You can be a part of a French tradition without boarding a plane.
Soiree en Blanc will take place on Friday, Sept. 6 in South Bend; but the exact location will be kept a secret until the last moment.
Soiree en Blanc is inspired by Diner en Blanc, meaning “white dinner,” that started in Paris a quarter of a century ago. Everyone who attends is asked to wear all white and just like the South Bend event, the location is kept a secret.
The event will be from 7-9 p.m. and costs $25 per person. Similar events have been held in cities all around the world. The money benefits the YMCA of Michiana.
To learn more, visit the Soiree en Blanc South Bend Facebook page or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can visit their web site; we have a link on the Big Red Bar.
Last week on 16 Morning News we welcomed Chef Monica Hoban and organizer Lisa de Froberville. Here are the recipes for the dishes they shared on the air:
Six to eight servings
Adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking (Knopf) by Julia Child
• 6 ounces (170g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
• 6 ounces (170g) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
• 1/4 cup (60ml) dark-brewed coffee
• 4 large eggs, separated
• 2/3 cup (170g), plus 1 tablespoon sugar
• 2 tablespoons (30ml) dark rum
• 1 tablespoon (15ml) water
• pinch of salt
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Heat a saucepan one-third full with hot water, and in a bowl set on top, melt together the chocolate, butter and coffee, stirring over the barely simmering water, until smooth. Remove from heat.
2. Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside.
3. In a bowl large enough to nest securely on the saucepan of simmering water, whisk the yolks of the eggs with the 2/3 cup of sugar, rum, and water for about 3 minutes until the mixture is thick, like runny mayonnaise. (You can also use a handheld electric mixer.)
3. Remove from heat and place the bowl of whipped egg yolks within the bowl of ice water and beat until cool and thick, as shown in the photo above. Then fold the chocolate mixture into the egg yolks.
4. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with the salt until frothy. Continue to beat until they start to hold their shape. Whip in the tablespoon of sugar and continue to beat until thick and shiny, but not completely stiff, then the vanilla.
5. Fold one-third of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the remainder of the whites just until incorporated, but don’t overdo it or the mousse will lose volume.
6. Transfer the mousse to a serving bowl or divide into serving dishes, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, until firm.
Serving: I like to serve the chocolate mousse as it is, maybe with just a small dollop of whipped cream; it neither needs, nor wants, much adornment.
Storage: The mousse au chocolat can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.
Fresh Fruit Tart “Petit Fours”
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, strained
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
6 Tbsps. unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-sized pieces.
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the whole eggs, egg yolks, and sugar. Beat on medium-low speed for about 2 minutes, until thick, fluffy and light yellow. Add the lemon juice and zest and mix to combine. Pour the mixture into a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for 3-5 minutes, until it reaches a creamy consistency. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter until melted and smooth.
2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and place a rack in the lower third of the oven. Pour the hot lemon filling into baked and cooled crusts. Place the filled tarts in the oven for 2-3 minutes for individual tarts and about 5 minutes for a full-sized tart, just to set the filling. Let cool to room temperature.
Using your favorite pie crust recipe, place the crust in the tart pan(s) and bake according to recipe directions. Cool to room temperature and follow recipe for lemon filling.
Arrange fresh fruit on top of cooled lemon filling and top with either melted apricot jelly or Dr. Oetker’s Glaze, made according to package directions. This can be found at Bamber’s Superette.
Ambassade d’Auvergne‘s (Lentil Salad with Walnut Oil)
from Patricia Wells’ The Paris Cookbook
For the lentils:
2 Tbs. goose fat or extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, peeled and minced
2 oz. smoked ham (or Canadian bacon), cut into tiny dice
1 lb. French green Lentils, preferably lentilles du Puy
1 qt. chicken stock
For the vinaigrette:
1 Tbs. French Dijon mustard
2 Tbs. best-quality red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
6 oz. (2/3 c.) best-quality walnut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot, peeled and finely minced
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 oz. lean slab bacon, rind removed, cubed (1 cup)
3 Tbs. minced fresh chives
In a large, heavy saucepan, melt the goose fat over medium-high heat. Add the onion and ham and sweat – cook, covered, over low heat – without coloring until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl. Set aside.
Place the lentils in a large fine-mesh sieve and rinse under cold running water. Transfer them to the same heavy saucepan. Cover with cold water, and bring to a boil over high heat. When the water boils, remove the saucepan from the heat. Transfer the lentils to a fine mesh sieve and drain over the sink. Rinse the lentils under cold running water. Return the lentils to the saucepan, add the chicken stock, and bring just to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer. With a slotted spoon, skim off any impurities that rise to the surface.
Once the liquid is clear of impurities, add the onions and ham and simmer gently, uncovered, over low heat until the lentils are cooked yet still firm in the center, about 30 minutes (the cooking time will vary according to the freshness of the lentils: the fresher they are, the more quickly they will cook).
Meanwhile, prepare the vinaigrette: in a large salad bowl, combine the mustard and vinegar and whisk to blend. Add the walnut oil and shallots, and whisk again. Season with sea salt and black pepper to taste. Set aside.
Place the bacon in a large nonstick skillet and fry over moderate heat until golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon cubes to a plate covered with a double thickness of paper towels.
Pour the lentils into a fine-mesh sieve, draining and discarding any remaining liquid. Transfer them to the salad bowl and toss with vinaigrette until evenly and thoroughly coated. Let the lentils sit until they have absorbed the vinaigrette, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the cubed bacon and chives. Taste for seasoning.
Traditionally made with local olives, oil-cured tuna, and anchovies, this protein-rich salad from Provence has become a staple of brasseries all over France.
FOR THE DRESSING:
1 clove garlic
Kosher salt, to taste
⅓ cup olive oil
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 shallot, minced
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
FOR THE SALAD:
1 lb. small new potatoes, boiled until tender
6 oz. yellow baby beets, boiled until tender, peeled
6 oz. red baby beets, boiled until tender, peeled
8 oz. haricot verts, blanched
12 oz. cherry tomatoes, halved
½ cup black Niçoise olives
8 small radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced
8 salt-packed anchovies, rinsed and drained
4 hard-boiled eggs, halved lengthwise
3 (4-oz.) cans high-quality oil-packed tuna, drained
1 small cucumber, thinly sliced
½ cup loosely packed basil leaves, to garnish
¼ cup thinly sliced scallions, to garnish
1. Make the dressing: Mince garlic on a cutting board and sprinkle heavily with salt; using a knife, scrape garlic and salt together to form a smooth paste. Transfer paste to a bowl and whisk in oil, juice, mustard, shallot, and salt and pepper; set aside.
2. Make the salad: Arrange all ingredients in separate rows on a large serving platter; drizzle dressing over all ingredients, season with salt and pepper, and garnish with basil and scallions just before serving.