adventures of an american housewife in the south of france

International Crémaillère

We may not have had a long weekend filled with fireworks and barbecues, but we still had one heck of a party!  Our crémaillère was a fun success of great people, yummy food and lots of drinks.  I think we officially broke in the apartment and it took us a few days to recover.

how we spent most of our day on sunday

We made a some delicious apps all based around the theme of "food we can't find here", which is mostly Mexican.  The Hub made his famous carnitas, with a twist.  To create an easy way to serve the carnitas to lots of people, we bought some pre-made pie dough, cut it into bite sized circles and deep fried them.  We topped the fried dough with the shredded pork, white onion, cilantro and sour cream.  Voilà!  Bite sized carnitas!  Using the pie dough and deep frying it sounds a little strange, but we did some pre-tests before the party and it tasted right...sort of like a buttery Ritz cracker.  And hey, everything tastes better fried, right?

fry time.

huge success!

They were a big hit and everyone gobbled them right up!  We're working on a different execution with homemade dough for our taco cart idea...but more on that later.

I also made some homemade guacamole and salsa.  There really is nothing like fresh salsa and I will never understand why someone would buy it out of a jar when it's all runny and full of sugar.  It's so easy to make!  Just use onions, jalapeños, salt and lemon as a base and add whatever ingredient you need for the kind of salsa you want to make.  Want a mango salsa?  Then add mangoes.  Want a black bean salsa?  Add black beans, duh.  I opted for a simple tomato salsa, which disappeared pretty quickly.

spicy too!

For our last app, we went more of a Spanish route.  The peaches here in France are pretty crazy right now - flavorful, juicy and abundant.  So I've been really in the mood to make some homemade peach jam.  I accidentally made a LOT of jam, so I spread it on toast, and topped with manchego cheese and serrrano ham.  It was a tasty mixture of salty and sweet, which my new French friends told me is a quite uncommon combination in France.  They were pleasantly surprised at how much they liked it.

love that ham

I am by no means an expert on how to make jam, but from the ones I've made so far, it's pretty easy.  I'm not talking about canning and preserving jam - I don't really have an interest on learning how to do that right now - I'm just talking about making some jam to consume in the next week or so.  From what I can tell, the ratio of preparing any jam is about 1 lb of fruit to 1 cup of sugar.  I used a bit less sugar for the peach jam because the peaches were already so sweet.  I just peeled and pitted the peaches, chopped them up and threw them in a pot with the sugar and the juice of one lemon.  I brought the mixture to a boil, skimmed off the foam, and simmered for about 30 minutes.  Then I put the jam in a jar and chilled it overnight in the refrigerator.  It was a great consistency for the party, and since then I've been enjoying it on bread with some chevre.

the perfect snack

Once the party was in full swing, we busted out our pièce de résistance....Kraken.  Never heard of it?  Well then you're in for a treat.  Check back for tomorrow's Hump Day post.  I'll tell ya all about it.

2 Responses to “International Crémaillère”

  1. Devon says:

    Yum, Natalie!!! Everything looks so good! This is a delicious way to announce your presence in the neighborhood :)

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