We are going for a Rustic French meal. Reading through the elements, it feels nicely authentic, and I am sure we have a French wine knocking about in our collection to have with it. We recently went to a wine tasting at Laithwaites (their HQ is around the corner) and bought up a number of wines, some wonderfully French. It was a great evening, there were amuse bouche for each course, and this drove home to us how the right wine and food pairing enhanced the experience of both. I am not quite at the stage of being smart enough to make pairings, but I am in a place where I can steal the recommendations of others and pass them off as my incredible insight.
Music: Spotify playlist. I have utilised the French Music page on Wikipedia to guide me through some of the history and genres. Really interesting. I learnt that the Village People have French origins; how mad is that?
The French Blonde
½ oz. elderflower liqueur, like St. Germain
1 oz. dry gin
2 oz. White Lillet
2 oz. fresh grapefruit juice
A few dashes lemon bitters
Vigorously shake together all ingredients in an ice-filled cocktail shaker for at least 30 seconds. Strain into a martini glass.
A really lovely cocktail - cheery, fruity, balanced. He substituted Lillet with Noilly (which is still French, eh), and would like to try again with the 'real' version. I shall await the second version.
I couldn't imagine trying to begin to make these on a Friday evening, sodden with rain and exhaustion of a long work week. But he scampers about, throwing it all together. I think he is still on a high from the Cisco exam he passed this morning. As he makes it, he says he thinks it's a bit of a backwards way to make a roux. I love that not only does he know how to make a sodding roux, but what it's called. And all so casual like. Adore the man!
They are beautifully light. He thinks they're very good, he says they are like a crazy french version of a Yorkshire pudding, with cheese. I think they're like profiteroles, but savory. They are truly lovely. He has made a load of them from this recipe, and has said he's not sure they would last overnight... he means he's going to eat 'em.
Rabbit in Mustard Sauce and Creamed Onion Gratin
He spoke to a butcher and specially ordered a rabbit to be cut into six pieces. They were very embarrassed when he picked it up to be told it was in four pieces. OMG, not four?!?! This is a weird world of butchery cuts that I don't understand.
It is now ten o'clock and having subsisted on air filled cheese puffs and wine... well... I need to try this exciting main.
All in all - an interesting theme and great fun!