Monday, 5 September 2011

Crickets and croquettes


We went out the other night to a restaurant in the next village, an eatery called La Gariguette. Since opening a year and more ago it has become a firm favourite, not merely because it's named after a variety of strawberry that I particularly enjoy but because of the excellence of its cuisine.

For €19 (about £17) you can enjoy a three course meal, entrée (starter), plat (main course) and dessert (pud) chosen from a menu with at least two dishes per course. To start with I chose Croquettes d'émincé de poulet, which are slightly crunchy rissoles of minced chicken breast and hazelnuts, seasoned and lightly fried in olive oil, served with a mixed salad, and I hope I'm not disappointing American friends by not having taken a photo of them.

Croquettes comes from croquer, to crunch. Because of their crunchy quality, cat and dog biscuits are called croquettes. Our cat Tonip eats nothing else, bar the odd part-mouse (always avoiding the gall-bladder) and the occasional salad of blades of grass.

Clearly another member of this household, something of a recluse and stowaway, in fact only appearing in the house at the end of summer, felt miffed about not being invited to join us at La Gariguette. There he is up there at the top as I found him the next morning, tucking into Tonip's croquettes. You could hear his jaws (or palps or mandibles, I'm not strong on insect eating irons) crunching away. He's a vine cricket. When he had finished his meal, leaving a few crumbs, I put him into a nearby rosemary bush. You see what preoccupations we have here in rural France.

9 comments:

Z said...

I clicked on the cricket, but I still couldn't hear it. Did it sound like the ticking of leather on willow?

Friko said...

I left a lg comment, what happened?

Friko said...

Damn, it got lost.

The starter course sounds really interesting, something simple i could use for my own supper parties, something which could be partly prepared in advance. Just one thing, is the chicken minced before frying with the other ingredients? Any chance of finding out?

As for the cricket, do you use the whole of the rosemary bush or just a sprig. Too much rosemary might be a touch overpowering. hein?

Christopher said...

Ah, but did you try the croquette, Z? You might have heard the thwack of mallet on wooden ball.

Friko: I once asked the Gariguette chef for the recipe for a strawberry tart that Mig asked for. She was so cagey about it that I was deterred from asking further questions involving her professional secrets. But I'm pretty sure the chicken would have to be minced or at least diced before putting it into the rissole. Bon appetit!

As for the rosemary, the bush is very large, almost a tree, so it would more a question of the cricket adding a nuance of flavour to the rosemary rather than the other way round. But on all questions of cricket I defer to Dave.

Rog said...

I would have placed the cricket on a Basil Bush. Boom boom. Dolly Vera. I'm shocked to learn that the Euro is amost parity with our English Sterling Pound. I assumed it had gone down la toilette.

Christopher said...

Rog: Is there any hope, do you think?

Mike and Ann said...

I am lost in admiration of your cricket. You say he finished that bowl of cat food? What a trencherman !!!!

Tim said...

I've been scrabbling all day for a cricket-related joke, but I'm totally stumped. Come back Dave, all is forgiven. (Well, I assume so.)

letouttoplay said...

I've never seen a cricket that colour. Perhaps lavender would have been a safer retreat for him.