An Education in Eating

Get to know what you're eating.

Butternut Squash & Kale Linguine

I got a butternut squash in my CSA this week, and instead of making a tried and true soup I thought I’d try something else…

Adapted from in sock monkey slippers

Butternut Squash & Kale
1/2 butternut squash
1c roughly chopped kale (I used baby kale)
1/4c parmesan cheese (grated)
1 clove garlic minced
6 Tbsp milk (sub cashew nut milk)
3 Tbsp cream cheese (sub cashew cheese)
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/8 tsp nutmeg
a few fresh sage leaves
Sea salt & Pepper to taste

Pasta
1c flour
2 large eggs

Pasta Directions:
Place flour in a bowl and make a well in the centre, crack eggs into the well and use a fork to scramble. Slowly incorporate flour from around the edges. When it start to become thick use your hands to gently fold the mixture together. As the mixture begins to come together start to knead until it is smooth (about 5-10 minutes), Cover in plastic wrap and set aside in the fridge for 20-30 minutes. 

Take out of the fridge and flatten with the palm of your hand. Use a pasta maker to roll out the dough, and a noodle attachment to create the linguine. Hang on a suspended chopstick or the back of a wooden chair (that you don’t mind getting a bit flour-covered and can wipe down later).
Or bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta (about 5 minutes).

Butternut Squash & Kale Directions:
Roast half a butternut squash in a 350˚ oven for 20-25 minutes (face down). Take out of the oven, scoop out the flesh and blend.

On medium-low heat, warm oil in a pan and then add garlic. Stir for 1 minute before adding the roughly chopped (or hand torn, if you’re using baby) kale. Let it wilt and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Using the same pan (now kale-less), add blended butternut squash, milk, cream cheese (or cashew nut subs), nutmeg, salt & pepper. Stir over low heat to combine.

Add cooked and drained pasta, sage and parmesan to the squash mixture. Stir to combine before adding the garlic and kale. Add more salt, pepper, and parmesan to taste.

Enjoy!

Rice Noodle Rolls (Cheung Fun)

Mastering Cheung Fun is a lesson in patience. 

It took one inept Asian, two professional chefs, two different types of rice flour, two youtube videos, three online recipes, and about seven complete failures until we figured out the correct proportions for the ingredients.

I won’t get into how many attempts at assembling it took before I was consistently able to create a satisfactory roll that would not break apart and would roll up the filling into delicate, slippery, white cylinders.

When success was finally mine, it was an absolute savoury pleasure.

Rice Noodle Rolls (Cheung Fun) Recipe
Ingredients:
1 c                     white rice flour
1/4 c + 2 Tbsp    corn starch*
1 tsp                   canola oil
1 c + 2Tbsp        water
2 Tbsp                olive oil

*you can also substitute half the corn starch for tapioca flour 

Ingredients for fillings:
1/4 c  cremini mushrooms
1/4 c  enoki mushrooms
1/4 c  shitaki mushrooms
1/4 c  oyster musrooms
2 green onions (chopped)
1 clove garlic (minced)
1 tsp ginger (minced)
salt & pepper to taste
1 Tbsp olive oil

Sauce:
1 Tbsp sugar
1/4 c soy sauce
1 tsp Hoisin sauce
Chili sauce to taste

Filling Directions:
There are many different types of fillings. Aside from mushrooms, prawns, ground beef, BBQ pork, and pea shoots are also very popular.
Clean and slice all mushrooms except the enoki. Cut off the bottom inch of the enoki, clean and gently break them into small bunches.
Add olive oil to a frying pan over medium heat. When the oil is heated add garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute. Add shitaki, oyster and cremini mushrooms, cook for 3-5 minutes. Add enoki mushrooms and green onions and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Sauce Directions:
Combine ingredients together and mix until the sugar is dissolved.

Rice Noodle Roll Directions:
Mix rice flour and corn starch together.
Stir in canola oil
Add water slowly, stirring constantly
Make sure the dry ingredients are completely and evenly dispersed. The batter should resemble crepe batter and will coat the back of a spoon.
Bring a large pot or pan of water to a gentle boil. Lightly coat the bottom of a 15cm x 10cm (6in x 4in) aluminum pan with olive oil. Place over the boiling water and pour one large spoonful of batter into the pan. Pick the pan up and tilt it so that the batter covers the bottom evenly in a thin, almost see-through layer. You must work quickly as the batter will begin to set immediately and you want your noodle to be quite thin.

Let the pan sit over the water for about 2 minutes. Once tiny bubbles start to form on the top or the noodle begins to pull away slightly from the edges remove the pan from the water.

Add about two Tablespoons of filling to the top half of the pan. Using a spatula begin to loosen the edge of the noodle closest to the filling. Gently roll the noodle over the filling. 

Pour sauce over the rolls, serve warm.

Makes about twenty small rolls. Serves 4-6.

Pear, Oatmeal & Almond Muffins

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Fruit and oatmeal for those of us who are on the go. A quick and easy muffin recipe.

(adapted from Made in Sonoma)

  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup ground almonds
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of all-spice
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg 
  • 1/2 cup pearsauce 
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 pear, peeled & diced (I used a bosc pear)


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line or grease a muffin tin.

2. In a large bowl; combine flour, oats, ground almonds, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon & all-spice. Set aside.

3. In a medium bowl; whisk together brown sugar and egg until completely mixed. Whisk in pearsauce, milk, oil & melted butter until completely mixed.

note: to make pearsauce - peel and dice 1 pear, add to small saucepan with the juice of a lemon wedge, 2 tablespoons of sugar & 1/4 cup of water. Bring water to a boil then turn heat down and simmer for 15 minutes (until pears are tender and translucent). Remove from heat and blend. 

4. Slowly add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Stir in the diced pears. Fill the muffin tins (leave about 1/4 inch at the top) and bake for 18-22 minutes or until done. Remove the muffins from the pan and cool on a wired rack. 

Perfecting Pain D’amande

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One of my favourite cookies is the delicate, thin, crispy almond biscuit from Jules Destrooper. I can eat an entire box in 20 minutes flat. Slightly sweet and buttery, 30 cookies are no match for my appetite. It’s a problem. These are the kind of tea (or coffee) time treats that even cookie-haters have to love - they are freakin’ delicious! 

My mission: to find a Pain D’Amande recipe comparable to Jules Destrooper’s carefully guarded secret.

Results: I found two good recipes and adapted them to my desire for a pain d’amande with whole wheat flour and ended up with two kinds of satisfying Pain D’Amande cookies. One, (adapted from Flo Braker) is very similar to the Destrooper biscuits. They are dense but still light and crispy with just the right amount of nutty goodness. These are not-too-sweet, all-day, any-time eaters. The second is sweeter, flakier and a little more decadent. It is closer in style to a French almond thin, but just as delicious as the first recipe. Personally, I prefer the first recipe (after all, my mission was to recreate the Destrooper almond thins), but after quite a bit of comparative analysis and feedback from friends, have decided to provide both recipes (below). 

Pain D’Amande Recipe #1 (Belgian style, adapted from Flo Braker)

  • 9 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 1/3 c coarse golden sugar (you can also use brown or white)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp almond extract
  • 1/3 c water
  • 1 1/3 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 c whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 c sliced almonds (blanched)

Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat and add sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, almond extract, and water. Stir until butter is just melted and sugar is partially dissolved (but not completely). 

In a separate bowl mix flour, baking soda, and a pinch of salt. 

Remove the saucepan from the heat and slowly add the flour mixture until well combined. 

Line a 9-inch (23 cm) loaf pan with plastic wrap and press the dough into the pan so that the top is smooth. If you don’t have a loaf pan the dough should be stiff enough that you can shape it into a well-condensed, rectangular block using the flat-side of a large knife and any flat surface. 

Chill the dough until firm (the colder it is, the easier it is to cut so I like to put the dough in the freezer for 30 minutes and then in the fridge for an hour or two). The dough can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days, or wrap it carefully and keep in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Preheat oven to 325˚F

Using a very sharp chef’s knife, slice the dough crosswise, into very thin rectangles - they should be about the thickness of a quarter (~2mm). The thinner you get the slices, the crispier and more delicate the cookies.

Sprinkle with almonds and delicately press the nuts into the cookie with your fingers or a spatula.

Arrange the cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet (they won’t expand much so you don’t need to leave too much room between them). Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the cookies are slightly firm and the undersides are golden. Flip the cookies over and bake for another 9-12 minutes. The thinner the cookies, the shorter the baking time. 

Let the cookies cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container until ready to serve. They keep for up to 3 days. Makes ~80 cookies.

 *

Pain D’Amande Recipe #2 (French-style)

  • 1 c unsalted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 c sugar (white or granulized brown)
  • 1 c AP flour
  • 2/3 c Whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 c sliced blanched almonds

Preheat oven to 325˚F

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg, vanilla and almond extract and beat until smooth.

Whisk together flour, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg and then add slowly to wet ingredients. Mix until just combined. 

Place half the batter onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet.

Dip spatula in warm water and spread the batter evenly until it covers the entire cookie sheet (you will need to dip the spatula in water repeatedly). Repeat with the other half of the batter on second sheet. Sprinkle with almonds and use spatula to gently press the nuts into the dough. 

Bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven when edges are lightly golden.

Cut the hot cookies into even rectangles. 

Return the cut tray of cookies to the oven and bake for another 5 minutes (or until the cookies have achieved and all-over golden colour).

Cool on a wire rack using a spatula. Store in an airtight contain for up to 4 days. Makes ~60 cookies.

Enjoy with a cup of your favourite tea, or coffee, or espresso, or on their own… just be sure to enjoy! 

The Raw Nut Milk Experiment: Cashew Edition
I have a confession to make: I don’t really like milk.
I am not lactose intolerant.
I am not vegan.
I am not some sort of hippy-dippy health nut.
This has nothing to do with animal welfare.
I grew up drinking milk. My mom used to pack it in my lunch and it always ended up down the drain because there were no fridges at my school and by time lunch came around the liquid smelled funny and was room temperature (yuck). Despite my aversion, there is always a small carton in my fridge that I use for cooking, or to add to coffee and cereal, but I never drink it on its own (unless it’s chocolate and then only certain brands) and I don’t really like the taste. 
Looking for alternatives has not always been a pleasant experience. Soy milk was a staple in our household when I was growing up, but the taste and consistency was never something I enjoyed. Rice milk is too watery and lacks flavour and depth. However, there is a chinese dessert soup made with ground almonds slow cooked with water over a stove that I really like. I wondered why this couldn’t be a substitute for milk. I found a few almond milk brands, but the product was rarely consistent and most of it tasted like overly sweet, almond-flavoured powder diluted in water. I gave up.
A year and a half ago I tried going on a juice cleanse. The experience was a painful one; the lone bright spot was my last drink of the evening: Creamy Cashew Milk. This smooth, rich, slightly sweet milk was the only “meal” I looked forward to downing for four torturous days. Surprisingly, I continued to crave this beverage long after I had done away with the cleanse. Recently, I started seeing it at local health food stores and upscale grocers like Whole Foods. The first time, I picked the bottle up and added it to my cart before looking down at the price sticker: $9.98. The bottle went back on the shelf pretty quickly.
I have a few friends who are lactose intolerant and one has started making her own raw nut milk. She claimed it’s cheap and easy. I was doubtful on both accounts. With our society’s seemingly increased intolerance for many foods, alternatives to regular grocery list items have become more prevalent. A 2L carton of almond milk can be purchased at my local grocer for $3.56, but cashew milk is harder to come by. So, while walking through Carrot Common last week I decided to purchase a bulk bag of raw cashew nuts and see for myself. 
Sure enough, she was right. Making my own raw nut milk is both cheap and easy (though a little more time consuming than popping over to the store). Best of all I can do what I want with my milk; sweeten it with honey, agave, sugar, maple syrup or chocolate; or keep it plain.
Here’s the recipe (followed by a quick and easy recipe for Cashew Cheese)
Raw Nut Milk: (courtesy of Mary Wood)
1 cup raw nuts (I like almond or cashew)
10 cups water (total)
Soak the nuts overnight in 3 cups of water. In the morning, drain and then replace with another 3 cups of fresh water. Let sit for a few hours. Strain the nuts and blend with 2 cups of water. strain using cheese cloth or a chinois. Once all the liquid is strained blend the pulp with another 2 cups of water and repeat the straining. Use the remaining pulp to make cashew cheese (recipe below). Keeps in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Cashew Cheese
1 cup cashews (or all the remaining pulp from the milk recipe above)
1/2 lemon (juiced)
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup water
Blend the cashews, lemon juice and salt together. Add water a little at a time (you probably won’t need to use all of it). Purée until the mixture is the consistency of cream cheese. From here you can either: store in an air-tight container and use as you would cream cheese (spread it on toast, it’s delicious!) or using two spoons form the mixture into small balls and fry in olive oil (pictured above). Enjoy!

The Raw Nut Milk Experiment: Cashew Edition

I have a confession to make: I don’t really like milk.

I am not lactose intolerant.

I am not vegan.

I am not some sort of hippy-dippy health nut.

This has nothing to do with animal welfare.

I grew up drinking milk. My mom used to pack it in my lunch and it always ended up down the drain because there were no fridges at my school and by time lunch came around the liquid smelled funny and was room temperature (yuck). Despite my aversion, there is always a small carton in my fridge that I use for cooking, or to add to coffee and cereal, but I never drink it on its own (unless it’s chocolate and then only certain brands) and I don’t really like the taste. 

Looking for alternatives has not always been a pleasant experience. Soy milk was a staple in our household when I was growing up, but the taste and consistency was never something I enjoyed. Rice milk is too watery and lacks flavour and depth. However, there is a chinese dessert soup made with ground almonds slow cooked with water over a stove that I really like. I wondered why this couldn’t be a substitute for milk. I found a few almond milk brands, but the product was rarely consistent and most of it tasted like overly sweet, almond-flavoured powder diluted in water. I gave up.

A year and a half ago I tried going on a juice cleanse. The experience was a painful one; the lone bright spot was my last drink of the evening: Creamy Cashew Milk. This smooth, rich, slightly sweet milk was the only “meal” I looked forward to downing for four torturous days. Surprisingly, I continued to crave this beverage long after I had done away with the cleanse. Recently, I started seeing it at local health food stores and upscale grocers like Whole Foods. The first time, I picked the bottle up and added it to my cart before looking down at the price sticker: $9.98. The bottle went back on the shelf pretty quickly.

I have a few friends who are lactose intolerant and one has started making her own raw nut milk. She claimed it’s cheap and easy. I was doubtful on both accounts. With our society’s seemingly increased intolerance for many foods, alternatives to regular grocery list items have become more prevalent. A 2L carton of almond milk can be purchased at my local grocer for $3.56, but cashew milk is harder to come by. So, while walking through Carrot Common last week I decided to purchase a bulk bag of raw cashew nuts and see for myself. 

Sure enough, she was right. Making my own raw nut milk is both cheap and easy (though a little more time consuming than popping over to the store). Best of all I can do what I want with my milk; sweeten it with honey, agave, sugar, maple syrup or chocolate; or keep it plain.

Here’s the recipe (followed by a quick and easy recipe for Cashew Cheese)

Raw Nut Milk: (courtesy of Mary Wood)

  • 1 cup raw nuts (I like almond or cashew)
  • 10 cups water (total)

Soak the nuts overnight in 3 cups of water. In the morning, drain and then replace with another 3 cups of fresh water. Let sit for a few hours. Strain the nuts and blend with 2 cups of water. strain using cheese cloth or a chinois. Once all the liquid is strained blend the pulp with another 2 cups of water and repeat the straining. Use the remaining pulp to make cashew cheese (recipe below). Keeps in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Cashew Cheese

  • 1 cup cashews (or all the remaining pulp from the milk recipe above)
  • 1/2 lemon (juiced)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup water

Blend the cashews, lemon juice and salt together. Add water a little at a time (you probably won’t need to use all of it). Purée until the mixture is the consistency of cream cheese. From here you can either: store in an air-tight container and use as you would cream cheese (spread it on toast, it’s delicious!) or using two spoons form the mixture into small balls and fry in olive oil (pictured above). Enjoy!

Ganache Brownie with Salted Caramel Drizzle
Salted Caramel Sauce:
1 c granulated sugar
6 Tsp unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into pieces
1/2 c heavy cream
1/2 Tsp flaky sea salt
 
In a heavy bottomed saucepan melt the sugar over medium-high heat, whisking every so often to remove clumps. Use a candy thermometer to gauge when the sugar reaches 350F. As soon as it does (or even a little before, when the temperature reaches 347F) add all the butter and whisk. Take the pan off the heat and add the cream slowly until it is completely incorporated then whisk in the salt. 
 
This makes 1 cup of sauce and can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks. 
Brownies:
1/3 c bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped1/2 c unsalted butter3/4 c granulated sugar2 large eggs1 tsp vanilla1/4 tsp flaky sea salt2/3 c all-purpose flour (for gluten-free: sub AP flour for chestnut flour)Pre-heat oven to 350F.Line baking pan  (8in x 8 or you can use a circular pan) with parchment.In a heatproof bowl melt butter and chocolate over simmering water. When melted remove from heat and whisk in sugar, and then one egg at a time. Add salt and vanilla. Mix in flour using a wooden spoon or spatula until smooth.
Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Ganache:
3/4 c good quality dark chocolate5 Tsp heavy cream3 Tsp unsalted butter
Place chocolate in a medium sized bowl and set aside. Melt butter and cream together in a small saucepan, stirring occasionally. When mixture is close to boiling remove from heat and pour over the chocolate. Let is stand for a minute and then stir until smooth. 
To Assemble:
Pour the ganache over the cooled brownies and spread it around evenly. Let the ganache settle and firm (you can put the ganache-topped brownies in the fridge to speed the process). If you so desire you can toast some roughly chopped hazelnuts (~2/3 c) and sprinkle them over the ganache before it sets.
Before cutting the brownies drizzle with salted caramel sauce. Cut to serve. 

Ganache Brownie with Salted Caramel Drizzle

Salted Caramel Sauce:

1 c granulated sugar
6 Tsp unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into pieces
1/2 c heavy cream
1/2 Tsp flaky sea salt
 
In a heavy bottomed saucepan melt the sugar over medium-high heat, whisking every so often to remove clumps. Use a candy thermometer to gauge when the sugar reaches 350F. As soon as it does (or even a little before, when the temperature reaches 347F) add all the butter and whisk. Take the pan off the heat and add the cream slowly until it is completely incorporated then whisk in the salt. 
 
This makes 1 cup of sauce and can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks. 

Brownies:

1/3 c bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
1/2 c unsalted butter
3/4 c granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp flaky sea salt
2/3 c all-purpose flour (for gluten-free: sub AP flour for chestnut flour)

Pre-heat oven to 350F.
Line baking pan  (8in x 8 or you can use a circular pan) with parchment.
In a heatproof bowl melt butter and chocolate over simmering water. When melted remove from heat and whisk in sugar, and then one egg at a time. Add salt and vanilla. Mix in flour using a wooden spoon or spatula until smooth.

Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Ganache:

3/4 c good quality dark chocolate
5 Tsp heavy cream
3 Tsp unsalted butter

Place chocolate in a medium sized bowl and set aside. Melt butter and cream together in a small saucepan, stirring occasionally. When mixture is close to boiling remove from heat and pour over the chocolate. Let is stand for a minute and then stir until smooth. 

To Assemble:

Pour the ganache over the cooled brownies and spread it around evenly. Let the ganache settle and firm (you can put the ganache-topped brownies in the fridge to speed the process). If you so desire you can toast some roughly chopped hazelnuts (~2/3 c) and sprinkle them over the ganache before it sets.

Before cutting the brownies drizzle with salted caramel sauce. Cut to serve. 

Fish labeled as other species or other species labeled as fish (seafood substitution): Miami 38%, NYC 39%, Boston 48%, LA 55%

Listen to THIS!

Eating LA: Night+Market

On a recent trip to Los Angeles I had the pleasure of dining at chef Kris Yenbamroong’s fabulous Thai spot, Night+Market. This wasn’t just any dinner. For the first time this permanent pop-up, along with Californian wine retailer Selection Massale, was hosting an “anti-wine” event to introduce three new wines from the Loire: Noella Morantin’s Marie Rose and Pascal Potaire’s Piege a Filles blanc and rosé, Les Capriades. Those fortunate enough to be in attendance would be treated to these three wines along with an ever-growing menu (it was originally billed as a three-course meal that grew to seven dishes by the actual day of the dinner).

The communal seating outside at four long wooden tables, on the palm tree lined patio lent the event a jovial and familial air. Food was served family style, encouraging as much interaction between the guests as possible. My dining companion and myself were seated with three groups of LA natives, most of them Night+Market regulars, all warm and amiable. Kris and Cory led the night off with a quick toast to the food, wine and vignerons, and then we were given the green light to dig in.

Nam Prik Mun Goong, a salty and spicy chile relish made of shrimp guts, and Nam Prik Ong, a chiang rai pork ragout, started us off. These were served with green beans, cucumbers, cabbage and pickled eggs for dipping. It seems that, at least at our table, I was the only one enjoying the runny, brine-y eggs as many lay discarded and half-eaten on the white ceramic plates. The shrimp gut relish fared much better, as the small metal bowls were quickly depleted.  

Next came Kaab Mu, deep fried puffs of pork rinds and Peek Gai, fish sauce-brined fried chicken wings served with two different sauces. These crispy, tasty treats were gobbled up with enthusiasm and added a nice counterpoint in both flavor and texture to the previous dips. Two grilled pork dishes followed. One was a smokey, tender, ambrosial grilled pig’s neck; the other a kind of grilled pork salad (Moo Sadoong) featuring leafy basil, lemongrass, fish sauce, lime and bird eye. The sweetness of the pork playing against the tang and spice of the other ingredients, earning it’s name of ‘Startled Pig’.  

Two rice dishes capped off the evening, both were sheer delights. Yum Naem Kao Tod is a crispy rice starring, what else, pork - this time spicy and fermented; mixed with ginger, red onion, julienned green mango, basil and peanuts and capped with raw oysters. The slick, alkaline topping provided the perfect opposition to the hot, herbaceous and crunchy rice. The meal ended on a high note with Yenbamroong’s famous Kao Kluk Gapi, or shrimp paste-seasoned fried rice. A crowd-pleasing favorite with a subtle balance of flavors and an ability to recall a taste of home, or at least it awakened memories of the food I enjoyed throughout my Asian-food-centric upbringing.

Kris claims he tries not to pair wines with specific dishes but to offer a selection of delicious beverages that can be enjoyed freely throughout the evening, and the three wines, which were poured liberally throughout the evening, encapsulated this philosophy. We actually started things off with a small taste of Piege a Filles Blanc. The wine’s name literally translates to ‘girl trap’ or as Noella Morantin’s boyfriend, Laurent Saillard, calls it a ‘panty remover’ wine. This is made with 100% chardonnay and is a semi-dry, lightly fizzy, natural grape beverage. The “panty remover” rosé is made from a blend of côt (aka malbec) and gamay producing a lively fizz, with light residual sugar, and a lightly fruity finish. This sparkling rosé was served with the final three dishes and proved a worthy partner to the aromatic food. In contrast, Noella Morantin’s Marie Rose, which started most everyone off, was better enjoyed with a clear palette. This fruity, mineral, deeply colored, 100% cabernet sauvignon rosé tickles the tongue puts a smile on one’s face.

Later on in the evening there was an opportunity to taste a few other wines, including Morantin’s Mon Cher Gamay, Alain Lenoir’s Les Roches Chinon, and Edouard Laffitte’s carbonic macerated Le Bout du Monde La Luce.

My only complaint; the lack of loirette bongs, maybe next time.