Saturday, February 7, 2009

Lesson 6: Menu

Niner Savignon Blanc, 2004

I have been eyeing Lesson 6 for quite some time because of the fact that Mussels are the main course. The Mussels also caught the eye of my grandmother when she was checking out the book around Thanksgiving. Because of this, my wife and I have invited my grandparents to come and join us for this Lesson 6. This has been how I have been figuring out who to cook for, by family or friends looking at the book and finding something they like, and then I tend to invite them when that menu comes up.

Let me show you the menu from page 37, and then I will share of my thoughts:


Lesson 6


 Tarte a l'Oignon






Bavarois a la Vanille, Coulis de Framboise


I have never cooked mussels before, however enjoy shellfish. I have been reading several recipes for mussels and have found them to be very simple in directions and seemly fast to prepare. The wine selection to cook the mussels with is a local wine that I enjoy from Paso Robles, Niner Savignon Blanc, 2004.

In addition to the Mussels I am extremely excited about both the Onion Tart and the Bavarian Cream, as I think both will be extremely flavorful.  My expectations for this meal are very high.

As I review the entire menu I am not finding as many challenges as with the last meal, however I anticipate a struggle with the pastry dough for the onion tart. I have attempted making homemade pie crusts in the past, and have found it is much easier and produces better results to just buy the frozen crusts. With the lesson and explanation of Pate Brisee and Pate Brisee Sucree on page 38, I hope to be successful.

The dessert is an area where I don't feel too much concern as the Bavarian Cream is based upon Creme Anglaise, which in Lesson 5 I was able to work out how to make it. This is an excellent illustration of good teaching techniques as a technique or lesson from one menu is build upon and extended in the next meal. It allows for practicing the same techniques multiple times, while adding new skills each time. It should also provide some immediate feedback as to whether my abilities are improving or need additional practice.

My final thoughts on this meal include the fact that most ingredients seem readily available and should not provide much trouble in purchasing; I have selected the wine to cook with; have the guests chosen; and should be cooking next weekend. All seems to be in place for another great meal.

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