Although the Alsace is a province of France, it is right on the border with Germany, and the food and wine has been heavily influenced by the Bavarians. Our first cooking class in Alsatian food started with a very French Asparagus, Orange and Crab salad, followed by Onion and Bacon Tart, very much like Quiche Lorraine, the province next door to the Alsace, and also bordering Germany.
Starting our Alsatian food extravaganza was an ‘Asparagus, Orange and Crab Salad‘ with ‘Dill Dressing‘.
The salad began with a ‘five-petalled’ flower of spinach, topped with a loose bundle of arugula. And it carried on from there, an amazing mix of lightly steamed asparagus, crab meat, orange segments, cherry tomatoes, apple slices and fat raisins.
These Puff Pastry Twists (super delicious) started with a sheet of puff pastry, that was brushed with an egg wash and spread with a herb/parmesan cheese mix.
Cut lengthwise into strips, twisted and brushed with more egg wash and sesame seeds, this dish was ‘easy’ according to its maker, and definitely worth trotting out at a dinner party.
The wine chosen to go with the salad was a Crémant d’Alsace, a sparkling ‘Brut Rosé’. Its ‘clean’ taste, citrus notes and fine bubbles that exploded in the mouth making it perfect for the salad.
Chef Eric noted that it also went well with anything that had a smoky flavour such as bacon. Hence this sparkling rosé also went with the Alsatian Onion & Bacon Tart, a tasty quiche-like tart, that, together with the salad, would have been a meal in itself.
Here Chef Eric demonstrates how to remove the tart from the tart pan – excuse the blur, it all happened very fast!
|holding the tart pan with a hot cloth, place a plate on top and invert…||another plate is placed on top of the upside-down tart…||the plate is inverted once again… Et voilá!|
FOOD & WINE OF THE ALSACE
Class 1 Part 1: Our first cooking class in Alsatian food started with a very French Asparagus, Orange and Crab Salad, followed by Onion and Bacon Tart.
Class 1 Part 2: The main dish of the evening, Chicken & Cabbage & Prunes in Riesling was served with Alsace ‘Grand Cru’. Dessert overload began with a Kirsch Soufflé served with a Muscat followed by a Beer Sorbet with Läckerli Cookies.
Class 2 Part 1: Sauerkraut Soup with Smoked Sausage, Tarte Flambée or ‘Flammekueche’, and ‘Baeckenofe with Sweet and Sour Cabbage’ plus Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris.
Class 2 Part 2: ‘Grilled Munster Cheese Salad’ with a Pinot Auxerrois and for dessert, ‘Apple Tart with Kirsch Crème Anglaise’
Class 3 Part 1: foie gras on toast with fresh fig along with the Alsace Grand Cru Gewürztraminer, and escargot in vol-au-vents paired with a Sylvaner.
Class 3 Part 2: ‘Munster Valley Pie‘, a pork pie done Alsace-style with a well-aged Pinot Noir, Seafood Sylvaner Choucroute, and for dessert, Fromage Blanc Tart, and with it another essential French experience: Eau-de-Vie Poire Williams.