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It’s a beautiful gift from Mother Nature, our Périgord truffles just arrived, as they do every year just before Christmas. And so our Winter Menu starts tonight December 17th and we’re open every night through the Holidays.
Truffle slices falling on more truffles!Captured by our friend world-famous photographer Sherrie Ott.
Don’t miss your Périgord truffles fix!
I love to observe the cycles of the truffle season. The season starts in Fall with Burgundy truffles, black outside, coffee color inside. They are cheaper than Périgord but no comparison with Périgord truffles. In Fall you find also white truffles from Alba Italy, they are delicious & very expensive. Their garlicky overtone is more appropriate for Italian cooking, gnocchi, pasta, risotto etc…
At the end of the white truffle season comes Winter and the Périgord truffles…It has to freeze in Provence for the black truffles to pop up under oak trees! These treasures are black outside & black inside, you cannot be mistaken. They are not cheap at all; it’s why we call them the “black diamonds.”
As soon as they are delivered from France to our kitchen door, we open the box and they perfume the whole kitchen with their aroma! It’s totally addictive…but don’t worry, I never heard of truffle overdose! So every year just before the Holidays, we are proud to be the first to offer a Périgord truffle fix.
As you may know, every year we feature what is now our classic, Peterson egg upland farm, truffle “Osmose” with potato mousseline & San Danielle prosciutto ribbons.
When we receive the truffles, we store them in a hermetically sealed box with the eggs. By the osmosis process the eggs are naturally infused with truffle aroma. Then they are poached in order to preserve the truffle flavor. We serve them in truffled potato mousseline, topped with pickled shallot, prosciutto ribbon, chervil leaves & more truffles on top. We selected the Jean-Marc Brocard, Chablis premier cru “Vaulorent.”
I love our sommelier Doug Johnson’s description of this wine: “wet stone, white flowers & fruit notes; complex & intense, good length.”
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Truffled Brie de Meaux Mousse
If you never had Brie de Meaux, you don’t know brie…and if you never had this delicious cheese flavored with truffles, you don’t know Brie de Meaux…
We whisk the brie to a fluffy consistency, add chopped truffles, make it into a quenelle on top of country bread croutons served with escarole lettuce, lardons, walnut-truffle vinaigrette, “et voila,” simple & delicious…
The pairing, Domaine Huet, Loire, Vouvray sec (dry) ask Doug about the “expressive aromas of apple, quince & honeysuckle, creamy long finish.” Don’t get him started, I’m sure that he can talk to you about the bouquet, aromas & flavor of this wine forever!
But enough with truffles…let’s talk now about our new Winter Menu!
Brie de Meaux Mousse, salad of escarole with lardons, toasted walnut,perigord truffled vinaigrette
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These are fun vegetables!Our new “méli-mélo”of upcountry vegetables. I love working on veggies…Vegetables don’t have to be boring, almost by tradition people kill them! Especially when they are blanched. In our kitchen we don’t blanch our vegetables. Instead each one is cooked the best way is supposed to be. We étuvée carrot, leek, fennel etc…we bake beets, we braise asparagus, broccoli…and when it is better not to cook them, we don’t. Red radish is an example…Also, this season we accompany the méli-mélo with a “sauce verte,” translation, green sauce…
We chop finely a selection of “fines herbes,” including chervil, chive, tarragon, parsley & cilantro mixed with a pinch of French mustard & extra virgin olive oil.
This sauce is the main condiment of our veggies plate…
These are not boring vegetables especially paired with the Fiddlehead, Sauvignon Blanc, “Happy Canyon” from Santa Ynez Valley & as Doug likes to say, it’s “fresh pear, vanilla & citrus notes, with hints of apricot and balancing acidity” also balance the méli-mélo beautifully…These are fun vegetables!
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If I’m visiting Nice on the Côte d’Azur, you know where to find me!Lamb, socca & ratatouille – I am very excited about this recipe. Totally inspired from the French Riviera, Côte d’Azur. When food is concerned I like to include the French Riviera into my Provence. If I am visiting Nice, you know where to find me…in the Vieux Nice (old part of the town) eating socca.
In fact socca is more considered as street food that you buy from vendors as you wander around the old streets. But what is socca?… Here is the recipe, chick pea flour, water, extra virgin olive oil that’s all. If you have a very hot oven, more than 500 degrees, & are not afraid to burn yourself with the boiling oil it’s also easy to make. If not, come to the restaurant we are always happy to make for you! It’s what we are here for, aren’t we?
I don’t have to describe ratatouille, you know what it is. Except that I have totally deconstructed the recipe to make sure you can appreciate every single one of the 1000 ingredients.
With the lamb, you have the opportunity to enjoy the prestigious Italian Brunello di Montalcino from Piancornello…by the glass of course!
Again, I’m way too long & I have no room to talk to you about the wonderful new desserts from our Jose Calpito, but don’t go anywhere I will keep you posted.
Did I wish you the best for 2015?…yes I did…
Aloha, Mahalo & Merci Beaucoup for letting us cook for you!
George Mavro, Chef Mavro
Honolulu, December 17, 2014