French green salad with Imperial IPA beer jelly vinaigrette, pickled cherry and pecorino cheese

A green salad is the corner stone of every meal in France – It can be the first course, or a side dish with the main course for lunch, or your main dish with cheese or a hardboiled egg for dinner.

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One important aspect and characteristic of the French green salad is the vinaigrette or “sauce moutarde”. It must be very mustardy. This was, and is still like this in my family in Burgundy. A strong mustard, the Dijon mustard… is the star!

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As a French expatriate, there are some food products that I can’t live without… and mustard is number one in my list. I can eat American mustard with hot dogs or with my burger but not in a salad dressing. Dijon mustard was the one in France, Dijon mustard is still the one in Canada.

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And let you go, be a real French! Don’t be afraid to make things “au pif’ or “by the nose”. We do this all the time when it comes to salad dressing.

 

Good quality mustard, shallot and/or garlic, a mild but flavourful wine vinegar and a good vegetable oil. This is the perfect combination!

No red wine balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil with Dijon mustard… There would be too much competition between so many good and tasty ingredients. You really want to taste and enjoy the flavor of the mustard.

Don’t get me wrong! I love red wine balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil with salad or other vegetables but without mustard.

As a food artisan start-up, the beer jelly is my leading product. A breakthrough for me! it pairs so marvellously with cheeses (like pecorino cheese with peppercorns) and it is easy to use when you are cooking … a teaspoon here or there.

Imperial IPA beer jelly (because of the hops flavor) works perfectly in a salad dressing and complements very well the taste of the green leaves. It is a must to try! A simple dish like a green salad can be so tasty… a symphony of flavours. You won’t look behind you after.

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If you are not living in Toronto (e-commerce for Canada available soon on my company website), you can find a similar product in USA. If not, I suggest you replace the beer jelly with apple cider jelly or apple jelly. Try to find one that is not too sweet, and in this case use apple cider vinegar.

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I think it is time to cook, this is my recipe:

French Imperial IPA beer jelly vinaigrette

A few simple ingredients that can come together so well, when done right. A symphony of flavors!

 

Makes about 60 ml (1/4 cup), enough for one large green salad

Ingredients

A pinch (1/8 teaspoon) sea salt

1 tablespoon white balsamic wine vinegar

1/2 small shallot, peeled and minced (about 1 tablespoon) (facultative)

A generous teaspoon Dijon originale mustard like Maille

A generous teaspoon old style mustard like Maille

1 teaspoon of Imperial IPA beer jelly (or apple cider jelly or apple jelly)

3 to 4 tablespoons (45 ml to 60 ml) vegetable oil like sunflower

Fresh ground pepper

Fresh herbs, if desired

 

Preparation

In a large bowl, mix together the salt, vinegar, and shallot. Let stand for about ten minutes.

Shallot is the chic cousin of onion. When marinated in vinegar, it gets soften and adds an attention-grabbing flavor to the dressing because of its slight bite. A must, you need to try!

Mix in the two mustards, beer jelly (or apple cider jelly), then add 3 tablespoons (45 ml) of vegetable oil and freshly ground peppercorns. Stir well, then taste. If too sharp, add the additional vegetable oil and more salt, if necessary.

You can add fresh herbs, but it’s better to chop and mix them just before serving so they retain their flavor.

You can keep this salad dressing for about eight hours at room temperature. If you want to make it farther in advance, as I suggest previously, add the shallots and the fresh herbs closer to serving so they don’t loose their fragrance.

 

French green salad with pickled black cherry, pecorino cheese and Imperial IPA beer jelly vinaigrette 

4 servings            Preparation 15 minutes

 

Ingredients

1 Head red leaf lettuce (leaves torn) or a large bag of mixed baby green leaves

50 grams (1/4 cup) of pickled black cherry, pitted and sliced

100 grams (3 ounces) pecorino cheese with peppercorns, shaved or cut in small cubs

You can also use a local cheese like pepper potts cheese. This cheese is rubbed in freshly cracked pepper and aged for 18 months. it is a pasteurized sheep’s milk cheese made in Sudbury, Ontario. A traditional Tuscan-style pecorino recipe!

Salad dressing (recipe above)

Salt and peppercorn

 

Directions

In the large bowl that contains the French Imperial IPA beer vinaigrette, add the lettuce (or mixed green leaves), pickled cherries and half of pecorino and toss to coat. Top with rest of pecorino.

Add fresh ground peppercorns and salt if necessary.

Green Salad with Imperial IPA vinaigrette

Bon Appetite!

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September is ….Tomato merry-go-around

It was really difficult to choose the recipes I will share with my guesses for this amazing dinner party. I love tomatoes and I cook them in so many different ways… all so yummy. These are some of my favorite recipes, new ones I have developed here in Canada as well as my family’s recipe: “les tomates farcies”. A must!

Join us in September to enjoy a dinner all focusing on tomatoes … savory and sweet … there is no limit!

tomato merry-go-around

Register at The Kingston Social

References for the pictures:

http://www.kireei.com/tomates-y-flores/

http://www.cuisineactuelle.fr/recettes/tomates-farcies-au-boeuf-hache-209505

http://www.showfoodchef.com/2010/08/tomato-canjam.html

A taste of Provence … this is our demo + dinner party for August

I don’t have to go back to France, I will simply cook some of my favorite Provencal dishes to feel “I am at home, with my friends and Family in the region of Avignon. Join us in August for a taste of Provence:

A taste of provence

We will published the recipes in August…

Register at The Kingston Social

Reference for the pictures:

http://french-riviera-blog.com/2012/03/24/a-walking-tour-around-the-old-town-of-nice-and-restaurant-guide/

http://www.pratique.fr/recette-ratatouille.html

http://www.pratique.fr/recette-ratatouille.html

The time of Cherries – our first demo + dinner party at The Kingston Social

Save your date and join us on the 30th of July for:

the time of cherries

We will published the recipes soon…

Register at The Kingston Social

Reference for the pictures:

Un gout de trop peu..  Chlo! – http://wrightkitchen.com/

Demo + Dinner at the Kingston Social – Toronto

Join us at the Kingston Social this summer, we will not only feature our products (Malty & Hoppy Delicacy) in different yummy recipes, we will also bring to light what mother nature has to offer us during the farmers’ market season…

poster demo plus cooking class

Register at The Kingston Social

Reference for the picture:

Brittany Wright – http://wrightkitchen.com/

Cheese, Coffee and Lavender …. Crazy Alchemy! Not at all

I love cheese. I can do without meat but cheese, not at all.

I grew up in a country where cheese is a national treasure. There are from 350 to 400 distinct types of French cheese, and Burgundy is not left behind with 50 different types of cheese.

Artisanal cheeses are a treat for me. I try to buy a piece each month. We love to use them in different recipes or simply, to savour them with an homemade bread, a tasty green salad, some butter, a little bit of apple jelly and a bottle of local craft beer. This is quite often our dinner on the weekend: a good movie, an alchemy of flavors…. simple but delicious comfort foods.

A few months ago,  a new cheese store has opened in my neighborhood (Danforth Ave ,Toronto). One of their particularities…. they sell cheeses that have received awards nationally and/or internationally. During our first visit, we have had the opportunity to taste two different kinds of cheese, and we came back home with the more intriguing and original one: Barely Buzzed.

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We needed to taste it again… and do some experimentation using our own foods’ combination.

This cheese is produced by Beehive Cheese Co  – a family business located in Utah, USA. Made from the milk of Jersey cows, it is a cheddar-style cheese with a smooth, creamy texture and a complex alchemy of flavors. And as they explain in their website… It’s all about the rub!

And this is the secret… Could you believe it! This cheese is hand-rubbed with a unique combination of finely ground espresso coffee beans, lavender and vegetable oil. This original combination imparts a mellow earthiness to the interior and helps the cheese to develop subtle notes of butterscotch and caramel.

It is also about the aging process… This cheese is aged on Utah Blue Spruce aging racks in humidity controlled caves, and moved to different temperatures during the four-month aging process to develop texture and flavor.

Tasting this cheese was like heaven!

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Cheese and coffee pair really nicely. Interestingly, the coffee note is really mellow, and the lavender fragrance is still here but more subtle than I could expect. it adds a subtle and clean floral finish. A real alchemy at work!

It paired very well with my home-made sour bread, a little bit of apple jelly and a beer, of course. This time we have enjoyed our tartines with the Fracture Imperial IPA beer from Amsterdam Brewery. A perfect combination!

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I really encourage you to find and try this cheese. You’ll find it quite addictive, may be because of the dark coffee coating.

I hope you will enjoy this non conformist cheese …. and let me know what you think.

Bon Appetite!