C’est magnifique!

The Courier-Mail - QWeekend - - FOOD - mail @ ec­co­bistro.com

As Bastille Day dawns on Mon­day, thoughts turn to cre­at­ing some clas­sic French fare. It’s no sur­prise that many kitchens world­wide call their ser­vice in French – most chefs have had clas­si­cal French train­ing and it is still, in my opin­ion, the foun­da­tion of so many other cuisines. Here are some Gal­lic favourites that are not dif­fi­cult to pre­pare at home.

FRENCH FINE AP­PLE TART

Serves 8

1 x 30cm disc puff pastry 5 pink lady ap­ples 150g un­salted but­ter, melted 50g al­mond meal 80g caster su­gar Ic­ing su­gar, to dust 150ml cream, whipped to soft peaks, to serve

1 Pre­heat oven to 200ºC. Grease and line bak­ing tray with bak­ing paper. Place puff pastry round on pre­pared tray.

2 Peel and core ap­ples, slice into very thin rounds us­ing man­dolin or very sharp knife. Brush puff pastry with a lit­tle melted but­ter, then scat­ter with al­mond meal. Start­ing from out­side edge of pastry, ar­range ap­ple slices over top by over­lap­ping slices in a cir­cu­lar pat­tern – don’t leave any gaps un­til you have reached the cen­tre.

3 Lib­er­ally sprin­kle caster su­gar over ap­ples and lightly brush with re­main­ing but­ter. Cook tart for ap­prox. 15 min­utes un­til pastry has risen, re­duce heat to 170ºC for 5-10 min­utes. Re­move from oven onto clean board, carve into 8 wedges, dust with ic­ing su­gar and serve with whipped cream along­side.

Wine match: Eric Bordelet Poiré Granit Cider NV

($45/750ml)

COQUILLES ST-JAC­QUES

Makes 6 as starter

300g but­ton mush­rooms, finely dices

150g un­salted but­ter 5 small shal­lots, finely diced 1/3 cup Ital­ian pars­ley, finely chopped 1/4 cup tar­ragon leaves, finely chopped, plus 35 small

leaves for gar­nish Salt flakes & freshly ground blck pep­per 36 large sea scal­lops on half-shell, re­moved from shell,

shells rinsed ¾ cup dry ver­mouth 2 bay leaves, dry or fresh 3 tbs flour 200ml thick­ened cream 90g grated gruyere 1 tsp fresh lemon juice 100ml rice bran oil

1 Heat mush­rooms, 100g but­ter, and 3 diced shal­lots in small saucepan over medium heat; cook for 25 min­utes, or un­til mix­ture forms a loose paste. Stir pars­ley and tar­ragon into mush­room mix­ture; sea­son with salt and pep­per.

2 Di­vide mix­ture among cleaned scal­lop shells and pre­heat grill.

3 Bring re­main­ing shal­lots, ver­mouth, bay leaves, salt, and ¾ cup wa­ter to boil in saucepan over medium heat, sim­mer­ing un­til has liq­uid re­duced to 200ml (about 10 min­utes); strain.

4 Heat re­main­ing but­ter in small saucepan on medium set­ting. Add flour; cook for 2-3 min­utes un­til smooth. Add re­duced cook­ing liq­uid and cream; cook un­til thick­ened (ap­prox. 8 min­utes). Add cheese, juice and sea­son to taste with salt and pep­per; set aside warm.

5 Mean­while, heat a lit­tle rice bran oil in a large non-stick fry­ing pan over high heat. Sea­son scal­lops with salt and black pep­per. In batches, quickly sear scal­lops in hot pan on one side un­til golden (around 30 sec­onds), turn scal­lops, then re­move from pan im­me­di­ately to en­sure they are still un­der­cooked. Place sealed scal­lops on cen­tre of mush­room mix, then spoon a lit­tle cheese sauce over scal­lops.

6 Grill un­til browned on top (about 3 min­utes); trans­fer to serv­ing plates and gar­nish each with a tar­ragon leaf and grind of pep­per.

Wine match: 2002 Marc Brédif Vou­vray ($35)

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