Cookbook 146: The Monet Cookbook: Recipes from Giverny

I bought The Monet Cookbook: Recipes from Giverny for Scott when I was at the Musée d’Orsay last year (2019). It’s a collection of 80 of Monet’s recipes (as taken from his own recipe journals), from his home in Giverny, France. Alongside the recipes are prints of Monet’s art, photographs of Monet and his family, friends and fellow artists. It’s a beautiful book.

The recipes (when I made them some time ago) were tasty, the instructions easy to follow, and if you like French home cooking, and enjoy Monet’s, I recommend it. 4 out of 5 stars.

Mushroom Gratin (serves 2)

Ingredients:

  • 200g good quality button mushrooms
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 150ml light cream
  • 1 tbsp cognac
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Trim off the bases of the mushroom stems, then carefully wipe them and the mushroom caps to remove any grit, but do not wash them. Cut into fairly thin slices. Peel and dice the shallots.
  2. Preheat the oven to 220C
  3. Put the butter in a medium saucepan to melt. When it begins to foam, add the shallots and mushrooms, cover and leave to sweat for about 10 minutes on a medium heat. Add the cognac and simmer for another 2 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, slowly mix the cream into the flour and then pour the mixture onto the mushrooms. Stir constantly to make sure that the mushrooms are coated with the cream and to thicken the sauce. Season with salt and pepper, and then transfer the mixture to a gratin dish.
  5. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes until crisp and golden on top. Serve immediately.

Notes on this recipe:

  • The vegetarian who loves cognac and mushrooms loved this dish. To me it tasted too cognac-y and mushroomy and not something I wanted to eat. He would happily eat it again.
  • If you like mushrooms and cognac, then you will probably love this dish.

Chicken Chasseur (serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium free-range chicken, cut into pieces (or about 8 chicken pieces)
  • 250g small button mushrooms
  • 2 shallots
  • 3 ripe tomatoes
  • 30g butter
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 sprig tarragon
  • 100ml white wine
  • 100ml chicken stock
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method:

  1. Wipe the mushrooms with a paper towel and cut off the base of the stems. Slice them lengthways from the caps down to the stalks. Peel and dice the shallots. Scald and then peel the tomatoes, de-seed them and roughly chop them.
  2. Heat the butter in a large cast iron casserole pan with 2 tablespoons of the oil. When the mixture begins to foam, put in the chicken pieces and fry until golden, turning several times. Remove from the pan when they are nicely golden and keep warm.
  3. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil tot he pan and slowly saute the mushrooms. When they start to brown, add the chopped shallots and continue to fry for a few minutes until everything is golden. Sprinkle with the flour and mix well for two minutes with a wooden spoon. Mix in the white wine and simmer to reduce the liquid. Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, spring of tarragon and salt and pepper to taste. When the sauce has reduced by half, add the chicken stock and leave to simmer for 10 minutes.

Notes on this recipe

  • Ours was a bit more liquid than the photo. It was difficult to know how much time to allocate when planning cooking to “when the sauce has reduced by half”.
  • I think I skipped the tarragon (I don’t like it). This dish is very tasty and I would make it again – just allow more time for the sauce to reduce to a thick, rich tomato sauce.

Cheese Galettes (serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 200g fromage blanc (if not available try Quark, labne, fromage frais, or Greek yoghurt)
  • 1 egg
  • 100g flour
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

Method:

  1. Put the fromage blanc (or substitute) in a bowl, break the egg over it and beat together. Season generously with salt and pepper, then gradually add the flour and mix into a smooth dough.
  2. Shape into 12 little gallettes (circles), flattening them with your had. Melt the butter and oil in a large non-stick frying pan, put in the gallettes and cook for 5 minutes, turning them over halfway through so that they are golden brown on both sides. They should be very crispy.

Notes on this recipe:

  • These were really tasty and very easy to make (apart from finding fromage blanc).
  • The photo in the book suggests that someone has mixed some finely chopped chives through with the cheese and egg before adding the flour, that is something that definitely could be done and would add to them being very tasty.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.