Marie-Françoise, a native French lady, who was to introduce us to the French lifestyle, met us at the local market and I liked her at first sight. She was friendly, straightforward and honest. Later on during our class, I discovered that she was also pretty laid back about her cooking session without ever losing her professionality. She obviously knew her stuff but also improvised very smoothly when there was a need. We all got to work and made a great team I dare say.
The menu called for: Asparagus with Mousseline sauce, followed by Armoricaine Monkfish, and crowned with Profiterole and Chocolate sauce for dessert. Did you know that Amoricaine is cooked with Cognac whereas Americaine with... yes, that's right... whiskey! Either way, the recipe calls for alcohol which can only be positive!
We chopped, we peeled, we washed, we drained, we sautéed, we boiled, we steamed, we cooked and we baked all morning. It took us exactly 20 minutes to make fish stock from scratch. This surprised me to no end, homemade stock always sounded like a lot of work to me with an “ain’t no way I’m going to do that” sign attached to it! All it takes, is to put the ingredients on the stove, cook and then drain. Voilà! However, the secret is you need to flirt with the fish monger Cri-Cri d'Amour to get the juicy fish leftovers.
By one o'clock we all felt very cuffed with ourselves for having produced such exquisite looking profiteroles and sat down to enjoy our meal accompanied by a wine selected by our wine expert, Hélène who joined us for the fun.
Today, our little group of French cooking enthusiasts are one step closer to mastering the art of entertainment à la française!
A splendid selection of fresh fish
Cri-Cri d'Amour our friendly fishmonger
An abundance of choice
What it takes to make a fish stock
Flambéeing the monkfish
Fresh produce is the secret to a tasty dish
Un petit aperò to keep us going!
Tout le monde à table
Monkfish à l'américaine
Profiterole baked to perfection