24 January 2006

Menu #2: Truite arc-en-ciel pochée

Last Saturday, I made an auvergnat feast for Amy. The recipes all represent Auvergne, a mountainous region in the Massif Central of south-central France. We skipped over the salad/entrée course, but here's what we did have:

Plat: Truite arc-en-ciel pochée aux oignons, avec aligot d'Aubrac [Rainbow Trout poached with onions, served with aligot, a mashed-potato-like dish from Aubrac]

Start with the aligot (which takes about an hour), then work on the trout.

Aligot d'Aubrac
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
Serves: 4
  • 1 kg (2 pounds) of new potatoes
  • 400 g (14 oz.) tomme cheese [outside of France, look for a mild, white, cow cheese]
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 150 g (5 1/4 oz.) butter
  • 10-15 cl (about a 1/4 cup) milk
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Peel the potatoes. If they are large, cut them into quarters. The pieces should all be the same size to assure they cook uniformly. Boil them for about 45 minutes in a stewpot of salted water (10 g/2 tsp per litre/quart). They are done when the point of a knife easily punctures them.
  2. Strain the potatoes and mash them. Stir them with a spatula for 2-3 minutes to dry them.
  3. Away from the heat, add the butter and stir with a wooden spoon. Gradually add in the milk while stirring, until the potatoes have a fluffy but slightly firm consistency.
  4. Cut the tomme into thin slices and distribute them on the potatoes. Place the stewpot over low heat, adding the garlic (finely chopped) and stir vigorously. Little by little the tomme will melt and form strings (in French, l'aligot va "filer").
  5. As the aligot gains elasticity, lift the spoon higher and higher. When the tomme is completely melted, the aligot ready. Season to taste and serve immediately from the stewpot.
Truite arc-en-ciel pochée aux oignons
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4
  • 4 rainbow trout (or 8 filets)
  • 50 cl (about 1 pint) dry white wine [I'd recommend using Muscadet, but any cooking wine will suffice]
  • 1 onion, cut in thin slices
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 shallot, chopped finely
  • 20 cl (about 1 cup) Muscadet wine
  • 250 g butter
  • 1 lemon
  • a handful or two of girolles or chanterelles (both are flavorful, trumpet-shaped mushrooms)
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Combine 2 liters (2 quarts) of water with the bay leaf, the sliced onion, the dry white wine, the salt, and the pepper. Bring to boiling, then simmer.
  2. Poach the fish in this for 8 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare "beurre nantais":
    1. Combine the muscadet and shallot and reduce.
    2. When that has reduced to 3/4, adding the butter while stirring. Don't let the mixture boil.
    3. Squeeze the lemon's juice into the mixture and add salt and pepper.
  4. While keeping the beurre nantais over low heat, sautée the girolles/chanterelles.
  5. Pour a bed of beurre nantain onto each plate, add the trout, and then garnish with the girolles/chanterelles.
[Let me just say one thing about this recipe. Amy hates most fish, I hate most things involving mushrooms; both of us loved everything about this dish!!!]

Fromage: Cantal
This is a hard cow cheese with an AOC designation from the department of Cantal. We prefer a Cantal entre-deux, but you might also enjoy the less-aged version (Cantal jeune) or the more-aged version (Cantal vieux). [AOC stands for "appélation d'origine contrôlée" and is applied to French cheeses and wines. It signifies that the given cheese or wine has been produced in a specific geographic region following very stringent processes. Only the best cheeses and wines get this designation.]

Dessert: Cornets de Murat [Horns from Murat]
Preparation time: 45 minutes
Cooking time: 8-10 minutes
Makes about 20 cornets
  • Cornets
    • 2 egge whites
    • 100 g sugar
    • 50 g butter
    • 60 g flour
  • Crème chantilly
    • 200 g sour cream
    • 60 g sugar
    • 1 pouch of vanilla-flavored sugar [You can probably substitute 1 tsp of vanilla extract and add a little extra sugar]
  1. Cornets
    1. Gently stir the sugar into the egg whites for 3-4 minutes.
    2. Add the flour, then the melted butter, and quickly stir into a batter.
    3. Spread teaspoon-size drops of batter on a cookie sheet. [They will expand while cooking, so leave at least a couple inches between them.]
    4. Bake at about 150 C/300 F for 8 to 10 minutes. [Be careful not to overcook them!]
  2. While they are baking prepare the crème chantilly. [For the Americans out there...this is like making whipped cream.]
  3. As the cornets come out of the often, roll them into cones [cornets].
  4. Fill the cornets with the crème chantilly.
[As a side note, I bombed on this recipe. If you know how to make crème pâtissière, I think that would be even better. We learned the hard way that I do not know how to make crème pâtissière. Plus, I overcooked the cornets a little, so they didn't roll into cones very well.]

Bon appétit!!


At 25/1/06 11:42, Blogger croust said...

Thanks, Karla!!!


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