Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Hundred Foot Journey: Cook the Books meets Food n Flix and join the French Winophiles

I have a very exciting post for you today.  It started out good.  It got better and then it got perfect. You  see our Cook the Books selection this month chosen by Deb of Kahakai Kitchen is The Hundred Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais.

It is the story of an Indian Family who leave their home and country after the murder of their mother during riots in which they were targeted because they ran a successful restaurant.  The move first to England but are very unhappy there so decided to look elsewhere.  They end up in France and stumble upon a large house that can be converted to include a restaurant.  The only problem is that it is directly across the street from a fine dining establishment that has been awarded the Michelin star. A battle ensues and then a war until one day the young chef, Hassan, ends up badly injured and the owner of the French restaurant, Madame Mallory, is determined to make amends.  Madame Mallory decides to do this by taking on Hassan who "has the gift" and turning him into a fine dining chef. The title of the book refers to the hundred feet between restaurants and cultures but it is really just the start of Hassan's journey.  


I enjoyed this book and there was certainly tons of food inspiration from Indian to English to France to Fusion when Hassan starts connecting the two cultures.  Hassan also decides to start cooking cleaner and locally, earning him the coveted 3rd Michelin star.  All of this, of course, comes at a price but you will have to read the book if you want to know what that cost was.

This book was made into a movie in 2014.  I had never heard of the book or the movie so I was very excited when Cam of Culinary Adventures with Camilla, chose the movie in conjunction with Deb for our Food n Flix club this month.  I told you it got better.

I loved this movie and can't believe I had never even heard of it.  It is one of those movies that I wouldn't mind watching over and over again.  And the food!  The entire movie is a feast for the eyes. I was overwhelmed and wanted to make everything!!  

Here is the funny thing, for some reason I thought the book was based on a true story so when I first started watching the movie I was dumbfounded by all of what I perceived to be poetic license with Hassan's story and life.  I had to pause the movie and go back to check and that was when I realized it was a novel not a biography.  Now able to enjoy the movie, I turned it back on, sat back and lost myself to it.

Now, evidently, I am the only person who has never heard of this novel or movie because there was a huge blogging event that went on prior to the movie's release in which the chef who cooked for the movie shared his recipes.  I found  29 wonderful recipes at a blog called Inspired by Dis.  That helped narrow my choices to about a third of what it was.


While trying to figure out which of these many recipes I wanted to make for these two events it occurred to me that another great group to which I belong, The French Winophiles, led by Christy of Confessions of a Culinary Diva, was showcasing Bordeaux wines this month.  This helped me narrow it down to foods that I could pair with a Bordeaux.  

I finally opted for Beef Bourguinon a la Hassan created for the movie by Chef Floyd Cardoz.  This is the first French dish that Hassan gives to his father in the film after leaving their restaurant to work for Madame Malory.  It was a very touching scene with some humor included when he tried to have his younger siblings try it.

I, of course, adapted this recipe to make it my own.  Using Bordeaux wine instead of Burgundy for the braising liquid, substituting stewing beef for the short ribs, using my homegrown bacon that is not applewood smoked and used regular beef broth because I have not a clue what white beef broth is.
I did keep the the Indian seasoning but substituted chile pepper paste for the aleppo pepper and mustard oil for the mustard seed.  I also did not braise the meat and add the vegetables at the end but put them all in together for the braise.

The Bordeaux I chose was a 2010 Chateau Dumas Cenot, a blend of 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet from vines averaging 25 years of age.  We received this bottle as a gift and have been waiting for this month of French Winophiles when we celebrate Bordeaux to open it.

It had a fruity aroma and look at that deep, garnet color.
I took a sip and it was delicious.
These French wines may actually win me over.

The meal was lovely.  The food and wine pairing worked perfectly with the heaviness of the wine playing off of the richness of the dish.  This is the perfect post folks, great book, fun movie, delicious dinner, good wine and a date night with my wonderful husband.  Life is so good!

One last note: Since I wrote this post when life was so was turned upside down for our entire world with the senseless and violent attacks that took place in Paris.  I would like to take a moment in prayer for all those who were affected by this devastation.  May God send his peace down to you and yours.

Indian Spiced Beef Bordeaux
adapted from Beef Bourguignon ala Hassan by Floyd Cardoz

1 lb stewing beef
1/2 c. flour
salt and pepper to taste
4 slices bacon, diced
1 T. canola oil
1 T. butter
3 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
1/2 c. frozen pearl onion
small package baby carrots
1 small turnip, peeled and cut into eighths.
1 onion, diced
2 t. garlic paste
2 t. ginger paste
1/2 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. mustard oil
1/4 t. chili paste
1 T. tomato paste
1/2 c. dry red wine
4 c. beef broth
2 oz. dried chanterelles mushrooms, partially reconstituted

Place flour, salt and pepper in a large bag.  Add beef and shake to coat.  Let set at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Cook bacon in large dutch oven over med high heat.  Remove bacon from pan to a bowl, reserving drippings in pan, set aside.  Add canola oil to the reserved dripping and heat over med high heat, add beef (reserving remaining flour) and sear until browned. Remove to bowl containing bacon.

Add the onions, carrots and turnips to the pan and cook for 2 or 3 minutes, remove to a bowl.  Add butter to the pan along with the onion, garlic and ginger.  Stir and cook for a few minutes until fragrant and onion starts to soften.  Add bay leaf and cloves, cumin, mustard oil, and chili paste.  Stir and cook until fragrant.  Add leftover seasoned flour and tomato paste. Cook and stir until combined. Deglaze pan with the wine, bringing it to a boil and scraping bottom of the pan.  Add broth and bring to a boil.  Add beef and bacon first followed by the seared vegetables and finally the chanterelles mushrooms.  Cover and place in a preheated 325* oven for 2-3 hrs.  Print Recipe

Let's join up with the others and see what they poured with Bordeaux

Don’t forget to join the live Twitter Chat Saturday at 8 am PST/11 am EST hosted by Jeff from foodwineclick using #winophiles. Au revoir!

Join us for our upcoming events: December 19  Champagne –  January 16 Burgundy – February 20  Alsace


  1. Beautiful pairing Wendy! I can imagine the spices working well with the wine. Life is good- thanks for the reminder:)

  2. I love that you didn't know about the movie till Food'N'Flix. It's one of our favorites!!!

    1. It is now one of our favorites too Cam. Thanks for choosing it.

  3. FANTASTIC! I loved the book, loved the movie and love that it was your inspiration!

    1. I enjoyed them as well Michelle and the pairing worked wonderfully.

  4. I love that you chose fusion cuisine! What an excellent choice!

  5. Yay! I am happy you found some new reading and viewing. ;-) I love the fusion of French and Indian cuisines in your dish. It does look like the perfect date night dish for a fall evening.
    Thanks for joining in our CTB & F'NF mash-up!

  6. Sounds like a book I would enjoy...perhaps while sipping some of the wine you tried!

  7. A friend of mine keeps telling me I need to see that move. I really need to get on that! What a fun fusion dish for this month!

  8. I cannot believe you did not know the movie/book, what a great discovery right? Wow 3 clubs in one, amazing job. Love your Beef Bourguinon, a really great choice!

    1. It was a great discovery Evelyne. I enjoyed them both. Thanks

  9. Your food and wine look yummy! You are not alone!! I have never heard of either the movie or the book. But maybe that is not unusual for me as I am pretty sheltered. LOL!!

    1. I really enjoyed them Paula and I actually think I enjoyed the movie more which is very unusual.

  10. Looks great. I honestly thought it was a biography too.

  11. Sounds like a dinner I would like to have, wine, and fabulous food. Just the thing for a date night with your husband or significant other.

  12. Hmmm..... You certainly have me rethinking the classic stew. I might just have to shake things up a bit for Christmas and make this Indian inspired classic. Thank you, Wendy!

  13. Ah -- one of our favorite Julie Child dishes -- cathy from Delaware Girl Eats


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