Week 5 – France I

Week 5 of Classical European cuisine is our first of three weeks of French cuisine. The menu consisted of Souipe de Legumes aux Petits Coquillages (Vegetable Soup with Shellfish), Le Blanc de Poisson Belle Mouginoise (Fillet of Fish Bell Mouginoise), Filet de Porc Farci Lyonnaise (Stuffed Pork Tenderloin), Ratatouille, and Salade de Poire (Pear Salad).

For the vegetable soup with shellfish chef surprised us by making Mussels in Pernod. We also made the soup but the mussels were outstanding. O.k., on to the soup. It lacked a little flavor. There is no reason to use vegetable stock when it is not a vegetarian dish. I would’ve made a seafood stock for more flavor.

For the filet of fish we used tilapia. It was alright. I would’ve preferred a better filet like snapper or sea bass rather than such a mild white fish. The vermouth seemed pointless and I felt it needed more white wine. I liked the ingredients however, it lacked in flavor. So far France, I’m not impressed.

Maybe the pork with lift the menu. Tenderloin stuffed with ground pork, onions and breading, how could it be bad. It wasn’t bad at all. The tenderloin needed to be pounded out thinner and it needed more flavor in the stuffing. I reduced the braising liquid and thickened it with arrowroot. Lacked a little salt but overall it was very good.

Ratatouille is next on the menu. This was a nice but I assumed it would be a soup. The recipe only called for the vegetables to be sauteed. The tomato wasn’t enough liquid and it reminded me more of a topping than a dish on its own. Maybe if it were prepared like a soup it would’ve been better.

I must admit, we didn’t spend too much time worrying about the pear salad. A simple vinaigrette added to pears is not on my palate list but it was ok. Nothing real special to mention here. Pear on a plate with dressing. The recipe called for pomegranate which would’ve been a nice touch.

Of course dessert is closing this week. Chocolate mousse is a staple french dessert. Chef gave us a ridiculously easy recipe for a perfect mousse. Whip egg whites and heavy cream separately, temper chocolate over a double boiler. Fold eggs and cream into chocolate. It was that simple…and good.

Published in: on February 14, 2011 at 4:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

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