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Tasty Side to Life Tours Website

Monday, December 5, 2011

Thanksgiving Paired with Small Producer Champagne

I flew home for the first time in nearly a year from Paris to San Francisco, California. Landing I almost shed a little tear glaring down at the Golden Gate bridge, the open Pacific ocean and the bay. I giggled a bit as the captain told us in french to look over to the right of the plane to see the glorious golden structure. He then immediately translated this little phrase into english. With a nice french accent he said "everyone look to the left and take a look at the GG Bridge". With this little comment he left half of the plane puzzled, staring blankly to the left of the plane directly at a grayish quite bla-zay rain cloud floating next to us. I giggled because I understood his mistake and even though it was certainly not a HUGE achievement to have mastered the words "droite" et "gauche" in french I was secretly proud of myself for catching it.

Anyway, a year away from San Francisco will really help you realize how truly amazing of a city it is. I mean what can beat morning beach runs at Chrissy field with a very cute floppy eared pup, the comfort of watching fog roll over the Golden Gate and trickle into the city, time with family and long lost friends and of course food (ie creative, amazing and avant garde creations exploding out of San Francisco's seams).

Yeah, I guess you could say I liked my visit to 'ol San Francisco and was sad to leave (even though Paris is certainly not a bad place to be coming back to). I really enjoyed every minute.

While in SF I had a fabulous multi-course Thanksgiving dinner with my family.

The feast consisted of:

ARTICHOKE PORCINI MUSHROOMS SOUP- served with pan fried slices of artichoke, mushroom and quail and finished with truffle salt. (recipe thanks to the 1 Michelin Star Hostellerie La Briquerterie and my friend the head chef Michael Nizzero)

2 TURKEYS (smoked and oven roasted)

SWEET POTATOES with ginger, pecans and brown sugar

MASHED POTATOES- with butter and creme fraiche

CRANBERRIES with orange peel, zest and walnuts


BRUSSEL SPROUTS with pancetta and onions



All of this of course was paired with some glorious Champagne. The 2006 Milleseme from Huot et Fils, The 2005 Milleseme from Christophe Mignon and the Cuvee D'Or from Vilmart Champagne.

After 3 attempts I finally found seasonal fresh Cepe Mushrooms or Porcini at the Ferry Building. Expensive but $23 worth was more than worth it for this soup!

Presentation with this one is great. A few hand peeled and trimmed artichokes, browned with a bit of butter along with a few slices of porcini pan fried as well.

The final soup. If you can get your hands on some fresh or even dried cepe these seasonal mushrooms in this soup are so fragrant and delicious.  The milk and cream combination adds the perfect smoothness to this dish. Finishing it with a few slivers of the lightly browned artichoke, mushrooms and pieces of quail was also the perfect touch. Also, a little sprinkle of white truffle sea salt certainly didn't hurt :)

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