This cooking class at UBC featured the food and wine of the Bordeaux region of France, which includes the Basque region, so it was appropriate that we started with a Basque-influenced Fisherman’s Soup of cod, fresh corn, tomato and chorizo, perfect for late summer when tomatoes and corn are ripe, and the nights are getting chillier. I loved this soup and have made it again.
Here are the basic ingredients: fresh corn scraped off the cob, one yellow onion, 3 cloves of garlic, one medium potato, one celery stick, Spanish dried chorizo, 1/4 fennel bulb, one carrot, cod, and Roma tomatoes, along with spices and white wine. We used the rest of the fennel in the Warm Fennel Salad appetizer, and the small amount of fennel in the soup made it a perfect lead-in to the appetizer.
This was served along with a Leek & Goat Cheese Tart with Warm Fennel Salad. Both courses were accompanied by the local white wine from the Bordeaux region, which is Sauvignon Blanc. This particular wine was a 2007 Dourthe No. 1 Bordeaux, was tart and went well with the soup and salad.
The main course was Grilled Steak Bordelaise in Wine Sauce and pear-shaped Potato Croquettes; the wine a Chateau Puy-Blanquet St. Emilion Grand Cru 2007. Going with the concept that wine from the region pairs perfectly with food from the region, especially in the ‘Old World’ where they have centuries of experience making it work, you can pair any of the Bordeaux reds with the grilled steak. So a Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot or Petit Verdot would all go well, and to make the pairing even more perfect add a bottle of cheaper bordeaux to the wine sauce.
Finally, the dessert, Cannelés, delectable rum and almond cakes, soft inside and crunchy outside.
Chef Eric posts many of his recipes on his website: http://www.911cheferic.com/
How were the potatoes shaped like that?
They were baked until fully cooked. The scooped-out flesh was milled while still really hot, then mixed with spices and egg yolks. The mix was shaped in flour-coated hands to form the pears, starting with a ball. Next, they were coated with flour, egg, milk and fine breadcrumbs and deep-fried. The stems are cloves. It’s a lot of work, and while I hate to admit it, I think I like the frozen potato croquettes just as well…
Welcome back Grant – when are you blogging your trip????
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