French Cooking - 6 courses
I am hoping to put together a 6 course menu with a French theme .
So far I am thinking
Goats Cheese Salad
Watercress Soup / Onion Soup
Duck Confit tart
Roast Lamb with spring veg
Cheese with eggplant sorbet
Pears in Red wine / Creme Brulee / Crepes
Any suggestiuons would be great. I am unsure whether to base it on a specific region. Which region would you pick?
On the subject (and well after the point has been rendered a bit moot) of European conventions when you refer to the "entree" is that the first course/appetizer or the lamb? I will never entirely understand how we managed to get that mixed up over here.
While it's certainly typical to follow the main course after something so heavy as duck confit it would be quite nice to have a cool salad with tangy goat cheese to refresh the palate before moving on to the equally heavy lamb.
i like perk's suggestion of a Provençal theme.
some random ideas for other dishes, including a few that would use some of the same ingredients you listed:
- herbed white beans with tomato and chevre
- white bean soup w/pistou
- duck rillettes
- eggplant gratin
- gruyere gougeres with ratatouille
- apricot or cherry clafoutis
- almond tuiles with sorbet
oops, i've been reversing the "ss" placement with the "s" (had bouillabaisse on my mind) -- forgive me! anyhoo, check this from wiki: """In 1917, seeking to "invent some new and startling cold soup" for the menu at the Ritz-Carlton, he recalled his mother's soup.[potage bonne femme with added milk]. His experimenting soon led to a combination of "leeks, onions, potatoes, butter, milk, cream and other seasonings". Diat named it "crème vichyssoise glacée" (chilled cream vichyssoise),[after Vichy, a spa town near his birthplace in France that is famous for both its exceptional food and its springs. The new item enjoyed "instant success". Charles M. Schwab was the first to sample vichyssoise and requested another serving."""
ok, that is your fun fact for friday!
I agree that gougères are best on their own, but you should also try them with tapenade and tomato.
This is an adaptation of an hors d'oeuvre that I frequently serve - puff pastry squares topped with goat cheese and tomato, then baked, and as soon as they come out of the oven, topped with tapenade and served immediately. The texture, temperature, and flavour contrasts are great.
I'd drop the duck confit tarte -- very, very rich, pretty heavy, and with the lamb and veg, just a bit much, IMO.
It's more than okay to only have 5 courses -- most French restaurants and home tables go with 5.
I agree that the salad moves to after the main, if you're going for true French style...OR have the chevre salad as the appetizer. If you move the salad to the end of the meal, it's very appropriate/accepted to serve the salad with the cheese...in which case you'd put the chevre on the cheese plate and not on the salad.
I'd drop the eggplant sorbet, too -- I agree that it tends to the bitter side. Serve some grapes and walnuts with the cheese, or some dried fruit -- apricots or prunes -- depending on what sort of cheese you're serving.
Then dessert -- Crepes tend to be more cafe fare than restaurants -- and fair warning: they're a complete pita for a dinner party.
Roast lamb with spring veg
Pears or Creme brulee
I'm generally with sunshine regards the salad.
My visits to France are to the north of the country where I have never seen salad served on its own as a separate course. It comes as a starter - the goats cheese salad would be nice - or as an accompaniment to the cheese course. When doing the latter in a French style, remember it's eaten with a knife and fork.
FWIW, the menu from our most recent restaurnant meal (in April):
Les Escalopes de Foie graschaud, Grains et jus des Vignes
Les Noix de Saint-Jacques, sur une Crème d'endive et Caviar Avruga
Le Demi Homard décortiqué au Beurre de Corail
Les Langoustines Rôties sur Poireaux, compote de Pommes et Gingembre
Les Noix de Ris de Veau aux Morilles, Panier de Printemps
Le Curry de Lotte, Risotto aux Pommes, Raisins et Amandes
Les Filets de Sole soufflés aux Ecrevisses
Le Filet de Turbot aux Asperges, écume de Wissant
Le Filet de Boeuf au parfum Irlandais
Le Plateau de Fromages
Le Chariot de Desserts
(Restaurant was in Calais - Le Cote d'Argent)
Harters, I thought you did not like French food, or is it that you like it but do not cook it?
Re: eating a salad with a knife and fork, that's what I do, and am always amazed when I see someone using a fork in the right hand instead of the left, and the forefinger of the left hand taking the place of the knife, stuck into the food.
I love French food.
Although, apart from the classic national dishes, much of modern European cuisine now crosses frontiers as easily as people now can.
I suppose what I mean when I say I love eating French food is that I love eating food in France. It's only 21 miles away so there's always been an interchange of cooking.
Re. the knife & fork, I meant that they're provided to eat the cheese course with (whether or not salad is served)
Lots of great ideas here... I often had salad as an appetiser before the main whilst in France and surprised to hear it is so common to serve afterward. Interesting...
I think the gougere would be great as a small nibbly before the sit down courses.
Watercress soup or the suggested Vichysoisse (will have a look into that one)
THe Salad (to decide where to place) - will most likely be goats cheese so may have to think of another tart or even souffle/gratin idea
The eggplant sorbet I mentioned I had served to me in France with a cheese dish recently and surprisingly it was not bitter. Although will have to do a few test runs on that one to see how it goes.
I would really like to use duck aswell but unsure where to squeeze that in. But, yes I think the tart may be too rich