HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Brewing beer, curing meat, or making cheese?

French Cooking - 6 courses

mandarin Jun 18, 2011 06:26 PM

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?

  1. k
    KraTToR Jul 10, 2011 08:21 AM

    I'm hosting a french inspired tasting menu for my wine club in a few weeks. Its looking something like this:

    Amuse Buche: Poached Shrimp on a fork w/avacado salsa (The French Laundry)

    Raw oysters (3 kinds)
    - Champagne

    Arugula Salad w/Heirloom Beets, Walnuts, Chevre, Raw honey/Dijon vinegrette
    - Sancerre

    Seared Sea Scallop on truffled Beurre Blanc
    -White Burgundy

    Pan Seared Fois on Brioche French Toast and Port/Plum sauce
    - Alsacian Vendage Tardive

    Duck Roulade w/corn and Morels (The French Laundry)
    - Red Burgundy

    Pan Roasted Alberta Lamb Sirloin, Duck Fat fingerlings, Hericot Vert
    - Red Bourdeax

    Chocolate Souflee, Grenache, Creme Anglais
    - Espresso/Coffee/Tea.

    Do you need wine pairing help?? Once youre menu is fixed, dont hesitate to ask.

    Please forgive my spelling :-P

    20 Replies
    1. re: KraTToR
      mandarin Jul 10, 2011 02:59 PM

      Your menu sounds fantastic.. and, yes, wine pairing is the next step. I will post up the finished mennu shortly. Thankyou

      1. re: mandarin
        alkapal Jul 10, 2011 03:22 PM

        mandarin, when are you going to prepare this dinner of yours?

        1. re: alkapal
          mandarin Jul 11, 2011 02:52 AM

          The date is to be decided... I am aiming on 6-7 weeks time. It will be more like a "long lunch" though... starting at noon and no doubt drifting into the evening. Taking time to indulge in food & wine...

          1. re: mandarin
            alkapal Jul 13, 2011 06:13 AM

            you, like my sister, like to ponder and mull over and revise your menu for a special event. i think she gets as much enjoyment from thinking about it as doing it.

            hope it turns out well. i'm not planning any parties until it gets much cooler.

            1. re: alkapal
              mandarin Jul 13, 2011 02:43 PM

              Yes I do... been experimenting with each recipe 2-3 times aswell! Half the fun is getting there....

      2. re: KraTToR
        souschef Jul 10, 2011 08:11 PM

        A couple of questions/comments:

        1) How did you come up with Sancerre (my favourite white) to go with the salad? I'm not questioning your choice; I would just like to know the reasoning behind it.

        2) I'm wondering how the soft foie would go with the soggy French toast. Do you not want a textural contrast ? Perhaps just toasted brioche?

        1. re: souschef
          sunshine842 Jul 11, 2011 02:30 AM

          I thought about that, too, souschef -- foie would traditionally be served on *toasted* brioche, not battered as "French toast" -- alternately, toasted plain white bread.

          1. re: sunshine842
            KraTToR Jul 11, 2011 06:13 AM

            Good point, I did a practice run of this dish last week and found I had to add more grey salt and minced chive garnish to help overcome the richness of the Foie. Maybe it was the french toast that put it over the edge. I'll test your suggestions before the dinner. What do you think about grilling the Brioche over charcoal? Give it a touch of "campfire toast" flavour?

            1. re: KraTToR
              sunshine842 Jul 11, 2011 02:02 PM

              Nope -- just lightly toasted; no crust -- let the foie sing by itself. If there has to be an addition, keep it simple and traditional -- confit d'oignons or confit de figue.

              Don't gild this lily -- it's best when it's as unmessed with as possible.

              1. re: sunshine842
                KraTToR Jul 11, 2011 02:15 PM

                Do you have a good recipe resourse for either of these? personally i'd lead towards the Fig but I do like onion jam with a cheese plate (another time :-)

                1. re: KraTToR
                  sunshine842 Jul 11, 2011 04:20 PM

                  I usually buy it (I'm in France, so local producers are a dime a dozen) -- but I'd bet my lunch money on this for the onion:


                  the confiture de figue is just a regular fig preserves -- figs cooked down with pectin.

                  (I'll eat either, but I prefer the fig -- which is amazing with cheese and charcuterie, too)

                  1. re: sunshine842
                    KraTToR Jul 12, 2011 06:28 AM

                    "I'm in France"

                    Now i'm really jealous :-)

                    Totally agree with the fig with cheese and charcuterie.

                    1. re: sunshine842
                      Harters Jul 12, 2011 07:03 AM

                      The Spanish pan de higo is another good figgy thing with cheese - particularly, IMO, with a really sharp goaty or sheepy one. My partner is currently in Mallorca and has orders to bring some back.

                      1. re: Harters
                        souschef Jul 12, 2011 07:38 AM

                        Do you also like membrillo (quince paste)?

                        1. re: souschef
                          Harters Jul 12, 2011 08:20 AM

                          Yes - but not so much as the fig.

                          Actually, I normally prefer to eat cheese without anything sweet. Cheese, celery, good bread and you have a happy Harters

                          1. re: Harters
                            souschef Jul 12, 2011 08:24 AM

                            Me too, but Port and Roquefort - a marriage made in heaven! But on their own, I like neither.

                            1. re: souschef
                              sunshine842 Jul 13, 2011 01:53 PM

                              a really good Roquefort, drizzled with honey and a nicely-chilled Sauternes alongside. Food and drink of the gods.

            2. re: souschef
              KraTToR Jul 11, 2011 06:09 AM

              The Sancerre and Goat's Cheese (Chevre) is a natural pairing and the acidity of the wine will off-set the sweetness of the beets. The dressing has a citrus component (lemon) which works with this as well.

            3. re: KraTToR
              souschef Jul 11, 2011 06:12 AM

              You may have trouble finding morels at this time of the year.

              1. re: souschef
                KraTToR Jul 11, 2011 06:20 AM

                I saw fresh ones (local) this past weekend at a specialty market, not to say they'll be in season in 2 weeks.
                I have family on Vancouver Island and they send me a pile of dried ones every year. Not as good as fresh but I've found that if I'm real gently when reconstituting them, they're pretty good.
                TFL recipe has duck stock, brunious, chives and parsley added to them so I't not like the dried wont work well in this case.

            4. mandarin Jul 6, 2011 02:44 PM

              Ah yes the lavendar champagne cocktail is on my "to experiment list" - I think to me it was the presentation that caught my eye... so I wonder if it were just champagne with a sprig of lavendar as a garnish whether the lavendar flavour would be overpowering? hmmm

              Also re; 2 mains... yes, it is a tasting style menu so all portions (of everyting) will be very small....

              And , dessert - 2 guests do not like fruit... I was originally loving the idea of pear soaked in wine and settled on creme brulle because it's just so simply delicious! But theres still time to search for something else. How about something like a rum soaked cake... or pastry and cream based dessert? hmmm

              7 Replies
              1. re: mandarin
                souschef Jul 7, 2011 04:52 AM

                Rum-soaked cake - how about a savarin. It can be served with whipped cream.

                For a pastry and cream-based dessert I suggest salambos - choux puffs filled with rum-flavoured pastry cream, the tops dipped in caramel and topped with chopped pistachios. Or a St. Honoré.

                BTW is your leak and potato soup going to be served hot or cold?

                I agree that if you are serving Champagne it should be served naked.

                1. re: souschef
                  buttertart Jul 7, 2011 08:21 AM

                  I would very happliy scarf up either of those.
                  Champagne is best consumed naked.

                  1. re: buttertart
                    souschef Jul 7, 2011 08:31 AM

                    You should really make salambos.

                    1. re: souschef
                      buttertart Jul 7, 2011 08:37 AM

                      That I should. Once I get over a certain other project.

                2. re: mandarin
                  Harters Jul 7, 2011 07:12 AM

                  Ah, if you want pretty for your aperitif, go for a Kir Royale and drop a raspberry or two into it.

                  1. re: Harters
                    buttertart Jul 7, 2011 08:20 AM

                    Definitely. I hate lavender in all applications, especially gastronomic.

                  2. re: mandarin
                    honkman Jul 7, 2011 09:09 AM

                    We like champagne served with a little bit of sorbet, peach, pineapple or lemon are very good

                  3. mandarin Jul 6, 2011 02:50 AM

                    A week or so of experimenting & seeking new recipes I have made some progress in putting together this menu
                    -Lavendar champagne cocktail (see photo) served with aioli, tapenade and crudites
                    -. Potato & Leek Soup is perfected - will be serving with grissini sticks or bread sticks of some sort
                    -Goats cheese salad - I have discovered a walnut oil/honey vinaigrette recipe to experiment with
                    -Duck confit is a goer (I was really hoping to experiment with this) serving with duck fat potatoes
                    -Lamb rack with a ratatouille stack (see picture) I thought it was an appropriate side
                    -3 x types of french cheese with a coffee cumble & pear sorbet (the cheese journey - a smiliar dish I was served in France, just have to select the cheeses)
                    -creme brulee

                    28 Replies
                    1. re: mandarin
                      Harters Jul 6, 2011 03:02 AM

                      I like the sound of this - very French. A couple of comments though.

                      I would swap the order of the soup and salad. Salad right at the beginning is very French. You're also serving two main courses in the duck and the lamb - is that not a bit too much?

                      I'm presuming the taste of your aperitif, etc has worked well in your experimenting but it reads like the strong flavours of the aioli and tapenade might overpower the presumably delicate flavour of the champagne?

                      I take it my invitation is in the post?

                      1. re: Harters
                        sunshine842 Jul 6, 2011 04:30 AM

                        actually, you're doubling up on a couple of your courses.

                        For a starter, I'd stick with either salad OR soup -- not both.

                        And I agree with Harters -- confit with fried potatoes OR lamb with ratatouille, but not both. Confit tends to be a fall/winter dish, especially with the potatoes, and your guests won't be hungry enough to even touch the lamb.

                        AND I echo the thought about the strong flavours of the nibbles -- they will beat the subtle taste and texture of the Champagne, give it a swirlie, and leave it sobbing in a corner of the locker room. For a truly Provencale aperitif that will stand up to your planned nibbles, go with a pastis - Pernod, Ricard, etc. (for the record, I'm an avid NON Lavender consumer -- love the smell in toiletries and around the house, but it tends to overpower everything else it touches, culinarily speaking. Lavender-flavored foods exist in France, but they're the exception, rather than the rule -- and IMO it's AWFUL in Champagne. If you are paying for a good Champagne, then serve it properly chilled just as it is. If you're opting for a cremant of other sparking, THEN put the sirop in that.)

                      2. re: mandarin
                        souschef Jul 6, 2011 05:54 AM

                        I agree with Harters and sunshine that serving confit and lamb would be a bit much, but you did indicate previously that you wanted a tasting-style menu and had been served such a combination before. May I suggest then that you take the confit off the bone and serve only a small portion; or shred it, put it on some pastry and you are back to your duck confit tart. I also suggest that you serve a sorbet between the two to give your guests' stomachs a bit of a rest.

                        1. re: mandarin
                          buttertart Jul 6, 2011 07:06 AM

                          I myself wouldn't serve a creamy dessert after cheese - would suggest something crisp, perhaps with fruit?

                          1. re: buttertart
                            sunshine842 Jul 6, 2011 08:29 AM

                            for a French menu, buttertart, that's not unusual at all...mousse, creme caramel, any of a bajillion pastries, creme brulee, faisselle, etc., etc., etc.

                            1. re: sunshine842
                              buttertart Jul 6, 2011 08:34 AM

                              Ah oui? Vraiment? Savais pas.
                              Just kidding!!! I just prefer the contrast aspect myself, it seems to balance things better - especially with fairly heavy intermediate courses.

                              1. re: buttertart
                                sunshine842 Jul 6, 2011 11:06 AM

                                at our house, though, dessert leans heavily toward fruit -- usually warmed on the stove with a little sugar and booze (depends on the fruit) and served with a little creme fraiche, ice cream, or whipped cream on the side, as the guest desires

                                Bananas with rum and brown sugar (Bananas Foster)
                                Cherries with kirsch and honey
                                Poached pears with red wine
                                apple slices with honey or maple syrup and Calvados

                                Etc etc etc -- quick, tasty, fairly light, and wasy.

                                1. re: sunshine842
                                  Harters Jul 6, 2011 11:12 AM

                                  Cut peach in half. Put in heatproof dish. Pop a little butter in the stone cavity. Drizzle with honey (preferably excessively). Stick under grill (or in oven) till soft and gooey. Eat.

                                  Thank you, Nigel Slater - a wonderful recipe.

                                  1. re: Harters
                                    buttertart Jul 6, 2011 11:46 AM

                                    Love him. To bits.

                                    1. re: buttertart
                                      Harters Jul 6, 2011 01:20 PM

                                      Forgot.......you also need your top quality vanilla ice cream of choice for perfection.

                                      1. re: Harters
                                        sunshine842 Jul 6, 2011 01:51 PM

                                        with lots and lots of vanilla bean wandering around in it, please (although Creme Brulee ice cream is nothing to sneeze at with peaches)

                                        1. re: sunshine842
                                          Harters Jul 6, 2011 02:08 PM

                                          Creme brulee ice cream?

                                          I want it NOW.

                                          1. re: Harters
                                            sunshine842 Jul 6, 2011 02:59 PM

                                            Take a look at one of the grand surfaces next time you're over -- La Laitiere makes the best one, IMO -- little bits of caramelised sugar in a VERY rich base. Carte d'Or's is good, but can't hold a candle to La Laitiere.

                                            1. re: sunshine842
                                              Harters Jul 7, 2011 02:18 AM

                                              Drat! Carte D'Or is sold here of course - but no brulee amongst its flavours.

                                              1. re: Harters
                                                sunshine842 Jul 10, 2011 01:39 AM

                                                I'd offer to send you some, but somehow I don't think it would work all that well....

                                                1. re: sunshine842
                                                  Harters Jul 10, 2011 03:40 AM

                                                  We off to Mallorca next month. Carrefour bought out a local supermarket chain a few years ago so I'll see if the Carte d'Or they sell includes the brulee.

                                                  1. re: Harters
                                                    sunshine842 Jul 10, 2011 04:02 AM

                                                    in Mallorca, they might have something more Spanish-inspired --perhaps a dulce de leche or a flan...might not be the exact same, but might give you that creamy-caramelly-salty flavor.

                                                    1. re: sunshine842
                                                      Harters Jul 10, 2011 04:12 AM

                                                      Oh, yes, indeed. Lots of sweet stuff.

                                                      But......brulee......ice cream......you know.......WANT.....NOW!

                                                      1. re: Harters
                                                        sunshine842 Jul 10, 2011 04:39 AM

                                                        if it makes you feel any better, I don't have any in my freezer, and it's Sunday afternoon, so I won't get any until tomorrow, at least!

                                                        1. re: sunshine842
                                                          Harters Jul 10, 2011 05:04 AM

                                                          Nothing make me feel better at present - I'm trying to lose weight and am on such a restrictive diet that even thinking about ice cream seems to add calories. LOL.

                              2. re: sunshine842
                                Harters Jul 6, 2011 09:12 AM

                                Looking back at my notes of our last meal in France (in April), we had some superb cheeses from the Pas de Calais, followed by Iles flottant (her) & tarte aux chocolate (moi). I assume creme brulee wasnt on the menu as, if it had been, herself would have ordered it. Herself always orders brulee.

                                1. re: Harters
                                  buttertart Jul 6, 2011 09:16 AM

                                  I've had creamy desserts after cheese too, but offsetting the richness with something non-dairy appeals to me after this menu.

                                  1. re: buttertart
                                    Harters Jul 6, 2011 09:44 AM

                                    There's some off-setting stuff along with the cheese. I've never seen sorbet served there but as mandarin as eaten it, I presume it must work fine.

                                    1. re: buttertart
                                      souschef Jul 7, 2011 05:06 AM

                                      Would something lemony but dairy work for you? Something like a lemon tart.

                                      1. re: souschef
                                        Harters Jul 7, 2011 05:27 AM

                                        IMO, tarte au citron is *never* out of place on a French style menu.

                                        Or any other style menu for that matter.

                                        1. re: Harters
                                          buttertart Jul 7, 2011 08:21 AM

                                          Tarte au citron, yes indeedy.

                              3. re: mandarin
                                alkapal Jul 7, 2011 06:07 AM

                                would. hate. lavender. champagne.

                                1. re: alkapal
                                  sunshine842 Jul 10, 2011 01:41 AM

                                  I'm with you, alkapal -- to me, lavender belongs in the laundry or cleaning products, or dabbed on my wrists, but keep it out of the kitchen. Pleh.

                                  Poppy (coquelicot), violet, and rose can be nice IN MODERATION, though -- lest anyone think I have an issue with flowers in general.

                              4. souschef Jun 25, 2011 06:03 AM

                                I remember having a great pizza in California made with duck bacon, so if you can find duck bacon, how about making a flammekueche to replace the duck confit tart.

                                1. m
                                  masha Jun 19, 2011 01:24 PM

                                  I agree with others that serving the salad with cheese after the main course is the more "French" style. I'd start with the soup. Then, instead of a duck confit tart -- which is fairly heavy, especially if followed by the lamb -- how about a leek and goat cheese tart? We had that as a starter at a table d'hote at a B&B in the Loire years ago and still talk about how good it was. Of course, if you have goat cheese in that course, you might want to serve some other variety of cheese with the salad. As for a last, "sixth" course, I'd just serve good coffe with some "mignonettes" -- i.e., small sweets like truffles. In other words:

                                  Watercress soup
                                  Leek & goat cheese tart
                                  roast lamb with spring veg
                                  salad & cheese
                                  dessert - I like the suggestion of almond tuile with sorbet
                                  coffee with mignonettes

                                  15 Replies
                                  1. re: masha
                                    sunshine842 Jun 19, 2011 02:27 PM

                                    That's a great suggestion, Masha -- if the OP goes with the leek and chevre tart, then drop the cheese out of the salad completely.

                                    It's completely normal in France to serve a green salad of JUST lettuce with vinaigrette, particularly with the cheese course.

                                    1. re: sunshine842
                                      escondido123 Jun 19, 2011 02:50 PM

                                      In France, the cheese was always its own course without salad. But I haven't been there in a decade so maybe things have changed.

                                      1. re: escondido123
                                        masha Jun 19, 2011 03:05 PM

                                        Maybe it's just a custom in the Loire, but at multiple restaurants our cheese was accompanied by a beautiful salad of greens in a light vinaigrette.

                                        1. re: masha
                                          sunshine842 Jun 19, 2011 11:11 PM

                                          I've seen it in all of the regions within the last few years, and our French friends typically serve the salad with the cheese at their homes (regardless of where they're from)

                                          1. re: sunshine842
                                            Harters Jun 20, 2011 02:16 AM

                                            I'm not sure how common salad with cheese is in restaurants (at least in the Pas de Calais and Nord, where I do my French eating). Of the various places we go to, I can only think of one which serves salad (and it's delicious). The others serve in the more traditional form of just cheese, fruit & bread (although I like the fact that an increasing number seem to be adopting the British practice of serving a chutney)

                                            1. re: Harters
                                              sunshine842 Jun 20, 2011 02:52 AM

                                              I've seen it in Paris, the Loire, Alsace, Provence, and the southwest....that's a good chunk of the country, although certainly not all....

                                              1. re: sunshine842
                                                Harters Jun 20, 2011 03:37 AM

                                                Slowly spreading north, then. LOL.

                                                'Tis a fine concept, IMO. Particularly when it's got a really sharp dressing to cut through the dairy.

                                                1. re: Harters
                                                  sunshine842 Jun 20, 2011 10:58 AM

                                                  exactly -- and the crunch from the lettuce plays nicely from the softness of the cheese.

                                                  1. re: sunshine842
                                                    Harters Jun 20, 2011 01:00 PM

                                                    Indeed - although the place I've been served it regularly (in Albert, Somme) uses the floppier sort of lettuce. Still works very well.

                                                  2. re: Harters
                                                    souschef Jun 20, 2011 11:14 AM

                                                    I don't care for sharp dressings at all. To me a dressing should complement the salad, it should not assail the senses (which is what a sharp dressing does to me). In general I find that restaurants make their dressings too sharp. I don't like to pucker up if I'm not going to kiss anyone. :)

                                                    1. re: souschef
                                                      mandarin Jun 24, 2011 11:26 PM

                                                      OK I am getting there with the menu and the search is on for some great recipes... although Duck is missing from the menu so I would love some suggestions on where to slot it in. I previously had a duck confit tart but, yes, I agree it sounds too rich.

                                                      Watercress Soup
                                                      Salad - goats cheese
                                                      Roast lamb with spring veg
                                                      Cheeses (served with an interesting twist - tbc)
                                                      Creme brulee

                                                      1. re: mandarin
                                                        sunshine842 Jun 25, 2011 12:12 AM

                                                        as much as I love duck AND lamb, it really isn't all that traditional to end up with two animal proteins in the same meal....something light like fish or shrimp as an appetizer, sure -- but not really red meat.

                                                        I even looked through some of my French cookbooks for you, and couldn't find a single red-meat-based appetizer other than beef carpaccio...which isn't really where you're going here....

                                                        1. re: sunshine842
                                                          mandarin Jun 25, 2011 01:10 AM

                                                          I know that it isn't really traditional to do this... but I am thinking of it more as a degustation style lunch... where I have found that it is quite common to be served poultry followed by a red meat dish. The serves will be small.

                                                          For example.. I have previously been served a duck proscutto dish followed by venison, and another time a pheasant dish followed by beef fillet. So I suppose it will be more like a French degustation rather than a traditionally served French meal

                                                          1. re: mandarin
                                                            sunshine842 Jun 25, 2011 01:28 AM

                                                            I should amend that to mean other than charcuterie (illogical, I know, but 'charcuterie' to me somehow mentally gets sorted into 'not a meat dish') -- lots of times there are thin slices of hams, sausages, terrines or pates with cornichons (all cold)....but not something like confit -- that is squarely in 'main dish' territory.

                                                            Cured, sliced duck breast with figs and a soft cheese would be a stellar starter...

                                                            1. re: sunshine842
                                                              Harters Jun 25, 2011 03:12 AM

                                                              And if you can find smoked cured duck where you are, the starter goes way beyond stellar.

                                                              Tasty, fatty smoky meat, rich sweet figs, a handful of dressed rocket scattered with a little mildish goats cheese. Perfect.

                                    2. sunshine842 Jun 19, 2011 01:45 AM

                                      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.


                                      Watercress Soup
                                      Roast lamb with spring veg
                                      Pears or Creme brulee

                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: sunshine842
                                        Harters Jun 19, 2011 06:26 AM

                                        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)

                                        1. re: Harters
                                          souschef Jun 19, 2011 10:42 AM

                                          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.

                                          1. re: souschef
                                            Harters Jun 19, 2011 12:51 PM

                                            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)

                                        2. re: sunshine842
                                          mandarin Jun 19, 2011 03:08 PM

                                          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

                                          1. re: mandarin
                                            souschef Jun 19, 2011 04:04 PM

                                            If you want to serve duck, how about a nice piece of seared foie gras. Yes, I know that it's super-rich, but all you need to serve is a small portion.

                                        3. e
                                          escondido123 Jun 18, 2011 09:12 PM

                                          I have always found that gougere are served hot out of the oven as the wonderful bite with a cocktail or first glass of wine. Made well they need nothing but to be crispy, cheesy and hot.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: escondido123
                                            souschef Jun 19, 2011 03:04 AM

                                            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.

                                          2. souschef Jun 18, 2011 08:59 PM

                                            Cheese with eggplant sorbet seems unusual as eggplant is on the bitter side.

                                            How about Vichysoisse for the soup?

                                            16 Replies
                                            1. re: souschef
                                              alkapal Jun 19, 2011 01:24 PM

                                              ding ding ding -- we have a winner with the vichysoisse!

                                              1. re: alkapal
                                                alkapal Jun 23, 2011 04:15 AM

                                                oh, i was reminded that vichysoisse is not french in origin. http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/vich...

                                                1. re: alkapal
                                                  souschef Jun 23, 2011 06:02 AM

                                                  Hey! The chef was French and the name is French-sounding, so it's close enough for me.

                                                  I never would have guessed!

                                                  1. re: souschef
                                                    alkapal Jun 23, 2011 01:42 PM

                                                    yep…i think of vichy france. not so good for the french.

                                                  2. re: alkapal
                                                    Harters Jun 23, 2011 08:43 AM

                                                    Should have been called a Diat Soup

                                                    1. re: Harters
                                                      souschef Jun 23, 2011 08:51 AM

                                                      Too close to "Diet Soup" :)

                                                      1. re: souschef
                                                        Harters Jun 23, 2011 09:07 AM

                                                        You're not a big fan of puns then?

                                                        1. re: Harters
                                                          souschef Jun 23, 2011 09:15 AM

                                                          Would you stoop to puns about soup ?

                                                          1. re: souschef
                                                            Harters Jun 23, 2011 09:27 AM

                                                            I also do alliteration. A lot. So I would periodically piss in the potage.

                                                            1. re: Harters
                                                              souschef Jun 23, 2011 03:16 PM

                                                              Are your alliterations always amusing, seeing as they're coming from a playful, prolific punster ?

                                                        2. re: souschef
                                                          Chowrin Jul 10, 2011 05:38 AM

                                                          yeah. that one would have udon. ;-)

                                                    2. re: alkapal
                                                      alkapal Jun 24, 2011 01:38 AM

                                                      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!

                                                      1. re: alkapal
                                                        buttertart Jun 24, 2011 08:36 AM

                                                        Diat was Frencher than French, so by gum it works in my book.

                                                        1. re: alkapal
                                                          souschef Jun 24, 2011 08:39 AM

                                                          Charles M. Schwab was not as interesting a character as Charles M. Schultz.

                                                          1. re: souschef
                                                            buttertart Jun 24, 2011 08:41 AM

                                                            Who made his money the old-fashioned way. I have the Gourmet French cookbook by M. Diat, incidentally. If it was French enough for midcentury Gourmet, it's French enough for me.

                                                      2. re: souschef
                                                        honkman Jul 6, 2011 07:53 PM

                                                        I actually like the idea of eggplant sorbet as it will be a nice pairing for cheese - not too sweet with some savory background.

                                                      3. goodhealthgourmet Jun 18, 2011 08:22 PM

                                                        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
                                                        - pissaladiere
                                                        - gruyere gougeres with ratatouille
                                                        - apricot or cherry clafoutis
                                                        - almond tuiles with sorbet

                                                        4 Replies
                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                          mandarin Jun 18, 2011 08:41 PM

                                                          Yes I think Provencal is a good idea. I was thinking Burgundy which (from what I know) is more traditional. Provencal may have more options that are more contemporary and not as rich?

                                                          Great ideas there. YUM!

                                                          1. re: mandarin
                                                            sunshine842 Jun 19, 2011 01:39 AM

                                                            Burgundy isn't any more traditional than anywhere else...just ask the Provencales!

                                                          2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                            souschef Jun 18, 2011 09:01 PM

                                                            Alternately, for the gougeres, serve with tapenade and tomato.

                                                            The almond tuiles can be made into cups for the sorbet..

                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                              perk Jun 18, 2011 11:19 PM

                                                              And....it's a great time of year to serve a bottle or two (or three) of rose from that region.
                                                              Sounds like it would work with the menu.

                                                            2. perk Jun 18, 2011 07:06 PM

                                                              If it's a European theme, you might want to reposition the salad...and serve it after the entree.
                                                              As far as a region, Provence might be a nice summer theme.....

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: perk
                                                                belgand Nov 7, 2011 02:11 AM

                                                                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.

                                                              Show Hidden Posts