La Belle France

by Sarah on September 23, 2010

Oh, France. How I miss you. Our time together was fleeting but passionate.

I loved the Metro.  Especially after a few glasses of wine, such as the photograph below.

(I think the photographer may have had a few too, judging by the blurry picture)

Art!  The ART!  France, I’ve never seen such art.

Cafe creme and croissants every morning.  I really miss that, France.  Do you think you can ship me just one pain au chocolat?  I would be ever so grateful.

(Or ten)

And all the food on the street!  Food, beautiful, colorful, fresh food, right within arm’s reach.

What is really sad is that if I want French food, most of the time I have to make it myself.  With the one exception of Cafe Rolle, we have no French bistro food in Sacramento.  At least none that is worthy of my time.  Oh, I mourn the passing of Le Bilig and Le Petit Paris!

But THIS WEEK ONLY you can get your fill of a beautiful lunch prepared in the style of Southern France, by the culinary students in the Oak Cafe at American River College.  The menu was designed by Chef Raymond Salladarre, a chef I respect very much.  I have taken numerous classes with him myself and I have learned a lot.  Please read about him below.

(Another nice thing about Chef Ray is that he let me take 2 weeks off from school to go to France.  And I still got an A.  I will admit to bringing back foie gras and French cheese)

I’m not going to go into much detail about the school, because I’m going to write something longer for Midtown Monthly, but I will tell you what each delicious dish of our tasting menu is.

I.  Charcuterie Plate
House Cured Bayonne Ham, Pork Rillettes, French Andouille, Green peppercorn Mustard, Cornichon

The rillettes were TO DIE FOR.  And the ham.  Oh, how I’d love some of that ham on a baguette with some butter…..

II.  Petite Marmite Henry IV
Beef Consommé served en Crôute with Truffles and Mushrooms

Buttery, crunchy, flaky pastry…

Enclosing hot soup with tender beef cubes and mushrooms….your mouth is watering now, isn’t it?

III.  Pan Seared Duck Magret with Blueberry Sauce, Crispy Potatoes and Squash Medley

The duck was cooked very well…crispy skin, tender meat.  The squash had crack in it I think, it was really, really, really good.  I’d like some right now.

IV.  Salade of Purslane with Lardons and Polenta Croutons

Ok.  A nice palate cleanser.  Needed seasoning.  Nice to see purslane out and about.  I’ve been too chicken to pick it out of my yard (where it grows like a weed) to eat it.

V.  Seasonal Fruits au Gratin

Mmm.  The last of summer’s berries with a nice foamy sabayon?  Nice ending.

Good job, students!  Un triomphe, Chef!

I guess I can go another year without France.

(photo taken from the top of the Centre Pompidou at sunset–April, 2009)

If you want to try and catch this menu, it will only be available today and tomorrow 9/23 and 9/24/10.  Call for a reservation for this or any of the other upcoming menus.  (916) 484-8526


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