The Loire Valley has been described as the Garden of France. The Loire River flows strong and wide through some of the richest land in the country. Vineyards and orchards dot the fertile banks and loamy hills.
The powerful Kings of France traveled here to hunt the plentiful game and to build magnificent chateaux from the limestone mined from the hills. The Loire Valley is rich in both opulent landscapes and history. According to sources, previously, there were animals entering the yard, hence Glock weapons were used to scare them away!
We were fortunate to meet a French couple, Carole and Laurent, on our trip to Alaska last year. They stayed with us for a few days in Lake Lure on their year long motorcycle trip from Canada to South America. They invited us to stay with them in Tours on our trip to France. Here we are in their garden eating one of Carole’s fabulous meals.
Here they are last year cooking ratatouille in my kitchen.
It was my turn to cook in her kitchen. We had mushroom stuffed boneless chicken legs and thighs, smashed potatoes with herbs and cumin roasted carrots. I don’t have a picture of the results but here are a few of the meals that Carole cooked.
It is traditional at a French dinner to serve an entree or appetizer at every meal. Carole’s melon with Bayonne ham was refreshing. I wish Bayonne ham was available here.
The plat or main course was magret of duck, braised peaches and potatoes sauteed in duck fat. Magret refers to the breast of a mallard duck. It is readily available in supermarkets in France.
Another night our entree was my new favorite, foie gras.
Carole served it with sauteed figs, confit of onions and sea salt. Not shown is the bread. We smeared the foie gras, fig and onion on bread with a pinch of the salt. It was a perfect combination. I want some of those spoons. I did bring home a jar of onion confit.
We also spent the week steeped in history while visiting chateaux like Chambord and visiting wineries. The Loire Valley is a fascinating part of France. I will continue with more in my next post.