Tuesday March 28
Vive La France!
We often think of Chef-Instructor Bridget Charters as our resident Italian cooking expert, but the truth is that Bridget, with almost 20 years of experience as a culinary instructor, is equally well versed in French cuisine. In fact, we know of no one else who makes classic French sauces such as a béchamel or beurre blanc with such aplomb.
Many chefs are trained in classical French technique and value this training as the backbone of their education even if they don’t cook French food in their restaurants. Escoffier’s brilliant reference work, Le Guide Culinaire, is treasured to this day for the way it codified French techniques, especially for the French mother sauces. Bridget is dusting off her copy of Escoffier, which she’ll bring to class to pass around, and she is diving deep into her own past training in classic French technique for this class!
As you watch Bridget demo, you’ll enjoy substantial tastes of each dish. You’ll take home all the recipes, so your next fancy French dinner can be in your own home! You’ll also gain a deeper understanding of some of the techniques underpinning much of what you enjoy in the finest restaurants.
Note: if you want to see a preview of the stupendous stuffed whole cabbage that Bridget is planning to make, pick up a copy of the February issue of Saveur magazine which coincidentally has a feature on a very similar and very beautiful French stuffed cabbage!
What You’ll Learn: (demo only)
- Timbale of Sole with Mousseline and Beurre Blanc- learn to line a timbale mold with sole and fill it with a deliciously creamy fish mousseline. Bake the prepared timables in a hot water bath, unmold, and sauce with a classic French beurre blanc flavored with tomato in the style of Provençale. This elegant dish will wow your guests!
- Choux Farci- does stuffed cabbage sound like the pleasing but not amazing dish your Grandma used to make? Wait until you see Bridget’s show-stopping French Stuffed Whole Cabbage! You’ll learn how to make a forcemeat of sausage, ham, onions and rice and learn how to slowly braise the whole stuffed cabbage and how to unmold and serve it in all its glory!
- Learn how to gratiné winter vegetables such as endive, fennel, and cauliflower. The vegetables are poached, and drained, then sauced and browned until golden. A glaçage is a sauce that coats food before it is broiled or roasted and can, for example, be a béchamel mixed with whipped cream or a hollandaise-based sauce mixed with whipped cream. This is another opportunity for Bridget to teach you a classic French sauce.
- Winter Fruit Charlotte- when was the last time you saw a beautifully golden apple or pear charlotte on a restaurant menu? Winter fruit is cooked until tender and fallen into a puree. Then it is packed into molds lined with buttered brioche and baked. Bridget will show you how to make this French classic dessert and will show you yet another French sauce- how to make a proper crème Anglaise.
Note: if you have a question about this class or would like to be put on a wait list, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and include the name and date of the class with your question.