Monday, 9 July 2012


Stage 9 is an individual time trial, and the 40km course could carry a lot of weight come the end of the race.

Food from this region is rich in cream and cheese, and having cooked quite a few meals so far using these ingredients, I feel the need for a mild "detox"with a dish made from fish. Quenelles (dumplings) are a French classic, and I am sorry to confess I have never made them, before now. I remember sampling them in Lyon, and I have often seen them, ready-made, in French supermarkets. Not strictly from Besancon, quenelles are a regional speciality of Lyon and the Rhone-Alpes, and a particular speciality from Nantua is the pike quenelle with crayfish sauce (there are many lakes and rivers in this area). A quenelle is a light dumpling made from minced fish (or meat), poached in a stock and served with a sauce. The term quenelle also refers to the shape, a sort of neat rugby ball, which is formed by pressing the mixture between two dessert spoons.


I can think of no better guide for the ingénue quenelle maker then Raymond Blanc, and the novitiate need look no further than this link to Blanc's TV series 'The Very Hungry Frenchman' for an easy-to-follow recipe for a classic quenelle (and other delicious French regional dishes).

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