the wife of the grape grower. When I have run out of wine I’ve used a dry cider before and it was just as tasty.

Ingredients and Method

4 boneless chicken breasts

30g butter

2 shallots

125ml dry white wine

250ml chicken stock

125ml whipping cream

30 seedless grapes

  1. Season the chicken breaststs. Melt half the butter in a pan and cook until lightly golden. Transfer them to a plate and keep them warm.
  2. Add the remaining butter and sauté the shallots until softened. Add the wine, bring it to the boil and reduce it by half. Then add the chicken stock and boil again until it’s reduced by half.
  3. Add the cream, bring it back to the boil adding any juices from the chicken. Lower the heat and add the grapes, cooking gently for five minutes.
  4. Slice the chicken breast then serve with the sauce spooned over the top.

I served mine with roasted vegetables. It was delicious – a lovely Spring supper.

As of my last post about French cooking terms I’m going to add the main ones here below. Hope this helps any of you struggling with learning your French but, as usual, mines far from perfect. If there’s any corrections you think are needed please let me know.

D’abord, faites dorer les poitrines de poulet.

Faites revenir les eschalots.

Ajoutez le vin et faites bouillir jusqu’à sa réduisent de moitié.

Ajoutez le stock de poulet, faites bouillir encore jusqu’à réduire de moitié.

Ajoutez la crème et faites bouillir encore, ajouter le jus du poulet.  Baissez le feu, ajouter les raisins et faites cuire pour cinq minutes. Coupez les poitrines de poulet. Servez avec une cueillir de sauce sur le dessus. 


Meals For A French Kitchen · Recipes

Meals For A French Kitchen; Salmon With Green Peppercorns


This is a lovely dish and relatively simple; it takes between 20-30 minutes, but you do have to keep a close eye on things during that time. The sauce can be semi sweet and creamy or more tangy depending on the wine you use. Because we have children I use a light fruity wine as it’s more tempting to them that way.

Ingredients and Method

1tbsp butter

1 medium leek, thinly sliced

150ml light/fruity or dry white wine (depending on how sweet you want the sauce)

1 fish stock pot

2 tbsp green pepper corns in brine, rinsed

15-30ml vegetable oil

4 pieces of salmon fillet


  1. Melt the butter and lightly cook the leeks until soft.
  2. Add the white wine and stock pot. Boil to reduce the sauce by three quarters, stirring occasionally.
  3. Reduce the heat and add the cream and half the peppercorns, crushing them slightly with the back of a spoon. Cook the sauce gently for 4-5 minutes until it thickens. Strain the liquid to remove the leeks and peppercorns.
  4. Put the sauce back in the pan and add the remainder of the peppercorns. Keep the sauce over a low heat to keep it warm, stirring occasionally.
  5. In a large heavy based frying pan (I used a griddled one to sear the fish, but a normal one may be preferable to you) heat the oil until it’s hot. Season the salmon and cook until the the flesh is opaque throughout.
  6. Arrange the fish on the plate and pour over the sauce.


I served ours with a baked potato (it made me feel less guilty with all that cream) and some steamed green beans. A really tasty meal for a Friday.



Lou Messugo