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Winter Dinner Menu from La Cuisine Provençale

Menu for a Cozy Evening

Earlier this year, Jane Satow launched La Cuisine Provençale – an interactive cooking school in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. Tucked away in the heart of charming St Rémy, La Cuisine Provençale is on a quiet street with a small square. After several months of renovation work, Jane gave us a look at the finished product. Step out of the tiny alley into a bright, ground floor kitchen. Designed with plenty of open space, up to 12 people can participate in a hands-on cooking class. Read more about Jane and her cooking school here.

The vision at La Cuisine Provençale is to host small cooking classes and intimate seasonal dinners. Jane curated the following menu with dishes that she likes to serve to guests (after they have prepared and cooked) during cold weather months. In November, she and her partner planned to host a dinner surrounding the theme of wild mushrooms. Unfortunately, the evening was cancelled due to the 2nd lockdown order in France the week before. However, you can enjoy the Winter Dinner Menu as she has shared it below.

If you would like to have a PDF copy of Jane’s menu, please contact us here.


Starter Course:

Winter Menu from Provence Wild Mushroom Starter

Sautéed Wild Mushrooms

Jane Satow
When the wild mushrooms appear in the Provencal markets, do not hesitate, buy them as the season is short. This starter course is quick to prepare and simply delicious. The recipe below will serve 4 people as a starter.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Starter Course
Cuisine French, Provencal
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups Chanterelles or Girolles lightly washed or brushed clean.
  • 1 large Garlic Clove minced
  • 1 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Fleur de sel
  • Coarse Ground Pepper
  • sprigs of Fresh Rosemary

Instructions
 

  • Heat the butter and olive oil together in a heavy-bottomed non-stick sauté pan to an almost searing point - a minute or so.
  • Add the mushrooms and garlic. Allow space between the mushrooms while cooking an inch apart to ensure that they brown. You may need to cook the mushrooms in 2 batches. Once all the mushrooms are browned, you may add them back into the pan all together with the rosemary sprigs and cover, cook on low for about 2 minutes longer with the lid on.
  • Add fleur de sel and black pepper to taste.

Notes

Some interesting variations:
Add a bit of chopped pancetta in the beginning when searing the mushrooms. In which case, do not add salt at the end.
Or
Deglaze the pan with 1/4 cup of sherry after browning the mushrooms and add 2 Tbs of soft fresh goat's cheese. This creates a much richer sauce. Goes well with crusty bread.
Keyword Mushrooms, Wild Mushrooms
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Wild Mushrooms Provence

Main Course:

Winter Menu Provencal Duck Breast in Port Wine Sauce

Magret de Canard with Wild Cèpes in a Port Wine Reduction Sauce

Jane Satow
I really love combining the slightly sweet port wine sauce and butternut squash with the woodsy wild mushrooms and seared duck breast. The wild mushroom and smokey duck flavour go well with the reduced port sauce's sweetness and roasted butternut squash. This hearty cold-weather dish will serve 2-3 people.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Main Dish
Cuisine French, Provencal
Servings 2 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1 package Magret de Canard (Duck Breast) there are usually 2 to a package
  • 2 medium Cèpes or equivalent see note*
  • 1 cup Port wine 10-year old is best
  • Fleur de Sel - Corse sea salt to taste
  • Mixed Ground Peppercorns to taste
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Thyme chopped

Side Dish:

  • 1 whole Butternut Squash
  • 1 tbsp Butter or Olive Oil

Instructions
 

  • Take the magret de canard (duck breast) out of the plastic package and leave out of the fridge at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Prepare the Squash:

  • Slice the squash into thin (2-3 cm) half-moon shapes and remove the seeds.
  • In a non-stick saucepan, heat 1-2 tablespoons of butter. Sear the butternut squash to a light brown colour on high heat, on either side. Note: You may also roast the squash in a hot oven (200°C - 400°F) until slightly blackened, which takes a bit longer (20-30 minutes).

Prepare the Duck Breast:

  • Chop the shallot and fresh thyme. Set aside.
  • Score the duck breast's fat side several times, slicing with a knife about 2 centimetres deep almost to the meat under the fat. This allows the meat to cook more evenly.
  • Heat a heavy-bottomed saucepan for one minute on high heat. Then place the duck breast fat side down to sear until it is browned.
  • Remove the duck and set aside. You can now sautée the mushrooms directly in the duck fat - should be a thin layer of fat, or you can drain away excess, use olive oil or butter if you prefer.
  • Sear the sliced mushrooms to a golden brown. If you are using dried porcini, you first need to soak them in liquid, a hot broth like a vegetable stock is best, for 10 minutes to bring them back to life - then pat them dry with paper towels before searing.
  • After cooking set the mushrooms aside.
  • Reduce the heat so that the pan doesn't get too hot and begin to burn.
  • Resume searing the other side of the duck breast using this same pan - using high heat as you want to sear the outside to a golden brown.
  • After searing the duck meat side down to a nice brown colour, turn the heat down and add the shallots. After cooking the shallots for around 1 minute or until they are translucent but only slightly brown, deglaze the pan with the port wine, leaving the duck breast in the pan. Stir and scrape the saucepan's bottom to collect all the flavours from the sautéed mushrooms, shallots and duck.
  • Let this reduce and further cook the duck to your desired temperature - 2 - 3 minutes for rare.
  • Remove the duck breast and let it sit at room temperature for a good 5 minutes before slicing.
  • Allow the port sauce to continue to simmer and reduce in the pan, adding salt, pepper and thyme. Turn off the heat and set aside.
  • Slice the duck breast into thin portions and plate 3-4 slices per person.
  • Serve 2 tablespoons of the sauce from the pan over your duck breast, then scatter the sautéed mushrooms on top or on the side.

Notes

*Wild mushrooms - fresh when in season - French Cèpes, Italian Porcini or portobello mushrooms will do. Dried porcini will also work.
Note: You may strain the sauce from the pan into a Chinoise ( fine mesh stainless steel strainer) for a smoother sauce texture or serve as is.
Side Dish: Serve the seared or roasted butternut squash as a side dish.
Keyword Butternut Squash, Duck, Port Wine, Wild Mushrooms
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Dessert:

Ripe Quince

Jane selected a cheese course instead of a sweet dessert. Enjoy a traditional pâte de coings – quince jelly with a selection of cheese.

Pâte au Coings Cheese course Winter menu

Pâte de coings (Quince Cheese) with a Cheese Course

Jane Satow
The following recipe for pâte de coings a Provencal mother's tried and true method. Pâte de coings or quince cheese a traditional Provençale recipe, which takes time to make. This thick jelly is lovely served on its own or with aged Compté cheese. It’s also one of the 13 traditional Christmas desserts served in France. 
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Setting Time: 3 d
Total Time 3 d 1 hr 5 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine French, Provencal
Servings 10 people

Ingredients
  

  • 3-4 Ripe Quince
  • Water
  • 2 cups White Sugar (or a mix of white and brown) the exact amount is determined after you have a purée
  • 1/2 Vanilla Bean
  • 1 Lemon for juice and zest
  • 2 Cardamom Pods
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 1 Clove optional

Instructions
 

  • Cored and cut the quince into cubes, leaving the peel on.
  • Add just enough water to cover the quince cubes in a deep saucepan and bring to a boil, let simmer for 20 min or until the quince are soft.
  • Drain off excess water and put through a food mill or handheld blender, blending into a soft, smooth consistency. 
  • Add as much white sugar, or a mix of white and brown, to the quince purée - which requires weighing or a good eyeball estimation. You want an equal amount of sugar by weight to quince purée. 
  • Reheat this mixture to a simmer for 30 minutes stirring constantly to prevent it from burning on the bottom. 
  • Add 1/2 vanilla bean, juice of 1 lemon and lemon zest, crushed seeds of 2 cardamom pods, a cinnamon stick and or 1 clove. Heat until the mixture thickens and turns slightly red in colour.  (Note - some quince varieties do remain yellow.)
  • Remove the vanilla bean and cinnamon stick.
  • Scoop the mixture into a shallow square Pyrex or a 2-inch shallow plate lined with parchment paper. Cover with parchment paper and set aside in a cool place for a few days, not in the fridge as it won’t set up properly. It will harden a bit and should be a bit softer than gummy bear consistency but firmer than jello when ready. 
  • Cut into cubes or slices to serve. 
Keyword Jelly, Quince
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

For Pinterest fans:

Winter Menu from Provence 2021


Image Credits with gracious thanks to the following photographers:

Chef François de Melogue of Pistou and Pastis – Porcini Mushroom

David Scott Allen of Cocoa & Lavender – Butternut Squash

Bruno Suet – La Cuisine Provençale kitchen

Jane Satow – Main Course, Dessert and Starter


More Winter Dinner Party Menus:

Winter Dinner Party Menu 2021

Tasha Powell of Pitcher and Powell: Winter is a time of reflection, rejuvenation, slowing down, and the opportunity to cocoon for a few months before birthing new ideas and projects in the spring. Sit by the fireplace and enjoy my Winter Menu inspired by Provence featuring slow-roasted lamb, leeks and pears.

David Scott Allen of Cocoa & Lavender: Winter. Part of me wants to hide under a woollen blanket in the early evening darkness and consume copious amounts of heavy food. Bring on the butter, cream, fat, and carbs… put on the pounds and brace against the cold winds and inevitable rains and blizzards. The menu has it all t – butter, cream, fat, and carbs. But it also is light, colourful, and happy food.

This menu is hearty, suitable for cooler evenings and days filled with outdoor activities. This winter dinner menu is built around some traditional ingredients Jerusalem artichokes (topinambour), almonds, leeks, chicken and squash.

Don’t wait for a special occasion, pull out the china, the fancy wine glasses and great a special feast. We hope you enjoy this seafood-based menu.

Please share this with friends and family.

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Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

With her camera and laptop close at hand, Carolyne has traded in her business suits for the world of freelance writing and blogging. Her first airplane ride at six months of age was her introduction to the exciting world of travel.

While in Provence, Carolyne can be found hiking with friends, riding the hills around the Alpilles or tackling Mont Ventoux. Her attachment to the region resonates in Perfectly Provence this digital magazine that she launched in 2014. This website is an opportunity to explore the best of the Mediterranean lifestyle (food & wine, places to stay, expat stories, books on the region, travel tips, real estate tips and more), through our contributors' articles.

Carolyne writes a food and travel blog Ginger and Nutmeg. Carolyne’s freelance articles can be found in Global Living Magazine, Avenue Magazine and City Palate (Published Travel Articles).

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