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An edible love letter to the South of France

A journey to good taste

  lindakissam (Jan 5, 2016 12:43:02 AM) Expert Gourmet&Travel
Expert Gourmet&Travel
‎05-01-2016 12:43 AM

This is my kind of cookbook; somewhat challenging, vibrant in nature and spirit, colorful photos throughout, free spirited at all times …all while exploding with seasonal and flavors with each turn of the page. If you’re the kind of foodie who shows up at a Farmers Market, draws in a deep breath and is hopeful beyond belief, astonished by the scope of choices and is excited about the weekly offering changes– then THIS is to the book for you. Enjoy the cookbook review, recipe for Artichoke Tarte Tatin and the ultimate (and local) South of France wine pairing.


The Cookbook
Cuisine off the Sun: A Ray of Sunshine on Your Plate
This book is definitely not for sissies. Its recipes can be somewhat time consuming and challenging–but in a good Zen kind of way. They will require your rapt attention and a full pantry of varying meats, vegetables, fish and spices.

Cuisine off the Sun is a journey of good taste. Start where you are and explore the distinctive, seasonal dish opportunities. Learn why you should visit Boonville for its "third spice,” how to properly skin a pepper and the Ten Easy Rules for a Perfect Chicken.

Exquisitely photographed, it is an edible love letter to the South of France featuring recipes for rustic dishes like Olive Tapenade, Marseille Fish Soup and a Rosé scented Daube of Lamb that is sure to transport you to the French countryside. Grab a bottle of dry French Rosé to complete the experience.

The Recipe

Artichoke Tarte Tatin: Compliments of Chef de Mélogue

Carmelized Fennel and Onion, Goat Cheese, Olive Emulsion
Chef de Mélogue sends his best wishes for great dishes with this outstanding recipe featured on page 17.

Note from the author: Growing up I learned to cook at my mother's apron strings. She made a lot of tarte tatins over the course of my childhood. When I became Chef of a Southern French restaurant in Chicago I decided to honor her Provençal roots with a savory interpretation using the classic flavors of artichokes, fennel, goat cheese and olives. It became a signature dish that followed me throughout my career.

½ red pepper, sliced
½ fennel bulb, sliced ½ sweet onion, sliced 1 tablespoon olive oil
sea salt and black pepper
4 large artichokes, peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lemon, sliced
Olive emulsion
10 pitted Niçoise olives, chopped
2 egg yolks
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon mild olive oil
1 tablespoon butter, room temp
Assemble the tart
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons shaved Parmesan
2 ounces fresh goat cheese
4 puff pastry circles

Sauté the vegetables in olive oil till soft and lightly caramelized. Season with sea salt and pepper, then reserve.
Trim artichokes using a serrated paring knife till all the outer leaves are removed and there are no more bitter dark green spots. Cut the top off just above the bottom and use a teaspoon to scoop out the choke.
Cook in rapidly boiling salted water with olive oil and sliced lemon till a paring knife easily pierces the bottoms, about ten minutes.
Olive emulsion
Mix chopped olives with egg yolks, black pepper and vinegar. Whisk over boiling water till light and creamy. Combine olive oil and butter then slowly whisk into eggs. (Same method as making a Hollandaise.)
Assemble the tart
Drizzle a little olive oil in four small blini pans. Slice artichokes thinly and fan out in the pans. Top with a generous tablespoon of the caramelized vegetables, shaved Parmesan, ½ an ounce of goat cheese then press a circle of puff pastry. The puff pastry should be a slightly larger diameter than the pan you are using. Push the edges firmly around the artichoke. Bake at 450 degrees till golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Flip out onto a warmed plate, top with a spoonful of olive emulsion and enjoy!

The Wine
Gerard Bertrand Winery

'Wild woman' is the English translation of 'Sauvageonne‘: a reference to the untamed, breathtaking volcanic terraces the winery’s chateau overlooks.
In the glass: Pale bright pink with bluish tints
The bouquet: Intense aromas of red fruit, blackcurrant and redcurrant as well as floral elements (violet and rose) and citrus notes (grapefruit). This wine has a delicate oaked stricture, with hints of vanilla and gingerbread notes. Fresh, rich and clean on the palate.

Expert Lifestyle

Thank you so much for this recipe... I will try it tomorrow!!


Thanks so much for the review... being as it is my first book I am honored you reviewed it.

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