Week 7: Thursday, I ETA Basque cuisine

Today we finished up rolling out laminated doughs, so tomorrow is going to be a danish/croissant extravaganza. Can’t wait. I was up next with a lecture about the South West of France.  An area that I have a kinship with from the month I spent there working at Michel Guerard’s in Eugenie les Bains in 1989.  I also had one of my most memorable meals in the region with some of the staff that worked at the restaurant. We went to a Foie Gras farm that also acted as an informal restaurant at night. For $10 a piece we each feasted on a  perfectly cooked duck magret and a whole grilled foie gras accompanied by a large mound of pommes Salardaise. The duck and foie gras we’re grilled on a fire that was set up in the dining room and they used the left over corn cobs as fuel with fruit wood from their property. Talk about locavore.  It was truly an experience I have yet to reproduce and certainly not likely to ever happen for me in the US.

Well we had duck today and it was quite good. It was served with a perfectly dressed mixed greens salad. There were croutons in the salad for texture and there were sautéed mushrooms that added depth to the dish.

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Then as an intermet or palette cleanser we had a wonderful anise flavored sorbet with a candied grapefruit slice.

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Then we went on to the dish we worked on which was a pan fried trout with Basque rice and a beurre noisette finished with pancetta and tomato.

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To cap off this wonderful meal we had a nicely crisp Napoléon filled with “yummy creamy goodness” as I believe one of our students called it.  The red wine that accompanied the meal was from the Vaucluse in Provence called le Pigeoulet en Provence.  A wine I have tasted on many occasions while in Provence.

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Another fun day at the office.

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