Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Dinner with the Baron.

It is a while since I gave you a French dinner party menu, so today I treat you with the menu for this day, June 15, according to the suggestions of the Barron Brisse. He was, perhaps, the first true newspaper food columnist and he eventually distilled his ideas into a book called 'The 366 Menus and 1200 Recipes of the Baron Brisse.' It was first published in 1866; I am using the 1896 English translation.

June 15.
Macaroni Soup with Parmesan cheese.
Stewed pickled cabbage an oysters.
Calf's ears a l'Italienne.
Roast young rabbits.
Artichokes with butter sauce.
Compote of gooseberries.

Calf's ears a l'Italienne.
Scald, scrape, and drain the ears, place them in a saucepan lined with bacon, cover with slices of bacon, moisten with equal quantities of stock and white wine, add some peeled slices of lemon - be careful there are no pips - a bouquet of mixed herbs, carrots, turnips, and onions, salt and pepper; cook over a slow fire. Make a stuffing with breadcrumbs, milk, and either grated Parmesan or Gruyere cheese; warm until sufficiently thick, stir in four yolks of egg and a lump of butter, fill the calf's ears with this, dip into melted butter, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan cheese, brown in the oven, and serve.

Compote of red or white gooseberries.
Boil half a pound of sugar to the snap, add a pound of pickled gooseberries, let them boil over two or three times, skin, and pour into a glass dish. Serve when cold.

I do hope, dear readers, that you try the calf's ears; it is so hard to find them done well these days, don't you agree?

I am a little surprised by the Baron choosing two dishes containing Parmesan cheese, plus one with butter sauce, on the same menu, but the French have ever been fearless about their butter and cheese, have they not?

Quotation for the Day .

“If you're afraid of butter, as many people are nowadays, just put in cream!”
Julia Child

1 comment:

Marcheline said...

I'll take items 1, 4, 5, and 6 on that menu. Items 2 and 3 I can do without, thanks all the same.