Saturday, June 28, 2008
Cooking Class: Monet's Table
I recently discovered that the Alliance Française de Chicago offers French cooking classes. The first class I signed up for, "Being A Chef: Monet's Table", featured recipes from the cooking journals of Claude Monet which are published in Monet's Table. It wasn't clear if Monet created these recipes himself or if he just wrote down his friends recipes, but they were all in his journal.
During the class we discussed foods that commonly found in Giverny in the late 1800s and common preparation techniques. There were no immersion blenders for food processor back then!
This recipe is really unique because you basically took a salad and wilted it in butter and then pureed it all together. The main herb used in sorrel which I was unfamiliar with, but after tasting this amazing soup I am on the lookout for a sorrel plant so I can grow my own.
Baked Wild Mushrooms
The simplicity of French cooking was demonstrated with this recipe. Calling for morels, cepe and crimini mushrooms, we were had to improvise on this one. We used dried morels and omitted the cepe entirely. But just baking the mushrooms with a little oil, garlic and parsley was more flavorful than you can imagine. Served with some crusty bread and it was a little meal all by itself.
Braised Sole in White Wine Sauce
The "main course" for which we substituted turbot for the sole. While it came out well, this was the most confusing recipe of all. We braised the fish I learned that you can cut parchment paper the exact size of the pan and use that instead of a lid. This way the "cover" is right on top of the food and all the flavors meld together much better.
An ALMOST flourless chocolate cake. It rises like a souffle and a little bit of batter made from only 5 ingredients makes an wonderful rich dessert.