Voilà! Live Cooking Videos – while confined

Voilà!  Live Cooking Videos – while confined

Friday April 24th was the finale of season #1 of our Voilà Lunchtime livecast adventure!
First and foremost THANK YOU to all the viewers, & a very special thank you to all the regulars from literally all around the globe. During these 24 daily livecast rendez-vous, you provided sustained warm & joyful support which gave me a some sense of purpose in these trying times while we are all confined, waiting for the virus to pass.
By now, sadly most of us know someone who has succumbed to the coronavirus, and we are also all watching — or no longer watching in order to stay sane — the ineffective & disgusting political debacle. Even if most of us are safely at home, and in a somehow privileged situation — I sure feel mine is that — we still all go through the emotional roller coaster, so if the show helped make your ride smoother, I am super happy. You need to know that it sure eased mine tremendously, so gratitude to you all for watching & cheering! I really know that I also learned a lot from the whole process.
Do not hesitate to reach out via messenger at any point if you have cooking questions of just want to keep in touch; I would love that!
Meanwhile, stay healthy, take great great care & eat the best you can.
Much much love from the two of us.

 

P.s. The videos of all 24 shows are available, clickable, watchable further down on this page, & they all have notes & links with useful information..


A little background:

Once upon a time I was a cook! I never liked the term chef, though I did run kitchens & was called one! I never really missed the restaurant business, but never stopped cooking. In the early years of this blog I posted more recipes & articles on food, I taught cooking & went as far as taping a demo cooking show, and filming several recipes.  My aim has always been to empower people in the kitchen, not to impress them. I appreciate sophisticated techniques & truly enjoys highly skilled chefs but I was never into that kind of cooking.  My background is in French regional Southwestern food but I have been in the US since 1987 and learned so much about food here. Getting together with Pierre Joris (here producer/dishwasher/husband) in 1989 was crucial for my artistic future but also for my cooking experience: it is through Pierre that I met Diane Rothenberg & Margie Byrd who are my mentors in many ways. Both are great cooks and had open tables for many years. Diane, an anthropologist, tremendously expanded my perspectives on the history of food; Margie taught me many American staples — the best corn bread ever! & then there is my childhood friend Ariane Daguin from d’Artagnan who is an inspiration has been incredibly supportive of my food related performance work. She was an early supporter of La Garbure Transcontinentale/The Bi-Continental Chowder, a performance that included texts, videos, cooking and sharing the result with the audience. Pierre & I went on doing more of these performance & a memorable one was at the Jardin des Cinq Sens et des Formes Premières in Provence; this performance included the making of a Primordial Soup, readings, vidéos, music by Denis Brun and a Karstic-Action Painting. Here are some pix.

But my cooking debut were really early! I was born in Luchon (French Pyrenees) into the 5th generation of a family of hoteliers-restaurateurs (Hotel Poste et Golf) & my very early cooking training started when I was 6 years old with my grand-father chef Joseph Peyrafitte (whose father Louis was also a chef). Later, when I took over the family kitchen, I went to intern at award winning restaurants in France –1982: Restaurant Vanel, Toulouse, 1991: Hotel de France, Auch. Both places had 2 stars at the Michelin Guide  — then I got a few awards myself!

Anyway! forwarding to today: like everyone else we are trying to make the best of this imposed confinement & I always find solace in cooking & eating well.  So Pierre & I decided to share the prepping of our simple & healthy home cooking live. We are live both on Facebook & Instagram Monday-Friday from 12 to 12:30 —sometimes a bit longer.  Sharing & live-casting our cooking is really in line with our Domopoetic* practice.

What do we eat/cook & why?
A few years back for serious health reasons we switched to healthier, low glycemic foods & adopted the 16/8 intermittent fasting method that involves eating only during an 8-hour window & fasting for the remaining 16 hours. So we eat a variety of foods but avoid pasta, rice, potatoes, sugar, processed flour & we favor veggies, legumes, eggs, healthy whole grains, & responsibly raised meat, poultry, & seafood, some fruits…Well, you get the idea & you will discover the details in the videos below. We will keep adding them as we go. Never hesitate to ask questions or request foods recipes you would like to see demonstrated or talked about.

Voilà! Bon Appétit, stay home & healthy!

“Voilà Lunchtime” were daily live-casted on FB & IG from March 24 -April 24 2023 M-F 12:00 EST

* Domopoetics is our collaborative attempt to think, feel & make us respons/able to this/our world & it responsive to us. We do this via our private lives & public actions & performances that meander dialogically between Nicole Peyrafitte’s drawings & videos, voice-, textual & cooking work & Pierre Joris’ poems, translations & essayistic thinking.

Memorabilia:

Sitting next to a chaud-froid de volaille at the hotel Kitchen
Hotel Poste & Golf Bagnères-de-Luchon (here circa 1965)
My grand-pa Chef Joseph Peyrafitte
San-Diego 1990 : Nicole, Pierre Franey, Ariane Daguin
Award 1981
Award 1982

Lo Magret goes to Paris!

Lo Magret goes to Paris!

André Daguin, chef/owner of the Hôtel de France in Auch (Gers) until 1997, tells how he gave a new life to the tasty magret de canard — and made it famous in the process:

magret

“The magret was served only as “confit” in soups, cassoulets and everyone would find it dry. The only way to avoid that was to cook it less, but no one dared. I had arguments with my customers; they couldn’t believe it was duck meat! Bob Daley, the New York Times journalist, reported on the discovery of this ‘new’ meat.”

In Occitan-Gascon the word magret —from the latin magre, literally means “lean”. It is definitely the leanest piece of the canard gras — that is the fattened moulard duck raised for foie gras. To make moulard ducks fat, force-feeding is required for a few weeks.

A bas relief depiction of overfeeding geese

This ancient technique seems to be referenced as far back as the 5th century BC. The Moulard duck is a hybrid cross of Pekin and Muscovy duck. Do not confuse Moulard with the very lean wild Mallard duck.

magret

The magret is the breast that is detached from the carcass once the liver had carefully being extracted. In the canard gras nothing goes to waste. The skin is rendered for fat; the fat is then used to simmer the legs and manchons (wings). Once cooked this meat is known as le confit. Le confit is then stored in earthenware pots, covered with fat to seal it, and used throughout the winter in various preparations. The hearts (look here), livers, gizzards are pan fried with garlic and parsley, the carcasses (called “demoiselles” —or the misses) & tongues are grilled in the fireplace for snacks.

Speaking of carcasses: in 1990, while  doing an internship at the Daguin’s restaurant I witnessed a “concours de demoiselles” organized by the Château St. Mont in Plaimont (Gers). The goal of the “carcass eating/cleaning contest” is to eat as many demoiselles as possible in the least amount of time while leaving the bones clean as a whistle. The winner then stepped on a Roman scale and the opposite pan was filled with cases of Château St. Mont wine until it balanced!

carte tour Eiffel

Another anecdote related to magret took place at the top floor restaurant of the Eiffel Tower in December of 1967. Jean & Renée Peyrafitte, my parents, & André & Jo Daguin, Ariane’s parents, were handed over the restaurant for La Quinzaine Midi-Pyrénées à la Tour Eiffel —two weeks of French Southwest fare in the skies of Paris — kind of the birth/ recognition of Cuisine du Terroir. I didn’t get to go, but I was 8 years old and I still remember all the excitement. The opening event was a banquet for the food writers and VIP’s. One of the most exciting items on the menu was the newly ‘dressed’ magret de canard. The magrets had been shipped from the Gers to arrive just on time, but on the morning of the event they had not yet arrived. The magrets were replaced with lamb and as in the Vatel story —though unlike Vatel my dad & André Daguin kept their calm and didn’t need to end their lifes over the problem— the magrets arrived during the luncheon. André Daguin, who like his daughter is never short of a creative idea when it comes to p.r., announced to the press that the magrets had just arrived; he showed them what they looked like, explained how to prepare them and one their way out all the diners were handed a magret wrapped in foil.  They got many write-ups, lot of word of mouth publicity and the restaurant was packed for the two full weeks!

Today you can purchase magret through the d’Artagnan website. Some specialty store have duck breast but most of the time there are Muscovy Duck breast, which are good but smaller.  One of my favorite recipe that I used to make often at the family restaurant is Magret with walnut and honey glaze. I made it the other night and yum! it is tasty.

Recipe for Magret aux Noix et au Miel:

magret sauteed

2 Moulard magrets can serve 4
1 Shallot finely chopped
½ cup of Armagnac or Brandy
1 cup of stock or 2 tablespoon of demi-glace
2 teaspoons of honey
2 Tbsp shelled walnuts
1 tbsp of unsalted butter

Score the skin of the duck magret. Do not cut into the meat, only the skin.
Salt and pepper both side.
Place in a warm skillet on the skin side — no need to add  fat, the skin will render plenty.
Cook for about 8 minutes or so on the skin side —if you like it pink. More for well done.
Flip it over on the meat side for about 4 minutes.
Remove from the pan keep the magret between two plates to avoid loss of heat.
Drain the fat from the pan except for about 1 tablespoon—keep fat to sauté potatoes.
Sauté ½ cup of shallots until translucent.
Deglaze pan with 1/2 cup of Armagnac and flambé —I alway turn off the fan when I do it.
Add 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 cup of broth or better, some demi-glace.
Let reduce, then add 2 Tbsp shelled walnuts —do not let the walnuts sit too long in the pan as they will give a bitter taste to your sauce.
Cut you magret in slices horizontally, pour all the juice in the sauce pan.
At the last minute finish your sauce with a dollop of soft butter, salt & pepper to taste.
Serve with your favorite starch.
Thanks again and again to Renée Peyrafitte for saving & scanning the original documents.
Merci à André Daguin de répondre à mes questions.
And taben mercès pla ta l’amic Marc per l’ajude dab los mots en Gascon!
Adishatz!