Saturday, June 5, 2010

Review of "An Evening with Julia Child"

I decided to really kick things up a bit in my cooking coutdown and threw an extravegant dinner party. One in which the guests (my brother and his girlfriend) were involved in the cooking process. It was a long drawn out evening in which we were extremely abitious and I created 6 course dinner. Yes you read that correct SIX COURSES! Cooking was to begin at 7:00 PM when they arrived and I was aiming for an 8:00 PM begin to our meal while the cooking continued in shifts. Here is what our game plan was....

L'Apéritif (Aperitif) During the first course in a French dinner, hosts invite guests into their living room and serve them light alcoholic drinks and small appetizers to stimulate their appetites for the meal ahead. A glass of champagne is the best alcoholic drink to be served during this first course in a french dinner. Nuts, olives and crackers are also served alongside these alcoholic beverages.

Pissaladiere Nicoise
(Onion Tartelettes with Anchovies and Black Olives)

Canapes au Fondue au Gruyere
(Cream Filling w/Swiss Cheese)

L'Entrée (Appetizer) While it is the second course, the entrée is the start of the dinner that is presented to guests. Appetizers in a French dinner vary from cold dishes such as beef carpacio, Roquefort flan, and salmon mousse with capers to hot dishes like French onion soup, cheese soufflé, and sole filet terrine.

Souffle aux Epinards
(Spinach Souffle)

Le Plat Principal (Main course) The main course of a French dinner typically includes either meat or fish, served with side dishes of salads, rice, or pasta. Wine is served throughout the meal – red wine to go with red meat and white wine to go with white meat or fish.
Poulet au Porto
(Roast Chicken Steeped with Port Wine, Cream, and Mushrooms)

Pommes de Terre Sautees
(Potatoes Sauteed in Butter)

Carottes Vichy
(Vichy Carrots)

Le Fromage (Cheese) There are more than 400 types of cheese in France, so it should not come as a surprise that cheese, in itself, can be a course in a French dinner. In this course, a cheese board is prepared, consisting of cheese of varying textures and flavors. The cheese board is accompanied by fruits, nuts, and baguette bread on the side, along with more wine, of course.

Various Cheese
Humboldt Fog
Various Cheese
Fresh Fruit
Candied Nuts & Figs

Le Dessert (Dessert) Since it is served towards the end of the French dinner, dessert is commonly light and small to prevent guests from feeling too full. Popular French desserts include chocolate profiteroles, chocolate mousse, and apple tarts.

Tarte aux Pommes
(Warm Apple Tart)

Vanilla Ice Cream and Caramel Sauce

Le Café (Coffee) Each guest is served coffee in a small cup, accompanied by a square piece of dark chocolate or a chocolate truffle, which is believed to enhance the aroma and taste of the coffee.
Let me say that this was a LONG but fun evening. We drank, we cooked, we ate and didn't finish eating the last course until 1:00 AM! Recipe reviews to come....