The Cure - June 2014

Welcome to the June 2014 edition of The Cure

We're back again with another great issue of The Cure. Seeing as it's getting warmer finally, all those great seasonal vegetables are becoming available. Fred has a delicious and simple sauce recipe you can serve alongside any of them. Bishop's Cellar's Alanna McIntyre is back with great wine pairing ideas and our cheese of the month features a rich alternative to Brie. We welcome Nathalie Morin from the newly opened Rousseau Chocolatier as our contributor this month. And since events at the shop are slim in June, we'll take a break from the news at the shop piece. But just you wait until our announcements next month! As always, thanks for reading The Cure


Asparagus, sauce gribiche

By Frédéric Tandy

Asparagus are totally in season. Right now! They can be found everywhere and are a delicious side dish with just about anything. A classic compliment we serve in France is Sauce Gribiche. Basically a salad dressing base with added chopped eggs and herbs. It's incredibly versatile, and super easy to make. Once you have your batch made, keep it in the fridge for well over a week and it will be as good as the first serving.   

Asparagus, sauce gribiche
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 9 - 10 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6 (approx.)

What you'll need

  • 1 - Large bunch of asparagus
  • 2 - Large Eggs (hard boiled and finely chopped)
  • 2 tbsp - Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp - Red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp - Fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup - Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 tbsp - Capers (finely chopped)
  • 1 - Medium Shallot (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 cup - Fresh herbs (parsley, chives, tarragon, chervil finely chopped)

How to do it

  1. Let's start with the eggs. You can probably get everything else ready while they cook.
  2. Place the eggs in a small pot of water and bring to a boil.
  3. Once you see large bubbles coming up, turn the heat down to medium and set a timer for 9 minutes. You will get perfectly hard-boiled eggs every time.
  4. While the eggs are cooking, whisk together the mustard, lemon juice and red wine vinegar.
  5. Start drizzling in the olive oil until everything is emulsified.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Now start mix in the chopped shallots and capers.
  8. When the eggs are done, pour out the hot water and smash around the eggs in the pot to break up the shells. Quickly, pour in the coldest water you can to stop the cooking. The cracked shells allow the cold water to flush out the sulphur smell. No more green edged yolks!
  9. Shell the eggs, wipe them clean, finely chop and add them to the sauce.
  10. Last, add in all those great fresh herbs and give a final mix. 
  11. Adjust the seasoning. Maybe some more S&P, lemon juice or olive oil.
  12. Now we can blanch the asparagus. In a second, larger pot, bring heavily salted water to a boil. 
  13. When the water’s really bubbling, add in all the asparagus. If they’re small, keep them in for about a minute. If they’re about 1/4” wide, cook for 3 minutes tops.
  14. When the time is up, use tongs to transfer the cooked veg to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.
  15. When the asparagus are cold, lay them on a towel to dry.
  16. To serve the dish, pour a puddle of sauce on a platter, and pile on the perfectly cooked asparagus. Ladle on a second generous amount of the remaining sauce to cover the ends of the asparagus. Dig in!
I'f you're interested in trying something different, roast the asparagus or cook them on the BBQ! 


Wine pairing with Asparagus

By Alanna McIntyre, Bishop's Cellar

The sommelier suggests 

I have never eaten (nor even heard of) sauce gribiche before now, but I am always game for trying something new, quick and made with affordable and easy to source ingredients. It’s also a bonus to make something that I know my 4 year old will eat; he is now really into asparagus because of their post digestive effects! 

Bishop’s Cellar just brought in a limited amount of a very interesting, off the beaten path white wine from the Jurancon region in South West France that I think will be perfect with this dish. The 2012 Domaine Bru Bache Jurancon Sec is made from a practically unheard of grape, Gros Manseng and is produced in an extremely natural way. Domaine Bru Bache, is a biodynamic vineyard where Sheep graze between vine rows and the vigneron mixes up tisanes that serve as natural remedies for the vines. This wine is fermented in tank and aged for 6 months on the lees before bottling (I did pick up on a pleasant yeasty note on the nose that would also make this a delicious pairing for a some of Ratinaud's funky cheeses). The slight leesy note of the wine is complemented by light aromas of apricot and quince that carry through to a vibrant and very fresh palate. The slightly vegetal notes in the wine will match that of the asparagus, while the fruit and the wine’s lively acidity will cut through the rich eggy sauce. This is a must try for any wine geek!

Alanna McIntyre is a Sommelier at Bishop's Cellar. Visit their great location and follow them on Twitter.

The Cheese course

We're often asked for the creamiest cheese we carry, which is followed by, "do you have Brie?" Of course we do, but a little known fact is you can actually achieve a "next level" of creaminess and not even go near a Brie. Could it be possible? Two other options we carry are the immensely popular Brillat Savarin and its Quebec equivalent, Laliberté. Both are even richer than our regular Brie de Meaux and a must for any cheese board. Leave it out for an hour before serving for the best results!

From: Quebec
Fromagerie: Fromagerie du Presbytère
Type: Pasteurized cow’s milk
Texture: Soft paste, bloomy rind 
Fat: 36%
Aged:  3 to 6 months
Taste:  Creamy, mushroom flavour
Accompaniments: Wheat beers, Pinot Noir or Rosé.

Introducing Rousseau Chocolatier

By Nathalie Morin

I am honoured for the opportunity to introduce ourselves in The Cure. We are Rousseau Chocolatier, Halifax's newest chocolate shop. When you walk in to 1277 Hollis Street, the minimalist decor only enhances the delicate European style chocolates displayed in our showcase. Everything is handmade on-site, which you can observe through the viewing bay window. Julien Rousseau-Dumarcet, owner and chocolatier, uses only the finest quality Belgian chocolate and sources local ingredients for his confections whenever possible. A glimpse of the flavours include Orange & Balsamic Caramel, Smokey Chili, Peanut Butter & Cranberry, Lemon Ganache and the list goes on.

Julien, being from the South of France, received training there as patissier/chocolatier and since has been doing just that for over a decade. Our dream of opening shop started years ago so what better way for this young hospitality professional to learn the ropes than to travel to the old world and learn from the real deal! We chose to settle in Halifax because it offers a great quality of life, has some European influences and is conveniently located between Ottawa and Roquebrune sur argens - our respective hometowns!

As well as the chocolates, the shop offers Gourmet Brownies, French Macarons and Artisan Chocolate Bars. We do offer a modest drink menu which includes locally roasted fair-trade organic espresso based coffees, cold drinks and our signature House Hot Chocolate - also available dairy free.

All our products are proving to be very popular desserts or hostess gifts, as they are simple yet tastefully presented. We recently wrapped up our first big order for Dalhousie University - 700 single chocolate boxes for an event they were hosting. Wedding favours are also on the horizon with summer in full gear. We are also very pleased to be collaborating with Ratinaud. They serve our chocolates at the end of The Kitchen Table dinners. 

Come in and taste the decadent difference!

Nathalie Morin and Julien Rousseau-Dumarcet are the owners of Rousseau Chocolatier.
Please visit their gorgeous new shop on Hollis Street and follow them on Twitter.  

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