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Friday, July 12, 2019

Cardine and Limande - Megrim and Dab, the Fish. Cardine and Limande in French Cuisine.

from
Behind the French Menu
by
Bryan G. Newman
  
Megrim
www.flickr.com/photos/biodivlibrary/10574403693/
 
Cardine, Cardine Franche – Megrim in the UK and the Limande – the Dab or Common Dab.  Both of these are flatfish with close family members in the turbot family and flounder families. Their exact names are often confused in the markets and restaurants, but no one will suffer.  These are firm white-fleshed fish which will be prepared with a sauce and they are the equal of many of their larger and more expensive cousins. These are the smaller members of their families and most of those that I have seen were no longer than 25cm (12”). 

In the UK these fish are part of the 40% bi-catch that UK fishermen and women return to the Atlantic as they would be taking up room reserved for the money spinners.  The most popular fish in the UK with 50% of the market, salmon, tuna and cod are mostly imports with all the salmon farmed. (BTW it takes three kilos of wild fish to produce one kilo of farmed salmon).




 Where they can the UK crews sell the Megrims and Dabs to the French and the Spanish where these fish are genuinely appreciated; if they don’t manage to sell them most will be thrown back in the sea dead so they can claim they did not exceed their fishing limits. The French public is much more adventurous and happy to see these fish on the menu or in the market at lower  price than brill, plaice or sole.  These fish are easily deboned and served as filets with smaller fish served for one. (Confusion can arrive when Sole Limande, Lemon Sole, is on the menu, this is Lemon Sole and another, larger member of the flounder family.

Filet de Cardine En Croute de Noisette et Café, Poêlée de Salicorne au Beurre Salé et Echalote A  filet of Megrim prepared in a covering of hazelnuts and coffee accompanied by Salicornia (Samphire) pan-fried in salted butter with shallots. (Salted Butter - Beurre Salé, has between 3%- 5% salt and is popular with the morning tartine beurrée. Salicornia or samphire is often called an edible seaweed; it is not.  Salicornia, of which there are many family members, grows in salt marshes and along the coast but not in the sea.


Megrim Meunière
www.flickr.com/photos/herry/6661370951/
  
Limande Meunière Pommes Vapeur – Megrim prepared in a Sauce Meunier and accompanied by steamed potatoes. Sauce Meunière is a classic butter sauce made with lemon juice and parsley added to melted clarified butter.
  
Limande Poêlée Entière, Sauce Vierge -  A whole pan-fried Dab served with a Sauce Vierge. As its name suggests, Sauce Vierge, virgin sauce, includes virgin olive oil and fresh tomatoes, garlic, lemon juice, basil, red wine vinegar, salt, and black pepper. The sauce will be served slightly warm but not cooked as a virgin olive oil loses its flavor when cooked. The sauce will be poured on the fish just before it is served.

Megrim with Caper Butter
www.flickr.com/photos/beckayork/5083548184/



Cardine Farcie aux Huîtres Gillardeau, Oseille, Beurre Blanc au Champagne – Megrim stuffed with Gillardeau oysters flavored with sorrel and served with Champagne and white butter sauce. Gillardeau  oysters come from the family-owned Gillardeau oyster farm that has been farming oysters in the famous oyster fattening grounds of Marennes-Oléron for over 100 years;  Marennes-Oléron is on the Atlantic coast of the department of Charente Maritime now part of the new super-region of Nouvelle Aquitaine. These Label Rouge, red label, oysters are raised on the island of Oleron opposite to where the town of Marennes on the mainland leads to the bridge that connects them.
  
Gillardeau  oysters No 3.
www.flickr.com/photos/claveirole/30295929204/

Suprême de Cardine aux Coques et Crémeux Passion  - A filet of Megrim prepared with cockles and a creamy passion fruit sauce.
  
Coques - Cockles
  
Tronçons de Limande, Asperge Blanche et Carottes Nouvelles, Béarnaise à la Framboise – A filet of  Dab accompanied by white asparagus, young carrots, and Sauce Bearnaise flavored with raspberries. (Tronçon is the original name used for filets from flatfish though despite its origins tronçon is now used for a cut of meat also).
   
White asparagus
www.flickr.com/photos/sunfox/3594612291/

Megrim and Dab are rarely seen in UK fish counters and their cousins caught close to North America are equally sparse though those who live close to the coast and know where the fresh fish markets are will see them fairly often.
 
Cardin - Megrim in the Languages of France’s neighbors:
 
Catalan - bruixa), (Dutch - scharretong), (German - scheefschnut), (Italian -rombo giallo), (Spanish  - ojito  ), (Latin - lepidorhombus whiffiagonis).

Limande – Dab in the languages of France’s neighbors:
 
(Catalan - limanada), (Dutch - schar), (German - kliesche), (Italian - limanda), (Spanish  - limanda),  (Latin – limanda limanda).
 
-----------------------

Bryan G. Newman
Behind the French Menu
Copyright 2010, 2019.

For information on the unpublished book behind this blog write to Bryan Newman
at
behindthefrenchmenu@gmail.com

---------------------------

Searching for the meaning of words, names or phrases
on
French menus?

Just add the word, words, or phrase that you are searching for to the words "Behind the French Menu" (best when including the inverted commas), and search with Google or Bing,  Behind the French Menu’s links, include hundreds of words, names, and phrases that are seen on French menus. There are over 450 articles that include over 4,000 French dishes with English translations and explanations.



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Saturday, June 22, 2019

Queue De Bœuf – Oxtail. A Tale of an Ox’s Tail in French Cuisine.


from
Behind the French Menu
by
Bryan G. Newman
behindthefrenchmenu@gmail.com

Oxtail soup

The first recipe for an oxtail soup or stew came to English menus when it was called a hochepot. That recipe was brought by the soldiers of William the Conqueror in 1066 when they came over from Norman-France and invaded and conquered England. Many of William's soldiers came from Flanders in northern France where hochepot was and still is a favorite dish.
                                      
Oxtail soup with its tasty, slowly cooked meat has a soft and silky texture flavored by its bone marrow that you can feel on your tongue; it would become a traditional British and Irish favorite.  With this and many other dishes, the cooks of William’s army brought the French connection to the English kitchen.

The word hochepot in English became hodgepodge, meaning “a jumble or mixture of any odds and ends and miscellaneous items;” and obviously, that was the original recipe for the soup. Anglo-Norman law under which England was ruled for four-hundred years after the invasion supported that premise when the word hochepot was given a legal meaning: “the blending or gathering together of properties;” just like the blending and gathering together of whatever was available in the kitchen.

The old province of Flanders, where hochepot originated is today mostly within the department of Nord on France’s English Channel (La Manche) and North Sea coast. (And, BTW, William the Conqueror is a great-great-great…of the present Queen of England).
   
A hodgepodge mixture of odds and ends
www.flickr.com/photos/sfllaw/70503683/

Until about fifty years ago, oxtail soups and stews in the UK were considered too bourgeois for most restaurant menus. Then, celebrity chefs discovered the tastes locked into the recipes that are now prepared for gourmets.
  
The Queue de Bœuf on French Menus:

Chiffonnade de Queue de Bœuf, Vinaigrette à la Moutarde à l'Ancienne – Strips of beef from the tail served with a vinaigrette sauce flavored with a coarse-grained, mild mustard sauce.  The word "chiffonade" in your French-English dictionary means "rags" but on your menu will indicate thin strips of vegetables lightly sautéed or as here thin strips of meat. Strips of smoked salmon, cured hams or other finely cut fish, or meats may also be described as a "chiffonade."  Moutarde à l'Ancienne means mustard in the old manner that is made by mixing the mustard seeds in water for a few days rather than crushing them.
  
Hochepot de Queue de Bœuf – This is the traditional oxtail stew made like a Pot a feu, a slowly cooked hearty stew prepared with vegetables, usually carrots, turnips, and onions.
   
Hotchpot de Queue de Bœuf

Parmentier de Queue de Bœuf au Vin Rouge de Touraine – Meat from the oxtail flavored with a red wine from the Touraine covered with mashed potatoes. The French pharmacist Antoine-Augustin Parmentier (1737 – 1813) who made the potato an important part of the French diet is honored with his name on this and many other potato dishes.

Touraine was a historical and cultural region and an  ancient French province set in the Val de Loire where it is home to many fine wines and cheeses including the Chinon and Vouvray wines and the Sainte-Maure-de-Touraine AOP cheese.  During the French Revolution, the province of Touraine was divided with its larger part becoming the department of Indre-et-Loire in the region of Centre-Val de Loire.

A few of the wines from the Touraine

Préssé de Queue de Bœuf et Salade   The meat from the oxtail interleaved with vegetables and pressed into a square or rectangular form from which it will be served; here it is accompanied by a salad.

Raviolis de Queue de Bœuf – Ravioli made with the tender meat of an ox-tail. The sauce with this dish will generally be a meat and red wine sauce.

Salade de Mesclun et Terrine de Queue de Boeuf Maison – A mesclun salad and a pate made with the meat from an oxtail. The terrine here is a pate that will have been made with vegetables and possibly other meats.  The ingredients of a salad mesclun will change with the season but will include five or six salad greens chosen for their contrasting tastes and textures.
   
A salade mesclun.
www.flickr.com/photos/bluehillranch/5277543600/
  
Soupe de Queue de Bœuf Oxtail soup.
   
In North America and the UK and there are many other stews with similar sounding names to hochepot or hodgepodge including many without oxtails or cows’ tails, which are just as tasty.  (BTW an ox is a castrated male and in North America also called a bullock or steer).

Bœuf (beef), and the letter Œ.
    
Œ – The two letters O and E linked together have a history much longer than the few grammar lessons that I participated in in school. You can blame the Romans and Greeks for this strange letter or ligature as it is properly called. When the letters are separate, they have their individual sounds, and so in English, you mostly hear the letters o and e sounded separately as in beachgoer for O and poet for E.  However, in French, when linked together o and e form their own unique sound “er” and so bœuf for beef, is pronounced berf and œuf for egg, is pronounced erf.

To type Œ in lowercase letters on a PC keyboard hold down the “Alt” key and type 0156 and the lower case œ will appear.  For the uppercase Œ type Alt and 0140.   (These are called

N.B. The letters only appear when you take your finger off the Alt key and also make sure the Num Lock is off before typing or nothing appears.

Alt 0156…. Voila œ

Alt 0140…..Voila Œ
  
For the other French ALT (ascii) codes with both lower and uppercase letters click here.

I am sorry that I cannot offer any suggestions for Mac keyboards.

-----------------------------------

Bryan G. Newman

Behind the French Menu
Copyright 2010, 2019.

For information on the unpublished book behind this blog write to Bryan Newman
at
behindthefrenchmenu@gmail.com

---------------------------

Searching for the meaning of words, names or phrases
on
French menus?

Just add the word, words, or phrase that you are searching for to the words "Behind the French Menu" (best when including the inverted commas), and search with Google or Bing,  Behind the French Menu’s links, include hundreds of words, names, and phrases that are seen on French menus. There are over 450 articles that include over 4,000 French dishes with English translations and explanations.



----------------------------
   
Connected Posts:
 
 
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 


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