Food and Wine of Loire Class 3 Part 1

Our third cooking class featuring the food and wine of Champagne and the Loire Valley started with a light salmon, corn and leek chowder paired with Pouilly-Fumé. This was followed by a popular French brasserie appetizer of filo stuffed with Loire Valley cheese and prosciutto among other goodies, served with a Rosé Anjou.

Salmon and Corn Chowder with Pouilly-Fumé Wine
Salmon Chowder and Wine

Salmon Chowder and Wine

corn and milk for the chowder

Fresh corn is lightly cooked in milk. Once cool the niblets are scraped off the cobs and blended with the milk that are ultimately used as a base for the chowder.

lardon bacon strips

Lardon is essentially thick bacon cut into strips as above. Once cut it is fried in a small amount of grapeseed oil, and then the flavourful fat is used to ‘sweat’ the vegetables.

sweating the vegetables in the fat from the lardons

Sweating the chopped up leeks, shallots, garlic, celery and carrots in the fat from the lardons.

the base for the soup

2 cups of chicken and fish broth are added to the vegetables. Once all vegetables are tender the milk, corn and salmon are added and cooked until the salmon is opaque in the centre.

Salmon Chowder and Wine

Salmon Chowder and Wine

Pouilly-Fumé, Les Duchesses 2010, Laporte

The wine was an aromatic Sauvignon Blanc and very good, its citrus overtones bringing out the flavour of the salmon. Chef Eric noted that it would also go well with oysters.

Pouilly-fume Les Duchesses Laporte

Pouilly-fumé Les Duchesses Laporte

Laporte Pouilly Fume Wine Back Label

the description of Laporte Pouilly Fumé on the back label

Filo Crusted Loire Valley Cheese Aumoniere with Rosé Anjou
Filo with rosé wine

Filo with rosé wine

The fillings for this tasty filo were all prepped ahead of time and  set up in a ‘mise en place‘ (translation: French-style assembly line).

Filo assembly line

Filo assembly line

Loire Valley Cooking: Wrapping Filo Pastry
Inside the filo was a mix of leeks, shallots, fennel, cubed bread, Loire Valley cheese, chives, bell pepper, apple, walnuts and prociutto.

Wrapping the Filo Pastry

Wrapping the filo pastry

La Renaudie Perle de Rosée

This rosé is a Pinot Noir blend from Touraine. I found it very light, almost to the point of being watery, and much prefer the more flavourful rosés from the sunny south of France.

La Renaudie Perle de Rosée

La Renaudie Perle de Rosée

the back label of La Renaudie Perle de Rosée

the back label of La Renaudie Perle de Rosée

More about the rest of the meal in my next blog: Chicken Fricassée Braised in Milk and Potato, Asparagus and Mushroom Gratin paired with a fabulous Sancerre, and two great desserts with real Champagne!

Class 1 of this series focussed on the Food & Wine of the Loire Valley.

Class 1 Part 1: featuring Frog’s Leg Soup, followed by two excellent appetizers: one of scallops served in the shell and the other of pork belly nibbles with mustard sauce.
Class 1 Part 2: a main course of light salad with hazelnut-crusted goat cheese plus the dessert of cookies with homemade Cointreau ice cream.

Class 2 of this series moved north and slightly east to the Food & Wine of the province of Champagne.

Class 2 Part 1: appetizers of Belgian endives in a Béchamel sauce and savoury eclairs with smoked salmon, with Champagne, the real thing!
Class 2 Part 2: a main course of Stuffed Trout and Spelt Risotto with Biscuits de Rose de Reims for dessert, and more wine of course!

Chef Eric posts many of his recipes on his website: http://www.911cheferic.com/

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