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Gourmet French Cuisine

Fabrice Rodot is head chef and co-owner, with his partner Victoria Calvert, at L’Atelier in Issigeac, Dordogne.  Serving home-cooked, gourmet food since 2017, the restaurant specialises in local, seasonal, fresh French cuisine.

Fabrice Rodot and Victoria Calvert

Fresh Vegetable Tempura and Sweet and Sour Sauce

(Serves 4 and this Gourmet French cuisine can be adapted with fresh seasonal vegetables)

4 Small carrots

4 Spring onions

4 Asparagus

2 Small artichokes

100g Green beans

100g Mushrooms

1 Bunch radishes

100g Fromage Blanc

1 Bunch of chives

150g Olive oil

1 Lemon, juiced

2 tbs Honey

250g Rice flour

250g Beer

Frying oil

Salt and pepper

Fresh herbs and edible flowers

Peel, wash and cook the carrots, spring onions, asparagus, artichokes, green beans. Chill and preserve.

Cut the cooked vegetables into smaller pieces or leave whole depending on preference, e.g. cut the artichoke into quarters but leave the carrots, spring onions and asparagus whole. Thinly slice the raw mushroom and radishes.

To make the tempura batter mix the rice flour and beer.

Chop the chives and add to the Fromage Blanc. Season with salt and pepper.

Mix the honey and lemon, whisk the olive oil in slowly, like a mayonnaise.

Dip the vegetables in the batter and place in the frying oil at 160°C for about 5 minutes or until they are a pale golden colour.  Place on absorbent paper and season with salt.

To serve, arrange the Fromage Blanc, fried vegetables, mushrooms and radishes on a plate. Add the vinaigrette, herbs and flowers.  Serve immediately.

Red Berry and Pistachio Vacherin

A Gourmet French Cuisine dessert

(Serves 4, make a day ahead)

You will need 4 half-sphere moulds

250g Mixed red berries

100g Egg whites

200g White sugar

4 Scoops vanilla ice cream

20g Toasted pistachios

100g White chocolate

50g Pistachio butter

300g Full-fat liquid cream

Meringue:  Mix the egg whites and sugar, heat and whip the mixture up to 50°C max in a bain-marie.  Continue whipping until the mixture has cooled completely.  Add the meringue to the moulds and make a small well in the middle of each. Dry out the meringue in a preheated oven at 90°C for two hours.

Ganache:  Heat the cream and pistachio butter until it boils, pour onto the chocolate and mix well. Let it rest overnight in the fridge.

To serve:  Whip the ganache until it is firm and creamy like a chantilly, put a scoop of ice cream in your meringue, cover the ice cream with the ganache, sprinkle red berries and toasted pistachios. Serve straight away.


Wild Garlic Escargots in a Homemade Brioche

Les escargots are a French favourite and this recipe brings a different take to the traditional garlic dish.

(Serves 4)

For the Brioche:

250g T45 flour, plus some for dusting

7g Fresh baker’s yeast

20g Sugar

5g Salt

3 Eggs

125g Butter (room temperature)

1 Egg yolk

1 Drop milk

Put the flour, sugar, and yeast in a large mixing bowl, and mix.  Whisk the eggs and add to the dry mixture to form a dough, add the salt last. Knead the dough, for five mins in an electric mixer or until it is elastic.  Add the butter, cut into small cubes, to the dough and knead another five mins in the mixer.

Place the dough in a clean bowl with a humid tea towel or cling film touching the surface.  Leave to rise for one hour or until it has doubled in size.  Knead the dough to remove the air and return it to a clean bowl, covered.  Place in the fridge for a minimum of four hours or overnight.

Divide the dough into four portions and, on a floured surface, shape the portions into balls.  Arrange the balls on a parchment-lined oven tray and leave to rise for an hour.

Mix the egg yolk and milk in a bowl and brush over your rolls. Place in a preheated oven at 165°C for 20-25 mins.

Remove the brioches from the oven and leave to cool.  Once cooled, slice the top off and spoon the middle out.

For the filling:

36 Pre-cooked snails

1 Bunch of young garlic

50g Butter

1 tbs Noilly Prat

1 Small bunch wild garlic leaves

Wash and chop the young and wild garlic, reserving a couple of leaves for decoration. Melt the butter in a frying pan, add the young garlic and fry for a couple of minutes. Add the snails and flambé it with the Noilly Prat. Season with salt and pepper. Add the wild garlic.

To serve, stuff your brioches with the snail and garlic mix. Place in a warm oven for 5 minutes.

Plate them up and add the leaves of wild garlic for decoration. Serve hot.

Caption left to right:   Tempura, Vacherin, Escargots

First published in the May/June 2020 issue of The Local Buzz

Images: L’Atelier at Issigeac


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