In the spotlight
This pie is my “simmered at the last minute” dish! “Simmered,” because the chicken should cook gently inside the puff pastry; “at the last minute,” because the pie should be served as soon as it comes out of the oven. These two features represent an important part of the French culinary tradition and give the cook the sweet pleasure of waiting, and the guest the immediate joy of the flavors.
Chickens love peas! I was watching the hens coming out of the henhouse and falling on the tender leaves of young peas in the vegetable garden next door when I thought of marrying their eggs with this vegetable. After all, animal instinct is sure; why not be inspired by it? Then, after having tried the peas in several textures and temperatures, I added a simple egg–and Just Peas became great!
“Rhubarb is a flavor from my childhood. Here it’s used in different ways: stewed, poached, and also raw, with the oiliness of almond to encase it and fleshy strawberries to make it even more enticing. A set of flavors and textures that really works.”
Ingredient of the week
Watermelon almost certainly comes from Central Africa, where it continues to grow in the wild.
It has grown in all warm countries since the dawn of time, as its thick rind allows it to grow without requiring too much water. It was (and still is) consumed as a way to quench thirst when water was scarce or polluted.
The Egyptians routinely offered it to their visitors. Greeks and Romans preferred it to the melon. It is not widely grown in Europe, except in Spain.
Watermelon arrived in America with the Spanish conquest, but also with black slaves. It was quickly adopted by Native Americans and has been growing in gardens since the 16th century.
In Africa, they eat its seeds, which are rich in carbohydrates and proteins. They are eaten in India too, where they are also used to make flour and bread. In Asia, they are grilled or roasted, then salted and eaten.