It is 2:30am here in France. I can not tell if it is the late night petite café or the excitement I am having over the most glorious dinner that I have eaten. We traveled about 30 minutes outside of Vaison-la-Romaine to a small town called St. Cecile Les Vignes. After a couple of wrong turns my school mate from Patricia’s cooking class safely drove us to the wonderful restaurant Campange Vignes Gourmandises.
I would like to first say, a woman, who I believe is the chef’s wife, was the most kind French woman I have met thus far. As we all know, my french is terrible. Her English wasn’t perfect but she took the time to explain to me what she thought was the best thing on the menu when I asked her what she thought I should get. I agreed with her choice and got the lamb for my main course. It was by far the best and most perfectly cooked lamb I have ever put into my mouth. I am still trying to figure out how exactly he made it so moist and also added those delicious roasted garlic and vegetables. The kind woman said the lamb was from the region and I am sure that it played a role in the freshness that the meat gave. It was divine.
What also struck me as devine were these perfect little, what I will call, Small Poppy Seed Biscuits. They were brought out at the beginning of our meal with some olives. These little biscuits where what I think all southerners are trying to perfect when we make biscuits. They were the size of a quarter, they were moist with butter and sharp with parmesan cheese, and light with the right touch of kneading. These same words rang true from last week’s eating while in California’s gardens. Was I still in heaven? I think so, just on the other side of heaven’s earth.
At the end of the meal, I couldn’t help myself. I had to ask for the recipe and if not, could I have a bag of those little biscuits to take back to my apartment? To my astonishment, the chef was obliged to give me the recipe. He had no more biscuits, of course, for me to take home, because why would any be left? They were that good.
I must share this with all of my devoted readers. How can I keep something this good to myself? I haven’t made them, as I am still traveling but how hard can it be? Just remember to use fresh ingredients and the best butter and cheese that you can find. I’ll let you know how mine comes out when I return. When I do get this down, they will most definitely be on the menu!
100g salted butter
25g poppy seeds (could also use sesame seeds)
1 egg yolk
Mix the first four ingredients by hand and when incorporated, mix in your egg yolk. Make little balls with the dough and place in an oven that has been preheated to 180 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Simple and delicious just the way we like things.
At the end of the meal, I did ask for my petit café with dessert. Note to self, the french do NOT take their coffee with dessert. That comes afterwards, making yet another course.