This is the second half of our class on the food and wine of the Loire Valley. After soup and two filling appetizers, the main course was a light salad with hazelnut-crusted goat cheese and the dessert was cookies with homemade Cointreau ice cream. The salad went with a lovely Cab Franc and with the dessert we had a sparkling Chenin Blanc, both wines from this region of France.
Followed by the main course salad…
This remarkable salad started with a log of ash-covered Sainte Maure du Touraine Goat Cheese, purchased at “Les Amis du Fromage’.
The cheese was cut up into serving size pieces and then each piece was coated with egg, crushed hazelnuts, flour and breadcrumbs.
After freezing for 30 minutes they were fried until golden in a small amount of grapeseed oil and served along with a salad of mixed greens, pear, tomato, and blanched asparagus in a tarragon vinaigrette.
The wine pairing was equally remarkable: a Domaine Bernard Baudry Chinon Cab Franc (a red with a salad!!!). Opened an hour and a half before, this wine was smoky, peppery, balanced, round and had ‘structure’. This really set off the salad, especially the cheese, and while I gave 4 stars to the salad, I noted that it was worth 5 stars when paired with that particular wine.
And for dessert we had…
Sablé-sur Sarthe Sablés and Cointreau Ice Cream.
Sablés are a not-too-sweet cookie, a perfect complement to the rich orangy ice cream.
Also particularly nice was the 100% Chenin Blanc sparkling wine that was served with this dessert.
My notes say: ‘Chateaux d’Sully, would have been nice to have black and white film for the cubby holes were full of interesting atmosphere.’
Our next cooking class moved north and slightly east to feature the food and wine of Champagne…
Chef Eric posts many of his recipes on his website: http://www.911cheferic.com/