French cuisine has many elegant holiday dining ideas, including New Year's Eve and Christmas Eve
Around the World » publishes three French recipes from chefs – these dishes will allow you to organize a full-fledged table for Christmas.
«Let us leave to the erudite the decision of the question of at what time the custom arose among Christians to arrange a feast on Christmas night; let's just say, faithful to the subject of our work, that this feast is amazing and unique, if only because it is neither breakfast, nor lunch, nor an afternoon snack, nor supper, nor a meal at a halt; this is a Christmas feast, it is also Christmas Eve, and nothing else; therefore, they arrange it only once a year, on the night of the Nativity of Christ “- wrote the French culinary critic Grimaud de la Renière at the beginning of the 19th century.
In those days, not only restaurants, taverns and butcher shops worked on Christmas night. Confectioners did not lag behind – after all, according to tradition, there should have been a lot of sweets on the table, in Provence, for example, 13 desserts were served, in Paris there should have been at least nine.
Modern French people, as a rule, serve foie gras, smoked salmon or seafood for a Christmas dinner – scallops, lobsters, langoustines, for hot they often cook a bird – turkey, chicken or rooster, and of course, the Christmas table involves an abundance of desserts, the most popular of which is the Christmas log. It recalls the medieval tradition, upon returning from the Christmas Mass, to sprinkle the log with holy water and set it on fire.
Until the end, the log was not burned, but kept all year as a talisman from troubles. Over time, the wooden log was replaced by a sweet chocolate roll, which inspired Soviet confectioners to create the Fairy Tale cake. The French themselves are constantly experimenting with this dessert these days. Biscuit roll filled with different types of cream, berries and fruits.
- Bird of happiness: Thanksgiving and Christmas turkey
Christmas recipes *
Scallops with Carrot Parmentier by Adrian Quetglas, Executive Chef at The Garden
Ingredients for 2 servings:
Sea Scallops — 200g
Carrots — 180 g
Hazelnut — 20 g
Cream 33%—20 ml
Dried blueberry—< strong>1 handful
Pomegranate juice — 50 ml
Olive oil — ½ tsp
Beet greens — 6 leaves
Garlic –1 clove
Thyme —to taste
Salt —to taste
Pepper —to taste >
For parmentier, boil peeled carrots in salted water over low heat for 20 minutes. Grind in a blender and strain through a sieve. Dry the scallops, blotting with a paper towel, fry in a hot pan until golden brown.
Salt, pepper. Dice mushrooms and one carrot, salt and pepper, put in a heated pan. Add olive oil, cream, thyme and minced garlic. Simmer over low heat for 5 minutes.
Distribute warmed carrot parmentier on a plate. Put fried scallops on top, next to it are stewed mushrooms with carrots. Decorate the puree with dried blueberries, chopped hazelnuts, beetroot leaves and pomegranate juice drops.
Burgundy rooster by Jerome Coustillas, chef at Jerome&Patrice
Ingredients for 4 servings:
Rooster weighing 1.5–2 kg
Carrots — 4 pcs
Onions — 4 heads
Celery — a few stalks
Garlic — 1 head
Thyme — 1 sprig
Oregano — 1 sprig
Rosemary — 1 sprig
Chicken broth — 300 ml
Red wine — 300 ml
Butter — 15 g strong>
Raw-smoked brisket — 100 g
Carrot “baby” — 100 g
Fresh champignons — 80 g
Butter — 10 g
Cut the rooster into 4 parts and fry in butter until golden brown.
Pour red wine into a saucepan and evaporate by a third, add the broth, herbs and pre-baked vegetables. Cook for 30 minutes over low heat.
Put the fried parts of the rooster in a heat-resistant form, pour in the broth and bake in the oven for an hour.
Remove the finished rooster from the mold, strain the broth and pour into a saucepan. Add to it first the fried brisket, carrots and champignons, then again the pieces of the rooster. Simmer for 5 minutes and serve.
Chocolate Christmas log from Dmitry Yakovlev, chef of PPL restaurant-bar
Ingredients for 10 servings:
Flour — 100 g
Cocoa powder — 110 g
Butter — 105 g
Egg whites – 3 pcs
Yolks – 5 pcs
Dark chocolate ganache – 320g
Raspberry jam — 300g
Bitter chocolate (70% cocoa) — 150g
Sugar —100g strong>
Fresh cream (can be replaced with sour cream) — 150 ml
Steps of preparation:
For the biscuit dough, mix flour and 100 g cocoa powder, melt 45 g butter and cool slightly. Beat the egg whites until stiff, add 50 g of granulated sugar and beat again. Grind 5 yolks with the remaining sugar.
Separately combine 2 tablespoons of beaten yolks and warm melted butter. Add beaten egg whites, gently mix with a wooden spatula until smooth. Add flour and remaining yolks.
Preheat oven to 240 °C. Put baking paper on a baking sheet, put the dough on top with a rectangular layer. The thickness of the dough is 1 cm. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Cool down. Turn the biscuit onto another sheet of paper and remove the top layer of paper.
Prepare the syrup. Add 80 g of granulated sugar to 800 ml of water, bring to a boil. Cool down. Mix chocolate ganache with 60 g of butter and raspberry confiture. Soak the biscuit with syrup and put the chocolate-berry mixture on the biscuit. Roll the biscuit into a roll and wrap in cling film, place in the refrigerator for 12-16 hours.
Chop the chocolate, sift, 10 g of cocoa powder. Pour cream fresh into the pan, add cocoa, beat, bring to a boil. Gradually mix cream and chocolate. Beat the resulting mixture with a mixer for 2 minutes. Cool and grease the log on top.
Put in the refrigerator for a day. Take out an hour before serving, decorate with berries.
*The places of work of the authors of the recipes are as of 2016
Photo: ginzaproject, Elena Dijour/Shutterstock.com, shutterstock (x4), Mircea Costina/Alamy/Legion Media, Mircea Costina/Alamy/Legion Media
Published January 2017, partially updated December 2022