Food – french country pride – nytimes. com

LAGUIOLE IS A SMALL TOWN IN THE Aveyron area of France, a poor and almost savagely rural area in the high pasturelands of the Aubrac Mountains. How long does salmon take to cook in the oven Laguiole has always been known for its fine handmade folding knives, for its cheese (similar to cantal) and for a local rib-sticking dish of cheese and potatoes called aligot. How to cook salmon without foil But now, quite suddenly, this town is on the gastronomic map. How to cook salmon steaks in oven A slight, modest, bespectacled 40-year-old cook named Michel Bras (he pronounces the ”s”) is rapidly emerging as one of France’s greatest chefs.

How to cook salmon on stove top To paraphrase the French restaurant critic Henri Gault, it’s as if the world had suddenly discovered an Yves Saint-Laurent working in a quiet mountain village.

Bras has received little, if any, publicity in America, but in France the press has fastened hold. How to cook smoked salmon fillet When I told my chef friends in Paris that I had eaten his food, they beseeched me to tell them what it was like. How long to cook salmon steaks Everyone talks about Bras, but relatively few have tasted his cooking. How to grill salmon fillets Laguiole is remote, not ”on the way to” anywhere, and Bras is not interested in moving. How to cook baked salmon ”The axis of my life is here, my home and my family,” he says. How long to cook salmon fillet ”My nature is in tune with my village, and I love the countryside around.”

It is from this local countryside that he finds all his ingredients: crayfish and trout from its streams; lambs and calves from its farms; mushrooms and nuts, apples, raspberries and wild herbs. How long to cook baked salmon Michel Bras does not cook with lobster. How long does salmon take to cook in oven He prefers peasant ingredients: liver, kidneys, brains and, best of all, vegetables. How long to cook salmon fillets He likes the tender inside stalks of artichokes and romaine lettuce, and locally grown buco, a leafy vegetable that combines the tastes of radishes and cabbage (collard, Swiss chard or mustard greens make a good substitute). How to cook salmon fillets in the oven He uses very little butter or cream in his cooking, and virtually no stocks. How to cook salmon steaks in a frying pan His short sauces employ the natural juices of his ingredients. Salmon steak cooking time He is interested in presenting food that is honest and pure, tasting of itself. Salmon fillet cooking time His achievement is that he has raised peasant cooking to a new and extraordinary level.

Michel Bras is an original. How to prepare salmon steaks Virtually self-taught, he never apprenticed in a ”great” kitchen. Cooking a salmon fillet For years he worked as an assistant to his mother, a good country cook who started the hotel Lou Mazuc. How to cook salmon without skin In 1979, Bras and his wife, Ginette, took it over and things began to change. Salmon oven cooking time A dining room was created out of a renovated cheese cellar. How to prepare salmon fillet Though his mother continued to work in the kitchen, preparing aligot and other regional dishes, Bras began to delve deeply into cuisine, thinking through each ingredient, asking himself basic questions, researching and also creating an intellectual framework for the culinary themes and messages he wished to convey. Oven baked salmon with lemon Although he does not hold a baccalaureat degree, he has a brilliant questing scientific mind, the processes of which (tempered by his desire to nourish) are evident in his startlingly original food.

The following recipes, which I have adapted to the Amer-ican kitchen, should convey some of this quirky brilliance. Oven roasted salmon fillet In both salmon dishes, the fish is cooked slowly at a very low temperature in a steamy slow oven, an unorthodox yet scientifically correct way to reveal natural flavor and create a rich moist texture at the same time. Oven cook salmon fillet In the first salmon dish, the crisped fat back (reduced to crackling fiber after most of the fat has been cooked out of it) makes a stunning textural contrast with the fish and the soft stewed onions. How to cook salmon fillet in a pan The second salmon dish is a perfect example of Michel Bras’s interest in what he calls ”the trilogy of the main ingredient, the vegetable and the condiment in which each thing is there for a reason.” This is also an example of his extremely sophisticated use of herbs – in this particular case, a chive infusion.

For all his intellect, Michel Bras is also an emotional man. Oven baked salmon fillets In a statement of purpose printed on his menu, he speaks mystically of the secrets and wisdom of his native countryside. Oven cook salmon fillets He told me about a strawberry dish he had constructed that he called a ”dish of nostalgia.” A piece of puff pastry served with crushed strawberries and peau de lait (the skimmed-off topping of heating raw milk) is meant to remind the diner of how, when he ate strawberries as a child, he may have crushed them into the cream.

When he works up a dish, he considers, besides complementary and conflicting tastes and smells, such matters as visual stimulation (contrasting colors) and even sound (the crunch of sea salt versus the buttery softness of salmon). Cooking salmon with skin on His tart of wild mushrooms, with its creamy walnut filling, conveys the essence of the forest. How to cook salmon with skin on And his aigo boulido, a stew of fresh vegetables, garlic and water in which slices of fish are poached, reflects his desire to elevate the regional cooking of his mother in order to please the most demanding palate.

Considering its excellence, the relatively inexpensive Lou Mazuc may be the best bargain in France. Grilling salmon with skin on If you are going to be anywhere near Laguiole and wish a reservation, write: Michel Bras; Lou Mazuc; Laguiole; 12210 Aveyron; France. Cook salmon fillet oven Tel. Whole salmon fillet recipes 65-44-32-24. Cooking frozen salmon fillets (The hotel and restaurant are closed from Oct. Baked whole salmon fillet 1 through Easter, and on Sunday night and all day Monday except in July and August.) BROTH WITH TROUT FILLETS AND FRESH VEGETABLES (Les filets de truite a l’aigo boulido, bouillon et ses legumes) 2 scallions, roots trimmed, halved lengthwise and all but 3 inches of the green shoots removed, washed and drained 2 brussel sprouts, trimmed, halved, cored and washed 1 medium carrot, scraped and sliced crosswise, at a slight diagonal, about 1/8 inch thick 4 to 6 asparagus stalks, woody bottom trimmed, spear peeled and cut into 2-inch lengths 2 bibb lettuces, split 2 stalks Swiss chard with leaves, root ends trimmed; stalks and leaves separated 6 cups water, preferably a mineral water such as Evian Coarse sea salt 1/4 cup unsalted butter 2 garlic cloves, peeled 1 clove 1 bay leaf, tied with 2 small stalks celery with leaves and 3 sprigs flat leaf parsley 2 shallots, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices 2 to 3 fish fillets, skinned (4 to 5 ounces each of either trout, Arctic char, porgy, whiting or small pieces of salmon trout) Freshly ground white pepper 1 1/2 tablespoons French walnut oil.

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