A Favorite for the Christmas Menu

alt=“Gratin Dauphinois Potato Gratin Cook and Shoot Food Photography Bruno Gaget”

Gratin Dauphinois

Potato Gratin

Serves 4

 


When selecting potatoes for this dish, look for small to medium sized, high quality, low-starch varieties such as Charlotte, New, Fingerlings or White Round.


 

alt=“Potatoes Charlottes Fingerlings Food Photography Bruno Gaget”

INGREDIENTS

12 young potatoes

2 tbsp butter

herbed sea salt to taste

1 fresh garlic clove crushed

1 pint of whole milk

1/4 bouquet of fresh parsley chopped to garnish

alt=“Sliced Potatoes for Gratin Dauphinois Technique Food Photography Bruno Gaget”

PREPARATION

•• Begin by preheating your oven to 400 degrees. •• With the skins left intact, wash the potatoes with a scrub brush. •• Cut the potatoes in half then thinly slice into smaller segments. •• Place the slices in a large bowl of cold water and then rinse through a colander until the water runs clear. •• Transfer the potatoes to a clean dry dish towel and pat dry to absorb the remaining water. •• In a buttered casserole dish, create layers of  potato slices and sprinkle with herbed sea salt and crushed garlic on each layer. •• Pour the milk over the potatoes bringing the liquid to approximately 3/4 to the top of the layered potatoes. •• Sprinkle with more herbed sea salt, if desired. ••

•• Bake in the oven for 45 minutes until the liquid has reduced and the top is golden brown. ••

•• Garnish with freshly chopped parsley. ••

•• Magnifique ••

 


 

Kicking Things Off With Coquilles

This recipe demands a bit of extra time and attention, but is well worth the effort. With the weekend upon us, you can dazzle your dinner guests or simply enjoy this sumptuous dish, just for two!

alt=“Coquilles St Jacques Scallops Recipe Bruno Gaget Food Photography"

Coquilles St. Jacques

Scallops Sauté

Serves 2

 


 

INGREDIENTS

 8 large scallops rinsed and drained

 2 shallots finely chopped

 1 garlic clove crushed  

 1 tbsp butter 

  1 lemon divided in half   

 2-3 tbsp white wine (Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc)

sea salt on hand

1 sprig of fresh rosemary 

1 bay leaf 

 few sprigs of finely chopped chive   

 1-2 tbsp crème fraîche 

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1/4 bouquet of freshly chopped parsley to garnish 

  1 cup uncooked brown rice

2 1/2 cups water or vegetable stock

 4 boiled potatoes 

scallop shells from the poissonnière, fish monger or seafood merchant 

alt=“Glass of French white wine food photography Bruno Gaget”


The choice and quality of your wine selection for cooking should always be equivalent to the quality of what you would also enjoy with your meal.


PREPARATION

Begin by preparing the rice, rinsing the scallops and setting aside. •• In a small-medium size sauté pan, add the shallots, garlic and butter. •• Cook over a low heat for approximately 15 minutes. •• Once golden brown, remove from the pan and set aside. •• Déglacer the same sauté pan with the juice squeezed from half of a fresh lemon, a pinch of sea salt and 2-3 tbsp of white wine. •• Let it reduce until it slightly thickens. •• Add a sprig of rosemary, bay leaf, chive and the onion and garlic mixture back into the sauté pan. •• Let it thicken but not to a paste consistency, leaving some liquid to be absorbed by the rice. •• Combine a tbsp or 2 of crème fraîche and a tsp of Dijon mustard. •• In a separate sauté pan, on high heat, sauté the scallops until slightly browned, while squeezing another half fresh lemon over the scallops as they cook. •• Add a tbsp of butter and some sea salt while slowly moving the pan about. •• Using tongs and a spurtle, gently flip the scallops once only. •• Remove from the heat and add the scallops to the sauce pan. •• Stir gently to coat. •• Serve over a bed of brown rice with boiled potatoes as an accompaniment. •• Garnish with freshly chopped parsley. ••

•• Bon Appétit ••


 

Save the Scraps for Stock

alt=“Recipe for vegetable stock with leftover vegetable scraps by cook and shooter Bruno Gager"

Whether you’re whipping up a soup, stew, sauce or risotto, there is nothing that beats having your own homemade vegetable stock on hand. With a little advance planning and some up-cycling of unused portions of vegetables, you can create a nutrient-rich base for use in any stock. So instead of tossing away those carrot root ends or left over Brussels sprouts, save these veggie bits and pieces in a container or bag and store for future use in the freezer. This no-nonsense recipe is perfect for getting a jump on your upcoming entertaining and holiday gatherings!


INGREDIENTS FOR VEGETABLE STOCK

1 onion

3 carrots

4 celery stalks

1/2 fennel bulb

4 sprigs fresh thyme

1/2 bouquet fresh parsley

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon whole peppercorns

2 tablespoons of olive oil

alt=“Fennel and zucchini in a dish at home ingredients for vegetable stock recipe and food photography by Bruno Gaget Le Menu Maison"

SUGGESTIONS FOR UP-CYCLED INGREDIENTS

leeks – particularly the green portions

Brussels sprouts – leaves and bulbs

fennel – including the feathery leaves

carrots – root ends and tips

yellow squash

zucchini

alt=“Fresh parsley at the French farmers market in Fontainebleau France food photography by Bruno Gaget"

PREPARATION

Thoroughly wash all of the fresh and up-cycled vegetables. Rough chop, as necessary.

••

Using a large enameled stockpot, mix the vegetables with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Over a low heat, allow the vegetables to sweat (reduce) for approximately 10-15 minutes. This process softens the vegetables and also brings forth the flavors.

••

Add enough water to entirely cover the vegetables, noting that additional water levels will dilute the flavors. Lay the herbs on top of the water and cover with a lid. Bring the mixture up to a slow boil then reduce your heat to low and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour.  Taste test for readiness.

••

Place the stockpot on a stable and heat resistant surface and remove all of the vegetables and herbs with a slotted spoon. Set your strainer (preferably a chinois strainer) over a large bowl and pour the liquid through.  For a clearer consistency, place a sheet of cheesecloth over the strainer and then pour the stock through.

••

Divide the stock into airtight storage containers and allow to completely cool before refrigerating or freezing. Store the stock in the refrigerator for up to one week or freeze for up to 3 months.

••

Lastly, leaving nothing to waste, the cooked vegetable mixture makes for a healthy and tasty treat for your canine companion!

 


 

Welcome the Season Starting With Soup

Is apple and butternut squash picking on your list of fun-fall-foliage activities? Then you’ll want to create this nutritious and delicious recipe from our French healthy homestyle menu to yours.

alt=“Butternut Squash and apples fresh ingredients for soup Food Photography Bruno Gaget”

Soupe de Courge Musquée à la Pomme

Apple Butternut Squash Soup

Serves 4

 

alt=“Recipe for apple and butternut squash soup fresh Ingredients food photography by Bruno Gaget"

INGREDIENTS

1 medium apple

1 medium butternut squash

1 clove fresh garlic crushed

1 red onion chopped

1 green onion chopped

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup white wine, Chardonnay

1/2 cup calvados or substitute with cognac, apple or pear brandy

1 small branch of fresh sage

2 sprigs of fresh thyme leaves

sea salt & pepper to taste

1 quart chicken stock

dollop of crème fraîche per serving

fresh parsley chopped to garnish

alt=“Butternut squash apples soup recipe peeling technique food photography Bruno Gaget"

PREPARATION

•• Peel and dice the apple and butternut squash. •• In a large cast iron dutch oven style pot, combine the apple, butternut squash, garlic, red and green onions. •• Cook over a medium-low heat and then introduce the butter, cooking the mixture until it becomes a soft and golden sauce. •• Déglacer the pot by adding both white wine and calvados. •• Stirring often and gently, add fresh sage, thyme, sea salt and pepper to taste. •• Let it reduce. •• Add the chicken stock and a little water, if needed to arrive at the equivalent of the butternut mixture. •• Cover the pot and cook for approximately 15-20 minutes over a medium-low heat. •• Once the mixture is completely softened allow it to cool for 5 minutes, removing the herb branches. •• Using a hand-held blender, mix until smooth. •• Serve with a dollop of thick crème fraîche or butter and sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley. ••

•• Délicieux ••

And don’t forget the warm crusty bread and butter!!

Couronne Valencia

 


 

What’s Green and in Season?

alt=“Asparagus Asperges in a bouquet food photography Bruno Gaget”

Asparagus (asperges) was the favored vegetable of France’s King Louis XIV.  Also known as the Sun King, Louis even went as far as to declare asparagus, the King of Vegetables. When preparing this highly nutritive, flowering perennial plant, our first instinct usually finds us at the chopping block with a sharp knife in hand. But there is a better way! From his kitchen on the Champs-Élysées in Paris, watch Professor of Cuisine, Jack Legras of Lenôtre demonstrate a simple preparation technique for asparagus.

(French with English Subtitles)

 


 

A French Breakfast

alt=“morning coffee poured from Italian press food photography Bruno Gaget”

Breaking the fast in France is typically fuss-free and minimal.  Great starts begin with fresh fruits in season and tartine, which is another name for your favorite crusty bread topped with butter and “confiture” (jam). Morning coffee is “café au lait” (coffee with milk) served in a small bowl which comes in handy when dipping your tartine.

Bonne Journée.

Le_Menu_Maison_Bruno_Gaget_French_Baguette