The food of love

When you’re thinking about Valentine’s Day, who else to ask for culinary advice but a Frenchman? Jerome Cogné is head chef at Bouchon Bistrot, Hexham, and he’s our newest appetite columnist. To introduce him, what could be more fitting than this sumptuous supper, for Valentine’s Day, for Mother’s Day,  for every day?












Roasted Anjou pigeon breast, sweetcorn galette, wild
mushrooms & Madeira sauce


Serves 4

4 whole Anjou pigeon

1 small savoy cabbage

250g wild mushrooms

for the galette

110g cooked sweetcorn

1 whole egg + 1 egg yolk

60g plain flour

250ml double cream

30ml milk

for the Madeira sauce

100g shallots

1 glass Madeira

veal stock

garniture aromatique – carrots, celery, onion


For the sweetcorn galette; mix sweetcorn, egg and egg yolk together, add flour and whisk, add cream and milk. Season and set aside to rest for 1 hour.

For the sauce; sweat garniture aromatique with the shallots, allow to start to colour, add Madeira and reduce, add stock then reduce again. Sieve then boil on a high heat, add cubes of cold butter and whisk.

For the cabbage; cut leaves into fine strips (Julienne), blanch in boiling water until tender, drain and set aside.
Slice mushrooms, ready for action.

Start cooking galette, like a thick pancake, in a small frying pan in a pre-heated oven,
10-15 mins each side at 175C/Gas 4.

Pan fry (with oil and butter) whole pigeon on each side to colour, then oven roast for 10 mins (for pink) at 175C/Gas4. Rest for 15 mins; take breast off  bone.

Pan fry blanched cabbage with

butter, salt and pepper, then mushrooms. Put galette in the centre of the plate, the cabbage on top, mushrooms around the plate, then the pigeon breast and Madeira sauce.













Pan-fried mackerel, warm potato salad and wholegrain mustard vinaigrette


Serves 4

4 fillets fresh mackerel

12 new potatoes

mixed salad leaves

for the vinaigrette

wholegrain mustard

chardonnay vinegar

vegetable oil



Start with the vinaigrette; mix salt & pepper with mustard, add a touch of vinegar, then add the oil slowly while you whisk vigorously, then taste and season further if needed.

Cook the potatoes in salted water until cooked through, cool slightly, peel and dice into small cubes, and then add a spoonful of the vinaigrette.

In a non-stick pan, cook the fish (skin side down) on a medium heat for about 3 mins. Remove from the heat, then turn over to the flesh side and set aside. It will finish cooking like this.

Put the warm potato salad on the plate, add a mackerel fillet, then mixed salad (which should have been dressed beforehand)

Et Voilà, Bon Appétit!










Tarte fine aux pommes


1 roll puff pastry

12 Golden Delicious apples

melted butter

caster sugar


Roll puff pastry to 4mm thickness. Cut a 15cm disc out of the pastry.

Peel apples, cut them in half, core then slice to 2 mm thick.

Arrange slices neatly on top of the puff pastry until covered, brush with melted butter; sprinkle over some sugar.

Cook in the oven for 20-25 mins at 175C/Gas 4 until light in colour.

Serve warm (rather than hot) with a scoop of ice cream or crème fraiche. Délicieux!


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