Friday, July 17, 2009

Menu du 14 Juillet

I am home visiting the parents this week and it so happened that I would be here for "Le 14 Juillet" or Bastille Day as non-french folk may call it. As I am never one to pass up the opportunity for a fĂȘte, I went to work planning a menu for our little 14th of July festivities.

Last year, the 14th was spent in France

As far as my family is concerned, a french meal always starts with an aperitif which is an alcoholic drink meant to stimulate the palate. This is usually served with nibbles, (nothing much fancier than crisps, saucisson and olives) and can last for hours. As this would be a small affair, we choose one cocktail pour tous, the French 75 with a twist. Named for the 75mm canon of WWII, this cocktail sure did pack a punch. To sweeten the drink and make it a little more patriotic, we added about 2 tblsp of cherry syrup left over from our ice cream adventures of last weekend.

My mom makes a mean mussel dish and there is nothing more french than Moules Frites. I was unfortunately a little under the weather and didn't manage to make the Frites portion, but linguine was a perfect substitution. My mom's trusty recipe comes from Charlie Palmer's restaurant Aureole.

And for the "kids" (read: me and my brother of the anti seafood persuasion) we made a truly phenomenal roast chicken with 40 cloves of garlic.

Every good french meal should end with a simple salad and this Tomato and Mozzarella salad was perfect. Using yellow and red tomatoes from the farmer's market and basil from the garden, I could have eaten the entire platter myself.

I had been itching to bake something in my parent's new oven and we settled on a version of the Perfect Party Cake using my Uncle's homemade Limoncello as a soaking syrup for the cake layers and coating the whole thing with toasted coconut.

It just screams: "Vive la France!"

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