This year I returned to Paris again and headed straight back to my friend Paule’s cooking school. Even though I ran a cookery school myself for several years in Brisbane I still find attending another cook’s classes stimulating and there is always something new to learn. Every time I have gone to Paule’s school I discover not only new recipes but entirely new techniques.
The class started off with an escorted tour to the food shopping district close to the former Le Halles market. Paule’s business name is not named Promenades Gourmandes for nothing. Paule was one of the very first people to organise walks and shopping trips to the best food arrondissements of Paris.
The famous family pie crust. A very different technique of making pastry that I have documented in earlier posts. If you want to know more about a different and easier way of making pastry do look up her website, or better still put in a request if you are going to Paris.
The starter menu for today was goats cheese and shallot tart but of course the French would have a better name Quiche au Chèvre et Échalottes Confites.
The fabulous Lacanche stove.
The Le Creuset cocotte is an indispensable piece of equipment in Paule’s kitchen.
You don’t see the range in various sizes so often in Australian kitchen shops but you would easily be able to order one at a cook’s shop. I took these photos in Paris’s Galerie Lafayette where they offer cocottes in several sizes.
At the end just before serving the ratatouille in goes a little crème fraîche, a little something extra that most cookbooks don’t include.
The Tournedos de Saumon – fillets of salmon were coated in herbs and wrapped in slices of smoked salmon. The foil held the shape whilst it was being cooked. I was quite impressed by this dish and re-created when we went down to our rented farm-house in Provence.
Paule serves the most stunning best cheese always. On the board are Crottin de Chavignol, Saint-Marcellin, Brie, Saint-Nectaire and Comté. This year I learned that the crunchy taste in hard cheese are the fats in the milk that crystallise. Another tip this one is alarming for those that think it is the soft cheeses that are highest in fat, it is in fact the harder cheese that has more fat. You will also learn as we did the ideal wine to drink with cheeses.
I did not get a photo of the higher inflated version as it came out of the oven. It had settled whilst we ate the other courses.
Here’s a pic of us on a wine tour in Beaujolais. I cannot wait to return to France and return to Paule’s kitchen.