Around the World in Eighty Recipes: France

Each week, we food lovers here at Owl Eyes will transport you from St Andrews to an exotic destination with the help of some delicious recipes! Pack your bags because this week we’re off to France!

French Onion Soup


50g of butter

Dash of olive oil

1kg of halved and finely sliced white onions

1tsp of sugar

4 garlic cloves, finely diced

2tbsp plain flour

250ml dry white wine

1.3l hot, strong beef stock

4 slices of baguette, diagonally sliced, plus extra to serve

140g of Gruyère, grated

Melt the butter and heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onions and fry on a low heat until soft. Sprinkle with sugar and cook for a further 20 minutes, stirring frequently. The onions should be well caramelised.

Add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes.

Sprinkle the flour and stir well. Add the stock and the wine, increase the heat, and cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Toast the bread under the grill.

Ladle the soup into heatproof bowls, top with the toast, and generously cover with the Gruyère. Grill until the cheese has melted.


Coq au Vin

This recipe is perfect for winter pot luck dinners! This version serves 4-6 people.coqauvin

1 Bottle of red wine

1 large onion, halved and finely sliced

2tbsp of olive oil

2 handfuls of peeled shallots

12oz of white button mushrooms, quartered.

10oz of smoked bacon, chopped

3tbsp butter

8-10 chicken thighs

2tbsp flour

1 cup of chicken stock

salt and pepper to taste

Place the wine, chicken, and onions in a bowl. Cover and leave to marinate for 4 hours, or if possible, overnight. Drain the chicken and onions, but be sure to keep the wine!

In a large pot, heat the oil before adding the shallots and mushrooms. Cook until tender (around 10 minutes). Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the bacon to the pot and cook until crispy. Remove from the pot.

Melt the butter and then add the chicken thighs. Season with salt and pepper. Once browned – about ten minutes – remove from the pot.

Add the yellow onions to the pot and cook until soft. Sprinkle over the flour and stir until smooth. Add the stock and the wine, before returning the chicken to the pot. Bring to the boil, cover, and cook for 30 minutes until the chicken is tender. Add the shallots, mushrooms, and bacon and cook for a further 10 minutes.



This delicious cheese and bacon recipe for potato gratin makes for excellent comfort food as those cold winter nights draw closer.tartiflette11

3tbsp unsalted butter

8oz of bacon, cut into strips

1 onion, halved and thinly sliced

1 cup of dry white wine

2 ½ lb potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced

1lb reblochon cheese, sliced into ¼’’ pieces

Pre-heat your oven to 3750. Grease a large casserole dish with the butter.

Fry your bacon until crisp, before removing it with a slotted spoon. In the same pan, cook your onions until soft. Add the wine, and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat and cook until the volume has halved (2-3 minutes). Stir in the Potatoes, season with salt and pepper, and cook until just softened (8-10 minutes).

Spread half of the potato mixture in the casserole dish, top with half of the bacon and cheese. Repeat with the remaining mix.

Bake in the over until golden brown, this should take approximately 25 minutes.



2 Red onions

4 cloves of garlic

2 aubergines

3 courgettes

3 red peppers

6 tomatoes

½ bunch of fresh basil

400g tin of chopped tomatoes

½ lemon

Splash of balsamic vinegar

Prep all your veg by roughly chopping it into 2.5 cm chunks. Finely slice the garlic and basil.

Heat a dash of olive oil in a large pan and fry your aubergines, peppers, and courgettes for around 5 minutes until soft. Spoon the veg into a large bowl.

Add the onions, garlic and basil to the pan and fry for 10-15 minutes until soft. Add the veg back to the pan with the onions and season with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Add the tinned tomatoes and the vinegar, cover, and simmer for 30-35 minutes.

Squeeze over the lemon juice and serve!

Pear Tarte Tatin

For the pastry:pears

1 cup of plain flour

6 tbsp butter, chopped

2 tbsp shortening

1 tsp salt

For the Filling:

2 lb pears, peeled, halved, and cored

Juice of 1 lemon

1 ¼ cups of sugar

6 tbsp of butter

In a large bowl, combine flour and salt, then rub butter and shortening into flour with your fingertips until it resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle 3 tbsp. ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, into flour mixture, and knead until dough just holds together. Wrap dough in cling film and refrigerate.

Preheat your oven to 4250F. Fan your pears by placing each half flat side down and cutting lengthwise four times, leaving the stem attached. Place in a bowl and toss with lemon juice and 2tbsp of the sugar.

Melt the butter in a large pan, add the remaining sugar and cook, stirring constantly until caramelised. Stir to cool, the sugar will continue to darken even off the heat.

Drain the pears and place in the pan with the caramel round side down, with the stems all facing the centre.

Roll out the dough until about ¼’’ thick, and place over pears. It should cover the edge of the skillet. Make four small incisions in the centre to release steam. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes until golden brown.

Images courtesy of: Hotel du Vin, Rachelle Lucas, Holly (FMITK)Alice Waters,Manuella Barattini