Bastille Day - What To Eat?

johnliu_gwJuly 2, 2014

We are thinking about having a Bastille Day party. Mostly just need an excuse for a backyard party - we're not really that upset at the monarchy.

Are there dishes that are traditional for Bastille Day?

Like hamburgers, potato salad, and beer are for July 4th?

Islay, I am looking at you . . .

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Islay_Corbel

No, there's noting like that. In France, it's more about where you live / come from when it comes to festive food. Here, a great party dish would be a plateau de fruits de mer. Crab, lobster, oysters, prawns, langoustines, cockles, whelks....... all served with a whopping bowl of mayonnaise - the sort you can stand the spoon up in not the runny sort - and a shallot vinaigrette and or lemons for the oysters.
If you live in Provence, you'd want a huge Aioli. Lots of boiled fish, potatoes, carrots, leeks served with proper aioli - soak some bread in water and squeeze it out. Put this in a bowl with de-germed garlic (12) and an egg yolk. Start to whisk in your olive oil and or a plainer oil until nice and thick.

If you come from central France, it would be something else - in the Creuse, they have lovely dishes with pork and vinegar cooked slowly. In the south west, that's duck country so delicate foie gras, duck breasts... confit de canard...

Basically, you can have whatever you like!!! Remember to go out after, listen to music in the street, dance if you like - balls everywhere, then enjoy the fireworks.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 2:18AM
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dcarch7

I celebrate Bastille Day every year with a bunch of friends.

We go to a street fair in front of the French Institute, we drink wine, and eat crepes. We sing classic French songs and we dance on the street.

The most memorable Bastille Day was the day when France won the Soccer World Cup.

It was mad! mad! mad!

dcarch

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 9:48AM
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momj47

Brie

Champagne

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 10:15AM
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ruthanna_gw

Two of our friends hosted a party last week and although it had nothing to do with Bastille day, the food was delicious.

Appetizers were light, mostly of the fruit and good cheeses variety.

Beverages - red and white sangria and two types of iced tea

Main course was beef fondue - a big bowl of thinly sliced raw sirloin on wooden skewers set out on ice next to a huge wide pot of bubbling seasoned beef broth fueled by what I believe was the burner of one of those propane turkey friers.

There were bowls of about 6 or 7 hot or cold dipping sauces to ladle on our plates for the beef, four different vegetable salads, and Pioneer Woman's Crash Potatoes. The potatoes were the only thing cooked in the house that night, other than heating up some of the sauces, which our host said had been prepared the day before the party.

Dessert was a make-your-own strawberry shortcake bar.

I thought it was such a smart menu because although our hosts were able to showcase their great cooking skills with the salads, sauces and cakes for the dessert bar, they were able to spend most of the party mingling with their guests.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 12:01PM
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publickman

I would think that a Maria Antoinette cake would be de rigueur.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 12:04PM
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johnliu_gw

How about a red velvet cake, and a guillotine to cut it with? I think I could rig something up.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 12:43PM
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westsider40

A bagel cutter as guillotine? But the cake would mash.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 3:41PM
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dragonflydee

Fish!!!

In honor of the FishMongers,those fierce females who led the charge!

DD

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 4:02PM
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johnliu_gw

I'd just make a scale model guillotine. Probably have a scrap of sheet steel that can be used as the blade. I'd leave it dull so as to not remove any fingers.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 4:19PM
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plllog

Lurid, but delightful! Go for it! Maybe you can find some out of season Dia de los Muertos candy skulls to litter the base with. :)

Authentic is probably much more your thing, but here are some alternative, ironic things to go with your "merciful" contraption:

1. Cuisine de la canaille: pot-au-feu, pottage, cassoulet, bouillabaisse. In other words, a stew of whatever you can get your hands on. Cabbages and onions.

2. Cuisine des voleurs: Spit roasted birds, rabbits, etc., and fire roasted onions, cabbages, carrots, turnips.

3. Slightly silly and intermediately retro: Croque Monsieur, Quiche Lorraine, BÃ"uf Bourguignon, Coq au Vin, Crêpe Suzette, Crème Brûlée.

4. Full on silly French food. French onion soup with French bread crouton. French cut green beans almondine. French fries. French toast. French Dip sandwiches.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 7:42PM
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johnliu_gw

I actually really want bouillabaisse, but it is too hot for that. The same is the objection to stuff like boeuf bourguignon etc. This is going to be a sit outside and drink Kir Royale sort of dinner party.

Oh. Duh.

On my bookshelves are a dozen French cookbooks. Meaning, cookbooks from France in French, brought back by me or friends. I guess I will browse through them and look for inspiration.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 9:01PM
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Islay_Corbel

Slightly silly and intermediately retro: Croque Monsieur, Quiche Lorraine, B�"uf Bourguignon, Coq au Vin, Crêpe Suzette, Crème Brûlée.

4. Full on silly French food. French onion soup with French bread crouton. French cut green beans almondine. French fries. French toast. French Dip sandwiches.
Pllog you make me laugh!
There's nothing retro about the foods you mention here - eaten all the time; As for the Nð4, the French don't really eat French toast and have neer heard of French dip sandwiches!!!

John, if you're going to make a red cake and a guillotine, then you need to give your guests wÃÂ oll and knitting needles so they can knit bags for the heads!!!

Seriously, why not something very French and nice for a warm evening - a series of Verrines with apéritif. then, oysters to start or prawns, then the French LOVE a bbq so something nicely grilled with salads then cheese, then make the ultimate French summer cake for dessert - a Fraisier. It will take you about 2 to 3 hours to make a proper one and you MUST do it the day before so it's great for entertaining. If you ant to be French, then keep away from all the heavy things eaten your way before the meal like cheese - a real no no

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 2:16AM
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chase_gw

I was going to suggest several different quiche and a Salad Nicoise. I served that at a casual deck get together last summer and it was a hit

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 9:09AM
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plllog

Islay_corbel,

That was the whole point! SILLY! To go with John's cake guillotine. The foods in No. 3 were very popular in the USA in the 1950's and 1960's, when French food in general was at it's height here. Of course they're still eaten, but no longer trendy here, therefore retro.

No. 4 was meant as a compendium of things called "French" for various reasons having little to do with the France of today. French fries are from either French or Belgium, and seem to have arrived here in the US by people eating them in France a couple hundred years ago and reproducing them here. Some, like the French dip, have more to do with being made by people who were originally French. Pain perdu is French toast, and is still at least in the food vocabularies in France if not much consumed, and goes back hundreds of years. The name "French toast" might an English or American reference to pain perdu by someone who couldn't remember its proper French name.

The joke, however, is in the word "French" being attached to these things that in the here and now are American foods. I forgot the dessert. French vanilla ice cream. :) (Which comes from an enriched (extra yolks) custard style ice cream from France, made with vanilla pods rather than extract, though in common usage is now sometimes used to mean just an intensely vanilla flavor.)

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 2:09PM
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Islay_Corbel

I had another thought this morning - les petits farcis de Nice. A lovely meal that invites a bottle of crisp rose wine - referably eaten under a pergola.......
Stuff tomatoes with a mixtre of rice, sausage meat, basil,
Stuff courgettes (round ones if poss) with a mix of red pepper, onion, garlic, cream and an egg yolk
Stuff little artichokes with a mix of chopped carrot, onion, anchovy, white wine, oil, lemon...
stuff big mushrooms with garlic and herbs,
stuff onions with breadcrumbs, gruyere, egg yolk, stock, herbs.......
courgette flowers : make a little ratatouille with aubergine, courgette, tomato, etc, fill the flowers and bake in a little dish with butter.
Lots of herbs, garlic and olive oil with everything! Lovely and well worth doing for a crowd. It's too much work for 2 or 3 people.

Pllog you are funny!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 2:02AM
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plllog

IC, Are you making this meal? It would be worth flying to France for! I'm used to squash blossoms in Mexican and SW Native foods, but stuffed with ratatouille sounds amazing, as does everything else but the bait anchovies, but that's just because I'm allergic to most fish.

Question about the round courgette: By "courgette" you mean what we call zucchini, right? If so, how does it not get round? When you're stuffing it, are you coring it, or cutting in half and making boats? Most people do the latter, but I've seen the former and thought it sounded good with your stuffing.

So. Johnliu, anything promising in your French French cooking books?

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 3:08AM
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Islay_Corbel

We get long ones like yours and round ones

This post was edited by islay_corbel on Sat, Jul 5, 14 at 2:28

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 2:27AM
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plllog

That is adorable! We sometimes get the pale green squash in a similar, but less spherical shape. Is it a different kind, or a different way of growing it?

John, I'm not trying to take over your thread! I'm hoping you'll entertain us with the marvelous recipes in your books. First you shoot a rabbit and all...

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 2:36AM
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chase_gw

Whole Food sells round ones.....I did some research and saw some pics for " les petits farcis de Nice" and it is definitely on my summer entertainment list of food ideas..Thanks Islay

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 8:06AM
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lpinkmountain

I have zucchini envy! :)

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 2:55PM
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Islay_Corbel

It's a different variety. I suspect John is watching the Tour de France. It started yesterday in Yorkshire in England.
The video below will explain many things "Yorkshire".

Here is a link that might be useful: Yorkshire Tour de franc tips

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 2:51AM
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plllog

Oh, thank-you! I'm tearing up with laughter. Don't forget your wellies. :)

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 11:31AM
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kitchendetective

LOL, lpink.

Edited to add that a neighbor brought me this yesterday. I suspect he let it grow a bit too long, no?

This post was edited by kitchendetective on Sun, Jul 6, 14 at 11:47

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 11:34AM
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Islay_Corbel

So, John. What did you eat in the end?

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 1:42AM
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dcarch7

For you, John.

dcarch

Here is a link that might be useful: Interesting video

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 9:06AM
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jkom51

For the next Bastille Day, you might want to consider this French festival. There's a recipe for the bourride, as well. US monkfish is now off the endangered list, but ONLY the US-based catch.

NYTimes July 14, 2014
In France, a Yearly Feast of Fish

(excerpt) SÃÂTE, France: This Mediterranean port town is famous for its annual Worldwide Festival of electronic music, seven miles of glorious beaches and fish.

Lots of fish.

Sole, hake, sea bass, red mullet, whiting, monkfish, tuna, sea bream, ocean perch, turbot and octopus are among the 90 species fished off the coast of Sète. La tielle, a cuttlefish pie with tomato and spices, is sold in just about every bakery and bistro. It is as ubiquitous as pizza, and an acquired taste.

So every year around the June 29 feast day of St. Peter, the fishermen of Sète get together to celebrate. They honor those among their ranks who have perished at sea. They ask Peter, the patron saint of their profession, for protection. They arm themselves with trident-tipped wooden spears and shields for a waterborne jousting competition from wooden rowboats. And they brag about their fish, consuming large quantities of it with a local rosé.

âÂÂThis is the one time of year we all relax,â said José Llinares, the director of SèteâÂÂs fishing port. âÂÂItâÂÂs the moment you set aside your sadness, you bury your woes. Everyone respects the traditions. ItâÂÂs a little like Christmas.âÂÂ

Here is a link that might be useful: The Fish Festival of Sete, France

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 6:43PM
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Islay_Corbel

Bourride is marvellous. I cook Michel Roux Jr(2 Michelin stars)recipe - more garlic that we prefer.
1.5kg monkfish
4tbls olive oil
2 onions thinly sliced
2 fennel bulbs thinly sliced
2 carrots thinly sliced
1 leek, white only sliced
2 bay leaves
S&P
250ml dry hite wine
150ml water

Aioli
10 garlic cloves
2 egg yolks
juice of a lemon
250ml olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard

Prepare the fish.
Heat a little oil in a large pan and seat the veg until tender
Add bay and s&p
Pour over wine and water and simmer 10 mins.Season the fish and pan fry for only 3 to 4 minutes in total. Add to the ve, cover and simmer gently for 8 to 10 mins.
When the fish is cooked, remove it. Whisk the aioli into the sauce. The veg should break up and become a soupy consistency.
Do not re-boil as the sauce may separate.
Serve immediately.

Aioli;
Peel garlic and remove central germ.
Process with other ingredients.
It's a great dish for entertaining.

This post was edited by islay_corbel on Wed, Jul 16, 14 at 2:14

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 2:13AM
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