Discover Sauvignon Blanc with these fail-proof food & wine combinations:

Sauvignon Blanc Grapes

Sauvignon Blanc Grapes

This month, I encourage you to educate your palate with white Sauvignon. This wine is elegant, subtle and sophisticated. It requires the same application of subtle and sophistication in the food you will serve with it. But the effort is so much worth it!  It is a winning choice for the summer. In this post I offer ideas for some refined combo, as well as so more family friendly” ones. I hope you will find the inspiration to please all your guests.

The flavors of the Sauvignon Blanc are on the citrus side (lemon and grapefruit), it is mineral (meaning it is crisp, think crystal, diamond) and a little grassy (think about the smell of a yard after mowing… and decrease the smell a hundred times to just get a light perfume lost in a fresh breeze). This wine is on the dry side, but I assure you the mineral and citrus flavor does enhance the subtle sweetness of it. In fact I find all the elegance is there: in the very subtle balance of crisp dry and sweet… like a Meyer lemon.

So what should you eat with it? If you would like to keep it very subtle and delicate, I encourage you to bet for white fish (sea-bass, trout, bluefish, sole) or lean chicken lightly fried pan in butter / olive oil and a drizzle of lemon with chopped fresh parsley or coriander. Chose to serve you fish or chicken on a bed of al dente vegetables like sliced zucchinis, peppers or asparagus. Read the rest of this entry »


The side job: the good, the bad, the ugly…

Reflection on the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of the side job of an entrepreneur as I am entering in the last week of a 4-month contract I accepted last January, when faced with a very real cash flow need:

As an aspiring entrepreneur, I have been working on my business concept for a few months now, and came to a phase were I had to make a cash investment in order to move to the next step. I was presented in January with a very interesting opportunity to work for a very well-known supermarket brand, to drive the design project of private label products distributed through the store chain. It gave me the chance to learn more about the value chain, from the store perspective, and to be in touch with each actor of the chain, from supplier to store manager via sourcing. While I certainly benefited a lot from this experience for my entrepreneurial journey, I have also been through less than enjoyable moments, experiencing serious doubt on my overall vision…

The Good: With no doubt, the good was all I could learn: how this value chain works, what are the regulations in detail, how the product selection is made, people, jobs, processes…. Read the rest of this entry »


The country pâté – my style

IMG_1474Impress your guest with this yummy and simple country pâté. This tastes so genuine that your guest will feel like they are at a French restaurant! This simple pâté is quick to prepare and is better if you do it a few days ahead. It can be frozen too. The final touch (or should I say the final French Touch) is to serve it with couple of toasted baguette pieces, and few gherkins…

it is healthy as it is reasonably low in fat perfect for many diet restriction as it is carb – gluten – lactose free. It is full of protein and iron! It is a perfect dish for week day with green leaves and a slice of bread, or more sophisticated as an appetizer with toasts for your guests. I love it with sliced tomatoes drizzled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, and a piece of country bread.

 

 

Let’s get started:

 

You need:

  • a terrine dish or 2 (you can use a regular oven dish and use aluminum to create a lid, that’s fine too. Make sure the dish is deep enough to create the pâté shape)IMG_1444
  • a mixer robot
  • a larger dish (like a gratin dish) for the bain-marie cooking style.
  • Preparation time : 15 minutes
  • Cooking : 1h30 minutes at 370°F, in a bain-marie (the terrine is 2/3 dipped in a larger dish with boiling temperature water)
  • Rest : 24 to 72 hours in the fridge

Read the rest of this entry »


Successfully transposing Braised endives with ham, béchamel and cheese using Bok Choy

There is a recipe that I just didn’t like at all when I was kid, and like many things in life, I came to appreciate with age. This dish is the rolled braised endives in ham with grated cheese and béchamel sauce. It is a lovely filling meal, between the gratin and the casserole, and which is best served with a simple green salad – and a glass of unoaked Chardonnay sounds like a great option! The tangy lightly bitter taste of the endives is very well balanced with the salty cheese and ham combination, all wrapped with the béchamel sauce which offer a base that helps in marrying these distinguished flavors. Kids are usually put off by the slight bitter taste of the endive… Read the rest of this entry »


Buckwheat Pancake – in the purest Brittany tradition

As fat Tuesday (Mardi gras) is just around the corner, I share today this so authentic buckwheat pancake recipe (see the ingredients list, I mede a suggestion to make it gluten free!). I chose the purest version of the recipe, probably originating from Brittany several centuries ago. This is also called the Galette de blé noir. The galettes are traditionally served with apple cider, as a savory and filling dish. This recipe requires very cheap ingredients and was a party meal in very poor families a century ago. If you have ever been in a crêperie you know this comforting buttery tasting delicious meal…

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But do you know what is fat Tuesday? It seems this tradition is very alive in Louisiana, and other part of the american continent. When I was a child, living in France, I was told that we have a fat and rich meal by tradition to “finish off the last perishable rich food” in the house before entering the carême (Lent) period. By symbolism, the carême is also the period when the nature is just starting to wake up, and there is yet to wait for food to grow. So we eat drink and are merry on mardi gras, and we are being foolish by wearing costumes and dancing all night long for carnaval…

Now, if you have the costume and the friends to party with, let ‘s complement the fun with a crêperie diner !

Ingredients for 12 galettes (2 to 3 per person):

  • 1 and 1/3 cups of buckwheat
  • 1 tablespoon of flour (you can substitute the flour with corn or tapioca starch to go Gluten Free)
  • 3 cups of cold water
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1 egg
  • Butter for the pans
  • Large flat nonstick pan

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Sauce béchamel – a must know 10 minute recipe

Welcome to my blog, I am finally sharing this classic typical delicious sauce béchamel recipe. This sauce is a key basic in so many dishes and is a great tool to have if you are a creative cook! I love to put the béchamel in gratin and casserole, I do my signature lasagna with this too, sometimes I also indulge in fresh pasta with the béchamel and a little ham or bacon…  Or like on the picture below, I used it to create a braised bok choy rolled in ham with grated cheddar and béchamel…

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My americanized version of “Braised Endives rolled in ham, with with béchamel and cheese”, using Bok Choy, Virginia ham, and Cheddar…

I have recently discovered this magic trick that changed my life: with a little iced water, I have never since failed my sauce, and also I shrinked my prep time from 30 minutes to 10 minutes. I also tried some variations like using olive oil instead of butter, corn starch instead of flour. I never tried using rice or almond milk instead of real milk, but I guess it could work! Anyway, here is the classic-made easy recipe for you to master this unavoidable French key basic: Read the rest of this entry »


A 4-step approach to improve your wine-tasting confidence

This post attempt at giving you simple tips to build up on your tasting ability, and ultimately on your enjoyment of wine. I find it sad to hear my friends not daring to speak up about how they like or don’t like such wine, because they are scared to say the wrong thing – scared to sound ridiculous – scared to be seen as gross. There is no big secret about tasting wine, it is like smelling a perfume really, you might just find it yeah! or nay… And sometimes you might be inspired to elaborate a little on what your senses capture. And like anything, senses may require a little practice to develop some level of comfort.

*This picture was taken during a tasting at Chateau Haut-Brion, a beautiful castle with a fantastic winery in the Bordeaux region.

*This picture was taken during a tasting at Chateau Haut-Brion, a beautiful castle with a fantastic winery in the Bordeaux region.

So please keep reading and next thing you will find yourself doing is cracking a couple of bottles, getting a cute notebook and off you go, you have a new hobby!

Your starter kit:

  • Wine at room temperature for red, slightly chilled for white (check the label, they usually provide this info)
  • Real wine glasses
  • A glass of water
  • Bread or crackers to wash your palate (see previous post on wine as for why)
  • A notebook

Read the rest of this entry »