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France - French Cuisine

For how small France is on a global geographic perspective, the diversity of their cuisine can only be match by a few other large countries. Much of the exquisite cuisine served in fine restaurants around the world can be attributed to the art of French cooking. France is known for their world renowned wines, breads, and cheeses.
Cheese Fondue

12 oz. Emmental cheese, shredded
12 oz. Beaufort (or other Gruyere) cheese, shredded
12 oz. Tomme cheese
6 glasses dry white wine
1/2 glass kirsch liqueur
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
white pepper
1 or 2 loaves French bread, wholewheat or white
1 egg

On the day before or the morning of the meal, cube the bread, and leave it out to let it dry a little.

Rub the bottom and sides of an earthenware pot or cast iron saucepan with the garlic. Pour wine into pot and place on stove over medium-high heat. Bring wine to boil, add cheese and stir slowly with a wooden spoon. Before cheese is fully melted, take pot off the stove and place on a lighted fondue burner.

Beef bourguignon

4 lb lean beef, cubed
1 1/2 cups red wine
1/3 cup oil
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp black pepper
8 slices bacon, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 onion diced
1 lb mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup flour

Marinate beef in wine, oil, thyme and pepper 1 hour at room temp. or overnight in the refrigerator. In large pan, cook bacon until soft. Add garlic and onion sautéing until soft. Add mushrooms and cook until slightly wilted. Drain beef reserving liquid. Place beef in slow cooker. Sprinkle flour over the beef stirring until well coated. Add mushroom mixture on top. Pour reserved marinade over all. Cook on low 8-9 hrs.

Hollandaise Sause

2 tablespoons butter (1-1/2 sticks)
3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon chilled butter
1 tablespoon heavy cream
white pepper
In a small, heavy pan over low heat, melt 12 tablespoons of butter without letting it brown. Set the butter aside and keep it warm. Off the heat, in a 1-1/2 to 2 quart enamelled or stainless-steel saucepan, beat the egg yolks vigorously with a wire whisk for 1 minute or until they become thick; the bottom of the pan should show through when the whisk is drawn across it. Beat in the lemon juice. Then place the pan over very low heat and stir in
the 1 tablespoon of chilled butter with the whisk. Stir constantly, lifting the pan off the stove occasionally to prevent it from overheating, until the butter has been absorbed and the mixture thickens enough to coat the wires of the whisk lightly. Remove the pan from the heat and beat in the cream. Still off the heat, pour in the warm, melted butter by droplets, stirring constantly with the whisk. The sauce will thicken into a heavy cream. Taste the hollandaise and season with salt and white pepper.

Broiled Mushrooms

fresh mushroom caps of the size and in the quantity desired
melted butter
freshly ground black pepper
small toast rounds (optional)
soft butter
lemon juice

Preheat the broiler. Using a pastry brush, paint each mushroom cap with melted butter. Arrange the caps side by side and hollow side up in a well- buttered, shallow baking dish. Season them lightly with salt and pepper and broil them 6" from the heat for 5 minutes. Gently turn the caps over and broil them for another 5 minutes, or until they are lightly browned and tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife.

To serve, arrange them on a heated platter (on toast rounds if desired). Dot the tops with a bit of soft butter and sprinkle each cap with a few drops of lemon juice.

Beef and Onions braiserd in Beer

1/4 lb. salt pork, diced
2 cups water
5 tablespoons butter
7 cups thinly sliced onions (about 2 lbs.)
3 lbs. lean boneless beef chuck or rump, cut in 2" chunks
bouquet garni made of 4 parsley sprigs and 1 bay leaf, tied together
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups beer
1-1/2 cups beef stock
1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

To remove excess saltiness, blanch the pork dice by simmering them in 2 cups of water for 5 minutes, drain on paper towels and pat dry. In a heavy 10" to 12" skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over moderate heat, and in it brown the pork dice, stirring them or shaking the pan frequently, until they are crisp and golden. Remove them with a slotted spoon and set them aside to drain on paper towels. Pour off almost all the rendered fat from the skillet into a small bowl, leaving just enough in the skillet to make a thin film about 1/16" deep on the bottom. Set the bowl of fat and skillet aside.
In another heavy 10" to 12" skillet, melt 4 tablespoons of butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the sliced onions and cook them over low heat, turning them frequently with a wide metal spatula, for 20 to 30 minutes, or until they become limp and lightly colored.

Braised Leeks

Braised Leeks
12 firm fresh leeks 1" to 1-1/2" in diameter
2 cups beef stock
4 tablespoons butter
freshly ground black pepper

Cut off the roots of the leeks and strip away any withered leaves. Line up the leeks in a row and cut off enough green to make them all 6" or 7" long. Then with a sharp knife slit the green parts in half lengthwise, stopping where they shade into white. Carefully spread the leaves apart and wash them under fast-running water, looking out for any hidden pockets of snad. Lay the leeks in 1 or 2 layers in a heavy stainless-steel or enamelled skillet or flameproof casserole just large enough to hold them flat. Pour in the beef stock and add the butter. Bring the stock to a boil over high heat; reduce the heat and boil gently, basting occasionally, for 15 minutes, or until the white parts of the leeks are tender when pierced with a sharp knife.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. With tongs or a slotted spatula, arrange the leeks in one layer in a shallow, buttered baking dish. Taste the stock for seasoning, then pour it over the leeks and bake them covered loosely with a sheet of aluminum foil. In 20 minutes or so the leeks should be lightly colored and the stock almost cooked away. If the stock has not reduced enough, transfer it to a small saucepan with a bulb baster or spoon and boil it down. Serve the leeks directly from the baking dish or arrange them on a heated platter and pour the syrupy stock over them.


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