An Elegant Cold Weather French Dinner Party Menu | Epicurious.com

It sure is cold out there, but I’ve got just the meal to warm you up!

“This classic French bistro inspired menu has got plenty of warming melted cheese, cream, zesty lemon, and hearty greens to improve any chilly night.”

L’ Apéritif- Ginger Fizz
Ginger Fizz

Makes 8 servings

INGREDIENTS

Ginger Syrup:

  • 3″ piece ginger peeled, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup raw or granulated sugar

Cocktails:

  • 2 750-milliliter bottles chilled Prosecco
  • 8 thin clementine or orange slices
 PREPARATION

For ginger syrup: Bring one 3″ piece ginger, peeled, thinly sliced, 1/2 cup raw or granulated sugar, and 1/2 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan; reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Let cool. Strain syrup through a fine-mesh sieve into a small jar or bowl; discard ginger.

For cocktails: Pour 1/4 ounces ginger syrup in each coupe glass. Dividing evenly, top off with two 750-milliliter bottles chilled Prosecco (about 5 ounces per glass) and garnish each with a thin clementine or orange slice.

L’ Entrèe- French Onion Soup

Onion Soup

Serves 4 as a main (or 6 as an appetizer)

INGREDIENTS

    • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
    • 3 pounds Vidalia onions (about 4 medium), halved lengthwise, peeled, and thinly sliced
    • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
    • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
    • 6 cups homemade beef broth or store-bought low-sodium beef broth
    • 10 sprigs thyme
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1 baguette
    • 1 garlic clove, cut in half lengthwise
    • 2 teaspoons sherry, preferably Fino or Manzanilla
    • 4 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
  1. Special equipment:
    • kitchen twine, six 8-ounce or four 16-ounce oven-safe ramekins or bowls (optional)

PREPARATION

    1. In a large Dutch oven or other large pot, melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add the oil and onions; cook onions are until softened, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Add the salt, pepper, and sugar; continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are deep golden brown and caramelized, reducing heat slightly if onions seem to be browning too quickly, 35 to 45 minutes more.
    2. Add wine and raise heat to high. Cook until almost all liquid has evaporated, 8 to 10 minutes.
    3. Tie thyme and bay leaves into a bundle with twine. Add broth and herb bundle to pot with onions. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, until broth is thickened and flavorful, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Taste and adjust seasoning.
    4. Heat the broiler. Cut two 1/2-inch baguette slices for every serving of soup. Place baguette slices on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in oven until crisp and dry but not browned, about 1 minute per side. Rub one side of each toast with the garlic clove and set aside.
    5. Place ramekins or ovensafe bowls on a rimmed baking sheet, add 1/2 teaspoon of sherry to the bottom of each, and ladle soup on top. Top each serving of soup with two garlic-rubbed toasts. Divide cheese among the servings, covering the bread and some of the soup. Carefully transfer baking sheet to oven and broil until cheese is melted and bubbling, 4 to 8 minutes. (Alternatively, if using regular soup bowls: Top each garlic-rubbed toast with some cheese and return to broiler to melt, about 2 minutes more. Divide sherry and soup among bowls, sprinkle with remaining cheese, and top each serving with two cheese toasts.)

Le Plat Principal- Sole Meunière with Rice Pilaf and Hardy Greens with Lemon-Garlic Vinaigrette

FrenchMenuFor the Sole Meunière with Rice Pilaf
4 Servings

INGREDIENTS
Pilaf:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground white pepper
  • freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups jasmine rice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • Fleur de sel

Sauce and assembly:

  • 1 cup plus 4 tablespoons (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground white pepper
  • freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 skinless Dover or lemon sole fillets
  • 4 tablespoons clarified butter or ghee
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 lemons, halved
 PREPARATION
  1. Pilaf:
    1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Heat oil in a medium ovenproof saucepan over medium. Add onion, season with kosher salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent and softened, 5–8 minutes. Add rice and stir to coat; cook, stirring occasionally, until rice is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add bay leaf and 3 cups water; season with kosher salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer. Cover and bake in oven until rice is tender and water is absorbed, 15–20 minutes.
    2. Remove rice from oven and let sit 5 minutes, then gently fluff with a fork. Top with butter; let it melt into rice, then sprinkle with fleur de sel.
  2. Sauce and assembly:
    1. Cook 1 cup unsalted butter in a small saucepan over medium, stirring often, until butter foams, then browns, 5–8 minutes. Remove from heat and slowly add cream (it will foam up slightly). Return to medium heat and cook, stirring often, until cream browns (mixture will go from pale beige to a deep caramel color), 5–8 minutes. At this point, sauce will look broken and grainy, but it will come back together. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and 1/2 cup water. Cut 2 tablespoons unsalted butter into small pieces. Whisking constantly, add butter a piece at a time, incorporating completely before adding the next piece, until sauce is glossy; season with salt and pepper. Keep sauce warm while you cook the fish.
    2. Place flour in a shallow baking dish. Season sole with salt and pepper, then dredge both sides of fillets in flour, shaking off excess.
    3. Heat clarified butter in a large skillet over medium-high until smoking. Carefully add fillets and cook until underside is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Gently turn fillets and cook until golden brown on the other side, about 1 minute. Add remaining 2 tablespoons unsalted butter and cook a minute or so until brown. Remove skillet from heat and, using a large spoon, baste fish with butter for a minute or two to finish cooking.
    4. Transfer sole to a platter. Spoon lemon cream sauce over; top with parsley. Serve with rice pilaf and lemon halves alongside.
 For the Hardy Greens with Lemon-Garlic Vinaigrette
Hardy Greens8 Servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cups torn collard greens
  • 4 cups torn turnip greens, beet greens, and/or kale
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries, divided

PREPARATION

  1. Whisk garlic, oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, and honey in a large bowl; season vinaigrette with salt and pepper.
  2. Add collard greens and turnip greens to vinaigrette and toss to coat. Add half of cranberries, season with salt and pepper, and toss again to combine.
  3. Top salad with remaining cranberries just before serving.

Le Dessert- Caramalized- Honey Brûlèe

Honey Brulee8 Servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

Special equipment:

  • Eight 6 ounce ramekins; a kitchen torch
 PREPARATION
  1. Preheat oven to 300°. Place 3/4 cup honey in a medium saucepan and scrape in vanilla seeds; save pod for another use. Cook over medium-high, swirling pan occasionally, until honey darkens and smells almost burnt (don’t worry, this is what you’re going for!) and bubbling begins to slow, 5-8 minutes. Gradually add cream, then milk, to caramelized honey, stirring constantly until combined.
  2. Whisk salt into egg yolks in a medium bowl, then stream in honey-caramel mixture, whisking constantly. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large measuring cup. Divide among ramekins.
  3. Place ramekins in a large baking dish lined with a dish towel (it will keep them from sliding around) and pour in boiling water around ramekins so it comes halfway up sides.
  4. Bake until edges of custards are set but centers still jiggle slightly, 65-75 minutes. Remove ramekins from water bath and let custards cool, about 1 hour. Chill until firm, at least 2 hours.
  5. Just before serving, sprinkle custards evenly with sugar and heat with torch until sugar is melted and caramelized to a deep amber color. Your goal is to make a thin, smooth, brittle crust that shatters when broken.

Do ahead: Custards can be made 5 days ahead. Cover and keep chilled.

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Source: An Elegant Cold Weather French Dinner Party Menu | Epicurious.com

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