Sunday, December 23, 2018

Dreaming of Sunny Provence

We're in the shortest days of the year -- not much sunshine here. Therefore we craved a meal to remind us of Provence and sunnier days, and invited a few friends to dinner. We used our French tablecloth with birds of the world, and cooked a few recipes with a Provençal theme.

A Provençal salad: arugula, red and yellow bell peppers, artichoke hearts,
tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, olives, and tarragon vinaigrette was the first course.
Main course: Daube d'Avignon: lamb, carrots, and white beans.
In keeping with the French style of this meal: a cheese course.
One of our friends' iPhones is on the table -- can't live without them!
Len's home-made French-style bread accompanied every course.
Dessert for the season: a Buche de Noel from Zingerman's Bakehouse.
We served a few strawberries with the cake.
The recipes for the daube and the salad were from these very French cookbooks.
Daube d'Avignon (Lamb, vegetable, and herb stew): The Cuisine of the Sun p. 146.
Salade de Broc (Provençale salad of cold vegetables), Simca's Cuisine p. 285.
First step in preparing the Daube: flavor the meat!
Many towns in Provence have a special recipe for daube. In this version, the lamb cubes, onions, herbs, and olive oil stand for several hours to blend flavors, and are then cooked with wine, carrots, and white beans. A few pieces of orange zest add flavor -- the orange zest seems to be characteristic of all daube recipes. The daube d'Avignon is the first time I have seen a recipe where beans were added to the mixture, which I liked very much.

Many Provençal daube recipes use beef; for example, the Daube Arlesienne (from Arles) uses beef from the special cattle of the Camargues region at the mouth of the Rhone river. The first daube we knew was Daube de Cotignac, also made with beef.  Our friend Michelle, who had a family home in the small Provençal town of Cotignac, introduced us to her recipe.

In the oven: I cooked the daube in two casseroles because it was a big recipe.
All photos and text copyright 2018 by Mae E. Sander. Published at maefood dot blogspot dot com. If you read this elsewhere, it has been stolen.


Tina said...

What a lovely feast, you have my mouthwatering over the cheeses and daube. We are camping for the Christmas holiday and set up in Destin. I thought if you when I saw a large white water bird near the lake, as I know you like birds. Trying to get photos,

Shaheen said...

Indeed a lovely feast, esp. the dessert. The tablecloth is gorgeous. Wishing you a good festive holiday. Ad also to say Thank you so much for coming by my blog and reading and commenting, its really appreciated.

Sherry's Pickings said...

love your Yule log.

Jeanie said...

I knew nothing about Daube. That Provencal salad looks so good I just want to jump into the photo. It looks fabulous1