SEPTEMBER 2021 CHALLENGE - LA CUISINE FRANCAISE!

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Awesome!! I love Pascal Rigo, I went to his Boulanges a few times in SF back before he was bought by Starbucks (what a huge shame that whole fiasco turned out to be) and we would always order huge breakfasts my wife and I. :rofl:

Your pain de mie looks gorgeous. Now you can make stunning sandwhiches!!
 
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(Matthew 7:7-8 )

CROQUE-MADAME and CROQUE-MONSIEUR

Starting with slices of the Pain de Mie (post #60), lightly buttered on the the outside and layered on the inside with jambon (ham) and Gruyère (cheese). Seasoned with a bit of Béchamel and Dijon mustard.

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Toast in a sandwich press (although a skillet would have done just fine too)... but I like the lines.

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Slather the top with Béchamel and broil.

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Garnish the Croque Madame with a fried egg.

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Voilà... bon appétit...

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Jambon-Beurre Sandwich

I've never been to Paris (except for the hotel-casino in Las Vegas) but fell in love with simple French baguette sandwiches in England. These sandwiches are, both, affordable and yummy. My first love was tomato and brie, which I bought at a small French sandwich shop in the heart of London and ate on the curb... and must have looked so hopeless that a complete stranger gave me a bottle of water and offered some money. How sweet and considerate in a city where folks hardly look each other in the eye.

This sandwich is equally simple and equally yummy. Not having a baguette on hand I used the last of the Pan de Mie (post #60). I'm sure that would be a mortal sin in Paris but it tasted good so...

Bread, thick slather of butter, and ham. That's all, folks!

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Well, as the host and judge of this month's challenge, I know I can't make any formal submissions, but all of the fun in here got me all inspired to go all out with some French cooking lately.

Last weekend, I think I finally perfected my signature French dinner party dish:
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"Porcinis and Pauillac Lamb"
Thyme, Rosemary, and Porcini Crumble Crusted Rack of Local Ontario Lamb with Cepes-Bordelaise Sauce and a Garnish of Buttery Porcini Crisps.

Served with Pommes Chateau Persillade, Butter Glazed Haricots Vert, and 2017 Mouton Cadet Heritage, Bordeaux.

Thanks to a couple posters on here by sharing traditional Bordelaise recipes of roasting a rack of Pauillac saltmarsh lamb with porcini mushrooms as the original inspiration for this dish!
 
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Mouton Cadet… I completely forgot about that wine. In the 1980’s I drank gallons and gallons of it. It was my favorite affordable and drinkable red wine. But I got away from French wine and drank primarily California win for several decades. Then got away from wine except with holiday feasts. I must make a lifestyle change and get back to French Bordeoex’s!
 
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Mouton Cadet… I completely forgot about that wine. In the 1980’s I drank gallons and gallons of it. My favorite affordable and drinkable red wine. But I got away from French wine and drank primarily California win for several decades. Then got away from wine except with holiday feasts. I must make a lifestyle change and get back to French Bordeoex’s!
The regular Mouton Cadet is not very good anymore. It is a mass produced, non vintage wine. They seem to be trying to bring something back that is more in the vein of Mouton Cadet back in the day with the "Heritage", which is vintage again and better quality. I decided to give it a try and it is quite good.

I tend to prefer Old World wines because I personally find they go better with food, with lower alcohol and more savoury flavour notes. The California stuff also tends to be overpriced here in Canada given the wildfires and its popularity.
 
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A quickie: pommes de terre persillade.

I don't have how-to photos, because there's nothing to it. Sear fingerling potatoes in butter and oil, sprinkle with salt, then cover and cook slowly 20 minutes or so until very tender. Sprinkle at the last minute with a handful of minced parsley and some minced garlic (persillade).
 

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Jambon-Beurre Sandwich

This sandwich is equally simple and equally yummy. Not having a baguette on hand I used the last of the Pan de Mie (post #60). I'm sure that would be a mortal sin in Paris but it tasted good so...

Bread, thick slather of butter, and ham. That's all, folks!
You bring back memories of trips to France! Every day, we'd have beurre jambon on baguette, and in Normandy, a thick chunk of brie. In the south, around Nice, it was olive oil and not butter.
In my humble opinion, the French know their way around a samy! (That's anglophone Canadian for Sandwich.)

Congrats also on your cannelle, beautiful work! Those and kouign amann are the best! but i find them very tricky to make. I can buy really good kouign amann here, so haven't been motivated to make them.
However, I'll try cannelle again, using your method.
 
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Potato dish that I made.

This is a dish that I made for dinner one night. It is a layer of potatos, and then cheese and bacon. Another layer of potato, and then a cream cheese and sour cream mixture, and sausage. One last layer of potato and cheese. Bake in the oven for 30 - 40 mins or til everything is done. (Mainly the potatos).

Serve with a hot sauce.

It was a real big hit.. I am going to do a breakfast one also...

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Have I ever mentioned how I like, on occasion, pushing the envelope and swinging a bat at a hornet's nest? In this submission I dance on the edge of French...

It all started with a Manhattan. I guess I could fib and say that the sweet vermouth was French Dolin Rouge, but a keen eye would easily detect that it is actually Italian Antica Formula. At least Peychaud's bitters, made in New Orleans, a city with a distinctive French heritage, was used.

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Tourtière: A French-Canadian Meat Pie

French Canadian... isn't that at least somewhat French?

This is a traditional French Canadian Christmas and/or New Year celebration dish. There's nothing more comforting than a meat pie. I suppose one could consider this a country-cousin to a Pâté en croûte.

This dish features ground pork, potato, onion and seasoning - Quatre épices and sage - cooked as a hash...

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... which is encased in a pastry crust and baked as a pie…

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… and was served with beurre-glazed carottes (French-style carrots).

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Why didn't I think of Reunion?
That's more my type of food than "pure" French.
Anyway
Ratatouille (remember the movie?)

I got a garden full of veges, some not traditional in the ratatouille, but they went in anyway.
So we got: aubergine, yellow pepper, onion, garlic, tomato, fresh bay leaf, thyme, salt, black pepper. All fried up in my cast iron pot (unfortulately not a "le creuset")
Non traditional additions: chili, green bean, mange tous, chick peas.
I figured that with the high number of immigrants in France, and definitely around Nice, there had to be a version with chick peas!
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I just want to mention a blog that I got the inspiration from. I really liked it and the stories: http://www.latartinegourmande.com/2...-vegetable-stew-even-if-i-come-from-lorraine/
 
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Duck filet, green peppercorn sauce, horns of plenty persillade and roasted potatoes, Part 1.

1. This morning I foraged some mushrooms, and decided to use the horns of plenty to accompany the duck filets.

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2. Went to the market to get parsley, garlic and shallots.

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3. Got some fresh cream from the cheese monger. The Cognac will help deglaze the duck fat later. The lemon... just had to show off, but will end up making a nice glass of lemonade later tonight.

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4. Langres cheese. Not part of the dish, just because I was at the cheese monger and it was calling my name, and because the wife and I like to nibble on something while I cook.

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5. Two nice duck filets. Notice they're not duck magrets (the ducks weren't raised for foie gras), so they're rather lean with a thin skin.

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6. Shallot minced finely, green pepper getting prepped.

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7. I start rendering the duck skin very slowly. Nice color on that fond, that will build the sauce later.

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8. Duck's ready.

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9. The shallots sweat in the duck fat.

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10. The green peppercorns are crushed, cognac used to deglaze and reduced until syrupy, then a nice dollop of ... welll... two nice dollops... well okay okay, three nice dollops of cream are added.
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11. Reduced until it passes the spoon taste for nappé consistency.

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12. Mushrooms are sautéed in butter and persillade goes in.

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13. The cuisson is just what I wanted for the duck.

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14. Plated, ready to serve!!

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Kind of hesitant to present this. The pictures are not that good, had a bulb burn out in the overhead light, kitchen was a bit darker than usual. But boy, it was tasty!

The Players

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White wine, wine vinegar, asparagus, eggs, snow crab, shallots, tarragon and a nice strip steak.

The Process

Start off the steak oscar dish by coarsely chopping the shallot, chopping the tarragon and putting them in a pan with the wine and vinegar.

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When the liquid is reduced to a couple tablespoons or so, strained into a bowl and the egg yolks added.

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Let it sit for a bit while I work on the crab. Not my favorite job.

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Back to the bearnaise sauce.

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Whisking, whisking, whisking in the butter over hot water. Looking pretty good.

Get the steak and the asparagus on the stove.

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Once the steak is done to my liking, on to the plate to rest. Top with the tarragon butter asparagus, some of the crab.

The Product

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And smother with the bearnaise. Not a very good picture. But this is probably one of my all time favorites to eat. So flavorful!

It occurred to me that my post about that big old pork chop with the sauce that I posted earlier, I never mentioned soubise. So this steak with the bearnaise sauce I mention bearnaise a time or two.

Might be able to sneak in one more dish before the deadline, we shall see.

mjb
 
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