Discover our recipes and tips for a refined winter menu.
How to create a refined seasonal menu?
We consume winter
To prepare a seasonal menu, you must use… seasonal products! Who would have thought it, right? Irony aside, we will never stop telling you this. Eating tomatoes in winter is a waste, even though this period is full of delicious fruits and vegetables. Think about squash, apples, pears, citrus fruits, etc. We grant you that certain varieties like cauliflower and spinach are more difficult to appreciate, but you just need to find the right way to cook them to adopt them.
In winter, pairing them with cheese, nuts or cold meats will add deliciousness to your dishes. For those with a sweet tooth, try pairing fruit with ice cream, chocolate and spices. We also recommend that you prepare them roasted or caramelized, for added comfort.
The importance of training
No need to resort to luxurious products like caviar and foie gras to compose a gourmet menu. Meticulous preparation, a bit artistic, is the secret to making a recipe appear three times its price. To start, we take out the beautiful dishes. Then we arrange each preparation of the same dish separately, alternating colors and textures. You have to try to give a structure to the recipe. For example, by arranging slices of carpaccio in a rosette, or by molding a tartare in a pastry circle. Failing that, a glass will do. For a risotto, avoid mixing everything together. Instead, place the rice at the bottom of a plate, and place the vegetables and meat in the center. You can also sprinkle some fresh herbs or flowers from the balcony or garden on top. As for dessert, place the ice cream or cream in a quenelle using a tablespoon, then place slices of fresh or caramelized fruit. This will give depth to the plate and add texture.
Your refined menu for winter
As a starter, we enjoy a carpaccio of scallops, cauliflower and spinach. There are several tips for making this recipe. First, choose the freshest scallops possible, since they will be eaten raw. Then place them on the edge and cut into strips using a sharp toothless knife, such as a fish knife. Depending on the thickness of the nuts, you can make 3 to 4 slices maximum. Arrange each piece directly from the plate to form a rosette. Avoid handling the mollusk too much, it is fragile, and only season at the last moment, to prevent the acidity of the lemon from cooking the flesh.
Second tip for this starter, roughly grate the cauliflower, rather than chopping it. This will save you time.
Then place the main course, a celery risotto with mushrooms and sheep’s cheese. As you may have read, celery replaces rice, which is traditionally the base of risotto. However, the process remains the same. Brown celeriac cut into brunoise with shallots, then deglaze with white wine and add vegetable broth. Let the vegetable absorb the liquid between each addition. Once cooked, all that remains is to add cream and sheep’s cheese to bind the “celerysotto”. Next to it, we saute seasonal mushrooms with herbs, before serving on a plate.
For decoration, a few slices of button mushrooms or crushed hazelnuts will do the trick.
The highlight of the meal is the dessert, which consists of a divine pavlova with sage whipped cream and apples by Hélène Darroze. A marriage between grass and apple that seems to be bearing fruit. The only prerequisite for the recipe is to start the day before, to give the whipped cream-mascarpone time to take shape, and the apples to soak up the syrup.
Regarding the meringue, it is a French meringue, that is to say, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Several options are possible for its cooking, depending on the desired result. A meringue cooked for 3 hours at 80°C will be very white and dry, while a meringue cooked at 100°C for 1 hour will tend to be golden and crispy on the outside, but soft on the inside. It’s up to you to see what you prefer.
Enjoy your food.
Carpaccio of scallops, cauliflower and spinach
- 4 people
- Level: Very easy
- 15 minutes of preparation
- See the recipe: Carpaccio of scallops, cauliflower and spinach
Celery risotto, mushrooms, sheep’s cheese
- 6 persons
- Level: Very easy
- 45 minutes of preparation
- See the recipe: Celery risotto, mushrooms, sheep’s cheese
Pavlova with sage whipped cream and apples
- 4 people
- Level: Easy
- 30 minutes of preparation
- See the recipe: Pavlova with sage whipped cream and apples