Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Baron Brisse Menu 2.

Today, August 14th

This is our second day dining from the book of the Baron Brisse. In his home in France, it is summertime. This is what he has to say about the month ofAugust:
August was the Emperor Augustus’ favourite month, and no-one can have been a better judge of a good dinner than he was. This emperor had the whole world at his feet, and hecould well set heat and cold at a defiance. Rome was at this time not only the capital of the world, but also of gastronomy. Everything worth having was brought to Rome, without Augustus having to exclaim, as did Louis XIV, “I had almost to wait.” Large cities become deserted in August on account of the great heat, and people either go to the country, the sea-side, or to drink the waters. They go about the country and fields, and do not think much about eating. However, at the end of the month shooting begins, and gourmands are provided with young quail, leverets, and young wild boar. Other game is not worth much just yet.

Here is the baron’s suggested menu for August 14.

Potage au tapioca.
(Tapioca soup)
Gigot braisé.
(Braised leg of mutton).
Laitues farcies.
(Stuffed lettuces).
Langouste sauce mayonnaise.
(Sea crayfish with mayonnaise sauce).
Pommes de terre sautées.
(Fried potatoes)
Macédoine de fruits en gelée.
(Macédoine of fruit in jelly)

I am not convinced of the idea of tapioca soup in the depths of summer, but the baron would no doubt disagree.

My choice of recipe for the day is the stuffed lettuce. Feel free to use cabbage, and hope that the baron does not find out.

Stuffed lettuces
Wash, trim, blanch, and drain your lettuces, remove the centre leaves very carefully, fill with forcemeat of fowl and truffles, or with quenelle stuffing; tie the lettuces round with string, and cook in a stew-pan lined with slices of veal and bacon; season with carrots, onions, and a bouquet of mixed herbs, and moisten with stock. If the lettuces are preferred in a white sauce, they must be warmed in béchamel sauce, thickened with yolks of egg, after being braised.

Tomorrow’s Story …

The Baron Brisse Menu 2.

Quotation for the Day ….

If any one element of French cooking can be called important, basic and essential, that element is soup. Louis Diat.

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