MY CULINARY JOURNEY: Food & Fetes of Provence with Recipes
Yellow Pear Press
November 15, 2016
Yellow Pear Press
November 15, 2016
Georgeanne Brennan is an award-winning cookbook author, journalist, educator and entrepreneur who is nationally recognized for her work. Her expertise ranges from farming and agriculture to history and food lore. She is the recipient of a James Beard Foundation Award.
In 2014 she launched her online store, La Vie Rustic — Sustainable Living in the French Style, lavierustic.com, which reflects her long-time love affair with France and especially Provence, where she has a home.
In addition to her books, Brennan writes regular features for the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper’s food section and has contributed to Fine Cooking, Bon Appétit, Cooking Pleasures, The New York Times, Garden Design, Metropolitan Home, Horticulture, and Organic Gardening, and is a regular contributor and columnist for Edible Marin and Wine Country. She has been featured in Food & Wine, Gourmet, and Sunset Magazines, among others and has appeared on Oprah.com, Good Morning America, and other shows. She lives in Winters, CA, and Provence.
In this evocatively entwined memoir and cookbook, Georgeanne Brennan (recipient of a James Beard Award, among other culinary honors) writes in rich detail about the food, people, and festivals (or fêtes) of Provence that have inspired her life long love of the region, where she still has a home.
Tales of the early days of her young California family, living in France with her husband and children, raising goats and making cheese (some from her memoir A Pig in Provence) are now accompanied here by forty of her favorite recipes, pages of lush photographs, and intimate descriptions of more than a half dozen of Provence’s celebratory fêtes: from the Feast of the Fishermen to the Lavender Festival, the Gypsy Fête and more.
Readers will find themselves immersed in stories of long summer meals, the trials of a novice goat cheese maker, and the joy of discovering age-old traditions. This memoir weaves together personal stories of friendship, cooking and living in the Provençal way, and will whet the appetite of food lovers, travelers and anyone who dreams of packing their bags and starting a new life.
This is the simplest appetizer I know, yet it is also among the best. This is a fine way to show off just-milled, new olive oil.
Take a log or a round of fresh goat cheese and put it on a serving platter. Sprinkle it generously with herbes de Provence, a little coarse sea salt, and some freshly ground black pepper. Finally, drizzle it with a good quality extra-virgin olive oil. Serve the cheese with crackers or thin slices of baguette.
The powerful flavors and fragrance of the herbs creates a tremendously woodsy tang mingled with sweetness. The skin of the chicken turns a glistening dark mahogany, while the meat beneath remains tender and fragrant. This is my version of a dish I had at Les Santons restaurant in Moustiers-Sainte-Marie.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. In a mortar, grind together 2 teaspoons of the lavender flowers, the stems, thyme, winter savory, peppercorns, and salt. Rub each chicken breast half with about 1 teaspoon of the mixture.
Place the chicken breasts, skin side up, on a baking sheet. Roast for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and baste the chicken thoroughly with honey.
Sprinkle all but 2 teaspoons of the remaining herb mixture evenly over the chicken breasts. Return to the oven, reduce the heat to 350 degrees F, and roast, basting frequently with the pan juices, until the juices run clear when a chicken breast is pierced with the tip of a knife, about 20 minutes longer. Frequent basting is important as the honey, once warm, pours off the chicken into the pan and regular basting ensures the honey flavor of the finished dish.
Remove from the oven and serve immediately, sprinkled with the remaining 2 teaspoons crushed lavender flowers.
These recipes may be reproduced with the following credit:
Recipes from MY CULINARY JOURNEY: Food & Fetes of Provence with Recipes by Georgeanne Brennan. (Yellow Pear Press; November 15, 2016; $27.50/hardcover; ISBN: 978-0997066401).
Contact: David Carriere