French Flavours a Winter Menu with Acquiesce Wines
We asked Susan Tipton of Acquiesce Winery to curate our Winter Menu for 2022. She selected three French recipes (starter, main course, and dessert) and paired them with a selection of Acquiesce wines. This winter menu highlights the flavours of France along with California wine pairings. If you live in the United States, please make sure to read the details below for your chance to win these wines.
Acquiesce Winery is a producer of French-style white and rosé wines in the heart of Lodi, California – Zinfandel country. Susan Tipton shared the following, “I fell in love with a white Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine shortly after moving to California. I thought it was the best wine I ever tasted.”
Susan and Rodney Tipton dreamed of owning a vineyard in their retirement years. During busy years with corporate careers and young children, acquiesce was only a verb: to surrender, to become quiet. In 2003, their vision became a reality with the acquisition of an 18-acre property in Lodi, and then the work began!
A New Year’s Gift
Perfectly Provence has partnered with Acquiesce Winery on two gift packages. Please enter this contest for a chance to win one of two packages of the featured bottles. This giveaway is only available to residents of the continental United States, and you must be above 21 years of age to participate.
To enter the contest:
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This contest closes on January 14, 2022, at 18h Mountain time. The two winners will be selected via a random draw from eligible names and enjoy a gift package of these three Acquiesce wines: 2019 Clairette Blanche, 2019 Roussanne, and 2020 Viognier.
Winter Menu 2022
This appetizer is easy to make and sure to impress your guests. Enjoy a Walnut, and Blue Cheese Tart Soleil paired with 2019 Clairette Blanche.
Tarte Soleil - Puff-Pastry Appetizer
- 2 packages Pate Feuilletée (Puff Pastry) ready-to-roll packages
- 75 g (2.5-3 oz) Roquefort Cheese crumbled
- a handful of Walnuts chopped
- 1 Egg Yolk
- 2 tsp Water
- Place the first round of puff pastry (pâte feuilletée) on a parchment or nonstick baking tray.
- Sprinkle the crumbled cheese and chopped walnuts over the top, leaving a bit of room at the edge of the dough.
- Now place the second circle of pastry on top and press down lightly. Do not squeeze the edges together.,
- Whisk the egg yolk with two (2) teaspoons of water.
- Brush the egg mixture over the top of the pastry.
- Put the tart back in the fridge for about 10 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).
- Remove the tart from the fridge and place a glass downwards in the centre - to mark the starting point.
- Slice the dough, stopping at the glass, into quarters, then eighths and finally 16ths. You will end up with 16 "rays."
- Remove the glass and gently lift the outside of each ray and twist the strand twice. Carefully turn each ray, but try not to squeeze the dough.
- Brush the unglazed bits of pastry with the egg yolk mixture.
- Return to the fridge for 10 minutes.
- Bake until puffed and golden brown for about 20-30 minutes, depending on your oven's temperature.
The Main Event
When it’s cold outside, there is nothing better than a culinary project that takes some time and requires a slow-cooking process. Enjoy Chef François’ crispy duck confit paired with a 2019 Roussanne.
Crispy Duck Confit and Fried Potatoes
- Dutch oven
- 4 Duck Leg Quarters
- 1/4 cup Coarse Sea Salt
- 1 tbsp Black Peppercorns
- 1 bunch Fresh Thyme
- 1 Sweet Onion unpeeled, sliced
- 2 bulbs Garlic (unpeeled) 1 head coarsely chopped, for the other, 2 cloves smashed and the rest thinly sliced
- 1 quart Rendered Duck Fat or Pork Lard
- 1 pound Yukon Gold Potatoes
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1 sprig Fresh Thyme
- 1 tbsp Fresh Thyme chopped
- Sea Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
Make the Duck Confit:
- Toss the duck legs with salt, peppercorns, thyme, onion, and garlic in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for three (3) days.
- Preheat the oven to 250°F (120°C). Rinse the legs and discard the salt mixture. Place the duck in a large Dutch oven and cover with 1 inch of the duck fat. Bake until the meat just barely falls off the bone, about 3 hours.
- Remove the duck from the oven and let it cool in the fat. To serve later, freeze in individual portions with a small amount of fat (for the express purpose of having it ready when you need to brown the skin) and serve it at another time.
- Spoon a generous dollop of duck fat in a large nonstick skillet over low heat until it melts to crisp the duck legs. Add the duck legs, skin-side down, and cook until the skin starts to crackle and turn brown for about 10 minutes. Low and slow is the preferred method here. Transfer to a plate and keep warm. Set the skillet aside.
Make the Potatoes:
- In a medium saucepan, combine the potatoes, bay leaf, thyme, and the two garlic cloves and cover with cold water.
- Bring to a boil until the potatoes are easily pierced with a small knife, about 10 minutes.
- Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and add them to the skillet you used for the duck. Cook over low heat until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
- Add the sliced garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until it’s light amber, about 2 minutes.
- Pour the potatoes and garlic into a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl to remove the duck fat. Reserve the fat for another use.
- Return the potatoes and garlic to the skillet and stir in the thyme and salt, and pepper. Serve the potatoes alongside the duck confit on warmed plates.
A Sweet Finish
Even non-dessert eaters will have a hard time resisting this Classic French Apple Tart from David Scott Allen of Cocoa & Lavender paired with the Acquiesce 2020 Viognier.
French Apple Tart
For the Pastry:
- 2 cups All Purpose Flour
- pinch Kosher salt
- 1 tbsp Sugar
- 12 tbsp Cold Unsalted Butter cubed
- 1/2 cup Ice Water
For the Fruit Topping:
- 5 medium Tart-Sweet Crisp apples (not Granny Smith)
- 1/2 cup Sugar
- 4 tbsp Cold Unsalted Butter
- 1/2 cup Apricot Jam pressed through a sieve
- 2 tbsp Cognac
To Make the Pastry:
- Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse once.
- Distribute the butter and pulse 10 times.
- With the motor running, add the ice water then pulse just until the dough starts to come together.
- Remove and place on a floured board and knead quickly into a ball.
- Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. NOTE: Don’t use foil, as the melted sugars will cause the tart to stick. It will still stick to the parchment in places but will be easier to remove.
- Roll the dough into a 10 by 14-inches rectangle. If it isn’t perfect, you can trim it, but rough edges give it a rustic look. Place the dough on the prepared sheet pan and refrigerate while you peel and slice the apples.
For the Fruit Topping:
- Peel the apples and cut them in half from top to bottom. Remove the stems and cores with a sharp knife and a melon baller.
- Slice the apples crosswise in 1/4-inch thick slices; hold end pieces aside for filling gaps or narrow ends.
- Place overlapping slices of apples diagonally down the middle of the tart and continue making diagonal rows on both sides of the first row until the pastry is covered with apple slices.
- Sprinkle evenly the 1/2 cup of sugar.
- Cut the remaining 4 tablespoons chilled butter into 1/4-inch dice and dot sprinkle over the tart.
- Bake for 45 minutes, until the pastry is browned and the edges of the apples start to brown. The sweetened apple juices may burn in the pan but the tart will be fine!
- Just before the tart comes out of the oven, heat the apricot jam together with the Cognac and as soon as the tart comes out of the oven, brush it generously over the apples, being careful not to brush the pastry.
- Loosen the edges of the tart with a spatula and transfer to a board.
- Let cool slightly before serving.
For more seasonal recipes, explore our Tastes of Provence section, and put together your own menu.
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