Author name: Jim

Restaurant Le Socowa, Ciboure France

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Literally across the street from the Bay of Biscay, Le Socowa is the  French version of a beach front fish shack. With that in mind, you would expect that organization would not be a strong point, which it is not:  they almost never answer the phone if you call for a reservation and as far …

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Farm Chicken

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One of the difficulties of translating French recipes for the American kitchen is that many of the ingredients are just not the same in France as in America. This difference in ingredients can often mean that getting good results using a French recipe can require a lot of modifications in measurements, timing and techniques. Take, …

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Spring lamb sweetbreads with cream and leeks

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Living need the Pyrenees, where sheep’s milk cheese is king, inevitably means spring lamb.  Ewes need to have lambs to continue producing milk, and the male lambs are of very little use on a dairy farm. Thus in the spring, when they are between 30 and 50 days old, the male lambs are culled from …

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Chez Mattin, still great!

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The last time I had the good fortune to dine at Chez Mattin in Ciboure was pre-covid.  This family-run Basque restaurants has been consistently one of my favorites for years, see my recommendation from 2013! But a lot changed during covid, and many wonderful restaurants have either not opened or never re-found their pre-covid form, …

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Preserved and pickled lemons

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So it all started with a tajine that I saw at the local vide-grenier (vide grenier =”clear out the attic” = garage sale) to support the Calendretta, the local bi-lingual school, which teaches in French and Occitain.  A brand new Emile-Henry tagine, still in its original box, never been used!  Although my experience with cooking …

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First signs of Spring

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After the longest of winters, spring always arrives…it just seems to take a long, long time years! So the first spring vegetables to grace the market tables are always a cause for celebration.  Last Saturday, I found spring green garlic, which I snapped up, along with last of the season Jerusalem artichokes.  The two ended …

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Gratin of green chard

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Late winter-early spring is a lean time at the farmer’s market (wow, hearing myself say that, it is hard to believe that it is already turning toward spring!).  The last of the fall harvest – winter squashes, pears, apples, onions, garlic – are getting old and a little rough looking.  Spring veggies are still just …

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