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French Theme Summer BBQ- Recipes Sought

I am hosting a bon voyage party for my daughter who is moving to Paris to study. I will serve French wines and cheese and seek easy but amazing recipes. The setting will be our summer patio on Cape Cod. Thanks in advance!

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  1. IMHO, you can't go wrong with quiche, especially if you offer several different kinds. It can be served hot or cold.

    Accompany with croissants and/or genuine French bread (if you can find it -- here in North Florida the "French Bread" is actually closer to a big hoagie roll, while "Cuban Bread" is FAR more like New Orleans style French Bread).

    And fine desserts, naturally -- French pastries and/or petit fours.

    Just promise you won't invite the mimes (or Jerry Lewis). :)

    1. Niçoise salad

      For the grill, these Shrimp and Zucchini Skewers look tasty and easy:
      (From Cooking Channel's French Food at Home


      Bon apetite!

      1 Reply
      1. re: mahlzeit_yumyum

        Second Nicoise salad- served on a large platter.

      2. Not food, but a non-alcoholic drink: Citron presse -- i.e., French style lemonade, in which you offer separately squeezed lemon juice, chlled water, and fine sugar, which are mixed by the individual drinkers to taste.

        1. Small ballotins - perhaps several thin blanched asparagus spears tied up with thin strips of ham?

          Or these make-ahead Herbes de Provence Palmiers - http://frenchfood.about.com/od/appeti...

            1. French cooking is all about seasonal ingredients and fresh food. With that in mind, lots of baguette rounds with homemade aioli and the cheeses (no butter in summer, doesn't keep), grilled chateaubrian (tenderloin) with rouille. Rosted veggies with olive oil, garlic, and finish them off in a pan with a bit of cream and lemon juice.

              Simple sides go great in summer, even the French don't like summer days slaving over a hot stove.

              Warm Potato Salad with Lemon and Fresh Herbs
              1-3/4 lb. baby red potatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
              Kosher salt
              2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
              1 cup lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
              1/2 cup lightly packed fresh basil
              1/2 cup thinly sliced chives
              6 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
              Freshly ground black pepper
              In a large, wide pot fitted with a steamer basket, bring about 1/2 inch of water to a boil over medium high heat. Arrange the potatoes in an even layer in the steamer and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. salt. Cover and steam, carefully stirring every 5 minutes or so, until the potatoes are just tender, 10 to 15 minutes total. Let cool briefly and then transfer to a large bowl.

              While the potatoes are steaming, finely grate the zest from the lemon and then juice the lemon. Put the zest in a food processor and set the juice aside. Add the garlic to the food processor and pulse a few times. Add the herbs and pulse to coarsely chop. Add the olive oil, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper and pulse until the mixture is fairly homogenous, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. (Avoid overprocessing or the herbs will heat up and discolor; 10 to 12 pulses should do.) Add 3 Tbs. of the lemon juice and pulse once to mix.

              Drizzle the herb mixture over the potatoes and toss gently to combine. Season to taste with more salt or lemon juice. Serve warm.

              If you really want to spend, nothing says summer like a Bouillabaisse; my wife calls it "$100 soup."
              6-8 servings
              Fish Stock:
              1 pound raw fish heads, bones, tail, and lobster tail shell
              4 whole fresh bay leaves
              1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
              1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
              6 cups water
              1/2 cup olive oil, divided
              6 ounces onion, coarsely chopped
              3 ounces fennel bulb, coarsely chopped
              1 teaspoon coarse sea salt, divided
              1/2 cup dry white wine
              1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
              1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
              1 (3-inch) piece orange peel, optional
              1/16 teaspoon saffron
              8 ounces firm fish fillets, such as farmed cobia or wild striped bass (1 or 2 types), skin and bones removed, cut into 1-inch pieces, at room temperature
              8 ounces flaky fish fillets, such as black cod, wild halibut, or black rockfish (1 or 2 types), skin and bones removed, cut into 1-inch pieces, at room temperature
              2 cloves garlic, crushed
              1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
              8 ounces mussels (or clams), cleaned and beards trimmed, at room temperature (make sure they are ALIVE)
              1 large raw lobster tail, shell removed and meat cut into 1-inch pieces, at room temperature

              For the fish stock: Rinse the fish heads and place in a tall 6-quart pot with tails, bones, lobster shell, bay leaves, 1 teaspoon sea salt, black peppercorns, and water. Place over high heat, cover, and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to maintain a bare simmer and cook for 25 minutes. Strain, discard solids, and set the stock aside.

              To make the stew: Place 1/4 cup olive oil in a clean 6-quart pot and set over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the onions, fennel, and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. Saute until semi-translucent, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Deglaze the pan with the wine and scrape any bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the reserved fish stock, tomatoes, parsley, orange peel and saffron, if desired. Place over high heat, cover, and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to maintain a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Increase the heat to high. Add the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, fish, garlic, and cayenne pepper. Boil rapidly, uncovered, for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the pot from the heat, add the mussels and lobster, cover, and let stand until the fish is cooked through and the mussels open, 2 to 4 minutes. Discard any unopened mussels.

              To serve: Set the broiler to high. Lightly rub the baguette slices on both sides with the garlic. Place the prepared bread slices on a half sheet pan and broil, 1 inch away from the broiler, for 1 to 2 minutes. Turn the slices over and broil for another 1 to 2 minutes. Top with Rouille, if desired, and serve with fish

              And you must serve it with baguettes and Rouille



              1 very large red bell pepper or 2 medium
              3 large cloves garlic, peeled
              1 small fresh red hot chile, stem removed and seeded (use exam gloves, or you'll be sorry!)
              1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
              ½ cup bread crumbs
              ½ cup olive oil
              6 threads Saffron, bloomed in a tablespoon of warm water

              1. Cook the bell pepper over a gas grill set to high, turning every few minutes, until the skin blackens and is thoroughly charred. Remove the pepper to a metal mixing bowl, cover with a spare pot lid, and cool for 15 minutes. Remove the blackened skin from the pepper by rubbing. Pull out the stem and seed cluster and discard along with the skin. You can rinse lightly to remove seeds
              2. Place the roasted and skinned pepper, garlic, chile, saffron, and lemon juice the bowl of a regular or mini-food processor. Process until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Stop and scrape down the side of the bowl once or twice. With the food processor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until thick. Add bread crumbs and process. Salt to taste, but make sure you blend well and let it sit or a min. or two before re-salting, so the salt can fully dissolve. Hold for minimum of 30 min to let flavors blend, or over night. Keep for 1 week in the fridge.

              A simple, invigorating dessert, compliments of Pioneer Woman, PS... This is rich, so small servings.
              Pots De Crème a L’orange

              12 ounces, weight Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
              4 whole Eggs
              Dash Of Salt
              1 Tablespoon Grand Marnier, More To Taste
              1 cup Very Hot Strong Coffee
              Fresh Whipped Cream, For Serving
              Thinly Sliced Orange Peel, For Garnish

              1. Place the chocolate chips into a blender. Crack in the eggs, then add Grand Marnier and salt. Blend for a few seconds, or until combined.
              2. Pour the coffee in a thin stream through the blender lid until it's all added. Blend another few seconds, or until smooth. The coffee will cook the eggs.
              3. Pour mixture into small cups or jars, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until chilled and set.
              4. Top with plenty of sweetened whipped cream, then garnish with sliced orange peel.

              • Prep: 2 Hours
              Source: thepioneerwoman.com (12 servings)

              1. A charlotte made with strawberries or raspberries would be nice for dessert.

                1. Personally, I find a kir royal to be a refreshing drink for a summer evening.

                  Also, as (all or part of) dessert, could you order macarons either online or from a local bakery? Yum!

                  1 Reply
                  1. day or evening party? sit-down, or walking around buffet kinda thing?

                    if you have access to good charcuterie, i'd definitely offer some, it also takes a load off of you.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: hotoynoodle

                      great ideas...casual 6 PM summer BBQ style, deck chairs...

                    2. Concerning the barbecue part, what will you be serving? Pork ribs, pork butt, beef ribs, chicken, brisket, etc.?

                      1. I have a good reference for you, Laura Calder. She has written a French cookbook, all recipes are simple and perhaps you can find some of the shows she did on French cuisine on the internet. She has spent much time in France learning French cuisine at some of the best places to learn. One of her shows was on a French BBQ.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Ruthie789

                          Love Laura Calder and she did a simple swordfish en brochette with herbs d provence on her show which looked delicious.

                        2. Also French cuisine is very simple and never overdone. Since you want to do wine and cheese, why not have a charcuterie plate (cold meats) with pates, simple breads, a selection of olives and of course cocktails or wine. Laurie Calder as mentioned in my previous post did a presentation of different types of sardines of all things with a French bread and crackers, something that the French do not look down upon. In Montreal right now, charcuterie, artisanal cold cuts are very in vogue at quite a few restaurants.

                          1. I have had a French family for dinner two summers in a row. The main each time was grilled butterflied leg of lamb and gratin potatoes. Both families said it was very French.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: escondido123

                              Yes, I second escondido123's idea of a grilled butterflied leg of lamb. Serve it with some black olive relish, steamed haricots verts tossed with goat cheese crumbles, and a potato salad dressed with a tarragon vinaigrette, while still warm, and garnished with celery leaves. All very French!! Enjoy your party, what a wonderful send-off!!

                            2. Vichyssoise or another cold soup would be lovely served in cups. Easy to make ahead and serve.

                              1. Vichysoisse and Bouillabaisse are all lovely, but they'd never show up on a French patio in the summer. If it's hot and sunny (rare in Paris this year), nobody wants to be inside over the stove.

                                Nibbles would be olives and nuts (usually pistachios) and a tapenade with bread or small toasts.

                                A typical starter would be prosciutto (or jambon de Bayonne) with melon, or caprese salad.

                                Typical mains would be grilled sausages (chipolatas, merguez, Toulouse) or brochettes (kabobs with meat and vegetables)

                                sides might be grilled vegetables, celeri remoulade (coleslaw made with celeriac), shredded carrots dressed with lemon juice, or potato salad.

                                Cheese with a green salad (no tomatoes, just lettuce)

                                Dessert is frequently simple and fruity -- a charlotte (shortcake), clafoutis, or similar.

                                French bread, bien sur -- croissants are only for breakfast.

                                I'm certain there are variations,, and that's not a mandate, but that would be a very typical French lunch on the terrace.

                                Keep it simple - keep it fresh.

                                7 Replies
                                1. re: sunshine842

                                  I agree with this assessment. It's hot and it's otudoors. Keep it light. cheese, olives, nuts, salad, fruits, charcuterie and pate, with some bread and realllly good butter, and then perhaps a stellar dessert like a plum or nectarine galette. If you want to do a more formal dinner I'd look to provencal food. Good for patios: seafood dishes, roasted garlic and peppers, pistou and herb oils. and terrines!

                                  1. re: hollyd

                                    That menu does sound lovely, and certainly French enough. But their guests are most likely from Massachusetts, as the OP states they are on the Cape, and most Americans would find that menu woefully inadequate (except for maybe the kebabs). I'm sure I'm not alone when I say that when I host a party, themed or not, there needs to be something substantial on it so that the guests actually feel like they were fed "something". Nothing worse than going home from a party feeling hungry....

                                  2. re: sunshine842

                                    I also agree, particularily the olives,nuts and tapenade. French cuisine is not as complex as is made out to be. However, the French, seem to define simplicity and it is best not to break rules or you will be shown up!

                                    1. re: Ruthie789

                                      Sorry...what rules is that menu breaking?

                                      That's a pretty representative menu for every French summer meal we've hosted or been invited to. In France.

                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                        You have misunderstood my comments. I like the menu and even if I did not like the menu, I would not criticize it. I never said the menu was breaking the rules. I was making a general comment that it is best to keep things simple and the French do so when entertaining. For example in North America, we have a tendancy of serving too many different hors d'oeuvres whereas the French may only have 1 or 2 while entertaining. We don't have to make the menus so complex but build on simple ingredients and make them in an outstanding way.

                                        1. re: Ruthie789

                                          I didn't misunderstand -- I didn't understand at all -- so thanks for clarifying.

                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                            I was agreeing with your comment keep it simple, keep it fresh. Reviewing my comment at the end I realize it looks like my comments were directed at you as opposed to a general comment that I was making. I apologize.

                                  3. Your lucky daughter! I hope you plan on going to visit her. We just returned from France and some of the things we had that might fit your theme.
                                    For app if you just want nibbles in addition to olives and saucisson (if you can find something like that on the Cape) you could add a steamed artichoke with a dipping sauce. I do that and put out a whole artichoke upside down and let people pull leaves. Or in one of the market we got a spread that seemed to be made with marinated artichokes, sundried tomatoes in oil and some vinegar.
                                    If you want a more formal first course and the Orlean market still has asparagus you might try them served with a soft poached egg and lardons of bacon.
                                    I think lamb kebabs would be great with herbes de Provence or a Dijon mustard and rosemary coating.
                                    For dessert maybe keep it simple with fresh berries and sorbet with some French cookies.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                                      lamb kabobs with mustard sounds sooooo good.

                                      1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                                        Yes, I second the lamb kebabs with mustard....

                                        Not so sure trying to soft poach eggs for a crowd is exactly easy to pull off.....

                                        1. What they say.

                                          Also, don't forget le hot dog (avec fromage, optional). Served in a baguette, bien sur.