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French Night

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I believe this book came from Goodwill. A find of Husband’s mom. In it, the food world of the French is covered by region, with each page singing to your taste buds, to the tune of glorious food photography, and pictures of the sweeping landscapes from which it made its home.
When we lived in the barn, each week we would choose a recipe out of it to create on our lazy Sundays. After sharing its beauty with our friend Mike, we all agreed that a French night must be put on the calendar. 
So, after a few reschedules, our French Night finally came to be.
Husband made a baguette, because what is French food without a fresh baguette to accompany it?
I donned my stripes, red shoes…

and red lips.
We sat out a small selection of cheeses and fruit…
and wine of course!

We started the day at 3:00, deciding that we would prepare nothing beforehand, and let the entertainment be the cooking and eating of the food.

On the menu we had a good blue cheese and black truffle brie, strawberries and grapes, and cheese pastry hats for appetizers. The main course consisted of 40 clove garlic roasted chicken, a side of lemon butter haricot verts, and potatoes au gratin. And for dessert, Husband whipped up a made from scratch lemon tart.

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, I only have pictures of the cheese tray. This is what happens when you drink wine all afternoon, play hostess, and get your hands in the middle of the mess of cooking…and don’t break to snap a few photos.

Our pastry hats, although decent on flavor, didn’t quite turn out as pictured. We attributed it to that fact that we attempted to use whole wheat flour instead of the bleached white stuff. I had forgotten to buy milk, a key ingredient in the au gratin potatoes, but my friend Kelsey and I developed a concoction of cream, ricotta and water as a substitute. And our chicken, when we pulled it from the oven, read about 10 degrees too hot in regards to the meat thermometer’s perfectly cooked poultry recommendation.

I think we all secretly expected the dinner to be a disaster.
Miraculously however, it turned out absolutely perfect. The chicken was juicy and so so tender. We agreed that when milk is not to be found, cream and more cheese always do the trick. And the pastry hats were forgotten as we munched on Husband’s baguette spread with soft butter. 

We paired the food with a few bold reds, straight from France of course. And chatted late into the night. 
There will be a few tweaks for our next theme night, but this will definitely be a repeat event.
March is just around the corner, along with one of our favorite holidays. So here’s looking forward to bangers and mash, corned beef, and lots of green beer for Irish Night!

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