26 March 2006

Menu #6: A springtime meal from Centre

[Posted by Colin.]

The culinary adventure for us this week takes us to Centre, a region south of Paris that includes the famous Loire Valley chateaux. The main dish for this meal is lapin aux petits légumes aux jardin (rabbit with garden vegetables) and the dessert is tarte Tatin (a famous apple upside-down cake invented at the Hôtel Tatin in Lamotte-Beuvron).

Lapin aux petits legumes aux jardin (Rabbit with garden vegetables)
Serves 4
Prep time: 20 min
Cooking time: 50 min


  • 1 rabbit
  • 250 g (1/2 lb.) of carrots
  • 200 g (1/3 lb.) of green beans
  • 200 g (1/3 lb.) of pearl onions
  • 500 g (1 lb.) of peas
  • 10 cl (1/3 c.) of white wine
  • 50 cl (1 pint) of chicken bouillon
  • 1 bouquet garni (a mixture of fresh herbs)
  • 3 Tbsp of olive oil
  • 12 g (2.5 tsp) of salt
  • 5 g (1 tsp) of freshly ground black pepper

  1. Peel the carrots and cut them into spears. Snap the ends of the green beans. Peel the pearl onions.
  2. Heat up the olive oil in a stewpot, then brown the pieces of rabbit. Add the wine and cook over medium heat for a few minutes. Salt and pepper toward the end.
  3. Add the bouquet garni, the carrots, the onions, and the peas. Bring to boiling, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Add the green beans and simmer for 20 more minutes.
Tarte Tatin


  • 450 g (4 sticks) of butter
  • 450 g (about 3 c.) of flour


  • 150 g (1 1/3 stick) of butter
  • 125 g (a little more than 1 c.) of sugar
  • 1 kg (2 lbs.) of apples (i.e., about 5 or 6 of them)

  1. Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Separate the butter into four equal pieces. Cut in one piece of butter, until it is well blended. Add some cold water to make it into a dough.
  3. Roll out the dough, until it is about half a centimeter thick.
  4. Using a fork, flake in another piece of butter. Fold the dough into quarters and then roll it out again. Repeat until all of the butter has been used up.

  1. Preheat the oven to 190° C (375° F).
  2. Butter a cake pan. Spread the stick of butter on the bottom of the pan. Cover this with the sugar.
  3. Core and peel the apples. Cut them into thick slices and arrange them on the bed of sugar and butter.
  4. Bake for about 15 minutes (the butter and sugar will have formed caramel).
  5. Take the pan out of the oven and lay the dough on top of the caramel and apples.
  6. Bake for 15 more minutes.
  7. After the pie has cooled for several minutes, cover the pan with a serving plate. Quickly flip the pan and plate upside down.
  8. For a traditional tarte Tatin serve as is, without any accompaniments.

[Note: This recipe is my translation of the "authentic" recipe originally made in 1898 by Stéphanie Tatin. If you would like the recipe in the original French, check out the Site Officiel de la Tarte Tatin.]


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