Posted by: kdeversblog | March 28, 2016

French Dinner

It seems that lately I’ve become very interested in all things French. I decided to have a French dinner and pretend I was sitting among the lavender fields in Provence, savoring my meal and feeling the sun on my face.

I had a purchased a delightful wine called Gentil “Hugel” from Alsace which is in the Northeastern part of France. I prefer sweet white wines and this is the specialty of the Alsace region. The Hugel family has been growing grapes and producing wine continuously since 1639. Click here to see their website where you’ll find lots of information about the wine and the great photos of the land, the family, and their events. They also have fun videos in English and French on YouTube with links on the website.

wine

The Gentil was a bit drier than I like since my favorite is the Muscat grape. However, the Hugels do have a sweeter wine available and I have a couple others to try as well, also from the Alsace region. It was still delightful and went well with my meal.

What to have with wine but cheese, of course and it had to be French. I chose a mild sheep cheese called Secret de Compostelle. Sometimes the raw milk comes from Spain and the cheese is produced in France so it is a multi-cultural experience. The taste is similar to a Manchego but a bit milder. I love it.

cheese

I wanted to make something contrasting to the cheese, so I looked online for a recipe to make crispy basil chips. It was so easy and they sort of melt in your mouth. I know that they can be used as a garnish for lots of things, but I just ate them plain. Here’s a good recipe. I didn’t use oil spray, instead I just poured on some olive oil and rubbed it gently all over the leaves.

Then there was the baguette, and I remembered I had some smoked salmon. So, along with some olive oil on the baguette first, and capers on top it was perfect.

Salmon

This is spring so asparagus is “popping up” everywhere and I found an unusual recipe online for baking the asparagus. It had a French influence so it fit the menu and it was yummy. Salmon and asparagus go well together.

asparagus

When I was selecting all of these items at our brand new New Seasons store in St. Johns (Portland, OR) I stopped by the pastry section and asked about French desserts. They had several so it was not easy, but I chose the cherry frangipane tart. I love almond paste and pie cherries so it definitely spoke to me.

tart 2

It was a wonderful meal with very little leftovers, other than cheese, wine, and a few basil chips. The cheese is such a delight and the only thing better would be sitting in an outdoor cafe people watching and listening to the lovely French language while sipping wine and nibbling on cheese. I wouldn’t understand 99% of what I heard but that’s OK, French food transcends language barriers!

Bon apetit!

Portrait short hair-small

 

 

 

 


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