Cooking with Music-French-Session II

If you haven’t been here before, I occasionally teach cooking classes at home.  Each class teaches a whole menu and each menu is focused upon a culture, country or culinary form.  This is the second session of Cooking with Music-French and there were two students–mom and four-year-old daughter. 

While August isn’t, perhaps, the very best time to learn how to bake quiche, it IS the very best time to learn how to make a great salad.  And is anytime a bad time to learn how to make a pie crust?  And, hey,  the quiche tastes wonderfully for lunch.  Chocolate mousse?  Whenever.  Here’s today’s bunch:

Chocolate Mousse = First, of course
Life is short
This is a no-egg chocolate mousse as eggs are bad boys right now:
Just melt 3/4 c chocolate chips with 3T butter and let that cool.
Whip up 1 cup of whipping cream and add 1T sugar at the end.
Fold a tiny bit of whipping cream into the chocolate to lighten it up a bit and
then fold into the chocolate the rest of the cream in three or four batches.  Spoon into pretty glasses or ramekins and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to a few hours.
Garnish with a dollop of whipping cream, some berries or grated chocolate
Et voila!  Mousse au chocolat!
Moving on from mousse to pate brisee, the super easy crust for the quiche.
“Hey, I can make a pie crust; who knew?”

Getting dirty…but eating fresh!  Like two minutes old.
Talk about organic food.  Making Jamie Olivers’s chopped salad. (click here to see the video)
Pixie dusting the salad with kosher salt and the pepper she ground.
FINALLY getting to eat dessert.  Took long enough.
We did it.
We not only cooked, we cooked together.
What a day.
We can now make–for ANYONE!!–the following menu:
Salade Printemps (spring salad w/ fresh herbs)
Quiche avec jambon et fromage (Ham and Cheese quiche)
Mousse au chocolat  (Chocolate mousse)
Fromages (cheese)
Baguette (long, thin loaf of bread) avec buerre (with butter)
Vin: (wine)
Bourgogne (blanc) (2007)-Laboure-Roi, Meursault, Cote d’Or, France
Beaujolais (2008)- Pierre Chermette, Saint Verand, France
Next Cooking with Music is
Pizza as an appetizer
Two main course soups (one vegetarian)
Apple crostada (free form pie)
Offered Saturday, September 18, 2010
We’ll cook and eat together.
Students may invite one guest for dinner each- approximately 5:30pm
Includes wine
Cost:  $50 per student
I have one opening for this class at present, but am happy to repeat it if I have requests.
This is a meal wonderful to learn for a dinner party because everything but the pizza (and it’s nearly ready) can be done in advance so that you can be…
Two-Dog Kitchen and Around the ‘Hood or Kitchen:
Grilling Colorado peaches for a peach salsa or dessert…a blog to come!
There’s the grilled peach salsa–perfect for bbq grilled pork chops, shrimp tacos or salmon.
Skippy Jon Jones–visiting Aunt Alyce and Uncle Dave again
And they called it “puppy love.”
A few things you might do around the kitchen this week:
Buy a bunch of green beans, trim them and blanch them (2-3 min in boiling water) and throw them in freezer bags into the freezer for the winter.  I got mine for 88cents a pound.
Ditto zucchini or summer squash.
Ditto corn on the cob.  Cook it, let it cool, cut it off the cob and put it in freezer bags.
Buy a dozen red, green, yellow peppers and cut them up and freeze them in small quantities.
Go to the nursery or wherever and buy some herbs to pot and take indoors for the fall.
Stake out your apple-picking spot.  Plan a picking date.
Clean out your freezer and defrost it while it’s still warm so you’ll be ready to cook, bake and freeze this fall.
There’s still time to make peach freezer jam while the peaches are very inexpensive.  I saw some Colorado peaches for 99 cents a pound at King Soopers’.
Eat lots of salad with lots of fresh herbs and great tomatoes.
Try a home-made Cobb or a Greek Salad with grilled chicken.
Make gazpacho.
Make caprese salad.
Consider making and freezing tomato sauce.
Blueberries from Canada are still available if you want to freeze some.  Just throw them in the bag unwashed.  (Rinse them when you use them.)
Sing a new song,

Cooking with Music

(Chocolate Mousse the easy way!)

Today was the first summer session of Cooking with Music at my house, which is a group of lessons or classes that combine food, culture, and music from specific countries or cultures.  French was first up–


Hors-d’oeuvres (appetizers):   Fromage avec pain  — Cheese with Bread
Entree  (First Course)  Salad Printemps avec vinaigrette dijonnaise-  Spring Salad with mustard vinaigrette or….Everyday Chopped Salad (from Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food–we used the on-line video)
Plat principal  (Main Course)  Quiche  -Cooking with Music Quiche (Lesson on Pate Brisee; quiche w/ bacon and pruscuitto)
Dessert (Dessert)  Mousse au Chocolat -Chocolate Mousse with Whipped Cream and Strawberries

Beginning French Lesson was a great online video from Alain Le Lait

We began with

Comment ca va?
Bien!  Tres Bien!  Et vous?
Pas mal.

And so on.

(Alain:  They loved Josette!)

I passed out notebooks and each student had a different color and their photo on the front.  Inside were maps of the world, Europe, info on the country of France, links to all of the sites we used in the lessons, all of the recipes and notes, and some coloring pages for the younger ones.

We went over the geography of France first.  Where was it?   While we did that, we listened to French folk songs…  But soon, if we wanted to eat before supper time, we needed to begin.  We made the mousse first and got it in the frig.   Next, we learned to make pastry dough ( Pate Brisee) and quiche filling.  That went in the oven while we watched a video on how to make chopped salad and made the salad.  Table set.  A little cheese.  Lunch was served.   It began to look like a piano lesson was going to have to be another day.

Merci! Merci!  to Jacque, Joel and Ellen.  Good cooks all!!!!
What are you cooking for Father’s Day?

Here are a few highlights.

Working on liquid measuring technique

Using Le Creuset cookware on a gas stove…

Hot stuff in a Krups blender….
I get the taste test!
I want to see.
We all work together.
How to fill a quiche without spilling the filling.
Ok, How did Jamie chop cress?
Should we watch the video again?   Watch those fingers!
Oh, yeah.  That’s a chopped salad.
Hey, I made that quiche!
At the table…finally!
Oh, by the way, you need to put a grace to music.  Here are the words:
Come, Lord.  Teach us to care, share and be grateful.  And most of all, teach us to love you and all you love.
We got a tune we’re workin’ on.
We did it!
Et voila! Mousse au chocolat:)  Another French food convert.
We’ll have the piano lesson with French music another day!  Phew.
A bientot!