Sunday, November 22, 2009

Mastering the Art of French Cooking Class, November Edition

We held our second Cooking With Julia class at Jewett Farms Studio this past Friday. To see what happened at our first class, check this post here. The menu for Friday was centered around Carbonnades a la Flamande: a braise of beef and onions with beer. We started with mussels topped with an escargot-style butter, enjoyed super-creamy mashed potatoes with the stew and had a gorgeous salad alongside. Dessert was a light souffleed lemon tart.

The class had a few returning faces from the first class and a number of new folks joined us as well. It was a great night, made that much more delicious with local meat and produce from Tendercrop Farm (check out those gorgeous lettuces!) and wines selected by our friends at New England Wine and Spirits.

Elena, from Jewett Farms, and I were too busy this time to take many pictures so unfortunately I don't have any pictures of the finished mussel dish or the dessert, but they were delicious.

Here's a group of folks putting dollops of escargot butter on the mussels. The mussels were steamed first, then laid back into their shells before getting gratineed with the escargot butter. One nice feature of this dish is that it's composed of multiple make-ahead parts. You can make the butter days ahead (even weeks ahead if you freeze it!), steam the mussels the day of your party, top them with the butter and then keep them in the fridge until it's time to broil them. We made them in large communal dishes, but you could use small individual gratin dishes and they'd make a really nice presentation at a dinner party.

Greg and Christian both gave their all when it came to separating the eggs we needed for the tart. Michelle showed off her great folding technique on the tart base. The fun thing about this lemon tart is that the filling is actually a lemon souffle. You get a nice lemony hit but without all the richness of a traditional lemon curd-based tart. When the tart came out of the oven it had a perfect (alas, unphotographed) domed top. It sank a little while we ate our dinner, but was still wonderfully creamy and light when we finally got down to the business of eating it!


Christian said...

We had such a good time at cooking class Mary makes classes both informing and fun. We will surely be back for the December Class.
Christian and Annjea

Sunday Cook said...

Thanks Christian. You guys are tons of fun in class. Keep coming back! :-)

Connie said...

Mary--Connie here. I loved the class, you and everyone around the table (and island). I visited my foodie family in CT and "dressed" the salad with your recipe. My 2 1/2year old grandson had quite a smirk on his face when he tasted it--and then smiled. What could be better. Thank you--see you in December.

Sunday Cook said...

Wow, a positive review from a 2 1/2 year old! Way to go Connie! I am looking forward to seeing you again. Have a great holiday!

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