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Merci bien, Jean Pierre
By Jane Gavan
16 September 2010

We are in the L’Aquitaine region of France, in the Lot-et-Garonne region in a small village called Penne d'Agenais. Our hosts, our friends Helene and Jean Pierre are keen for us to experience the most famous fruit of the region, the plum, and they are coming into season.

The dinner is a reunion of friends and family, and of course there is an engagement to celebrate! (Marking this occasion is currently a daily event).

Pierre is the chef for dinner on this occasion, and he has taken his little boat two days running down the river to catch fish for the meal very early in the morning. Jena Pierre caught three fish yesterday and one today, enough for all us, I know he is relieved.

Jean Pierre comes back to the house in the afternoon with a box of the softest plumpest dried “pruneaux” you have ever seen. They are quite different to the shiny clammy ones we get in the packet back home.

Jean Pierre prepares the dish by a sauté of onion in olive oil, the onions caramelize nicely, this goes onto the bottom of an ovenproof dish with the pruneaux scattered around on top. Next the filleted fish are placed on top and seasoned well with oil, some white wine, lemon jiuce and a sprinkle of herbs de Provence and some of the prettiest pink peppercorns I have seen.

Then… the curious part, the whole thing is covered by buttered honey flavored spiced bread. The dish goes in the oven for 45-1hr and comes out cooked perfectly; the bread is toasted on top, but has soaked up the flavors below. The whole dish is so fragrant you will swoon; the only thing to revive you is the taste.
Merci bien, Jean Pierre. 


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Keywords: curious, family, revive, Taste, Paris

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