Last night in Paris we had dinner at an iconic French brasserie (Brasserie Balzar), which inspired us to put together this classic French menu from a few of our tastemakers. Get ready to have a Parisienne dinner party this weekend…
Soupe á L’Ognion Gratinée: David Myers (Comme Ca)
For 8 Portions
Best made one day in advance.
8 large yellow onions, halved and sliced end to end ¼” wide
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 2/3 cups water
2/3 cup dry sherry
5 cups chicken broth (as little sodium as possible)
2 2/3 cups beef broth
8 sprigs fresh thyme and one bay leaf, ted together with butcher twine
Fresh ground black pepper
Place onions and butter in large casserole, season lightly with salt and place, covered, in a 400 degree oven. Remove from oven every fifteen minutes and stir. Cook until onions are a light golden brown. This should take about 1 1/2 hours.
Remove casserole and place on stove over medium heat and continue cooking, scraping the bottom regularly until onions are a deep golden brown and begin sticking to bottom of pot and form a crust.
Add half the water and cook, scraping the bottom constantly, until the water has evaporated. Add the sherry and continue cooking and scraping until sherry has evaporated.
Add the remaining liquids, thyme, a dash of salt and bring to a simmer. Continue simmering over low heat for forty minutes. Remove thyme bundle and season with salt and pepper to taste.
1 loaf French Bread
1 pound Gruyère, grated.
Toast eight ½ “ thick slices of crusty French bread until lightly golden and crusty. The slices should be large enough to fill the inside of the soup bowl. If smaller, use two slices per bowl.
Fill eight oven-proof soup bowls to ½ inch from top, making sure to distribute onions evenly between bowls. Place croutons on top, inside the edges of the bowl. Sprinkle evenly with the grated Gruyère and broil until cheese is bubbling and starts to get dark spots.
Truffle Butter Roasted Chicken: Levi Mezick (Restaurant 1833)
To Prepare the Chicken Brine:
One whole chicken
475g kosher salt
4.5 L water
10 sprigs of thyme
5 sprigs of rosemary
1 head of garlic
1 T Coriander Seed
1 T Fennel Seed
½ T black peppercorns
-Place water, honey, and salt in a large pot.
-Bring to boil.
-Add thyme, rosemary, garlic, coriander, fennel seed, and black peppercorn
-Strain over ice.
-Place the chicken into the brine for half an hour
-Remove the chicken from the brine and let dry over night
To Prepare the Truffle Butter:
½ lb of butter
4 T of White Truffle Oil
One plastic disposable piping bag
-In a kitchen aid mixer mix the butter with the salt, pepper, and truffle oil
-Put the butter into a piping bagGently run your finger in-between the breast meat and the chicken skin. This will release the skin for the meat.
-Place the piping bag that is filled with the butter in-between the skin and the breast
-Rub your hands over the chicken skin to evenly distribute the butter over the breast and the chicken legs.
Trussing and Roasting the Chicken
-Preheat an oven to 350 F
-Truss the chicken cut yourself about three feet of twine. You might not need that much, but it’s better to start off with a little too much (you can trim the excess when you’re done) than not enough.
-To begin with, position the chicken breast-side-up with the legs facing you. Place the center of the twine directly beneath the tailbone of the chicken with the ends extending left and right.
-Lift the twine, loop each end around the legs as shown and then reverse the twine to make a cross. Pull tightly on both ends of the twine so that the legs come together.
-This is the only really tricky bit. Pull the ends of the twine forward (away from you), loop it around the front of the chicken and over the wings. Then, flip the chicken upside down so that the neck is now facing you, keeping the twine pulled tight.
-Now you can just tie a knot so that the twine stays secured underneath the neck bone.
-Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
-Place the chicken on a wire rack and roast in the oven for 1 hour to an hour 1/2.
-The internal temperature between the wing and the bird should be 160F
String Beans: Pepalajefa
1 lemon cut in wedges
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix beans with shallots, lemon wedges, salt, pepper and olive oil.
Put in oven at 360 degrees for 8 minutes. Add the almonds and serve hot.
Ultimate GODIVA Éclair: David Funaro (Godiva)
Pastry Cream Recipe
1 1/4 cups milk (whole or 2%)
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
Pastry Cream: In a medium-sized heatproof bowl, mix the sugar and egg yolks together. (Do let the mixture sit too long or you will get pieces of egg forming.) Sift the flour and cornstarch (corn flour) together and then add to the egg mixture, mixing until you get a smooth paste.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan bring the milk and vanilla bean just to boiling (just until milk starts to foam up.) Remove from heat and add slowly to egg mixture, whisking constantly to prevent curdling. (If you get a few pieces of egg (curdling) in the mixture, pour through a strainer.) Remove vanilla bean, scrape out seeds, and add the seeds to the egg mixture. (The vanilla bean can be washed and dried and placed in your sugar bowl to give the sugar a vanilla flavor.) Then pour the egg mixture into a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until boiling, whisking constantly. When it boils, whisk mixture constantly for another 30 – 60 seconds until it becomes thick. Remove from heat and immediately whisk in the liqueur (if using). (Stir in vanilla extract if using instead of a vanilla bean.) Pour into a clean bowl and immediately cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a crust from forming. Cool to room temperature. If not using right away refrigerate until needed, up to 3 days. Whisk or stir before using to get rid of any lumps that may have formed.
Easy Chocolate Mousse
1 envelope gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups frozen whipped topping, thawed
In small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over cold water; let stand 1 minute. Stir over low heat until gelatin is completely dissolved. Stir in butter until melted.
In blender or food processor process milk, sugar cocoa powder and vanilla until blended. While processing, gradually add gelatin mixture and process until blended. Pour into bowl, then blend in whipped topping.
Ganache for topping
8 oz. of Heavy Cream
6 oz. of Dark Chocolate
– Add Cream to sauce pot and over medium flame bring to a simmer
– Remove from flame and add chocolate stir until completely combined
– Add to the top of pastry
Pate Choux (Éclair Pastry)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon granulated white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1/2 cup water
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Egg Wash Glaze:
1 large egg
1/8 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a bowl sift together the flour, sugar and salt. Set aside.
Place the butter and water in a heavy saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and, with a wooden spoon or spatula, quickly add the flour mixture. Return to heat and stir constantly until the dough comes away from the sides of the pan and forms a thick smooth ball (about a minute or two). Transfer the dough to your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, and beat on low speed a minute or two to release the steam from the dough. Once the dough is lukewarm start adding the lightly beaten eggs and continue to mix until you have a smooth thick paste. Spoon or pipe 12 mounds of dough onto the baking sheet, spacing them a couple of inches apart. Beat together the egg and salt for the glaze. With a pastry brush, gently brush the glaze on the tops of the dough.
Bake for 15 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Bake for a further 30 to 40 minutes or until the shells are a nice amber color and when split, are dry inside. Turn the oven off and, with the oven door slightly ajar, let the shells dry out for a further 10 – 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.
Cut Cross wise and then in small half circles, add on top of the Ganache as crispy/chewy garnish.