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Ideas for meals in a caravan in France, please

(22 Posts)
rubyhorse Sat 02-Jul-11 11:16:40

Hello -

Going to a caravan in France shortly and I often find the initial shop a bit stressful - wandering round unfamiliar supermarkets trying to put a week's meals together in my head.

Anyone got an good recommendations for nice, easy holiday meals in France, please?

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 02-Jul-11 12:28:18

When we did a camper van holiday, we shopped for just a couple of days' meals at a time because the fridge was too small to take any more. As we'd packed our little BBQ we did very well with cereals/pastries/toast at breakfast, sandwiches or soup for lunch, and a variety of meat/fish on the BBQ with side-salads for supper. Didn't want to do more cooking than necessary.

BecauseImWorthIt Sat 02-Jul-11 12:29:59

Daily, fresh baguette (proper baguette doesn't keep for more than a day), some local cheese, pate and fruit. Usually does for us for lunches.

Evening - barbecued meat/fish with salads/veg.

Greythorne Sat 02-Jul-11 13:00:09

Most butchers in France do rotisserie chickens in a big rotisserie oven outside their shop and you find them at markets too. They are fab. Buy a big "poulet fermier" and roasted potatoes which are slow roasted under the chickens and that will last two meals for a start.

Ham, saucisson, paté, cornichons, cheese, baguette, cherry tomatoes and salad. Any combination thereof.

If you have a "traiteur" nearby, or often in a regular boulangerie, you will find individual "tartes salées" (savoury tarts / quiches).

If you have an oven in the caravan, buy "tomates farcies" at the butcher's. These are large, beef tomatoes stuffed with minced pork and herbs. Bung them in the oven for half an hour, eat with lots of baguette and salad. Or rice if you can be bothered. Count two tomatoes per adult, one per child.


issynoko Sat 02-Jul-11 13:01:42

I'd do what all the above have said. ANd am now very envious of anyone about to tuck into a farcied tomato. Gorge.

Greythorne Sat 02-Jul-11 13:02:32

Oh and try getting "une tradition" / "une tradi" instead of baguette, which as previous poster mentioned, is only edible on the day you buy it. Traditions are the same shape as a baguette (well, a little bit shorter) but they have a very crusty (not crisp) outer shell and a very soft, heavier inside bit. They keep a bit longer and they are way tastier.

Greythorne Sat 02-Jul-11 13:10:06

For a treat, get a tiny bit of foie gras (it is expensive) and slice it very thinly on toast. Do not "butter" it on, as you would butter or jam or any other paté type thing. Just lay each thin slice on toasted baguette / tradition. Eat as a starter and you won't ned a very heavy or complicated main course afterwards as foie gras is delicious, rich, filling and satisfyingly luxurious.

Giant "salde composée". Whenever we visit our friends in Normany in the summer for lunch, they invariably serve a huge salad with:
Salad leaves (mâche, for example)
Lardons (bacon cubes, fried in butter)
Cubes of hard cheese (Tomme, Emmental etc)
Hard boiled egg
Cooked asparagus spears / even aspragus from a jar (very popular in France)
Pine nuts

Plus an amazing dressing. My current fave is "moutarde douce" (mild Dijon mustard) mixed with salt and pepper, then equal parts white balsamic vinegar (find it in the aupermarket) and grapeseed oil. Yum.

rubyhorse Sat 02-Jul-11 14:50:17

Oh, yum! Thanks for all the ideas. You're making me hungry now. Will definitely look out tradis and stuffed tomatoes. Roast chickens and barbecues also an excellent idea.

PippiLongBottom Sat 02-Jul-11 14:54:13

The tinned lentils in France are amazing. They make a gorgeous bolognaise if you add the usual tinned tomatoes etc. My parents live in France and always bring me as many tins as they have room for. I am veggie so tend to live on lentils when I'm over there.

Greythorne Sat 02-Jul-11 15:35:57

Oh! Just remembered the easiest meal ever, which is also special and impressive: confit de canard.

First, buy a tin (yes! It comes in a tin, but trust me) of "confit de canard" at a big supermarket (by that, I mean your local corner shop / caravan site shop probably won't have them). Open the tin. Remove the duck thighs and breasts which are covered in duck fat. Remove excess fat. Place the duck in a frying pan. Gently heat until the solid duck fat all melts and the meat is warmed through (it is already cooked before going in the tin.) 10 mins from opening the tin to being ready to serve.

It is amazingly delicious with some steamed green beans. And very French. It looks complicated and sophisticated and in fact is the easiest thing ever. The meat falls off the bones and is soft and tender. If you serve with green beans, don't be tempted to fry the green beans with bacon as it will be too much fat / grease. Keep the beans (or boiled potatoes or salad or whatever) very simple as the duck is rich indeed.

I bring 6 tins back every time I go to the UK for family.

overthemill Sat 02-Jul-11 15:46:11

cooked chicken, bbqs, chicken with tarragon (chopped chicken cooked in frying pan, add tub cream and big spoon dried tarragon, serve with bread / frites or noodles). Salad as above with frites (on caravan sites u always gets takeaway frites and pizza). pizza. steak sandwich. pasta with usual sauce. soup - great cartons. bread/cheese/charcuterie


Domesticbodess Sat 02-Jul-11 15:52:09

Savoury crepes - buy some ready made ones and fill with lardons, mushrooms etc with a big salad and a chilled white wine.

PippiLongBottom Sat 02-Jul-11 16:06:50

My dad who was a chef before retiring uses that confit de canard too.

bigTillyMint Sat 02-Jul-11 16:44:30

I would go for all the options on here, but if your DC eat cereals, take them with you -v expensive in France! Also peanut butter/marmite/baked beans!

And look for the more interesting bread in the Boulangerie - baguette is pants - the French equivalent of cotton-wool white bread here grin

bigTillyMint Sat 02-Jul-11 16:45:44

Also, my family loves French sausage - try chopping it up, frying lightly and adding to can chopped toms, and mixing in cooked pasta!

rubyhorse Sat 02-Jul-11 19:43:11

Oh, confit de canard. I've been served it in France, and have seen it in supermarkets, but had never realised just how straightforward a meal it was. Crepes also an excellent idea - as are campsite chips. And lentils. Love lentils!

PippiLongBottom Sat 02-Jul-11 20:21:21

SuperU's lentils are the best. They have some stock/onion/garlic or something in the tin that makes them yummy. They aren't just plain. All the other supermarkets seem to have them too.

Has anyone seen tinned lentils in the UK?

bigTillyMint Sat 02-Jul-11 20:25:18

Yes, you can definitely get them in Tesco. The nice green continental ones, but just plain AFAIK

PinotsEvilTwin Sat 02-Jul-11 20:27:55


topsi Sun 03-Jul-11 15:09:01

My favorite meal as a kid when we went caravaning was tinned ham, baked beans and tinned new potatoes.

topsi Sun 03-Jul-11 15:10:54

pommes frites from the campsite shop, baguette, ham and tomatoes, croissant in the morning, ah this is taking me back. Chocolate milk and oringina, yum.

brodanbell Wed 06-Jul-11 13:51:12

me too. Fond memories of french caravan hols. Used to go with Dad each morning to the campsite patisserie and get baguette, croissants to eat with lovely jam and of course chocolate milk. Lunch was always salad with pate, cheese and bread or maybe something like a tarte if we'd gone to the market that morning. Salad Nicoise is a good option also. I loved the jars of pre-made soupe de poisson which you serve with croutons covered with rouille (I think) and cheese. BBQ's are good - sardines are delicious! If you've got adventurous kids try moules mariniere - it's really easy!

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