Tag Archives: France

Gourmandise Brillat-Savarin (Fillet of Veal with Mushrooms)

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Crepes are a recurring feature of this book. They were probably at the time, and still are to this day, one of the icons of French culinary decadence. I had been eyeing this dish for a while and realizing that I had virtually all the ingredients and a free afternoon, decided to try it. The veal along with its mushroom, shallot and sherry topping was delicious. To be honest, I kind of felt that the crepe really was a third wheel to the party and I had a hard time marrying the two in my mouth. Still, if nothing else, this dish taught me a simple and delicious topping for meats.

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Quenelles Ambassade (Fish Dumplings Embassy)

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Requiring a full pound of butter, this is one of the most decadent dishes amongst a pantheon of excess in the Mary and Vincent Price cookbook. Very light, rich fish dumplings that have been gently poached and then smothered in a rich creamy sauce Americaine made from white wine, tarragon, shallots, and hollandaise. The sauce would be perfect accompaniment for a moules frites dinner but I probably wouldn’t repeat the the fish dumplings again.

La Sole Fourree au Fumet de Meursault (Stuffed Sole Poached in Meursault)

It’s been a while since I made this one, but if memory serves me, it was a lot of preparation for what ended up being kind of fish and shallot mush. Tasty but I could have gotten roughly the same results without much of the fuss. However, I used frozen pre-skinned boneless sole fillets. So, obviously that had a huge impact on the finished product. But at the end of the day, would I try this with whole fish one day? Probably not. There’s probably thousands of recipes that combine sole, shallots and white wine. So, there’s always something else to try.

Le Poussin En Surprise (Boned Stuffed Rock Cornish Hens with Sauce Diable)

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I have been looking forward to trying this dish almost from the moment I first opened this book. “Sauce Diable,” or Devil’s Sauce, combining Red Wine, White Wine, and Cognac. This sounded like my type of fare. It all came out tasting a little muddy however. And considering the effort it took to bone the Cornish Hens and then stuff them, let alone all the other preparations for the dinner, it just wasn’t a very big payoff.

Poularde en Papillote (Chicken with White Wine Sauce in Paper)

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This is a really great chicken dish. The white wine sauce with beef stock, mushrooms, ham, and tarragon is richly satisfying. I actually found that trying to individually wrap the chicken in paper a little cumbersome and made it difficult to scrap off all the delicious sauce . It also didn’t necessarily have that haute-cuisine look that it think it was supposed to, but I think that takes a bit of skill in the presentation. Great dish for comfort food dinners.

Soupe a L’oignon

I have done this soup a couple of times and always enjoy the result. It’s quite unlike any French Onion Soup I have come across in either North America or France but it is quite delightful and unique. Generally, I find French onion soups to have large chunks of onion, but in this one the onion is minced, essentially liquifying the onions and making the soup more of a broth. The white wine paired with the bacon fat is a delicious combination that just dances across the taste buds. Personally, I find that bacon fat is better used fresh. For some reason whenever I try to store it, it always tastes stale. I would also caution not to use too much of the bacon fat in the recipe or it could over power the soup and make it also a little oily to the palette. Success.