FC: Yum-a-Palooza | A Journey Through Iconic French Cuisine | By Serge Goldberg
1: Table of Contents | Introduction Page One Breakfast Croissants Page Two Crepes Page Three Lunch Croque Monsieur Page Four Bouillabaisse Page Five French Onion Soup Page Six Dinner Boeuf Bourgignon Page Seven Coq au Vin Page Eight Ratatouille Page Nine Dessert Chocolate Mousse Page Ten Creme Brulée Page Eleven Tarte Tatin Page Twelve
2: Croissants | Origin: Although the croissant was at first founded in Austria at the end of the 17th century, it soon became part of French culture. Croissants are eaten for breakfast and tend to be served as a treat on weekends. | Ingredients 1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast 3 tablespoons warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C) 1 teaspoon white sugar 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons white sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 2/3 cup warm milk 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 2/3 cup unsalted butter, chilled 1 egg 1 tablespoon water | Directions 1. Combine yeast, warm water, and 1 teaspoon sugar. Allow to stand until creamy. 2. Measure flour into a mixing bowl. Dissolve 2 teaspoons sugar and salt in warm milk. Blend into flour along with yeast and oil. Mix well; knead until smooth. Cover, and let rise until over triple in volume. Deflate gently, and let rise again until doubled. Deflate and chill 20 minutes. 3. Massage butter until pliable, but not soft and oily. Pat dough into a 14 x 8 inch rectangle. Smear butter over top two thirds, leaving 1/4 inch margin all around. Fold unbuttered third over middle third, and buttered top third down over that. Turn 90 degrees, so that folds are to left and right. Roll out to a 14 x 6 inch rectangle. Fold in three again. Sprinkle lightly with flour, and put dough in a plastic bag. Refrigerate 2 hours. Unwrap, sprinkle with flour, and deflate gently. Roll to a 14 x 6 inch rectangle, and fold again. Turn 90 degrees, and repeat. Wrap, and chill 2 hours. 4. To shape, roll dough out to a 20 x 5 inch rectangle. Cut in half crosswise, and chill half while shaping the other half. Roll out to a 15 x 5 inch rectangle. Cut into three 5 x 5 inch squares. Cut each square in half diagonally. Roll each triangle lightly to elongate the point, and make it 7 inches long. Grab the other 2 points, and stretch them out slightly as you roll it up. Place on a baking sheet, curving slightly. Let shaped croissants rise until puffy and light. In a small bowl, beat together egg and 1 tablespoon water. Glaze croissants with egg wash. 5. Bake in a preheated 475 degrees F (245 degrees C) oven for 12 to 15 minutes.
3: Crepes | Origin: The word is of French origin, deriving from the Latin crispa, meaning "curled." While crepes originate from Brittany, a region in the northwest of France, their consumption is common throughout France and they are considered a national dish, and they are also increasingly popular in North America and South America. In Brittany, crepes are traditionally served with cider. Crepes are served with a variety of fillings, from the most simple with only sugar to flambéed crepes Suzette or elaborate savoury fillings. | Ingredients 1 cup all-purpose flour 2 eggs 1/2 cup milk 1/2 cup water 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons butter, melted | Directions 1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and the eggs. Gradually add in the milk and water, stirring to combine. Add the salt and butter; beat until smooth. 2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each crepe. Tilt the pan with a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface evenly. 3. Cook the crepe for about 2 minutes, until the bottom is light brown. Loosen with a spatula, turn and cook the other side. Serve hot.
4: Croque Monsieur | Ingredients 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 2 cups hot milk 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper Pinch nutmeg 12 ounces Gruyere, grated (5 cups) 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan 16 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed Dijon mustard 8 ounces baked Virginia ham, sliced but not paper thin | Directions 1.Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. 2.Melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan and add the flour all at once, stirring with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Slowly pour the hot milk into the butter–flour mixture and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thickened. Off the heat add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, 1/2 cup grated Gruyere, and the Parmesan and set aside. 3.To toast the bread, place the slices on 2 baking sheets and bake for 5 minutes. Turn each slice and bake for another 2 minutes, until toasted. 4.Lightly brush half the toasted breads with mustard, add a slice of ham to each, and sprinkle with half the remaining Gruyere. Top with another piece of toasted bread. Slather the tops with the cheese sauce, sprinkle with the remaining Gruyere, and bake the sandwiches for 5 minutes. Turn on the broiler and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the topping is bubbly and lightly browned. Serve hot. | Origin: UNKNOWN
5: Ingredients 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 cup onion, chopped 1/2 cup celery, chopped Salt and pepper 3 cloves garlic 1 bay leaf 8 peppercorns 2 sprigs thyme 1 pound fish bones Water to cover 1 cup white wine Pinch of Saffron 1 cup leeks, julienned 3 cups tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped Juice and zest of one orange 1 cup fennel, julienned 2 tablespoons garlic, chopped 2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped Salt and pepper 2 pounds assorted small whole fresh fish from the Mediterranean. 1 large lobster 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined 1/2 pound mussels 1/2 pound littleneck clams Salt and pepper | Directions For the Rouille: 1 red pepper, roasted and peeled 2 cloves garlic 1 piece of white bread torn into pieces 1 egg yolk 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard Juice of one lemon Salt and pepper 1/2 cup olive oil Garnish: 12 slices of crusty French bread For the broth: In a large sauce pan, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and celery. Season with salt and pepper. Saute for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the bay leaves, peppercorns, and thyme. Add the fish bones, water and wine. Bring the liquid to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain. For the Bouillabaisse: Place the stock on the heat and bring to a simmer. Add the saffron, leeks, tomatoes, orange juice, orange zest, fennel, garlic, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Add the fish and lobsters. Cook for 8 minutes. Add the shrimp, mussels, and clams. Cook for 6 minutes, or until the shells have opened. Discard any shells that do not open. Season with salt and pepper. For the Rouille: In a food processor, combine all the ingredients, except for the oil. Puree until smooth. With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil. Season the emulsion with salt and pepper. To assemble: Remove the seafood from the pan and place on a large platter. Pour the stock into a serving bowl. Serve the Rouille and crusty bread on the side of the Bouillabaisse. For individual servings, arrange the seafood in a shallow dish. Ladle the stock over the seafood. Drizzle the Rouille over the seafood and serve with the crusty bread. | Bouillabaisse | Origin: Originally from Marseilles, this stew-like dish is full of many types of delicious seafood. One specific story told by residents of France is that Venus served bouillabaisse to her husband Vulcan in order to lull him to sleep.
6: French Onion Soup | Directions 1. In a large saucepan, sauté the onions in the olive oil on medium high heat until well browned, but not burned, about 30-40 minutes (or longer). Add the sugar about 10 minutes into the process to help with the carmelization. 2. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the stock, vermouth or wine, bay leaf, and thyme. Cover partially and simmer until the flavors are well blended, about 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Discard the bay leaf. 3. To serve you can either use individual oven-proof soup bowls or one large casserole dish. Ladle the soup into the bowls or casserole dish. Cover with the toast and sprinkle with cheese. Put into the broiler for 10 minutes at 350 degrees F, or until the cheese bubbles and is slightly browned. Serve immediately. | Ingredients 6 large red or yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced. Olive oil 1/4 teaspoon of sugar 2 cloves garlic, minced 8 cups of beef stock, chicken stock, or a combination of the two (traditionally the soup is made with beef stock) 1/2 cup of dry vermouth or dry white wine 1 bay leaf 1/4 teaspoon of dry thyme Salt and pepper 8 slices of toasted French bread 1 1/2 cups of grated Swiss Gruyere with a little grated Parmesan cheese | Origin: The modern version of this soup originates in France in the 18th century, made from beef broth, and caramelized onions. It is often finished by being placed under a broiler in a ramekin traditionally with croutons and gruyre melted on top.
7: Boeuf Bourguignon | Ingredients 2.2 lbs Chuck Steak cut into 4 inch cubes Large carrot roughly chopped Large onion chopped Two fresh bay leaves Two cloves garlic crushed in their skins Two cloves One bottle robust red wine Ten black peppercorns Tablespoon Madeira Beurre manie (teaspoon flour and teaspoon butter mashed together) Tablespoon butter Chopped parsley Olive oil | Directions 1. Put the first eight ingredients in, making sure that the beef is covered. Cover the bowl and allow to marinate for 24 hours. 2. Take the meat out of the marinade and dry it thoroughly on kitchen paper. In a casserole, heat a tablespoon each of oil and butter until the butter stops foaming and then add the meat pieces four at a time. Brown them over a high heat and then take them out of the pan and repeat, until you have a pile of fragrant beef. 3. Add the drained vegetables from the marinade to the casserole and brown those too and then pour in the wine marinade. Bring the liquid to a gentle simmer and pile the meat back in. The meat should be entirely covered by liquid. If not add a little beef stock or red wine if you have a bottle handy, bring back to a simmer and place in a low oven (140C) for three hours. 4. It is worth checking the meat every hour and if the level of liquid has dropped and the meat looks a little exposed, turn it over gently in the liquid. Even if the meat looks burned, don’t be alarmed and don’t add more liquid. 5. Towards the end of the cooking time, gently poke the meat with a fork,it is done when it starts to break apart . 6. Take the casserole from the oven and carefully lift out the meat into a warm dish and set to one side. 7. Strain the sauce into a clean pan and place it over a low heat. Allow it to come to a gentle boil. Add the Madeira and reduce until it tastes as strong as you like – the sauce should become almost syrupy. Whisk in the butter and flour mix and keep whisking until blended. 8.Add the meat back to the sauce to heat through and serve a couple of large chunks per person with the sauce poured over, scattered with chopped parsley. | Origin: UNKNOWN
8: Coq au Vin | Ingredients 1/2 lb bacon slices 20 pearl onions, peeled 3 lbs chicken thighs and legs, excess fat trimmed, skin ON 6 garlic cloves, peeled Salt and pepper to taste 2 cups chicken stock 2 cups red wine (pinot noir, burgundy, or zinfandel) 2 bay leaves Several fresh thyme sprigs Several fresh parsley sprigs 1/2 lb button mushrooms, trimmed and roughly chopped 2 Tbsp butter | Directions 1. Blanch the bacon to remove some of its saltiness. Drop the bacon into a saucepan of cold water, covered by a couple of inches. Bring to a boil, simmer for 5 minutes, drain. Rinse in cold water, pat dry with paper towels. Cut the bacon into 1 inch by 1/4 inch pieces. 2. Brown bacon on medium high heat in a dutch oven big enough to hold the chicken, about 10 minutes. Remove the cooked bacon, set aside. Keep the bacon fat in the pan. Working in batches if necessary, add onions and chicken, skin side down. Brown the chicken well, on all sides, about 10 minutes. Halfway through the browning, add the garlic and sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. (Note: it is best to add salt while cooking, not just at the very end. It brings out the flavor of the chicken.) 3. Spoon off any excess fat. Add the chicken stock, wine, and herbs. Add back the bacon. Lower heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 20 minutes, or until chicken is tender and cooked through. Remove chicken and onions to a separate platter. Remove the bay leaves, herb sprigs, garlic, and discard. 4. Add mushrooms to the remaining liquid and turn the heat to high. Boil quickly and reduce the liquid by three fourths until it becomes thick and saucy. Lower the heat, stir in the butter. Return the chicken and onions to the pan to reheat and coat with sauce. Adjust seasoning. Garnish with parsley and serve. | Origin: UNKNOWN
9: Ratatouille | Ingredients 2 1 lb. eggplants, cut into cubes 1 teaspoons plus teaspoon salt, divided 2 lbs. peeled tomatoes or 1 28-oz can plus 1 14-oz can petite-diced tomatoes 5 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped teaspoon ground black pepper 1/3 cup loosely packed, chopped fresh basil cup loosely packed, chopped flat-leaf parsley 1 lbs. white onions, thinly sliced 3 red or yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded, and chopped 2 lbs. zucchini, cut lengthwise and then into -inch slices 1/3 cup dry white wine | Directions 1. Place a single layer of paper towels on 2 large plates. Place the cubed eggplant onto the plates and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Allow the eggplant to sit for 20 minutes. 2. In a large saucepan, cook the tomatoes, garlic, black pepper, basil, and parsley, uncovered, over medium heat. 3. In a large skillet, sauté the onions and bell peppers in a small amount of olive oil over medium-high heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very lightly browned. Remove the skillet from the heat and transfer the browned vegetables to the tomato mixture. 4. Pat the eggplant dry with a fresh paper towel and add it, along with the zucchini to the tomato mixture. Cover the pot and cook the stew over low-medium heat for 45 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Add the white wine and teaspoon salt and cook for an additional 5 minutes. | Origin: This traditional vegetable stew originated as a poor man’s dish in Nice. The full name of the dish is ratatouille nioise.
10: Chocolate Mousse | Ingredients 4 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) unsalted butter, diced 2 tablespoons espresso or very strong coffee 1 cup cold heavy cream 3 large eggs, separated 1 tablespoon sugar | Directions 1. Whip the cream to soft peaks, then refrigerate. 2. Combine the chocolate, butter, and espresso in the top of a double boiler over hot, but not simmering, water, stirring frequently until smooth. Remove from the heat and let cool until the chocolate is just slightly warmer than body temperature. To test, dab some chocolate on your bottom lip. It should feel warm. If it is too cool, the mixture will seize when the other ingredients are added. 3. Once the melted chocolate has cooled slightly, whip the egg whites in a medium bowl until they are foamy and beginning to hold a shape. Sprinkle in the sugar and beat until soft peaks form. 4. When the chocolate has reached the proper temperature, stir in the yolks. Gently stir in about one-third of the whipped cream. Fold in half the whites just until incorporated, then fold in the remaining whites, and finally the remaining whipped cream. 5. Spoon or pipe the mousse into a serving bowl or individual dishes. If you wish, layer in fresh raspberries and whipped cream. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours. (The mousse can be refrigerated for up to a day.) | Origin: The origins of chocolate mousse are relatively unknown. After being introduced to chocolate by the Spanish, French chefs have been cooking with chocolate since the early 17th century. Mousse, which means "foam", originated in France in the 18th century.
11: Creme Brulée | Ingredients 1 quart heavy cream 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped 1 cup vanilla sugar, divided 6 large egg yolks 2 quarts hot water | Directions 1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. 2. Place the cream, vanilla bean and its pulp into a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean and reserve for another use. 3. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup sugar and the egg yolks until well blended and it just starts to lighten in color. Add the cream a little at a time, stirring continually. Pour the liquid into 6 (7 to 8-ounce) ramekins. Place the ramekins into a large cake pan or roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake just until the creme brulee is set, but still trembling in the center, approximately 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the ramekins from the roasting pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days. 4. Remove the creme brulee from the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes prior to browning the sugar on top. Divide the remaining 1/2 cup vanilla sugar equally among the 6 dishes and spread evenly on top. Using a torch, melt the sugar and form a crispy top. Allow the creme brulee to sit for at least 5 minutes before serving. | Origin: The earliest known reference of creme brulée as we known it today appears in Francois Massialot's 1691 cookbook.
12: Tarte Tatin | Ingredients Crust: 4.5 ounces all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces 2 tablespoons ice water Filling: 3 1/2 pounds small Gala apples , peeled, cored, and each cut into 8 wedges 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 3/4 cup sugar | 1. To prepare crust, lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a food processor; pulse until combined. Add chilled butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add ice water, and pulse until mixture forms clumps. Press dough into a 6-inch circle on heavy-duty plastic wrap; cover and freeze 30 minutes. 2. To prepare filling, combine apples, juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl, tossing to coat. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a 9 1/2-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add 3/4 cup sugar to pan; cook 4 minutes or until golden brown, stirring constantly. Remove pan from heat. Arrange half of apples, rounded side down, in a circular pattern over sugar mixture in pan. Top with remaining apples, rounded side up. Cook over medium heat 15 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand 15 minutes. 3. Preheat oven to 400. 4. Working quickly, roll dough into an 11-inch circle on a heavily floured surface. Place dough over apples; fold edges under. Cut 4 (1-inch) slits into top of pastry using a sharp knife. Bake at 400 for 40 minutes or until crust is lightly browned. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes. Place a plate upside down on top of pan. Carefully invert tart onto plate. Serve warm. | Origin: This dessert was allegedly created by the Tatin sisters of France's Loire Valley. Legend is that while trying to repair a baking error, they ended up with this upside-down dessert of flaky pastry and apples bathed in caramel.