I didn't have a clue what I would make for this Friday Night. We have had a lot of pork lately, I just made duck and chicken so poultry was out. We had a steak last week. Tony had a veal chop at a restaurant mid-week. I was lost. The only thing that made sense was seafood. I started looking through an old Gourmet magazine March 2008 to be exact. It was a magazine all about French cooking. I flipped through the pages and the whole menu was born.
The platter included; 2 French cheeses, Country Pate, Chardonnay Gelee that I made, and slices of crunchy French bread. The chardonnay gelee was great, it really paired nicely with the aged blue and aged brie cheeses I bought. The gelee is made by simmering down 1 cup of chardonnay with 1/2 cup of sugar and a small section of star anise, then you add a tsp of unflavored gelatin that has been softened in a little water, and you let it set up in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours. For the country pate, I bought it at Whole Foods already made, it was a French meal so why not?
Saumon Aux Lentilles
This was fantastic. The lentils are cooked with leeks and there is a butter that's made and added right into the lentils. The butter is combined with whole grain mustard, lemon, fresh tarragon and chives, salt and pepper. Half of the compound butter is added to the lentils and the other half is saved for a topping when it's served. The recipe called for French Green Lentil's but Whole Foods didn't seem to have them. I did find some lentils from Spain that claimed to hold their shape and pair well with fish, which was what they said about the French ones. Anyway the ones I got were perfect! The salmon was simply seasoned with salt and pepper and cooked in butter. About 8 minutes or so later they were done. This was my favorite method so far for salmon, and Tony said it was the absolute best salmon dinner he's ever had.
Butter-Sugar Crepes with Cinnamon Whipped Cream and Calvados Sorbet
I saw these crepes on the last page of the Gourmet Magazine and they spoke to me. I made a crepe dessert before with whipped cream, strawberries and chocolate ganache, and they were really good so I said "Yeah, a different crepe dessert, it's definitely French". This one was great because you make all the components ahead of time and last minute it's easily transformed from a simple crepe to something so melt in your mouth fantastic you can't believe it.
I made the crepes about 6 hours ahead of time and put them in the refrigerator. When I was ready to serve them the crepes are simply brushed with melted butter then sprinkled with sugar, folded in quarters and heated through in a pan that has more butter and sugar and a pinch of salt. After about 4-5 minutes in the pan they are done.
In the same magazine I came across a recipe for Calvados Sorbet and I thought that might go very nicely with the crepes. Calvados is an apple flavored liquor. It was simple to make. Just cook a little simple syrup for 5 minutes and chill in an ice bath. Add in the same ice bath the Calvados and some non-alcoholic sparkling apple cider. Chill then put into the ice cream machine.
I presented them first by dusting a strip of powdered cinnamon across the plate (for decoration but also to add a kick of cinnamon because apples love cinnamon). Second I placed on two of the crepes per person, a scoop of the Calvados Sorbet and a scoop of whipped cream flavored with sugar, vanilla and cinnamon. Well let me tell you, it was something else!