Especially when our hostess is the charming and engaging Madame Paule Caillat, of 'Promendes Gourmandes', located in the Marais district. Here is a peek at our day with numerous tips shared by Paule.
Visiting the renown La Fermette, known for the best cheese selection in Paris, on the cobbled Rue Montorgueil, we stroll down the rest of this famed market street for the finest in seafood, vegetables, fruit and meats
Arrayed in artistic displays, even rutabaga's became enticing
Cleaning cepes with a peeler. Cepes is a wild foraged mushroom. Note the tri-colored carrots, the green tops remain for flavor, also cleaned with the peeler.
I think Paule is pleased!
Always use unsalted butter, salt can be added at the table.
An article in the NY Times, 1/17/01 by renown cook and author, Dorie Greenspan; French butter has an unmistakable flavor, a distinctive tang of nuttiness, a combination of creme fraiche's slight sourness and fresh cream's sweet wholesomeness, a remarkable spreadability with a sensuous slow melt
The reason? French butter has a higher butterfat content....I could do an entire post on what I learned, let's close with this; the closest we can find is Plugra at Whole Foods or Trader Joe's
For the table Paule recommends 'Grey Salt', aka 'Fleur de Sel', harvested off the coast of Brittany in France. Not, the Mederitannean provencal salt. This artisan salt is hand harvested from the top of the salt flats, the 'salt flower'
When cutting remove ends and leave the last 'shirt' on, papery skin that is, it releases flavor.
Can remove the whole clove after cooking, as the flavor has permeated the food, or left in for the diner to remove
When chopping garlic, remove the small green sprout growing within, it is bitter
The French prefer shallots to onions in many instances, just know they are fragile & burn easier
This topic could become multiple blog posts, so here is the very short version
In France, it is important to know what region the cheese came from and who the maker is
There are over 4,000 varieties of French cheese, this is serious business!
Never pasteurized. In the US that is illegal, and we are the lesser for this rule. There is no substitute for real local cheese, unpasteurized.
Storage; in Saran Wrap
Serving: bring to room temperature before use
Always serve white wine with the cheese course (just before desert in France), it keeps the palette clean to accept the full taste of the cheese
Paule prefers Grapeseed Oil, has no taste and can cook at very high temperatures
Only, real chocolate.
Not eating chocolate for cooking but the bean, ground. No shell, no nothing but the bean. This is the healthiest form of chocolateThose of you nearby, or via online, are fortunate to have Chef Roby and the All Chcolate Kitchen in Geneva, Il. Chef Roby only sources the real thing, typically from Venezuela. And Chef is from France!
Hoping you enjoyed and have learned some cooking tips for you to use at home, we had a blast!