Planning Alsace Theme Dinner - Help?

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Planning Alsace Theme Dinner - Help?

Postby Jeff in Halifax » Wed Oct 04, 2006 7:44 pm

I am planning to do a 3 or four course dinner matched to some oif the Alsatian wines in my cellar, or available to me. One wine per course, four people.

I am pretty sure I'd like to make a flammekuche, so favourite recipes for one are most appreciated - I am allergic to shellfish.

I am looking for recipe/course/wine matching suggestions.

Here are the wines I have available.....

Coop Hunawihr Muelforst Gewurtz, 2000
Weinbach Cuvee Theo Risling, 2000
Coop Hunawihr Res Gewurtz, 2000
Cave de Turkheim Riesling, 2002
Coop Hunawihr Tokay Pinot Gris, 2002 and 2004
Gustave Lorentz Res Pinot Noir, 2003

There are not a lot of Alsatian wines available to me here, some Hugel, Paul Blanck Rieslings and Pinot Blanc, I think, plus Gentil.

I think I can get one Vendanges Tardives..... paying through the nose for it when I have a bunch of other dessert wines I may just use instead.

Thanking anyone who helps in advance,


Jeff
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Re: Planning Alsace Theme Dinner - Help?

Postby Robin Garr » Wed Oct 04, 2006 7:49 pm

Jeff in Halifax wrote:I am pretty sure I'd like to make a flammekuche, so favourite recipes for one are most appreciated - I am allergic to shellfish.


Jeff, maybe I'm pursuing a non-sequitur here, but I've never heard of a <i>flammenkuchen</i> with shellfish. It's a "pizza" topped with onion, egg and bacon, and it's bodalicious if not entirely healthful.

Here's a recipe I posted in the <I>Wine Advisor FoodLetter</i> some time back, not long after a visit to Alsace. It's my own invention, but created with the memories fresh in mind. It assumes you have pizza dough or a crust ready to go:

<b>FLAMMENKUCHEN</b>

1/2 cup sour cream (I used a "light" version to save calories, but would avoid the no-fat variety)
1 egg
6 strips cooked bacon
1 large red onion, sliced into thin rings
salt and pepper

1. Stir the egg with a fork until it's slightly frothy, and stir it in to the sour cream. Spread it on the pizza dough.

2. Cover with the sliced onions and sprinkle on the bacon, crumbled into small bits.

3. Bake. Note that this variation, because of the cream, requires a different approach to avoid scorching: Put the pizza in a COLD oven, set the heat to 300F (150C) and cook for 15 minutes; then increase heat to 400F (200C) and cook for another 15 minutes or until the crust edge is golden brown. Keep an eye on it as it may not need that much time.
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Re: Planning Alsace Theme Dinner - Help?

Postby Jeff in Halifax » Wed Oct 04, 2006 8:26 pm

Thanks Robin. That was supposed to go on a separate line, so if anyone had a recipe that had sheelfish in it, I could not use it. I guess it is hard to imagine Alsace having much of a seafood tradition, though. :wink:
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Re: Planning Alsace Theme Dinner - Help?

Postby Stuart Yaniger » Wed Oct 04, 2006 9:08 pm

1. Find Trimbach.
2. Real tarte flambee uses Alsace Muenster, a real stinker. Wonderful stuff.
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Re: Planning Alsace Theme Dinner - Help?

Postby James Roscoe » Wed Oct 04, 2006 9:40 pm

Pork roast
Saurkraut
Alsatian pinot gris
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Re: Planning Alsace Theme Dinner - Help?

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Thu Oct 05, 2006 12:43 am

Stuart Yaniger wrote:2. Real tarte flambee uses Alsace Muenster, a real stinker. Wonderful stuff.


Indeed! It's still the only cheese I haven't been able to get close enough to my nose to put in my mouth. (That was a few years ago, though - I should probably give the stuff another try.)



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Re: Planning Alsace Theme Dinner - Help?

Postby alex metags » Thu Oct 05, 2006 4:14 am

Muenster is the yummiest cheese on the face of this earth!! IMHO of course :D

cheers,
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Re: Planning Alsace Theme Dinner - Help?

Postby Jeff in Halifax » Thu Oct 05, 2006 8:15 am

I wish we could get Trimbach products. Just Hugel, Gaesbrunnel (sp?), Blanck, Pfaffenheim and Lorentz within a 3 hour drive. Every time I get Trimbach, it ends up getting opened too soon because all the geeks here want to try it. I think the nearest place it is available is in Quebec - a minimum 8 hour drive each way, and it might not be in the stores in the Gaspé so one might have another drive to Riviere du Loup, or even on to Quebec City.

And forget about going to Maine for anything - crossing the border nowadays is like entering a police state, then trying to get out again.

I have a friend in the biz trying to see about repping Trimbach here at my suggestion.

I love Munster, one of my favourite cheeses. I'll see if the stores around here have an Alsace variety.
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Re: Planning Alsace Theme Dinner - Help?

Postby Bill Spohn » Thu Oct 05, 2006 1:11 pm

I'd go with your tarte for a first course.

Consider a choucroute garni for your main course. But you need really good sauerkraut, not that crap in a can.

Home made SK is to canned SK as fine cheese is to those plastic peanuts they pack parcels with.

Although a bit anti-intuitive, the kraut actually works quite well with the crisp acidic white wines. We've had absolutely great choucroute garni in Hunawihr and Riquewihr, where they basically laid out most of a pig, in various forms, on top of a bed of really good kraut, and served it with jugs of the local wines - needed an extra hole in the old belt that day....ImageImageImage
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Re: Planning Alsace Theme Dinner - Help?

Postby Jeff in Halifax » Thu Oct 05, 2006 1:40 pm

We have a sauerkraut industry here in Nova Scotia, of sorts. We can buy stuff that is not bad in the same package as a milk carton. I take it and stew it in home made apple cider for a bit, and the result is a good starting place.

One of the guys in my homebrew club makes his own, including the step of leaving it to cure in a wooden barrel buried in the sand on a saltwater beach.

It is by far the best sauerkraut I have ever tasted. He also makes his own mustard and vinegar, as well as pretty passable white wine.

Of course his lager beers, usually of a Pilsener style, win awards and are better than most, if not all, commercial bottled examples.

Yes, he is German. Pretty good cellist too.
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Re: Planning Alsace Theme Dinner - Help?

Postby Bill Spohn » Thu Oct 05, 2006 2:46 pm

Jeff in Halifax wrote:Yes, he is German. Pretty good cellist too.


He makes sauerkraut AND cello?

What flavour - lemon? Lime?
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Re: Planning Alsace Theme Dinner - Help?

Postby Jeff in Halifax » Thu Oct 05, 2006 4:06 pm

Couldn't resist that, could ya? :lol:
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Re: Planning Alsace Theme Dinner - Help?

Postby Bill Spohn » Thu Oct 05, 2006 4:13 pm

Jeff in Halifax wrote:Couldn't resist that, could ya? :lol:


Who - me??

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Re: Planning Alsace Theme Dinner - Help?

Postby Sue Courtney » Thu Oct 05, 2006 4:27 pm

Hi Jeff,
I really like French Onion Soup with Alsace Gewurztraminer. I cook cumin seeds with the onions, which adds some of the exotic spices found in the wine to the soup and you can top the croutons with a stinky cheese. You have to make sure you use a really good stock, however, as this is the key to good French Onion Soup. Make your own, if you can.
Cheers,
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Re: Planning Alsace Theme Dinner - Help?

Postby Jeff in Halifax » Thu Oct 05, 2006 4:35 pm

Oh yeah, Sue, I found that one out all on my own. The cumin is an intriguing idea that I may very well take up.

Last time I used a stock we made up from wild duck, with a few porcini mushrooms (I think), plus onions I carmelized then processed; the wine was a little thing called Cuvée des Seigneurs de Ribeaupierre......

It was fabulous.
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Re: Planning Alsace Theme Dinner - Help?

Postby Eric Ifune » Fri Oct 06, 2006 11:15 pm

Cook the kraut in riesling instead of apple cider. It'll be a bit more authentic.
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Re: Planning Alsace Theme Dinner - Help?

Postby Paul Winalski » Sun Oct 08, 2006 12:36 am

Find yourself a good source of sauerkraut, a variety of pig products (various sausages, bacon, ham), juniper berries, Alsace riesling, and make yourself a good choucroute garni.

The times I've been served this in France, the dish was so bountiful it reminded me of cartoonist B. Kliban's admonition--"never eat anything bigger than your head."

Before the days of refrigeration and produce flown in from tropical climes, those in the northern temperate zone had to do with preserved vegetables and meats during the winter. Choucroute garni is one of the glorious strokes of genius springing from the necessity of those culinary constraints.

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Re: Planning Alsace Theme Dinner - Help?

Postby David Creighton » Mon Oct 09, 2006 11:00 am

hi - sounds like fun. a couple of thouhgts
1. never had a tart d'alsace with egg or with sour cream. the closest thing to the actual ingredient you can get stateside is double cream or clotted cream.
2. the posts on sauerkraut are right on - the commercial stuff you get is the raw material and it almost doesn't matter which one you start with. it would NEVER be served as it came from the package even if heated in alsace. one cooks it in the ways mentioned.
3. the big question about choucroute is whether there should be a final cooking of the assembled constituents or should they all be cooked separatly and then piled together on the plate. i was told in alsace that the modern way is the latter but that 'my grandmother cooked them all toghether'. the final product IS different!
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