Eating The Tour de France – Stage 4: Rouille De Seiche/Cuttlefish stew
Having hardly come up from my computer, the Tour is already on Stage 4. Mark Cavendish has taken too Stages with some superb finishing, and the old veteran Lance Armstrong is proving his experience by sitting one second off the yellow jersey pace. Still following the south coast of France, today Le Tour was hosted by the city of Montpellier.
One of the industrial powerhouses of Southern France, Montpellier has a strong ethnic culture, with plenty of Algerian restaurants selling some superb Middle Eastern cuisine. Falafel and kebabs can be found on most back street corners, but being only six miles from the coast it would be a shame not to carry on enjoying some fresh sea food. Here in the UK we love our squid, but for a cheaper, more sustainable and in my opinion tastier option, why not try cuttlefish. In the Hérault region of France, of which Montpellier is the capital, they love their cuttle fish and here is a recipe that also includes some good local booze. Perfect for losing those muscles for Stage 5 and the sprint to Perpignan.
- 1.5kg of fresh cutttlefish
- 3 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 onions, diced
- a piece of orange peel
- a pinch of chili pepper
- one bouquet garni
- half a glass of good cognac
- small glass of white wine
1. If you havn’t git your fishmonger to do it, clean and gut the cuttlefish. Keep the heads and cut the rest into cm thick slices.
2. Add the fish to a sauce pan with some oil on high heat. Once the moisture has evaporated from the fish an and all that is left in the pan is the oil, add the garlic, the chopped onion, and the orange people and let simmer for a few minutes.
3. Pour in the cognac, tilt the pan and set fire to the booze. The flame will burn for a few moments.
4. Now add the tomatoes, the tomato paste, the white wine, the bouquet garni and the chili pepper. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and let simmer for an hour adding more wine if it reduces too much.
5. Serve mixed with a homemade aïoli and heaps of Camague rice.