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Food / Wine

Anne-Laure's weekly Tasty Diaries

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Kick start your New Year's resolution of being more creative in the kitchen with Anne-Laure's weekly Tasty Diaries, a colourful email newsletter packed with delicious and simple recipe ideas for the week ahead. This month, Anne-Laure has also been cooking a festive menu every week including meals prepared especially for her by Michelin starred chefs. Check out the recipes on and subscribe to her free mouthwatering newsletter to be inspired every week!

Anne-Laure's Recipes

A few examples of what Anne-Laure and some of the top French chefs have concocted for you.


Slow roast goose with roasted vegetables and potatoes

Recipe by Anthony Boyd, the Glasshouse Restaurant, Kew

Busy: 1 hr 20 min, Total prep time: 7 hours

Serves: 8



A good sized goose
A couple of rosemary sprigs
2 large bacon strips

1.8 kg roasting potatoes (Maris piper or Desirée)
3 rosemary sprigs

500 g small or Chanternay carrots
400 g Jerusalem artichokes
1 lemon
400g parsnips
2 fennel bulbs
4 garlic cloves
Salt and pepper

7 hours before the meal or night before

Place the goose on an oven tray. Place rosemary sprigs on the inside of its thighs and in its cavity. Lay each strip of bacon on either side of the goose breast, with a sprig of rosemary tucked under. Roast in oven at 110 degrees C for 6hrs (this can be done overnight). There is no need to cover it with foil at this low temperature. The goose will confit slowly and won’t become dry.

if you want to get really ahead, peel the potatoes and place them in a large container fully covered in water. Store in the fridge until ready to use.

Make the gravy if using.

Morning before the meal (a few hours before)

If you have not done so the day before, peel the potatoes and jerusalem artichokes. In not using right away, store the potatoes in the fridge covered with water until ready to use. Coat the artichokes with lemon juice to prevent them from browning and place in the fridge in an airtight container.

Wash the carrots thoroughly and scrub the parsnips. Cut them to the same size as the carrots. Trim the fennel bulbs and cut them into 6 segments each. If not using right away, store them in the fridge in an airtight bag.

One hour and 10 minutes before the meal

Chop the rosemary leaves finely.

Cut the potatoes into large wedges of roughly the same size. Toss them in boiling water and boil for 10 minutes, until the outer edges start to be fluffy. Drain the water out, cover the pan with a tight fitting lid, and holding firmly pan and lid together with both hands, shake them vigourously for a minute. This is a trick by Delia Smith to make the roast potatoes fluffier (my addition to Anthony’s recipe).

Take the goose out of the oven and place it on a carving board. Cover with foil.

Crank oven up to 200 degrees C

Scoop all the fat from the tray (don’t throw it away!), leaving a very thin layer at the bottom (about 1 mm). Place the potatoes on the tray and baste each one so it is completely coated with fat.

Place the tray in the top part of the oven and roast for about 45-50 minutes, until nicely browned.

When ready, season with salt and pepper.

40 minutes before meal

Place all the vegetables (carrots, Jerusalem artichokes, parsnips, and fennel) in another oven tray or a large oven dish. Coat the vegetables with 1/2 cup of goose fat, mixing them well to make sure they are all coated. Space the vegetables so they are not stacked on top of each other otherwise they will not all roast properly.

Roast in the oven to a nice colour, for about 30 minutes. If you cooked the goose overnight, place the goose covered in tin foil on the vegetables tray spreading the vegetables around it to heat it up.

When the vegetables are cooked, add the peeled crushed garlic, thyme leaves, salt and pepper and mix. Leave to rest on the tray for 10 mins.

10 minutes before meal

Carve the goose.

Serve it with the roasted vegetables and a large platter of roast potatoes on

Ma Bûche

Recipe inspired by Pierre Hermé’s Meringue d’Automne and Mary’s Berry’s meringue roulade.

Busy: 1 hour, Total prep time: 1H30 min (plus 3 hours setting time.)

Serves: about 8


Poached pears
Juice of 1 lemon
3 ripe pears
200g sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


4 large egg whites
a pinch of salt
250 g caster sugar

240 g 70% cocoa dark chocolate
200 g unsalted butter
3 egg yolks
6 egg whites
a pinch of salt
20 g sugar

Start with the pears:

Squeeze the lemon juice in a large saucepan. Mix with 200g sugar, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and 1/2 liter of water.

Wash, peel and quarter the pears. Remove the core and cut into thin slices (2-3 mm at the thick end). Place the slices into the saucepan as you are cutting them to prevent them from browning.

Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the pears cool down in the water.

Prepare the meringue:

Heat the oven to 180 degrees C.

Put the egg whites in a large, grease-free bowl with a pinch of salt. Whisk on medium-low speed until the whites turn into a grey foamy liquid, then slowly increase the speed. This will maximise the amount of air bubbles trapped in the whites and allow them to gain more volume. Beat at full speed until reaching stiff peaks (until the whites stand up in stiff, upward pointing peaks). Start whisking in the sugar, little by little, and keep whisking until the egg whites are stiff and glossy. The meringue should not move when you turn the bowl upside down.

Spread the meringue on an oven tray lined with greaseproof paper, and shape it into a rectangle of roughly 40x30 cm, making sure the meringue is evenly spread and not thicker than 1/2 inch (less than 1.5 cms).

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the surface of the meringue is lightly golden and crisp and firm to the touch, but the inside is still soft. When ready, take the tray out of the oven and let the meringue cool down completely on the tray.

Prepare the chocolate mousse:

Cut the chocolate and butter into chunks and toss in a large, microwave-safe mixing bowl. Melt the mixture in 3 to 4 30 sec microwave sessions, mixing well between each to even out the temperature.

Allow the mixture to cool down to warm temperature and stir in the egg yolks.

Beat the egg whites into stiff peaks using the same process as for the meringue, adding the small amount of sugar at the very end.

Gently stir a third of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the remaining whites using a soft spatula (or a wooden spoon if you don’t have a spatula).

Allow the mousse to set and thicken a little at room temperature, for 20 minutes or so, before spreading it on the bûche.

Make the bûche:

Drain the pears well in a colander. They should be at room temperature, soft and pliable.

Place the tray with the meringue on it so that it looks like a vertical portrait when you look at it.

Cover the meringue liberally with the chocolate mousse, leaving 2 cms clear along the short two edges. Expect to get leftover mousse.

Line the pears tightly on the mousse, their length parallel to the longer side of the rectangle. You should have just enough to cover the entire surface. With your hands, press the pears gently into the mousse

Using the greaseproof paper under the meringue, lift the far end of the meringue and fold it towards the centre of the rectangle (it should fold towards you). Don’t worry if a few pears fall in the process. Gently peel the paper off the folded side of the meringue (don’t tear it) and let it rest back on the tray.

Now fold the end near you over the part you just folded, using the greaseproof paper. Do this slowly and without stressing the meringue otherwise it may tear. If it does, don’t worry. The next few steps will allow it to set beautifully.

Gently peel the paper off the top part, going as as far down as you can.

Lift back the two paper ends and join them on top of the meringue. Clip, staple or tape them together so that they hold the bûche in a nice cylinder shape.

Transfer to the fridge and set for at least 3 hours or overnight. The paper will allow the bûche to set into a nice, regular shape. If the meringue tore a bit when folding it won’t matter, the mousse will set in the cracks.

Just before serving, unclip the paper and drizzle the bûche generously with icing sugar. Transfer it carefully onto a serving platter and decorate it according to your taste. I made a line of cocoa powder stars on top using a homemade paper cut out.


Glazed Turbot fillet with jerusalem artichokes purée and crunchy grapes

Adapted from recipe by Pascal Aussignac, Cuisinier Gascon (2009)

Busy: 30 min, Total prep time: 40 min

Serves: 4



600g turbot fillets (you can get that from 2 medium turbots)
sea salt and freshly ground
black pepper
olive oil
some fresh pomegranate seeds, to garnish (optional)

Verjuice sauce:
juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons maple syrup
200 ml verjuice or 160 ml fruity white wine (chardonnay) and 40 ml cider vinegar

Artichoke purée
250g Jerusalem artichokes, thinly peeled
a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice
200ml double cream
2 tablespoons ground almonds
1 tablespoon olive oil

Crunchy grapes
100 g seedless green grapes
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1 teaspoon dill
2 tablespoons caster sugar

Can be prepared a day ahead:

Trim the fillets to neaten, sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the salt and set aside in the fridge for 2 hours. When ready, wash off the salt off the fillets under running water and pat dry. If not using the fish right away, store covered on a plate and place back in the fridge.

Meanwhile, make the verjuice sauce. Boil the lemon juice with the maple syrup for a minute then add the verjuice (or wine plus vinegar mixture) and simmer for about 15 minutes, until reduced by half. Strain through a fine sieve into a small bowl and set aside. If using wine, there is no need to strain.

Make the artichoke purée. Cut the peeled artichokes into even-sized chunks and boil in lightly salted water with the lemon juice for 10–15 minutes until tender. Drain and return the artichokes to the pan with the cream, ground almonds, olive oil and some seasoning. Bring to the boil, simmer for 5 minutes, then whizz to a smooth purée with a mixer. Season with pepper and go light on the salt. The fish, which has been cured, will feel quite salty.

Prepare the crunchy grapes. Roughly crush or chop the sunflower seeds and pine nuts. Mix with the chopped fresh dill.

Sprinkle the base of a medium non-stick frying with the caster sugar and heat on the hob on medium-low, without stirring, until it starts to dissolve, but not caramelise.

Then stir in the green grapes until coated and mix in the seeds, nuts and dill.

Remove and tip out onto some non-stick baking paper. Cool until crunchy and store in the fridge if not using within the hour.

Just before serving:

If you made the grapes a day before, take them out of the fridge so they can warm up to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4.

Remove the turbot fillets from the fridge, Rub them with olive oil and place in a lightly oiled roasting pan, skin-side down. Pour over the verjuice/wine sauce.

Bake for about 10 minutes in total, basting the fish once or twice with the sauce until nicely glazed. The fish is ready when the flesh feels firm when pressed.

Reheat the artichoke purée and divide between four warm plates.

Take the fillets out of the dish, remove their skin (it should peel off really easily) and divide them in two lengthways. Top the purée with the fillets and surround with the crunchy grapes.

Drizzle the remaining sauce around and the pomegranate seeds if using.


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22/12/2009 - jays1971 said :

For those foodies who have trouble finding Verjuice, you can now buy it online from


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