Food and Cuisine in Chablis
In northern Burgundy you get a wonderful cuisine “marriage” between the wine of Chablis, white and flinty dry, the dairy products from the rolling grass fields: cream, butter, and cheese, and the game from the forests: boar, deer, and pheasants.
Epoisses de Bourgogne
The region’s best known cheese comes from the village of Epoisses. It is a strong-smelling, fine-textured cheese that has been washed in Marc (distilled spirit) during ripening.
Burgundy is not just one big vineyard but also a mixture of rolling farmland with cropping and cattle, heavily wooded countryside with forests, hundreds of villages, towns and cities plus vineyards in both small and large pockets.
One afternoon when returning from a hike, we encountered hunters proudly carrying a cock pheasant and were inspired to produce a dish that reflected the region.
Pheasant with Dijon Mustard in a Chablis wine sauce
Le faisan dans la moutarde de Dijon avec une sauce de vin de Chablis
This is an easy, quick way to prepare a very tasty pheasant dish that truly reflects northern Burgundy.
Preparation: 20 minutes, plus at least 1 hour’s marinating
Cooking: 15 minutes
Ingredients For the Pheasant
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
Zest & juice of 2 lemons or limes
2 cloves garlic, crushed & chopped
1 tsp paprika
4 pheasant breasts
olive oil, for baking sheet
Ingredients For the Chardonnay Sauce
1 tbsp butter or margine
½ small white onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled & minced
Bunch of fresh thyme
1 cup white wine (Chablis preferred)
½ cup cream
1 knob butter
Mix together mustard, lemon zest & juice, garlic and paprika, and coat the pheasants generously with the mixture. Leave in refrigerator to marinate for at least one hour, preferably overnight.
Heat oven to 180 degrees C. Lightly oil a baking sheet, put the pheasant breasts on it with the marinade smeared over them and roast for 15 minutes.
For the sauce, in a medium pot add butter and sweat the onions & garlic, without colouring them, for 2 minutes. Add thyme bunch. Pour on wine & reduce to two-thirds. Remove from heat and slowly add cream, stirring to avoid splitting. Remove from heat; remove thyme bunch and stir in knob of butter. The sauce can either be blended or it can be passed through a gravy sieve for a smooth finish.
Remove the breasts from the oven and slice each into 4 pieces and top with sauce. Serve with scalloped potatoes and green beans or asparagus spears.
Les Filets de Perche aux l'asperge et la sauce Chablis
Perch fillets with asparagus and Chablis sauce
This dish works well with any white fish. Shallots and button mushrooms are sweated in a pan with butter then the fish fillet, more butter and a cup of Chablis is added, covered and allowed to cook on a low heat for about 5 minutes. The asparagus is steamed. The fish is removed and the sauce is thickened with floor and butter and seasoned with salt & pepper. Serve on a large platter or with smaller fillets on individual plates - DELICIOUS!!