Welcome to life and cooking in France! I am so happy that you’re here.
You’ll find in your welcome basket a simple but elegant menu à la française, a list of seasonal ingredients to guide your cooking, and my favorite kitchen tools to make your life in the kitchen easier and more efficient!
Now that you have all of this, I encourage you to go into the kitchen, light up your oven and your stove, and start cooking! Pleasure awaits!
I. A Very Special French Menu
- Walnuts and Roquefort cheese
- Aioli with assorted vegetables
- Lamb Persillade
- Green salad with herb vinaigrette
- Moelleux au Chocolate
- Printable menu
ONE OF THE WORLD’S BEST AMUSES BOUCHE
WALNUTS WITH ROQUEFORT CHEESE
The French are big believers in the health attributes of the walnut. Convinced they make the brain stronger, they also believe, firmly, that six walnuts a day will keep rheumatism and arthritis at bay. Health attributes aren’t the most important thing about the walnut here, though. Walnuts are revered – that is the correct term – for their flavor, their delicate crunch, their toasty temper when they are roasted in the oven.
My favorite way to eat them, though, is freshly cracked and set atop some roquefort cheese that I’ve gently spread on a piece of freshly baked, whole wheat bread. Together, these three ingredients make a sublime snack, apéritif, even as dessert, with a few dried figs alongside. When you’re looking for roquefort, if you can find that made by Carles or Gabriel Coulet, you know you’re in the presence of heaven. These are the last two artisanal producers of roquefort in France, and their products are beyond reproach, stunningly delicious.
There isn’t a recipe for the delicious combination of roquefort, walnuts, and whole wheat bread. There are three key things to remember, though, before assembling this combination of ingredients. Get the best and most fresh walnuts you can find; look for either Carles or Gabriel Coulet roquefort. If your cannot find them, use the best possible blue cheese available. Finally, get yourself a delicious loaf of whole wheat bread. Invite some guests, pour each a glass of your favorite lightly chilled white (try a Mont Louis sur Loire), and enjoy!
AN ELEGANTLY SIMPLE, VERY FRENCH FIRST COURSE:
AIOLI WITH ASSORTED VEGETABLES
AIOLI AUX LEGUMES ASSORTIES
Aioli is the kind of dish that creates a fete, even if it’s just being served to the family. Everyone can always find something they love! Use the recipe as a guide, and find the best, seasonal vegetables you can!
**ASTUCE – when blanching a variety of vegetables, you do not necessarily need to change the water. Begin with the mildest tasting, and end with the strongest tasting, such as any brassicas (broccoli, cauliflower) or root vegetables (turnips, rutabagas).
A SIMPLE MAIN COURSE THAT WILL MAKE YOUR GUESTS SWOON!
Photo courtesy of Francis Hammond
This is a perfect, and perfectly simple way to prepare succulent French lamb. The technique is more Italian, the result simply divine! The results here give rosy lamb chops – if you prefer yours cooked more, simply increase the cooking time.
DO AS THE FRENCH DO, AND SERVE THIS SALAD AFTER YOUR MAIN COURSE:
GARDEN SALAD WITH HERB VINAIGRETTE
SALADE VERTE VINAIGRETTE AROMATES
This vinaigrette is delicious as is, though it can serve as a base as well. Add minced shallot or garlic, minced fresh herbs, lemon zest and juice, cracked black pepper. Use this vinaigrette with grated carrots or beets, fresh tomatoes, or any other vegetable mixture. Use a delicious blend of your favorite greens with the vinaigrette.
ADD THIS VERY IMPRESSIVE (AND VERY SIMPLE) DESSERT:
A simply decadent way to end a delicious meal, this chocolate cake is easy to make and oh so incredibly delicious.
Download all recipes as a PDF by clicking French Menu Recipes
For printable menu cards, click on menu link for download or print options in your browser.
Remember that old axiom “Red wine with meat, white wine with fish?” While this can work, at On Rue Tatin I refer to another wine wisdom which goes something like this: “If you love the wine, it will go with whatever you are eating.” Time and time again, this has proven true regardless of color, variety, or vintage.
A contradiction: no matter how much you love a wine, it probably won’t go well with certain foods like artichokes, vinaigrettes or anything heavy on vinegar, asparagus, rhubarb, and raw vegetables in general. You can always try, just don’t be put off if it isn’t what you want.
White wines like Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, dry Muscat, and some Sauvignon Blancs go incredibly well with poultry and lighter meats like pork, and have also been known as stunning companions to lamb and magret (fattened duck breast).
Richer red wines (from the Languedoc, Côtes du Rhône, Gaillac, Bordeaux) go well with meats, but they also compliment certain fish (salmon, tuna, and sometimes even cod!)
Rosés go with anything that is served on the terrace on a warm, crystalline day.
Pinot Noirs are exceptional with everything (except a peanut butter sandwich).
This is most general; I suggest you sign up for classes at On Rue Tatin and, with our resident oenologist, Hervé Lestage, learn lots, lots more!
Radishes, tender lettuce, baby onions, scallions, ramps, baby turnips, peas, asparagus, strawberries, cherries, new potatoes, broccoli, new cabbage, new garlic, cauliflower, fava beans, artichokes, spinach, sorrel, Swiss chard, morels,
Peaches, nectarines, apricots, red, blue, black berries, zucchini, tomatoes, eggplant, garlic, basil, peppers, baby carrots, baby beets, green beans, okra, corn, cucumbers
Lots of summer vegetables (until end of October) Chestnuts, turnips, carrots, beets, rutabaga, mushrooms, squashes
Mache, escarole, radicchio, root vegetables, Belgian endive, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, cabbages, beets, celery root
Many of these things you’ll find in my On Rue Tatin store, and some of them you’ll just have to fly on over to get on-site!
- KitchenAid Flex Edge Beater
- KitchenAid Mixer
- Good Grips Fish Turner
- Mini Kitchen Silicone Spatulas
- Balloon Whisk
- Kitchen Scraper
- Bamboo Spoons & Spatulas
- Le Creuset Au Gratin Dishes
- 9-Inch Chef’s Knife
- Paring knives
- Forever Non-Stick Skillets of All Sizes
- Heavy Copper Pots of All Sizes
- Bar Keeper’s Friend
- Drop Stop Pour Disks
- Wine Opener
- Wine Saver
- Silicone Locking Tongs
- Bamboo Cutting Boards
- Cotton and Linen Tea Towels
Peruse the site to find out more about: