Dishes from Alsace today, in North Eastern France. An area of France that has been historically part of Germany as much as part of France and the cuisine and wine from the area is very Germanic in style.
Chef Gilles cooked a couple of dishes from the region.
The 1st was fillet of trout braised in riesling wine, served with spätzle noodles, green beans and turned mushroom and a sauce of the riesling wine, fish stock and cream.
Next he cooked a roast rack of pork with choucroute (braised cabbage with vinegar and caraway seeds).
Chef Gilles took us for the demo and practical again today.
We made 2 dishes: braised trout with beurre Nantais sauce and braised lettuce, and Cointreau soufflé.
Fillets of trout were boned and skinned and poached for a few minutes in a court bouillon. Gem lettuce was braised with carrot, onion, diced bacon and chicken stock. The fish was served with the braised lettuce and a sauce made from shallots, Muscadet wine and lots of butter.
Next was a Cointreau soufflé. A creme patissiere was flavoured with Cointreau and whisked egg whites folded in. It was spooned into buttered and sugared ramekins and baked for 10 minutes.
In the practical we had to make both dishes. The trout was fiddly to fillet but was quick to cook and the dish proved tasty.
The soufflé worked well and tasted good too, though there isn’t much substance to a soufflé.
Today we had just 2 demonstration classes and no practicals.
The 1st was on more flatfish, brill and plaice, and also trout:
The brill was cut into steaks, still on the bone but skinned, was poached in milk and served with hollandaise sauce:
The plaice was filleted, cut into goujons (finger sized pieces), breadcrumbed, deep fried and served with aioli.
The trout was also filleted, but pan fried in a little butter, topped with almonds and served with boiled, turned potatoes and a beurre noisette (nut brown butter).
The 2nd demo was on shellfish.
The chef demonstrated moules mariniere (mussels in white wine), dressed crab and oysters. There were 2 different types of oysters, native and rock oysters:
The mussels were cleaned of barnacles and beards and then cooked over a high heat with shallots and white wine for a few minutes until they open their shells.
The crab was boiled, cooled and the meat removed which is a very fiddly job. Mixed with a little mayonnaise, it was then put back into the empty shell and decorated with chopped boiled egg, sliced olives, anchovies and parsley.