Of Bretagne, succulent lobsters and shiny new toys…

best-brittany-france

I drove up to Bretagne last week for a very special day in my nephew’s racing career. We were launching his brand new trimaran. He will race it alone and try to beat more and more speed records. For the few of you who might be interested, the boat is 100 feet long and roughly 70 feet wide, capable of reaching speeds up to 65 miles an hour. This is all very exciting for François, but very scary for us.

Most people say the boat looks like a big seagull. I think it looks like a starship out of an episode of Star Trek. So I used Photoshop to remove some cables and here you go:gabart-brittany-francegabart-brittany-france

The Bretagne region of France is a very special place. Very romantic, almost mystical. A lot of myths in French literature are set up in Bretagne. Druids, fairies, black rivers and magical forests…gabart-brittany-france

But, as I am sure you’ve guessed it, my fascination for Bretagne doesn’t have much to do with race boats or fairies hiding in the woods. All I really care about is FOOD! The food specialties of Bretagne are crêpes, salty caramel, apple cider and seafood. Eating lobster at sunset on the docks of some remote fisherman’s village is one of my favorite things to do in my French heaven!gabart-brittany-france

One of my favorite ways to cook lobster is this:

  1. Boil your lobster in a court bouillon (see ingredients below) for 8 minutes on high heat. This if for a one pound lobster and I only start counting the minutes after the boil has resumed. The top should remain on the pot, except for the 8 minutes. During that time, you will keep a one inch opening for the steam to come out.
  2. While your lobster is boiling, prep a persillade in a large pan: half a pound of butter + two fist full of chopped parsley + 2 large cloves of garlic (chopped)
  3. Take the lobster out of the boil. Cut it in half and lay it in the persillade (meat down). Let it simmer for about 2 minutes
  4. Serve hot with baguette and either rice or boiled potatoes.

Note: As usual, the success of this recipe depend on the quality of your ingredients. Using really good butter here is a must! Also, please make sure you don’t overcook the lobster. Like monkfish or calamari, lobster meat can become very chewy and tough if you don’t pay attention. It is a very delicate affair…

Note: This recipe is perfect for surf & turf. All you have to do is add a perfectly grilled piece of filet to your plate. In that case though, I would serve boiled potatoes or French fries and not rice.gabart-brittany-france

Ingredients for court bouillon:
  • 1 gallon of water
  • 1L of fish stock if you have some
  • 1 or 2 fist full of black peppercorn
  • 1 fist full of rock salt (or two). The water should be as salty as seawater
  • 1 branch of fresh bay leaves (the New Orleans kind). That’s about 15 large leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper or some New Orleans spicy crab boil
  • 1 fistful of fresh thyme
  • 10 cloves of garlic
  • Half a glass of Ricard or 1 fistful of star anise or a large piece of fresh fennel
  • Bring to a boil and let the whole thing simmer for a little while before cooking any seafood in it

Note: when you taste your court bouillon, it should be really strong in flavor. Almost unbearable to taste on its own…food-tour-bordeauxfood-tour-bordeaux

60 Comments Add yours

  1. such stunning photos – I now want to jump on a plane and visit the pretty village.

  2. I was just there in July and loved it , your photos are stunning and I love the lobster. What a great blog you have.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Oh thank you so much! I haven’t blogged for a while but will again soon. Have a lovely day!

  3. I am so excited! I will finally get to visit your beautiful county next June! We are spending a week in Paris and plan to drive around and see as much as we can, and I am writing down things I’ve seen you post on your blog as inspiration! 🙂

  4. Dipti says:

    iPhone photos? Lovely! Particularly liked the gloomy dark photo of les montagnes et le mer with the lonely castle in one side – almost eerie like appearance!

  5. Sabine says:

    What a great trip despite the worries about the audacious nephew. I could never do such courageous things like speed sailing or how do you call it. Total coward here.
    Love the New Orleans-y touch of the court bouillon. The lobster looks unbelievable, and so does the extraterrestrial trimaran!

  6. Great post. The lobster looks so delicious. I hope all goes well for your nephew!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks a lot! 😊

  7. chef mimi says:

    Firstly, who the hell are those people sitting at my table? Secondly, love how you photoshopped the boat – it’s definitely star trekky. Thirdly, omg that lobster looks amazing, but your persillade has me drooling. Gorgeous scenery. I’ll put Bretagne on my list…

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Oh how I love you. I’m reading this as I am waiting in line at the supermarket. When I read the table remark I laughed out loud and everybody in the store stared at me as if I had gone mad. French people are boring!

  8. Olivia May says:

    I don’t care about the trimaran,but only the lobster 😉

  9. 2 things: I love the picture with the lobsters reaching out for me! Secondly, the nephew is Cute!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Ha ha! I’m afraid you’re not the only one to think so 😉 The little bastard took all the good genes…

  10. Great post and beautiful photos as always Stéphane, Brittany always makes me think of Cornwall, not sure if you’ve ever been there? 🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      No, but did you know that a portion of Brittany is called Cornwall? I didn’t. The whole region really feels a lot like England for sure

      1. I’m sure they must have been joined together once a few millennia ago!

  11. Sandra says:

    Wonderful photos and great looking food. So glad you shared this.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks Sandra! Have a lovely day! 😊

  12. Yum to lobster, crepes, cider, photos, sailing, etc. 🙂

    janet

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Yum indeed ☺️

  13. malgay651 says:

    There is something magical about any meeting of the sea and the land.

    When that meeting place, is a village and a fishing port, the area becomes compelling.

    Add the French character and its people, to the photographs and you achieve and even greater magic.

    Your images captures the character of habour life with visual depth and transports us, as we sit in various places around the world, to your French harbours and easily sets up our minds to smell the lobster and feel the butter on our fingers.

    Thank you for the journey.

    PS All is forgiven for the slight use of photoshop…😊, the gull like creature, is a reminder of our endeavours.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      What a lovely comment my dear friend. Thank you!

  14. Simply beautiful photos and the lobster looks yummy! 🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks Marisa! Lobster’s truly one of my favorite things to cook and eat 😉 who doesn’t like lobster though? … Have a lovely day!

  15. really loved everything about this post…from subject to text to recipe to photography!!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Why thank you!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks!

  16. What a wonderful post. Francois’ boat looks amazing. I love Brittany too and have spent holidays in places like Quiberon. When my dad had a boat on South coast years ago we’d buy fresh lobsters and crabs. They always tasted so much nicer sitting on the boat in sea air. But I LOVE your way of cooking them. Yes please!!!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I find that most things taste better with butter and garlic. It is too bad it has made me so fat over the years 😉

  17. About 10 years after I visited a friend in Paris two of her kids came to visit me where I was living at the time in New England. We went to Cape Ann, north of Boston, and ate lobster on the wharf. Not as yummy a recipe as yours, but fresh with melted butter. The kids each said the place reminded them of Bretagne, where their grandparents live.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I think there ‘s no wrong way to eat lobster but on the wharf is always better isn’t it? 😉

  18. I love your photoshopping efforts! (As well as the rest of the absolutely gorgeous photos of Bretagne and lobster.)

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thank you my dear friend!!

  19. Nurse Kelly says:

    Just a stunning post! I like cold lobster as well, but with a dipping sauce made with butter, wine, lemon, herbs, and hot sauce in it – doesn’t overpower the flavor 🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Oh that sounds so delicious Kelly!

      1. Nurse Kelly says:

        Yes, I think you would like it! Vary the hot sauce depending on your preference:)

  20. suzie says:

    What is the name of that charming town? It’s so picturesque!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      There are two towns/villages pictured here: Doelan and Aurey

  21. Britta46 says:

    It was not lobster but shrimps grilled on a portable Korean BBQ, not cidre but a rosé and it was not Bretagne but the island of Noirmoutier en Vendée, however, the setting was quite similar: sitting on the beach and waiting for the sun to fall into the ocean – a great moment to remember. Life can be so joyful at times!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Seafood always makes me happy. Having it by the water doubles the pleasure 😉

  22. judilyn says:

    Your photos are wonderful as always; outdone ONLY by the glorious lobster! That was the only good thing I can remember about living in Florida and keeping a boat – fresh lobster! They could literally be picked by hand off the reefs in the ocean.

    Virtual hugs,

    Judie

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Oh how I’d love to do that!! I’m afraid Steven Spielberg has made me terrified of swimming in the ocean. Damn Jaws!!

  23. Persillade not persuade, autocorrect again.

  24. scolgin says:

    Love the Star Wars trimaran!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks! At least you make me feel better about wasting half an hour pulling my hair (the little I have left) trying to figure out how Photoshop works 😉

      1. judilyn says:

        If you have a Mac, try Snapheal Pro. It will take out things like those cables with about twelve seconds of effort!

        Virtual hugs,

        Judie

        1. My French Heaven says:

          Thanks for the tip Judie! I had tried it before and it does work quite well indeed 😉 have a lovely day!!

      2. scolgin says:

        Time very well spent! 😉

  25. Beautiful photo’s. I love the recipe for court bouillon, what a great way to cook the lobster and then finishing in persuade, so delicious.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      You can also boil the lobster a little longer and eat it chilled the next day with mayo 😉

      1. Either way is delicious

  26. I have an uncle that lives there. I love the wild beaches and the atmosphere but it is the food I adore. Galettes are a favourite!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Galettes are delicious. I wouldn’t have it every day though. Not the most sophisticated of all French foods… 😉

      1. You are right.😊 But I could not eat a lobster every day either! I love lobster but you can have too much of a good thing and get a bit tired of it. Variety is good!

        1. My French Heaven says:

          I absolutely agree! 😉

          1. 😊😊😊👍👍👍 The photos in this post are lovely. Thanks for sharing xx

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