Chefs' Club Blog

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le 14 novembre 2009 – le repas français

To celebrate our one year anniversary, we decided to forgo our monthly special ingredients and opted for another theme night: a  soirée where we could celebrate a culinary legend: la cuisine française. As I (Kelly) am a French teacher, I was especially excited to expand the frame of reference for the evening: not just French food, but an entire dining experience à la française.  This includes French music, French table settings, a list of common French phrases needed à table, and learning about French table manners and cultural differences (not always as intuitive as you would think!)  We tried to follow the order of the French meal as well.  You may notice some surprising differences! (ex…salad AFTER the main course…and an entire course devoted to fromage (cheese!))

  • Apéritif (before dinner drink) : Kim – Kir.  A popular French apéritif,or pre-dinner cocktail.  Use a dry wine wine, as the crème de cassis is quite sweet.
  • Le vin (wine): Sarah – French wines, specifically researched to accompany the chicken 🙂
  • Soupe/L’entrée (soup or appetizer) : Meredith – Potage Saint-Germain: Fresh Pea Soup.  There were several of us that were a bit dubious. Pea Soup?  Personally, I really hate peas and was imaging those days as a child when I would be the last one at the dinner table, crying because I did NOT want to eat those peas.  But, I didn’t want to make Mer feel bad!  In the end, I was thoroughly surprised.  This soup was DELICIOUS! We were all raving (those of us who like peas AND those of us who thought we hated them!)
  • Le plat principal (the main dish) : Stacey – Le Poulet Rôti (Roast Chicken)– from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. There are pages upon pages of diagrams and directions….but worth it!  So moist and decadent. In Julia’s “Poultry” Chapter (Chapter 6). Sorry, we don’t have an internet version of this recipe, but if you want to purchase the book, try this link here.
  • Le légume (vege) : Laura – Tomates Provençal (Provencal Tomatoes) -From Ina Garten (with a few of Julia’s recommendations).
  • Les pommes de terre (potatoes) : Stacey – Peel and cut the potatoes, boil them for a bit, then place in a 9 x 13 to roast in the oven.  In the end, we added a sauce over the top (recipe from a French Cooking class that I (Kelly) took a few years back) – White wine vinegar, dijon, olive oil, shallots, and fresh parsley.
  • La Salade Verte (green salad) : Tara – La Salade Niçoise (Salad from Nice) – a BEAUTIFUL salad creation.  Our recommendation was to make this on it’s own.  There is enough protein and veggies to serve as a meal on it’s own!  A very typical salad at a French Cafe or Bistro!
  • L’assiette de fromage (cheese plate ) : Kelly – Le Chevrot, Le Ch, et le Fromager des Clarines – all available in Whole Foods Artisan Cheese section. Be sure to check out their “Cheese 101” section.  Great info for helping you choose the cheese that you would like.
  • Le dessert : Genoise avec mousse au chocolat orange avec ganache.  Beautiful presentation!  Rich and chocoate filled!  Chocolate Genoise (cake) with a chocolat mousse filling and covered with chocolate ganache!  A chocolate-lovers paradise 🙂

Here are some pictures of the food preparation:

Stacey prepping the Chicken - Julia style!

Learning how to "truss" a chicken!

Finishing touches to the trussing.

Voilà! A fully “trussed” chicken. Impressive - most of us have never made a chicken quite like this one!

Laura is finishing prepping the tomates. Mmmmm 🙂

Prepping the food and visiting 🙂 We were sure to set the table "à la française" - forks with the tines facing downwards, the spoon above the plate, etc.

Cooking in the tiny kitchen.

In the tiny kitchen – crème de cassis and white wine in hand…ready to serve up the Kir!

Basting the chickens...

Adding the sauce to the roasted potatoes.

Perfection! The chicken coming out of the oven.

And finally, à table!  It’s time to eat….bon appétit!


Sitting down to dinner.

Tous ensemble!

Le vin!

Le potage Saint-Germain that Meredith made.

Yum! (or Miam, Miam, as the French say) Le poulet, les pommes de terre, et les tomates!

La Salade


Here's our official write-up about the 3 cheeses we would be tasting this evening.

Les fromages!


And finally…we topped off all of this decadence, with a chocolatey dessert:

Spreading the mousse layer on before adding the top half of the Genoise.

Pouring the ganache over the top...

The finished product - with fine shavings of chocolate sprinkling the top!

The pastry chef 🙂


December 6, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Félicitations ! C’est bien un vrai repas français que vous avez fait là ! Miam miam, cela donne envie ! Les photos sont superbes aussi !

    (Congratulations ! You have done a real French diner. Miam miam, want to taste it ! The photos are great too !

    Comment by Chrystel | January 18, 2010 | Reply

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