FRENCH - Cuisine of the Quarter, Winter 2020 (Jan-Mar)

This is the traditional Dutch restaurant where I ate.

When Dutch expats or Dutch Canadians return to Holland, the ones I know seek out some old school Dutch food, especially if they have no family living in Holland. I realize many Dutch people living in the Netherlands might focus on ethnic food when dining out. That said , I am guessing in the rural and small town Netherlands, there would be more traditional Dutch restaurants.

We have a Dutch bar in TO that serves traditional Dutch foods. Bitterballen, snert, war fries, etc.

It’s hard to generalize about what the entire Dutch population eats.


A sidebar to Croque Monsieur, dh and I had spent the morning crawling around Arles, let the time get away from us and realized that we were almost late for lunch service anywhere. Worse, we didn’t seem able to agree on a spot to stop. We rounded a corner and came upon a large square with several outdoor bistrots. Okay…ONE of these has to be okay. We were seated and ordered. We puzzled that tourists on foot and bicycle kept arriving, standing in front of us and taking photos, back on their bikes or direction and gone. DH finally says, “What do you know about a bright yellow restaurant?” I turned around and, of course, we were sitting in front of Maison Jaune, yellow house by which every school child can identify Van Gogh. And so, after a good laugh, I went back to enjoying my excellent Croque Monsieur.


I’m curious. Is there anyone else who likes their Croque Monsieur vegetarian? I eat pork, but don’t love ham. I barely eat anything containing ham when I visit France or Quebec.

I probably leave about half if not all the ham on my plate when I order a Croque Monsieur.

Haha by the way, that ham is a speciality of Paris, Jambon de Paris.

Curiously, Mr. n never touches that ham except in Croque Monsieur. He only eats cured hams normally.

Btw, cooked ham has grades of quality, better ones are thicker and more juicy than industrial ones. Maybe you can eat the better ones?

I never seen of a vegetarian version of Croque Monsieur.


Tonight another classic of the Parisian region, hachis parmentier, the French shepherd pie, without the vegetables in the Irish version. I used ground beef. Some used the stewed beef from the remaining of Pot au Feu. The purée had cream, butter, bread crumbs and Parmesan.


Not a big success, home made brioche des roi of Epiphany due to problem of yeast. The fresh yeast added did not raise the dough. In panic, I added all the dried yeast I had at home, not ideal, the outcome was a bit too compact and dried. Too bad, the recipe was good. Raisin soaked in dark rum, roasted almond, pistachio, fruit confit with lemon zest, cinnamon and cardamom in the interior of the brioche flavoured with orange blossom water.

I like the brioche king cake more than the galette version in the Parisian region, which consists of puffy pastry and almond paste.


Absolutely gorgeous @naf!!


Thanks but I still dream of that light and airy brioche. I don’t make this or bread very often, so I freeze my fresh yeast. Apparently, they died in the fridge. Will try to make it again, if I have time.

We also ate at a place with a traditional menu. Touristy, Amsterdam place - but a number of diners were Dutch (or, at least Dutch speakers)

We also ate at Floreyn which I’d regard as “Modern Dutch”, in theh same way as places in the UK describe themsleves as “Modern British” - traditional ingredients reworked in a moderne style that still links to those traditions.


Yes, I am aware. I’ve been to France half a dozen times and have a cousin who has lived in Paris for 20 years! I have a dozen relatives who live in Lorraine. I still don’t like Jambon de Paris. :grinning:

@naf, did you know the French Canadian cottage pie is called Pâté Chinois?

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Lol! I read the origin of the name, amusing.

You don’t like cured ham as well? That’s another world…

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I like prosciutto crudo and Serrano ham, nd some speck.

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Good old onion soup from the Parisian region, good for cold weather. Cooked the sliced onion 30 minutes in chicken broth.

Tossed the oven toasted cheese and bread on the soup.

Grilled the bread and cheese directly in the soup bowl in oven. Didn’t find much different between both methods.


Navarin d’agneau - lamb ragout with carrots, onions and turnips (Parisian region). I added beef stock and white wine to cooked the browned lamb with diced carrot and onion. Added more whole vegetables after 45 minutes and cooked for 30 minutes. Normally a spring dish. It was good!


While some denigrate the quality now available in Paris today, this is my lunch order at cafes/bars on a winter day. Some extraordinary but none that don’t leave you feeling happier, well cared for.

Saw on TV that a journalist had tried several bowls of onion soup on Montmartre, he found them overcharged and watery. Can’t verify as it is not something I would like to order when going out. :smiley: Mine had the last bit of the Bresse chicken broth so it was ok. :yum:

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Much on Montmartre is of questionable value, both taste and pocketbook. We stumbled on a good bowl at L’Horizon on rue de Rennes/St. Placide. Surprising in this tourist central location. But actually, I’ve never had a bad bowl at a bar/cafe regardless of neighborhood.

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Pommes Dauphinoise

Good. Very good. But still not as unctuous as what I enjoyed in France.
Until I can get back for the real thing, it will have to do.


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