January 2018 Class

January 2018 Class

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Classic French Bistro….With A Twist

This menu focuses’ on one of my favorite styles of cooking, French Bistro. Dishes that are homey satisfying. They are perfect for warming up family and friends on a chilly winter day. In San Diego that’s been 80, but needless these dishes are crowd pleaser regardless of the weather. We start with a salad that incorporates some of my favorite ingredients, then serve up a fulfilling dish of braised chicken over mashed potatoes, then finish it off with a scrumptious pear tart!

Apples, Greens & Goat cheese
This salad starts with assorted greens and radicchio, adding apples and perfectly roasted beets, all tossed with Champagne vinaigrette.   Use whatever greens look best.  I like to combine different lettuces and spinach with the radicchio to get a nice balance of textures and flavors.  Roasting beets transforms these little root vegetables into a powerhouse of sweetness and earthy flavors. That not only adds a fantastic color to your salad. They are packed with goodness for your body. They promote a healthy circulatory system, help with digestion and have loads of vitamins just to name a few. They can last in the refrigerator for a week to ten days so go ahead and roast a bunch and then add them to all your salads! The goat cheese on top a baguette is a classic French Bistro addition to a salad. Toasty baguette, creamy goat cheese pairs perfectly with this tangy salad making it a great way to start or end your meal.  

Coq au vin
Translated literally it means “rooster in wine”.  This is a classic braised dish that uses a whole chicken but I prefer to use chicken thighs with are scrumptious and easier to serve.    Braising is one of my favorites cooking techniques because braised dishes can be made the day before and reheated before serving, so its perfect for entertaining and getting a jump on family dinner. In fact they are best made a day ahead so that the flavors get a chance to improve. You need 3 things for a perfect braise. A sturdy pot with a lid, brown your chicken to help develop the flavors and flavorful liquid, in this recipe, its wine.  Traditionalists use a red Burgundy, but any full-bodied red wine will do. Served over mashed potatoes, this is true French “comfort food”!

Pear Tarte tatin
This dessert is a twist on the classic apple tarte tatin but with pears. The pears are bathes in buttery sugar caramel syrup then topped with puff pastry. Just 4 ingredients and classic preparation techniques gives you a show-stopping dessert. The combination of warm pears, caramel sauce and pastry crust topped with a side of vanilla ice cream in a heavenly way to end the meal.  I’m sure your family and guests will want you to open your own French Bistro!