Quail with grapes & tarragon beurre blancQuail is a small ground-nesting game bird in the pheasant family, which is often avoided as it can be a bit ‘fiddly’.  We are introducing quail into our menu this summer and you will learn to breakdown a quail and prepare a delicious meal from each component.  These skills are useful for any form of ‘bird’.

The carcasses are used to make a stock for the delicate grape, tarragon and Crémant (de Limoux of course) beurre blanc white wine sauce. 

We make bonbons of the legs/thighs and slowly confit them in duck fat.Image may contain: food

The breasts are served two ways to highlight several techniques.  Firstly we gently place tarragon under the skin of some of the breasts and these are pan fried until golden brown.

The other breasts are rolled in pancetta and then cling film to form a ‘boudin’ which is cooled in the fridge for 30 minutes before panfrying.  They could also be cooked sous-vide and then pan fried if you have the toys.

2017-04-01 17.56.20Serve with your favourite seasonal accompaniments …. spinach, morel mushrooms, parsnip puree, fried quail’s eggs with truffle salt are some ideas. It is open to your imagination….

Learn how to prepare and cook these delicious little birds at Cooking by the Canal du Midi this summer….

#frenchcookingclasses, #frenchfood, #quail, #learntocookinfrance, #cremantdelimoux

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THE GENTLE ART OF SMOKING…..(that’s duck not Gauloise!)

Image may contain: foodNew for this season, learn the traditional skill of “hot smoking”…..we first cure the flesh with brown sugar & salt, then gently smoke the meat over an aromatic base of rice, sugar and fragrant tea leaves – a wonderful blend called French Earl Grey…. add some spices and orange peel and hot smoke for 10 minutes – Classic French Cooking with a Modern Twist – (works wonderfully with fish and tofu for non-meat eaters!)

Book now for our classes starting in May! www.canaldumidicooking.com


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There are many routes to take along the Canal and if you are cruising past Carcassonne you will pass by Cooking by the Canal du Midi just after Trèbes on your way towards Beziers.

Le Boat have included our one day Classic French Cooking Class (Le Boat e-brochure P45) in their “Complete guide to boating holidays on France’s most famous Canal”.  Published in 2016 it provides a wealth of information on activities and sights along the Canal du Midi.


Le Boat Brochure - Cooking by the Canal du Midi

Le Boat Brochure – Cooking by the Canal du Midi


If you are contemplating cruising the Canal du Midi this summer, this article from France Today “Life in the slow lane” gives you a great insight into the fun to be had and the places to visit.

Visit www.canaldumidicooking.com/canalboat to get ideas and suggestions from us on the Canal and how you can make a day with us fit your plans…

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With Spring (almost) here we have created “Spring quail au vin” as a new recipe for our 2017 Classic French cooking classes.

Served with fresh vegetables from Axelle’s Millepetit market garden and Philippe’s Ampelo Merlot.  We also use our neighbour Fabi’s fragrant olive oil from Le-Moulin-de-Fabi

#classicfrenchcookingclass with a modern twist! #Languedocoliveoil #Lecreuset

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Image may contain: plant, sky, table, tree and outdoorJust 50 m from the banks of the Canal, our cottage is available for a minimum of 3 nights from late April to 31st October.

Perfect for a couple – beautifully decorated with a kitchen equipped by a cook! There is a private sun terrace; separate lounge with French & satellite TV; and free WiFi.

Image may contain: indoorYou can listen to the owls; buy fresh vegetables & Millepetit olives grown on the farm; or savour Ampelo Rosé made just metres from your door!

Cycle along the Canal paths into the delightful port of Trèbes in 10 minutes; visit medieval Carcassonne just 12 kms away; or join us for a Classic French cooking class or just relax on one of the canal side terraces and chat with our lovely French neighbours!

Visit www.canaldumidigite.com for availability.

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2016-09-23 12.01.45A few months ago our lovely market gardener in Millepetit, Axelle, with faithful hound Otto, was sorting this year’s fava bean seeds for planting in November.  We can’t wait to see them in the larder.  She also grows our asparagus which we teach as a seasonal starter with a citrus hollandaise, served with sugar cured salmon flavoured with wild fennel herb.

If you live in Europe why not look up some of our recipes which can all be adjusted for a winter treat by adding seasonal vegetables such as mushrooms, chicory, kale, black salsify and swedes.  If you are antipodean then try the desserts with seasonal fruit such as blackberries, blueberries, peaches, plums and strawberries. www.canaldumidicooking.com/recipesNo automatic alt text available.

We are having a ‘sabbatical’ in the French Alps and recharging the batteries for the Summer of 17.  Our one day Classic French Cooking Classes recommence in April 2017!

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Sundried Tomato & Ricotta Charlotte, Chickpea Roulade served with a tomato & sweet pepper couli, fresh watercress & herb stock infused potato fondant..

To make a simple ricotta or brousse as it is known in France
350 ml of full cream milk
150 ml of single cream
Heat to just under boiling point (around 93C) add 1.5 tbs of lemon juice until it curdles. Leave to cool in the pan and then strain through a piece of muslin or a J-Cloth (that’s a Chux in Australian!) overnight…flavour with fresh herbs, sundried tomato, or for a sweet version, icing sugar and lemon or orange zest! www.canaldumidicooking.com

Vegetarian charlotte

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A Canal Boat Holiday Activity? – Cooking by the Canal du Midi of course!

Kim Pawell.jpgIn response to enquiries from guests planning self drive canal boat cruises we have now added an information page to our website –  On a Canal Boat?

Our page highlights how you can plan a day with us and learn Classic French cooking with a modern twist here at Millepetit.  We have also included some tips on travelling the canal, restaurant recommendations and key distances – locks etc.

Whether you are on a Locaboat, Le Boat, France Fluviale, Nicols, French Waterways or Canalous hire boat or just on your own barge with some friends and family we have a mooring which you are welcome to use.  You can even stay overnight if you would like at no charge. We have also cruised the Canal and are always happy to make recommendations on places to visit along the way and give you any help that you need.

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2016-06-16 16.29.50The luxury hotel barge Alouette recently moored at Millepetit.

Alouette’s guests from New York enjoyed a private cooking class as part of their French Culinary Tour programme.

We had delightful weather and a fabulous day of cooking followed by canapés and lunch with local wines on the terrace before they floated off to Trèbes for the night…. http://www.belmond.com/afloat-in-france/alouette, @canaldumidicookingclasses; @AfloatinFrance

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Favorite fish recipe Our guests from www.maisonjuliette.com in Carcassonne requested a special cooking class where they could learn to prepare both fish and duck. Fennel fondant complimented the fish and a salad of shaved fennel with roasted and fresh nectarines drizzled in Le Moulin de Fabi ‘s lemon oil complimented the duck (a Bargechef recipe)

David’s filleting skills are becoming legendary and our daurade with sauce vierge filling is one of our most popular dishes!

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