the food & wine of Alsace: UBC Class 1, Part 1

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‘.
amazing crab salad, step1The 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.

more ingredients waiting to be added to the Crab Salad

more ingredients waiting to be added to the Crab Salad

A dill dressing was drizzled on top, and then the salad was plated with each plate receiving a Puff Pastry Twist on the side. Crab Salad from the Alsace, plated and ready to serve

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.

making the puff pastry twists

making the puff pastry twists

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 Crab & Asparagus Salad is served with a Puff Pastry Twist and Brut Rosé wine

the Crab & Asparagus Salad is served with a Puff Pastry Twist and Brut Rosé wine

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.

Lucien Albrecht 'Crémant d'Alsace' Brut Rosé

Lucien Albrecht ‘Crémant d’Alsace’ Brut Rosé

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!

Tipping out a tart Tipping out a tart Tipping out a tart
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!

Onion & Bacon Tart

the wonderful quiche-like Onion & Bacon Tart, along with the salad and wine  could easily have been a meal in itself!


This series:

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.

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One response to “the food & wine of Alsace: UBC Class 1, Part 1

  1. The German influence is not just a matter of proximity. This part of France (and the corresponding slice of Germany) has changed hands between the two countries a few times. Two great places to visit here (and close together) are Colmar in France and Freiberg in Germany

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