French Guiana (S. America) – 5 February 2022

French Guiana located in the continent of South America. It has the Atlantic Ocean to the north, and northeast, Brazil to the south and southwest, and Suriname to the west.

The capital is Cayenne.

The official language is French.

The climate is a tropical rainforest predominately. It is humid and hot throughout the entire year, with heavy rainfall from December to July (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Guiana#Climate).

The staple foods are rice, yucca, sweet potato, pastries, smoked fish, crab, prawns, chicken, vegetables, collard greens, swiss chard, onions, and so much more (https://facnh.com/world-of-french-french-guiana/#:~:text=It%20is%20also%20home%20to,the%20food%2C%20particularly%20in%20pastry).

https://www.britannica.com/place/French-Guiana

TRADITIONAL FRENCH VEAL BLANQUETTE (https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/robert-irvine/veal-blanquette-recipe-1947771):

  • 4 lbs. veal breast, boned, cut in large dice
  • 20 pearl onions
  • 2 quarts beef stock
  • 1 sachet d’epices (1 TBSP parsley, 1 TBSP peppercorns, 1 TBSP thyme and 1 bay leaf in a cheesecloth bag).
  • 6 TBSP butter, divided
  • ½ C all-purpose flour
  • 6 oz. (about 2 C) white button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 2 TBSP lemon juice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 C heavy cream
  1. Cover the veal with cold water to “blanch” it. Drain and rinse the veal.
  2. Boil about 2 cups of water in a saucepan and then add the pearl onions briefly to scald them. Drain and slip skins from the pearl onions and set them aside.
  3. In a large saucepan, combine the veal with the stock and simmer covered over medium-low heat until the veal is tender, about 1-1/2 hours.
  4. After the veal has been simmering for about 30 minutes, add the sachet d’epices. Then uncover the pot to allow the stock to reduce to intensify the flavor.
  5. Melt 4 TBSP of the butter in a small pot and gradually add the flour to make a white roux (Do not allow the roux to brown).
  6. Remove and discard the sachet from the stew. Add the roux to the stew pot and simmer until thickened.
  7. In another pan, heat the remaining 2 TBSP of butter and gently cook the pearl onions and mushrooms until they are tender. To this pan, add the lemon juice and salt and pepper, to taste, and set aside.
  8. The heat under the blanquette (stew) must be such that the stew is just below a boil.
  9. In a small pot whisk together the egg yolks and cream (known as a liaison) and temper by heating gently and gradually (you are only heating it. Do not boil. Do not cook).
  10. Add the liaison to the blanquette.
  11. Add the reserved pearl onions and mushrooms. Adjust salt and pepper, to taste, if needed.
Here is my try at the Traditional French Veal Blanquette. I put the liaison in when the blanquette was too hot. Still tasted really good, but I will have to try this recipe again!

SALAD WITH FRUITS

Great Fruit Salad!!!

FRENCH MACAROON (https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/223234/macaron-french-macaroon/):

  • 3 egg whites
  • ¼ C white sugar
  • 1-2/3 C confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 C finely ground almonds
  1. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat.
  2. Beat egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment until whites are foamy; beat in white sugar and continue beating until egg whites are glossy, fluffy, and hold soft peaks.
  3. Sift confectioner’s sugar and ground almonds in a separate bowl and quickly fold the almond mixture into the egg whites, about 30 strokes.
  4. Spoon a small amount of batter into a plastic bag with a small corner cut off and pipe a test disk of batter, about 1-1/2-inches in diameter, onto prepared baking sheet. If the disk of batter holds a peak instead of flattening immediately, gently fold the batter a few more times and retest.
  5. When batter is mixed enough to flatten immediately into an even disk, spoon into a pastry bag fitted with a plain round tip. Pipe the batter onto the baking sheet in rounds, leaving space between the disks. Let the piped cookies stand out at room temperature until they for a hard skin on top, about 1 hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 285 degrees F.
  7. Bake cookies until set but not browned, about 10 minutes; let cookies cool completely before filling.

Vanilla Buttercream Filling (https://www.aheadofthyme.com/2017/02/classic-french-macaron-with-vanilla-buttercream-filling/):

  • ¼ C unsalted butter
  • ¾ C + 2 TBSP confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tsp milk
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  1. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer, cream butter until soft and smooth.
  2. Add powdered sugar, milk and vanilla and mix until light and fluffy.

Chocolate Ganache Filling (https://sugargeekshow.com/recipe/chocolate-macaron-recipe/):

  • 2 oz. heavy cream
  • 2.5 oz. chocolate semisweet, milk or dark
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  1. Place all the ingredients into a heatproof bowl and microwave for one minute. Let sit for 5 minutes then whisk until smooth. Heat for another 15 seconds if not fully melted. Place into the fridge for 20 minutes then whisk until smooth. It should be the texture of peanut butter.

Note: Macarons can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 24 hours or in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

I have never made macaroons before, but here is my try at it. The vanilla buttercream and chocolate ganache turned out great as well!!

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