FOREVER SUMMER – or how to cheer up the winter months
…. is a true extension of SEASONAL COOKING. Most countries and cultures have developed ways of making abundant, perishable summer produce last through the leaner winter months. But in France most of these preserves have become cherished and prized delicacies.
Don’t get stuck on jams and chutneys – we will be PICKLING, SALTING, DRYING and CANDYING. In terms of basics we will make flavoured oils, vinegars, butters and olives. Then, depending on the season and availability we’ll preserve things in ALCOHOL and VINEGAR, SALT and SUGAR. We might use duck fat to CONFIT duck legs, or salt to PRESERVE LEMONS. Perhaps we’ll make GRAVLAX of SALMON or use vinegar for making CRUNCHY PICKLES, or THYME JELLY for serving with cheese. We’ll even make my favourite RASPBERRY VINEGAR and depending on the season we can make OVEN-DRIED TOMATOES and preserve them in olive oil..
In terms of CHARCUTERIE think lucious Provencal RILLETTES of RABBIT (made with olive oil and lemon) or divine DRY-CURED DUCKBREAST. We may even make the indispensable PETIT-SALÉ (dry-cured PANCETTA-like belly of pork) that no serious cook can live without.
And on the sweet spectrum (and depending on the season) we can use sugar to CANDY FRUIT such as CANDIED FIGS or ORANGE STRIPS half-dipped in chocolate, but also MEMBRILLO, the quince paste that all Mediterraneans serve with cheese.
And finally we may make some festive FRUIT LIQUEURS, such as the local THYME liqueur, or LIMONCELLO.
This course is about how to to make these versatile ‘basics’ from scratch – and how use them afterwards.. And of course you’ll take home the products.