French people love their food ! Or at least most French people do... and my family is no exception !
The products I prepare stem from staple food that I have seen prepared in my family for decades. My mum, like my gran, is no chef, yet the food she prepares is good, nutritious, economical, rather fast and certainly easy to prepare. Fast Food doesn't need to be malbouffe !My aim when I started Sophie's Touch was to reproduce what my mum's and gran's kitchen cupboards look like, hence the diversity of my produce, from sweet to savoury. I also wanted to connect to the idea of preserving food in a traditional way.
You will find below a few notes about the various categories of produce I prepare, along with a few ideas of how to use them, if you are not already familiar witht hem. There are many more cooking ideas I am happy to share, so come and see me at the Kitchen Outlet and pick my brain :-)
They are the essence of the South of France.
I use different black varieties : the Tanche comes from Nyons, the Capital of the Olive. The Tanche is considered the queen of the olives. The Coquillos, or the Niçoise, is tiny and fragrant. The Violette has a very soft and fruity flesh. The Noire, cured in salt rather than brine, is really intense in flavour.
I also use green varieties: The Lucques and the Picholine are delicate green olives from Provence and Languedoc. The Sevillane green olive provides a fleshy, lemony and crisp green fruit.
I marinade these olives with what my mamie would consider the only original ingredients: herbs, garlic, pepper and olive oil. Simple, but so effective.
Recipe : toss a few marinated olives in some cooked brown pasta, add some cubes of feta cheese (or cucumber cubes), serve with some side salad. Job done !
I also prepare green and black tapenades. These deliver a lot of flavour for a very small amount of produce. They are therefore very economical to use. (Please note that tapenades are made to order only. Please allow 48 hours notice for preparation time).
Recipe : spread a thin layer of tapenade on a piece of rolled out puff pastry. Roll up and slice. Place the slices flat on a baking tray and bake in the oven. These constitute perfect finger food for parties !
Flavoured salts are an easy way to give an interesting twist to any recipe. I use Raz El Hanout, Provençal Herbs, Piment d'Espelette and grey salt from Guérande to prepare my mixes.
The cured Lemons and Lime are tradional for North African Tajines. They are also commonly used in cuisine Provençale.
Recipe : prepare a paste with some Herby salt, some chopped cured lemons and a drizzle of olive oil. Rub the skin of a chicken with the paste before roasting. Delicious and tangy!
I infuse Extra Virgin Olive Oils with herbs, including rosemary, thyme and bay that I grow myself. These really remind me of the garrigue (Provençal moorland) where all these herbs grow wild. All you need is a spalsh of herby oil in your salad to travel instantly to the South of France.
For those looking for something more spicy, I prepare a Chili E. V. (Extra Virgin) Olive Oil as well as a Harissa E. V. Olive oil. Bear in mind that the Harissa Oil is more punchy than the Chili one, so not for the faint-hearted !
My most unique produce is probably my Home-Made Red Wine Vinegar. This is such a traditional item in a Provençal kitchen ! : un vinaigrier (an earthenware vinegar pot) in which Red Wine Vinegar is in the making (it contains a 'mother of vinegar' to which you add leftover red wine to make your own red wine vinegar). Merci Grand-mère...
I also make my own Apple Cider Vinegar following the same process.
My vinegars can be flavoured too, using a range of herbs, fruit (raspberries etc...), garlic and spices. These vinegars are Red & White Wine Vinegars, Red & White Balsamic Vinegars, Malt Vinegars too.
Last but not least, for sure, is the authentic Vinaigrette I make, following Granny's exact recipe. This one is made with French whole grain mustard, Home-Made Red Wine Vinegar and 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Chutneys are not the most traditional condiments in Provence. They are nevertheless appreciated and mainly used in cooking.
Recipe : add a good spoonful of any chutney to a stew or tomato sauce to give it a bit of a je ne sais quoi that makes all the difference. This is a good way of using 'old ends' of chutneys to clear up space in cupboards.
Mustards are more popular, though. My Garlic Mustard, Horse Radish Mustard and Black Olive Mustard sell faster than I can produce. My Capers Mustard and Harissa Mustard, while not selling as quickly as the other ones, are packed with punchy flavours too !
Recipe : in a tart dish, place some rolled short crust pastry, brush the pastry with a good spoonful of Garlic Mustard, then place a layer of thick tomato slices on top. Add a pinch of herbs and crushed pepper. Bake in oven. Delicious !
For those with a sweet tooth, I make a selection of unusual and yummy fruit syrups,
fruit preserves, marmalades, jams and honey-like syrups.
These are made with seasonal fruit, grown or foraged localy.
My Provençal fruit jams (genuine overripe Bergeron apricots, figs from abandoned vinyards, scrumped greengage from hedgerows etc.) will still be available while stocks last... Sadly, due to Brexit, these will become something of the past, once current stock is gone.
Recipe : make a pâte sablée, roll and place in tart dish, spread a thick layer of Raspeberry Jam, criss cross left over pastry on top. Bake in oven. Perfect with a cup a tea !
Please find below an extensive list of Sophie’s Touch produce available. Due to seasonality and limited stock, the list evolves all the time. Please enquire if you are looking for something specific that may not be on the list below.
Collection from the kitchen outlet door in Longrock (deliveries to your door possible en route between PZ and St Just, please pm and ask).
Payment by card (contactless possible).
Jar Sizes :
S for small jar (4 – 5 oz), L for large (10 – 12 oz),
M for medium jar (6 – 8 oz), XL for extra large (13 – 14 oz)
OLIVES : traditional provençal mix: herbes de Provence (thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, sarriette) & garlic. Olives are prepared to order only.
£3.50 / 1 tub (approx. 7 oz)
Green mix not pitted, £6 / 2 tubs
Black mix not pitted,
Single variety black pitted
Green & Black TAPENADE is available to order too. Please enquire.
HAMPERS : a wide range of quality baskets of all shape and size are available for you to make your own personalised Christmas Hampers. Please enquire.
A range of traditional Provençal olive oil soaps also available (Lavender, Plain Olive Oil) from £3.50