Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Champagne day in the city of Reims with Cook'n with Class

Take a day trip from Paris and discover the enchanting city of Reims famed for its world-class champagnes and impressive heritage!

Preston our young and talented sommelier will take you on a fun, informative day-trip to two champagnes houses and to the historical Brasserie Boulingrin for lunch.

The day will start at 8.45am in Paris where the TGV train will take you (at 350 KM/hour) to the center of the city of Reims in about 45 mins.

Croissants and hot beverages will be provided on the train.

After receiving some info about the Champagne making process, you will take the tramway for a few minutes to go to your first Champagne house visit.

You will have a guided tour in English of ''the Crayeres'' and the private caves, where they will explain and show you all about their personal philosophy on wine making, followed by your first two glasses of Champagne of the day, a tasting of the most famous Champagne of the House. We usually go to Mumm or Veuve Cliquot for the first tasting so you get to see the most prestigious houses.

Following this tour you have plenty of time to visit and explore the Cathedral de Reims, one of the most famous French Cathedrals where the kings of France were once crowned.

At 1pm, Rendez vous at the Brasserie Boulingrin for your Lunch.
A typical French 3 course menu and a glass of Champagne awaits you.

Then at 2.30pm, it’s time for another visit and more Champagne, our 2nd visit will be for a more artisanal Champagne house. You will discover that Champagne can be less well known and still very enjoyable from a smaller wine maker.

Following that visit at 4.30pm, Preston will return with you to the train station after visiting a Gourmet shop where you can taste some of the local pink biscuits named Biscuits de Reims (Made with Rose water).

The train will arrive back at 6pm just in time for a relaxing evening in Paris

Available now

Please contact for reservations.

We look forward to sharing more of French culture with you! 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Chef Eric’s Fresh Chanterelle Salad

Hooray it's Spring-time and as the days are getting brighter in Paris, we are lingering a bit longer at the market to check out the new colorful produce. The markets are bursting with wild mushrooms such as the famous morels, chanterelles, girolles.  Our recipe today shows you how to make a lovely salad with warm seasonal chanterelle mushrooms and Eric's grandmother's vinaigrette!


1 Pound Chanterelle Mushrooms (other fresh mushrooms will also work)
1 TBS Shallots (finely chopped)
1 TBS Parsley and tarragon (finely chopped)
1 Tomato (peeled and diced)
2 TBS Sunflower oil (to sautée the Mushrooms)
3 Black Mission Figs (fresh) (Ripe pear cut in fine slices can be used too)
Salt and pepper
Vinaigrette (see below)
1 bag Green leaves (Not Arugula, it will be too strong, use Lamb lettuce if possible)
1 TBS Dijon Mustard
2 TBS Good sherry vinegar
4 TBS Sunflower oil
Salt and pepper,
2 TBS Cold water
Mix it all with a whisk.

1. Clean the chanterelles (cut the foot off and if needed pass them quickly under cold water, drain well, using paper towel).
2. In a large bowl, add the vinaigrette and minced shallots, tarragon and parsley, the figs cut in quarters, diced tomato, stir.
3. Sautée the chanterelles very quickly with 2 TBS of sunflower oil on high heat. (Around 4 to 6 minutes), until the water is gone…
4. Add them on top of preparation number 2, stir gently, add the green leaves and serve immediately.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Chocolate Guinness Goodness

(photo by: Lara Ferroni)

"What if you combined a dark chocolate pudding and Guinness, topped it with whipped cream lightly flavored with Guinness, and then put it in a glass to make it look just like a pint of the black?"


8 large egg yolks
1 cup sugar
One 14.9-ounce can Guinness Draught
3 cups heavy cream
7 ounces high-quality bittersweet (70 to 72% cacao) chocolate, finely chopped
Special equipment: Six 8-ounce old-fashioned glasses


In large nonreactive mixing bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar.  Open can of Guinness and slowly pour into 4-cup measuring cup, pouring down side of cup to reduce foaming. Pour half of Guinness (about 7/8 cup) into heavy-bottomed 3-quart saucepan. Add 2 1/4 cups cream and whisk to combine. Set over medium heat and heat, whisking occasionally, until bubbles just begin to form at edges. Remove from heat, add chocolate, and whisk until smooth. 
Slowly pour hot chocolate mixture into eggs, whisking constantly to prevent curdling. Return mixture to saucepan and set over moderately low heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens and coats back of spoon, about 15 minutes. (Pudding will look separated.) Pour into blender and blend on high for 1 minute. Divide pudding among glasses, leaving at least 1 inch of space at top of each. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled and set.
Meanwhile, pour remaining Guinness into small saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to moderately low and simmer, uncovered, until reduced to 1 tablespoon, about 20 minutes. Pour syrup into small bowl and let cool. 
Beat remaining cream until soft peaks form. Add Guinness syrup and beat until combined. Divide cream among 6 glasses of pudding and serve. 

(Developed by Shane Philip Coffey, the chef at Alias restaurant on New York City's Lower East Side.)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Roasted Leg of Milk Fed Lamb with Glazed Root Vegetables & Best Swiss Chard

                                                 4 Portion

Roasted Leg of Milk Fed Lamb:


1 bottom quarter of a young milk fed lamb (sirloin, hip, leg and shank together) 
3 onions 
3 cloves garlic 
1 bottle of dry white whine
1 bunch of rosemary 
10 peppercorns 
Salt and pepper 
Canola oil
4 extra lamb bones (or Veal) 


  • Take the leg and with a cleaver, chop through the spine bone and the main leg bone (while keeping the leg intact) in 4-5 equal spots. The idea is to chop through the bone when it is raw so that when it is cooked, you can just cut the meat, and the whole piece comes with it. (You can also tell the butcher to do this for you.) 
  • Peel the onions and garlic and rough chop.
  • Take a large wide roasting pan and heat it on high. Roast the bones in the canola oil until they are golden brown, then remove. Then in the same pan, roast the whole leg on both sides, until it is golden brown on both sides and remove. 
  • Add the onions and garlic and “deglaze” with their juices and caramelize. After they are cooked and the pan starts to brown again, add the wine and bring to the boil. Then add the bones, leg and rosemary. 
  • Making sure the rosemary is under the leg and the liquid is about 1⁄3-1⁄2 the way up the leg. You can adjust the level with the water.
  • Place the roasting pan in the oven and bake on 170C -375F for about 1.5 hours. Basting every 10 mins or so, and turning the leg over at least 4 times in the cooking process. When a fork slides in the meat easily, remove from the oven. Let cool on the side. 
  • Then strain out the juices from the pan. Discard the solids, and put the liquid back on the stove and reduce till thick. Here you can add a tablespoon of optional butter or serve it natural.
  • Warm the leg and carve it into the pieces already cut from the cleaver, and serve it with the jus.
  • If you want to make a stew, just add more vegetables like carrots, parsnips, or turnips and do the same procedure on the stove top in a pot, covering the lamb leg with liquid.

Glazed Root Vegetables & Best Swiss Chard


5 large carrots 
Or Parsnips, turnips, celery root(1 piece), beets or salsify (The method is the same, you could do all these vegetables separate, then in the end when glazing) 
1 Bunch Swiss Chard 
2 Tablespoons butter


  • Peel and cut the carrots into 1/2 inch pieces on an angle. Put in a pot and cover them with cold water. 
  • Add 3 T ablespoons sugar and 1 T ablespoon salt. Bring to a simmer and cook until tender. 8 min +/-. Put pot in sink and run cold water in pot until the vegetables are cold. Strain and keep on side.
  • In a pot, heat 3 tables spoons water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons of cold butter and whisk vigorously until butter is incorporated evenly in the liquid. Add the carrots and cook for 5 mins in glaze until warm. 
  • If you run out of liquid and it looks like it will get too dry, add 3 more tablespoons water and bring to a boil. Serve immediately. 
  • Swiss Chard Cut the green from the stems. Chop the green into large pieces, and the stems chop into small batons. In a pot put 2 quarts of water and 1/4 cup of salt and bring to a boil. 
  • The water should be salty like the sea. Put the stems in for 1 minute, then add the green and cook for 30 seconds.  
  • Strain and cool in the strainer with lots of cold water. In a sauté pan, brown 2 tables spoons of butter and add the Swiss chard and heat for 2 minutes, or until hot. Finish with Black pepper and small pinch of salt.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Coq Au Vin - Burgundy-style poultry and red wine stew

Coq au Vin (literally "rooster in red wine") is probably the most famous of all French chicken dishes, and certainly one of the most delicious, with its rich red wine sauce, its tender onions and mushroom garniture, and its browned pieces of chicken with their wonderful flavor.

                                         6 Portions


1 Coq, stewing chicken, or guinea fowl, 1.5 kg (3.3 lbs)or whole quails 
2 thick slices bacon 
2 T flour 
1/4 C cognac
3 C dry red wine (not too dry, not too sweet) 
2 cloves garlic, 4 carrots peeled 
2 bay leaves, 3 sprigs fresh thyme 
20 pearl onions, or 4 large white onions, 1/4ered 
360 g (13 oz.) button mushrooms
2 T. butter 
450 g, (1 lb.) fingerling potatoes 
1 bunch chopped parsley


  • Portion large poultry such as chicken into 8's, small poultry like Cornish hens into 1⁄4 s. 
  • Meanwhile, chop bacon and brown in wide sauté pan over medium heat. Careful not to burn oil, remove and reserve bacon once browned. 
  • Place poultry pieces in bacon fat and brown on all sides, add dust with flour and stir to dissolve, then deglaze with Cognac, which can be flambéed if desired. 
  • Reduce 3 minutes, then add the herbs and wine, which should cover about 1/2 way up the poultry. Salt lightly, and bring to the simmer over medium heat, careful not to ever boil. (Best not to put on a lid, as the steam build-up can quickly toughen the poultry.)   
  • Meanwhile, unless you have a huge pan, you'll have to cook the vegetables in a separate sauté pan. Melt 1 T. butter and soften onions and carrots with light browning about 10 minutes, covered. Add garlic cloves for last 2 minutes, salt, and mix into pan with poultry. 
  • Use the same pan with another 1 T. butter to brown the mushrooms, cut smaller if necessary. 
  • Mix them, and reserved bacon into the poultry in the last 10 minutes of cooking, which should not exceed 45 minutes total simmering. 
  • If sauce remains too thin to coat the back of a spoon, remove the poultry and reduce sauce until it's thick enough to coat the poultry. 
  • Check for seasoning, toss in parsley the last minute, and serve with fingerling potatoes, which have been boiled about 30 minutes, salted, till tender. 
  • To perfect cooking times, the breast pieces should be cooked ideally only about 10 minutes, so if you want to go to the trouble, remove them from the pan after browning, and add them to the wine sauce only for the last ten minutes.
  • Also, should you be trying the authentic recipe with an older bird, count on about 2 hrs of simmering time. In this case, it's better to add the sautéed veggies into the simmering sauce only in the last 1/2 hr or so, to avoid them completely over-cooking.

Wine Suggestions: 
Use the same or similar red wine as in the stew, traditionally a balanced wine from Burgundy.
Photo courtesy of Pauline Boldt.