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recquen4From Loiseau des Vignes

Serves 6

For the quenelle base:
12,5 cl milk
30 g butter
60 g flour
1 egg

For the forcemeat:
300 g pike-perch, filleted and skinned
50 cl well-chilled double cream
2 egg whites
2 teaspoons salt
grated nutmeg

For the lobster sauce:
2 lobster heads or 6 scampi heads

1 medium onion
1 medium carrot
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 sprig fresh thyme
50 g tomato concentrate
35 cl Cognac
25 cl olive oil
5 cl white wine
75 cl double cream
2 or 3 soupspoons Noilly Prat
Salt and pepper

Poaching liquid for the quenelles:
1 l fish stock

Preparation time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Prepare the quenelle base first. Cut the butter into large cubes. Pour the milk into a saucepan, add the butter, and bring to a boil. Add the flour, then continue cooking on low heat and mixing thoroughly for 3 or 4 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat, add the egg and mix well. Set the mixture aside to cool completely.

Then make the fish forcemeat. Rinse the fish under cold running water. Place it on a cutting board and chop it finely, using a large knife. Put the chopped fish into a large bowl and mix in the salt, 1 pinch pepper, and 1 pinch nutmeg. Put the fish forcemeat and quenelle base into a food processor together. Blend for 3 - 4 minutes. Add the egg whites and blend again. Add 3/4 of the cream and keep the rest of the cream chilled. Blend the mixture until the consistency is perfectly smooth. Gently mix in the rest of the cream, using a spatula. Let the mixture rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour 30 minutes.

Prepare the sauce. Peel the onion. Peel and wash the carrot. Cut the onion and carrot into large cubes. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the seafood heads and crush them with a pestle. Add the onion, carrot, garlic, thyme, and tomato concentrate. Add the Cognac and white wine. Add just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and simmer to reduce the volume
by three-quarters (at least 30 minutes). Add the cream. Reduce the volume by another quarter on low heat. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve or conical strainer, pressing it through with the back of a spoon. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Take the forcemeat out of the refrigerator. Prepare a dish and a small saucepan of boiling water. Dip two spoons in boiling water, scoop up some mixture with one spoon, heaping it up well, then use the other spoon to compact and shape the quenelle. Then use that spoon to remove the quenelle from the first spoon. Transfer the quenelle from one spoon to the other several times to give it an even shape and lay it gently in the dish. Dip the spoons in the boiling water between each quenelle.
Heat the fish stock in a saucepan (do not let it boil), then reduce to low heat. Drop the quenelles gently into the stock and simmer for 8 minutes. Use a skimmer to turn the quenelles over and simmer for another 8 minutes on low heat.

Heat up the sauce in a saucepan. Add the Noilly Prat.  Arrange the quenelles on an ovenproof dish, pour the sauce over them, and heat under the grill for 2 minutes just before serving.

The quenelles may be cooked in advance, but should be reheated in simmering fish stock at the last minute. If you are unable to prepare lobster sauce, the quenelles may be served with a white-wine sauce.

For 6 persons
Préparation time: 15 minutes the day before
Cooking time: 3 hours

This is a typically Burgundian dish, since it combines two of the main local products: beef and wine.

Just as for its wines, Burgundy has a high reputation for the quality of its Charolaise cattle.

The Charolais region is situated in the southern part of Burgundy, behind the mountains of the Mâconnais.

At the heart of its green pastures, the little town of Charolles holds an important cattle market every second Wednesday of the month from January through May. Classified as a “Remarkable Taste Site” for its terroir and products − cattle and sheep − it is an important part of the French gastronomic heritage.

Particularly enjoyed in the wintertime, this is a hearty family dish.

Wine pairing: a Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru “Morgeot”.

1.5kg beef, cut into chunks (stewing beef, chuck or shoulder)
150g diced, thick-cut smoky bacon
300g white button mushrooms
100g flour
2 large onions
2 carrots
5 crushed garlic cloves
1 “bouquet garni” (3 bay leaves, 3 sprigs of thyme, parsley)
2 bottles red wine, preferably Hautes Côtes de Beaune
Oil, salt and pepper, a pinch of nutmeg

1. Peel and finely chop the onions. Peel the carrots and slice them. Dice the mushrooms.
2. Heat a small amount of oil in a large stew pot and brown the bacon, onions, carrots and mushrooms. When the bacon is browned and the vegetables have started to wilt, remove from the pot.
3. Flour the chunks of beef, add more oil to the pot, if necessary, and brown the beef. Add salt and pepper and a pinch of ground nutmeg, then the crushed garlic cloves, bouquet garni, bacon, onions, carrots and mushrooms.
4. Add wine until the beef is almost covered.
5. Bring to the boil, cover, lower the heat and allow to simmer for 2½ hours
6. Remove the cover and cook for a further ½ hour in order to thicken the sauce.
7. Before serving, remove the bouquet garni and season to taste.

Last tips:

This dish can be served with steamed potatoes.

It should be cooked on a low heat for a long time. The meat and vegetables take on the flavor of the wine, the meat fibres soften and the juices become more concentrated. That is why this dish is even better when served reheated the next day.

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Serves 4

4 dozen frogs’ legs
4 heads of garlic
3.5 ozs (100g) of parsley with the stems removed
4-5 ozs (120 g) butter
½ cup milk
2 tablespoons cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
Salt and ground black pepper

Preparation and cooking

1. Wash the parsley and remove all the stems even the small ones. Cook the heads in boiling, salted water for 3 or 4 minutes; rinse them in a cold water then purée in a food processor. Set aside.
2. Break apart the heads of garlic to separate the cloves and, without skinning them, drop them into boiling, salted water for 2 minutes. Drain and peel. Change the water and return the garlic to the fresh water and boil them again for 7 to 8 minutes. Remove them; change the water again to remove the strength of the garlic but to preserve its taste. Repeat this operation 5 or 6 times until the garlic is very well cooked. When cooked, purée.
3. Place the purée of garlic in a saucepan with ½ cup milk. Mix together and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
4. Salt and pepper the frogs’ legs and cook in very hot olive oil with a pat of butter. Cook until golden, 2 to 3 minutes depending on size.
5. Put a little water in a saucepan and blend in the purée of parsley to obtain a coulis of parsley. Heat and season to taste.

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Serves 4

8 large scallops in the shell
1 medium carrot, peeled
4 large pickling onions
2 sticks of celery
300ml dry white wine
1 bay leaf
80ml double cream
100g butter, diced
salt and pepper
lemon juice

Preparation and cooking

Always buy your scallops in the shell so you can be sure they are fresh.

Remove the white meat and coral, rinse under cold water and dry gently. Remove the black stomach and discard. Take the skirt from the scallops and soak for 20 minutes in cold water, then drain.

Slice the carrot into thin rounds. If you want to make the rounds more decorative, score the carrot with a channelling knife first. Peel the onions and cut into thin rings. Peel and wash the celery sticks, and cut into 3cm batons. Put the wine in a pan with 300ml water, add salt and bring to the boil. Add the vegetables and bay leaf. Remove with a slotted spoon when cooked. Add the skirt to the liquid and simmer for 15 minutes, then press the liquid through a fine sieve. Pour half the liquid into the pan and add the cream. Bring it back to the boil and whisk in the butter a little at a time. Check the seasoning and add a little squeeze of lemon.

Lay the scallops in a pan on top of the stove and pour on the other half of the liquid. Bring to a gentle simmer and cover with greaseproof paper. After 1 minutes, turn the scallops and cook for a further 2 minutes (depending on size).

To assemble, drain the scallops and put on plates. Arrange the warm vegetables round them and pour on the hot sauce.

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Thanksgiving is traditionally celebrated in America on the 4th Thursday of the month of November. The holiday commemorates the meal shared by the New England colonists and their Indian friends in celebration of their first harvest. Indeed, the Indians were the ones who showed the colonists which crops were best suited to their new environment − corn and sweet potatoes, among others − and taught them how to hunt wild turkeys.

From that day forth, the Thanksgiving turkey has traditionally been stuffed with breading and served alongside sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. Wine lovers often pair it with a Pinot Noir.

For 6 persons:

1 turkey

Ingredients for the stuffing:
300 g stale bread, broken into pieces
1 can of corn (or if you are feeling ambitious, cut the kernels from 2 cobs of cooked corn).
1 celery stalk cut into small pieces
1 chicken stick cube

1. The morning of the meal, prepare the stuffing: cut the celery stalk into tiny pieces. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl and fill to cover with chicken stock. The stock should be completely absorbed by the bread when it is time to stuff the turkey.
2. Stuff the turkey with this preparation. Millie’s tip: set aside a small amount of stuffing and cook it next to the turkey wrapped in aluminum foil. This makes for a lighter stuffing that isn’t full of the fatty drippings from the turkey.
3. Put the stuffed turkey in the oven and baste often as it roasts so that it remains moist and tender.

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Makes 2 dozen gougères
Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

This is in fact a choux pastry with cheese added to it (Comté or Gruyère). Gougères are served either as an apéritif or as an accompaniment to a wine tasting.

Suggested wine: preferably a white wine

10 floz water
5 oz flour
4 eggs
4 oz butter
5 oz grated Comté or Gruyère
Salt & pepper
Ground nutmeg

1. In a saucepan, bring the water, the butter cut into small lumps, a pinch of salt and pepper and a pinch of ground nutmeg to the boil.
2. Remove from the heat and add all the flour. Mix energetically with a wooden spatula.
3. The dough should come away from the sides of the pan. Heat gently to dry it a little if need be.
4. Remove from the heat and mix in the eggs one by one while stirring all the time. Then mix in the grated cheese.
5. Butter a baking tray and, using a tablespoon, scoop out dollops of mixture and place them on the tray. Optionally, you can brush them with beaten egg to glaze them.
6. Cook for 20-25 minutes in an oven at 200-210°C (390-410°F). The gougères should be puffy and golden brown.

Serve warm.

(They can be prepared in advance and reheated before serving)

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For 6-8 persons
Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour

This recipe was created in 1930 for Curnonsky by the mayor of Dijon’s wife, Madame Gaston Gérard. It has since become a standard recipe in Burgundian cooking.

Suggested wine: Chassagne-Montrachet white or Puligny-Montrachet

1 Bresse chicken (3 to 3½ lb), jointed
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
¾ pint single cream
2 oz butter
1½ floz cooking oil
8 oz Comté ou Gruyère cheese
1 tsp paprika
2 glasses (10 floz) dry white whine
Salt & pepper

1. Heat the oil and butter in a cooking pot and brown the pieces of chicken in it, turning them over periodically.
2. Add salt and pepper and then the paprika. Put the lid on and place the pot in an average hot oven (180°C/360°F) for 30 minutes.
3. Once the pieces of chicken are cooked, place them in an oven-proof dish and keep them warm in the oven.
4. Put the cooking pot back on a ring and add the grated cheese to the meat juices. Allow it to melt slowly and add the white wine, then the mustard and the cream.
5. Bring to the boil then pour over the chicken.
6. Sprinkle some breadcrumbs and grated cheese on top and brown under the grill.

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