Sunday, March 10, 2013

Cooking at Home – A French Dinner

Cooking at Home – A French Dinner for our Family

Cooking at Home – a French Bistro Tablescape  Photo by J. Rodgers
The inspiration for our French dinner came from the Cooking Channel, Food Network, and our local wine shop Wicked Cellars. Oh yes, let's not forget Julia Child. The Cooking Channel, Food network, and Julia Child also provided the ideas for our menu and Wicked cellars provided the wine.

Wicked Cellars wine shop in Everett, Washington is our go to location for wine. We believe their wine club is the best in the area. Providing both great deals and fantastic wine selections. The wine for our French dinner was mostly made up of wine club selections. The exception would be the Gru Beaujolais, which was part of a wonderful and unique tasting back in March 2010. Where we tasted over eight different styles of this little-known wine (I think we bought one of each wine tasted).

Cooking at Home – A French Dinner for our Family - Our French Wine
As we prepare our French Dinner for our family it brought back memories of my first French dinner with my French family back in 1963. Our French family at that time lived, east of Bordeaux, not far from Saint Émilion in a small village called Saint Seurin sur l'Isle. They were also the owners of a café called 'Café du Midi'.

A French Dinner for our Family - Saint Seurin sur l'Isle 1963

Saint Seurin sur l'Isle 1963

Saint Seurin sur l'Isle 1963 – Our Fre Families Café – Café’ du Midi
Back to our dinner...

Our French dinner consisted of six courses served in the restaurant style. We did take a break from tradition and had the salad in more of the American order. We started our meal off with a L ‘entrée (appetizer) of a take on a Charcuterie (preserved meats and cheeses). Next followed an aperitif of orange peel wine. A fennel and mushroom salad was served next. The Le Plat Principal (Main course) was a poached egg in a red wine sauce on a croûte. Followed by Coq au Riesling (braise chicken with Riesling) with boil fingerling potatoes with parsley and roasted asparagus. Le Dessert was a berry soup with Champagne.

We used no great science in selecting which wines to have with which course. We chose the garage wine for the Charcuterie because of the great flavor paired with the fats of the meat. Since eggs are usually served with white wine, we chose the lighter Cru Beaujolais for our poached egg in Burgundy wine sauce with croûte.


What about the food?

But first the Aperitif.....

Apéritif vin de zeste d'orange
Orange Peel Wine Aperitif****

Cooking at Home - A French Dinner for our Family - Orange Peel Wine Aperitif - Photo by J. Rodgers

Fenouil et salade de champignons
Fennel and Mushroom Salad***+

Cooking at Home – A French Dinner for our Family –Fenouil et salade de champignons (Fennel and Mushroom Salad)

Oeufs pochés sauce vin Bourgogne
Poached Eggs in Burgundy Wine Sauce****

Cooking at Home – A French Dinner for our Family - Oeufs pochés sauce vin Bourgogne (Poached Eggs in Burgundy Wine Sauce)

Coq au Riesling, pommes de terre grelots persil bouillie et asperges grillées
Chicken in Riesling with Boiled Fingerling Potatoes with Parsley and Roasted Asparagus****

Cooking at Home – A French Dinner for our Family - Coq au Riesling, pommes de terre grelots persil bouillie et asperges grilles (Chicken in Riesling with Boiled Fingerling Potatoes and Roasted Asparagus)

Champagne et soupe de Berry
Berry Soup and Champagne****+

Cooking at Home – A French Dinner for our Family - Champagne et soupe de Berry (Berry Soup and Champagne

Our wines in order:

Thunevin 2006 Bad Boy (Mauvais Garçon)
Bordeaux, France

Robert Parker nicknamed Jean Luc Thunevin as bad boy and black sheep, and thus gave Thunevin the idea to create the Bad Boy (Mauvais Garçon) cuvée.

Mauvais Garçon (Bad Boy) was born as a Bordeaux wine, due to the legislation ruling at that time, it only seemed natural to create a Baby Bad Boy by the time the new appellation Vin de France appeared, and it was compulsory to also give birth to a Bad Girl, Crémant de Bordeaux.

This cuvee from leading garagiste Jean-Luc Thunevin is a blend of 95% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc, from vines at least 40 years old on a great terroir of clay and limestone. The nose is full of blackberry, black cherry, black pepper, and black olives. These "black" notes follow through on the palate, where notes of cassis, smoke and minerals also emerge. Full bodied with a silky texture and loaded with ripe chewy tannins, this wine is a pure, delicious offering. 91 Points-Wine Spectator.

2007 Lucien Lardy, Fleurie, "les Roches" Vieilles Vignes

This cru Beaujolais offers superb value and should be enjoyed young even though it may well evolve for another half dozen years.  Aromas of cassis, blueberry, plum, sage, and smoked meats fill the nose. Orange zest, black pepper, and crushed stone add further complexity on a pleasantly dense palate, offering lift and luscious refreshment characteristic of Beaujolais.

Domaine de La Côte de l’Ange 2010 Côtes du Rhône
Châteauneuf du Pape, France

This wine is a dark ruby red color, with superb youthful glints of deep purple. The nose is very fresh, with aromas of violet, black currant and dark fruits, but also of red fruits, cedar and spices. It is light and fresh in the mouth, with a nice balance of roundedness and intensity, banishing on a peppery note combined with dark fruits.

Domaine de La Côte de l’Ange 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape
Châteauneuf du Pape, France

“The 2010 Châteauneuf du Pape is a blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre and 10% Syrah aged in a combination of cement and old wood foudres. The wine has a dense ruby/purple color and a classic nose of blueberries, blackberries, licorice, new saddle leather, roasted meats as well as pepper and spice. It is full-bodied, moderately tannic and impressive. Let it age for another 2 3 years and drink it over the following 15 or more.” (93 points WA 10/2012)

And to end the evening

Château Branda 2005
Puisseguin-Saint-Emilion, France

This lovely wine is made under the supervision of wine-making guru Michel Puzio, deemed one of the best makers of Merlot in the world.

 Robert Parker says of this wine: "Like many of the unheralded terroirs from the satellite appellations, Branda's vineyard is planted in clay soils, and hence produced a strong effort. Readers looking for a fruity, medium-bodied, well-made, pure, smooth claret should check out this reliable performer from a St.-Emilion satellite appellation. The 2005 Branda will offer lovely drinking over the next 4-5 years." GOLD MEDAL Concours des Grands Vin de France 2007.


In the following weeks we will post the recipes for:

Fennel and Mushroom Salad

Poached Eggs in Burgundy Wine Sauce

Chicken in Riesling 

Berry Soup and Champagne

Bon Appétit



  1. bonjour de France
    Hasard !!! ma famille,mes cousins de Seattle,sur photos de st Seurin
    Michel (petit fils de paulette )

    1. Hello Michel
      Glad to hear from our French relatives. I am the grandson of Marcell the sister of your great grandmother? I’m sitting on the left side of the table.

      Bonjour Michel
      Glad d'entendre de nos cousins Français. Je suis le petit-fils de Marcell la soeur de votre arrière grand-mère ? Je suis assis sur le côté gauche de la table.