Culinary trip to France: how to bring French cuisine into your home

opinion Sternberg’s Cooking School, Part 62

A culinary summer trip to France

Photo of two stems and a Nicoise salad

During their culinary summer trip, the Stembergs explain how to prepare a Nicoise salad typical of Nice.

Source: Bernd Juergens / picture Alliance / chromorange; Sasha Perrone

Walter Stemberg and his son Sascha run the excellent restaurant “Haus Stemberg” in Velbert. Together, they write about the basics of cooking. This time we are going on a culinary journey to France, where the culture of food and cooking is celebrated.

ANDThere are rumors in France that the kitchen was invented there. We wouldn’t sign it that way. But the fact is, when it comes to food culture, France cannot be ignored. Countless ideas and preparation methods are of French origin. Added to this is an almost unbelievable culinary culture that is visible not only in restaurants but also in many homes.

While he was in school, Sascha took part in an exchange program and spent three weeks with a French family. We ate together every night for three weeks. Each time, the bread was fresh, the sausage of the best quality and the deliciously salted butter, typical of France.

When it comes to celebrating food every day, in Germany you can almost be a little jealous of its neighboring country. Pleasure is by no means a hobby of the local elite. Note which cars are parked in front of starred restaurants. In Germany, these are often luxury cars. In France, you will see a lot of small and medium-sized cars. There, students are already saving up to enjoy great cuisine in a star restaurant once a year!

French cuisine is a real cultural asset. The focus. The Duchess Even if you don’t know any of the other names of France’s top chefs, these two people are just as familiar to many as the names of the top footballers.

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Another reason why French cuisine is so special is that it varies from region to region. Raw, rough Brittany – who doesn’t think about fish and shellfish right away? Marseille – famous for its bouillabaisse. Pyrenees where you like it plentiful. Here you can especially see that France is a country of terrines and pates.

And the fact that even in the smallest nest there is a decent pastry shop that offers delicious croissants and eclairs. Not to mention a French baguette that tastes great all over the country, baked with a special flour that a baguette made in Germany will probably never come close to.

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Let’s get down to business. What does Nice mean? Of course: for a carefree life on the Cote d’Azur. For palm trees, sun and: Nice lettuce. It is printed in every French school booklet and is part of the inventory of culinary delights in France such as vase and baguette.

Unfortunately, the Nicoise salad, which you can get in many of our restaurants, is usually impertinent: it often consists of iceberg lettuce with cheap olives and mushy tuna. You should never eat anything like this. It doesn’t take much effort to make Niçoise Salad delicious.

We recommend the following recipe (all amounts for four): You will need 200 grams of green beans, trimmed and cooked until crispy. Two fully ripe, delicious tomatoes, quartered, cut into strips and chopped. 80 grams of delicious olives, sliced ​​into rings. Three hard-boiled eggs, cut into quarters. They should be waxy. Just not hard and dry. One yellow pepper, chopped and diced. Two tablespoons of capers. Four tablespoons of finely chopped parsley. Half a cucumber, cut in half, diced. 60 grams of finely chopped anchovies. A finely chopped garlic clove. Olive oil, salt, pepper, and ripening balsamic vinegar.

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All this – except the eggs – mix in a large bowl and taste. Is green salad missing? Then mix a few freshly plucked leaves, preferably oak lettuce or lollo rosso. But it also works without. Now we hear your objection again: where is the tuna? Nicoise salad without tuna is like bouillabaisse without seafood!

That’s right, tuna is a must. But please don’t get out of the can. Buy four tuna steaks, 130 g each, from your local fish shop. Fry them on both sides in olive oil in a coated pan for up to 20 seconds. Cooked on the outside, raw on the inside – that’s the way it should be. Season with salt and pepper and place the egg on top of the salad. Final: a few lemon squeezes on top. Voila. Bon Appetit!

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