Welcome to the Blend blog! We're a small communtiy food organisation based in Sheffield, England. On our blog we'll try and keep you upto date with the stuff we're doing, share recipes and talk about anything to do with food. Please write on the blog, tell us what you think and what you eat.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012


France is without doubt one of my favourite food destinations and in my opinion the creater of some of the best food to be found any where in the world. The main thing I love about french cooking (as many other great cuisines) is that its about using a handful of simple, quality ingredients well. Whether it be a simple coc-au-vin, soup de l'oignon (french onion soup to you and me), crepe suizette or tarte tatin the French really have a wonderful way of taking a few simple ingredients and transforming them into something amazingly tasty, fresh and healthy (ish). 

I've been fortunate to visit France 3 times in my life (Paris twice and a week bike riding through various regions the other time) and every time the food has always been amazing. Whether eating snails in Paris bistro or barbequing some meat in a camp site just south of Lyon, what you are able to buy from local shops and eat in your average french bistro is in my view truely outstanding.

We did a number of french dishes at our last cook along session so I thought i'd share them with you all so you can give them a go at home. The recipes do take a little time, but the rewards for that are well worth it. All the ingredients are easily available and cost very little to buy.

French onion soup

Ingredients (4 portions)
5 onions, sliced.
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 bay leaf
750ml stock (beef or chicken)
1 tsp Cornflour
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp vegetable oil
4 slices of bread
280g Gruyere cheese, grated.

1.  Heat the oil in the pan and add the onions and garlic. Cook over a low heat for 15 to 20 minutes to caramelise the onions.
2.  Add the bayleaf, a pinch of salt and pepper and the stock. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
3.  Mix the cornflour with a drop of water to form a paste. Pour into the boiling soup to thicken it slightly.
4.  Toast the bread on both sides, then top with the grated cheese.
5.  Put the bread back under the grill to melt the cheese.
6.  Season the soup with salt and pepper and pour into serving bowls and top with the toasted bread.


Ingredients (4 portions)
4 chicken legs, skinned.
100g bacon or pancetta, chopped.
½  bottle of red wine
300ml Chicken stock
1 tbsp plain flour
20 button onions
20 button mushrooms
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs of thyme
Chopped parsley
Salt and pepper
Vegetable oil.

1.  Heat 1 tsp of oil in a deep pan and fry the chopped bacon till it goes crispy. Remove from the pan.
2.  Dust the chicken in the flour and brown off on all sides. Remove from the pan.
3.  Fry the onions and mushrooms off till they are coloured on all sides then add the chicken and bacon to the pan.
4.  Put the red wine, chicken stock, bay leaves and thyme into the pan and cook for about 45 minutes or the chicken is cooked.
5.  Season with salt and pepper, add the chopped parsley and serve.


1 aubergine
1 courgette
2 peppers
1 large onion
1 tin of tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic
pinch of dried oregano
salt and pepper.

1. Dice the onion and fry in a little oil with the garlic. Chop the other vegetables into 1/2 inch pieces and add to the pan with the onion and garlic.
2. Add a pinch of oregano and salt and pepper and soften for 4 or 5 minutes over a medium heat.
3. Add a tin of tomatoes and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, season with salt and pepper and serve.