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.

20150728_140301

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!

20150728_140549

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.

20150728_141546

 

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.

20150728_141908

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.

20150728_141722

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!

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/

French Cabbage Bacon Salad with a Twist

 

With my first post, I have shown you that we like to enjoy good food but we try also to be health conscious. In a weekly basis, we try to eat 40% of our diet raw, which means a lot of salads, smoothies, slow juices and fruits.

The first time I have tried this salad I was at my friend’s house in San Diego, Guillermo. He learnt this recipe from one of his French friends when he was doing his postdoctoral studies in Lyon. He explained me that this is one of the culinary specialties of Lyon, the food capital of the world (see the article in the Guardian).

What characterizes this salad? The bacon for sure but more importantly the vinaigrette, which needs not only to have a strong mustard and vinegar taste, but also needs to coat generously each piece of bacon and cabbage! It was so delicious. A discovery for me, I never ate raw cabbage before.

I have prepared this salad using the same recipe several times. But over the years I have adapted the recipe. I gave it a modern twist that fits better my taste. 

Cabbage can seem boring or not tasty enough for our modern era. It is one of the rare locally produced vegetables that we can find during winter season. Having a hand full of yummy recipes that use winter veggies is a prerequisite when living in Canada.

Cabbage is also good for health. During many years, the nutritional science has explained us the importance of eating 7-10 vegetables/fruits per day, mostly the colorful ones (red, orange, dark green, purple…). Recently, we have discovered that eating white vegetable is also important because it contains specific micronutrients important for our health.

White foods such as onions, garlic, celery, pears, cabbage and white wine contain flavonoids and allicin, which is known to inhibit abnormal cell growth. White foods also contain sulphur compounds which assist in raising levels of beneficial HDL cholesterol and lowering dangerous levels of blood fats called triglycerides. Another benefit of white foods is that they can ease the inflammatory response of asthma and can break up catarrh secretions caused by colds and flu. Cabbage, among other white foods is good for you, and we need to enjoy each bite of it.

Cabbage dishes can be sexy. My salad contains not only cabbage and bacon, but also kale and pomegranate seeds. When you crunch a pomegranate seed, the sweetness and tartness of the pomegranate is an interesting tone that balances well with the savory flavors of this salad. The vinaigrette is not over powerful such as the classic version but still complex and aromatic through its mild combination of maple syrup and Dijon mustards, malt vinegar, olive and sunflower oils, fresh ground black pepper. The vinaigrette speaks by itself, but not as the tenor. It makes the liaison between the different elements that compose this salad and helps to create the alchemy that reveals the sensual harmony between simple foods such as bacon, cabbage, kale and pomegranate seeds.  Hum, I think it is time to prepare this salad, this is my recipe: 

 Ingredients

200 g of bacon (3 thick-sliced double smoked artisan bacon), diced

600-800 g of green cabbage (a medium one)

200 g of kale (4 to 5 leaves, remove the stem)

Seeds of a pomegranate

1/4 cup IPA beer (like the Amsterdam Boneshaker beer)

4 tablespoons of mustard (2 tablespoons of maple syrup mustard and 2 tablespoons of Maille Dijon Originale mustard)

1 tablespoon of malt or apple vinegar

 6 – 8 tablespoons of oil (a combination of extra virgin olive and sunflower oils) 

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus additional for sprinkling on the top of the salad

Salt (optional)

Preparation

Clean and slice the cabbage and kale into thin strips, and mix them together in a large bowl

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes; transfer the bacon with a slotted spoon into the large bowl and mix together with cabbage and kale

Deglaze the juice in your skillet. Carefully pour in the beer along with 1/4 cup water. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits in the bottom of the skillet, bring the liquid to a boil and reduce until you get two to three tablespoons of liquid

Prepare the vinaigrette by mixing mustard, pepper, salt (optional), beer reduction, vinegar and oil

Add the vinaigrette to the salad. Mix well and serve immediately

N.B: You can reserve the salad in the fridge for at least 2 hours so that the cabbage really absorbs the sauce but it won’t be as crispy

The leftover (if any) can make a great lunch for the next day

Bon appetite!