This is an absolutely classic French bistro dish. I still remember eating it in a little café in Violès after an arduous morning’s grape-picking.
Poisson cru au lait de coco
The Polynesian national dish, as prepared on a Tahitian beach.
Note: when not on a beach in Tahiti it is much more practical to just buy coconut milk in a can or package. We found it was thicker than the fresh-off-the-tree variety so you could dilute it a bit with water.
Pa amb tomaquet, or pan con tomate
The Catalan national dish — “bread and tomatoes”, which I admit doesn’t sound very exciting. But with ripe tomatoes and good olive oil, it is delicious. A simple starter; or, in Catalonia, a breakfast dish.
Moules farcies au four
Serves 4 as a starter or 2 as a main course. Best with the large Spanish mussels — small moules de bouchot should not be wasted on this!
Devised by Steve from several different recipes, this is the best sauce for mussels I have ever tasted. It deserves small, fresh moules de bouchot (grown on posts in Brittany). Make sure you have lots of French bread for mopping up the sauce. This will serve six as a starter, or 3-4 as a main course.
Feuilletés de St Jacques au gingembre
A highly successful dinner-party starter — not the cheapest of dishes, but quite easy to do and very tasty. You can prepare everything in advance, and then the shells only need 20 minutes in the oven. Serves 6.
A simple and very delicious Catalan recipe, with almost the same ingredients as ratatouille, but a very different result.
Coquilles St Jacques à la Languedocienne
A simple and quick way of preparing scallops. Serves two.
Chevrettes au curry
A popular dish in Tahiti — very light and delicate. It’s made with freshwater prawns called “chevrettes”, but any type of fresh prawn will do.