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Tag Archives: Caviar

Inspiration : a recipe from my home region

I recently came up with a new caviar recipe that was borrowed from a childhood memory of a dish called “pâté à la pomme de terre ». Unlike the traditional meat preparation, this pâté is vegetarian. It was invented in my region called « Le Bourbonnais » at the end of the 18th century – at a time of great famine – to serve in lieu of fish on Fridays. Indeed, the few lakes and ponds being the property of the « bourgeoisie », thus off limits to the people, the latter were left with a small variety of simple ingredients.

Pâté à la pomme de terre is made of short pastry or puff pastry dough, potatoes, parsley, onions (optional) and crème fraiche. The potatoes are cut in thin layers, then mixed with the other ingredients and snuggled in tight layers in the shape of a pie.

I deconstructed the potato pie because I thought it would complement one of our dishes nicely. The layers of potato and cream serve as a base to caviar, which brings a salty, delicate texture to the simple ingredients. For texture contrast, and to stay with the idea of crust and potatoes, I added a layer of brik dough :

Recipe of the traditional “pâté à la pomme de terre” :

You need :

  • 2 lbs of peeled and thinly sliced potatoes
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • short crust or puff pastry dough : 2 round pieces
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ cup crème fraîche
  • 1 cup of chopped parsley
  • a few fresh thyme sprigs, and a bay leaf
  • Salt, pepper

You will need parchment paper, a brush, and a baking tray.


  1. Preheat your oven at 325°F,
  2. In a large bowl, mix the potatoes with the chopped onion, parsley, and thyme,
  3. Lay the parchment paper in the baking tray,
  4. Place the short crust dough on top,
  5. Add the potatoes on top to for a 1 inch mound, leaving ½ inch of space around the potatoes to fold in the top layer of dough. Brush that space lightly with water.
  6. Cover with the second layer of dough, making sure that the two layers are sealed properly.
  7. Cut out a small hole in the middle of the pie to make a chimney.
  8. Whisk the egg yolk with a tbsp. of water then brush the mixture on the pie.
  9. Bake it at 350°F  for about 45 minutes or unil till the potato is cooked.
  10. Once the pie is cooked, cut a larger circle on the top crust . Pour in the crème fraîche, cover with the cutout piece and leave in the warm –but switched off- oven until the crème fraiche settles in the pie.

Bon appétit!

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A variation on red radish-butter-fleur de sel

Two leitmotivs in my cooking process are thoughtfulness and zen. A recent illustration of this approach is a variation on the traditional French small bite : radis beurre et fleur de sel (red radish with butter and fleur de sel).

Red radish? Too mundane, might you think. You have a point, given that the root was fed to the laborers working on the Egyptian pyramids. But consider this: radishes contain about 42% as much vitamin C as fresh oranges, help improve your digestion and hold anti-cancerous properties. There are some stunning varieties boasting vivid red, purple, or fuchsia colors. The sheer sophistication of the root’s taste may also surprise you at times. Crunchy, juicy, with a peppery finish that sometimes reminds us of Dijon mustard. Not so bad for a small root!

Now, back to the radis-beurre-fleur de sel combination. It brings salty and smooth qualities to the tangy, peppery flavors of the vegetable. As such, it is a perfect, perfectly simple concept. Keeping that in mind, my variation replaces salt with caviar, butter with home-made customized crème fraîche, and adds some texture and flavor sparkles with a savory meringue and lemon pulp. Still simple, yet more colorful and tasty.

Oh, and did you know that radish greens can be used in a variety of dishes, including raw in blended drinks or in salads? They can also substitute for arugula.

Bon appétit!

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Wine Pairings with Tim Augello

“My interest in wine was piqued while I was working at Manresa. I was drawn to the intricacies of wine and how it made food taste better. I love the marriage between food and wine, and how when paired properly both the food and wine are elevated above that of the individual elements. As a foodie, I’m always interested in increasing my food and wine experiences.

Born in Los Gatos, CA in fairly close proximity to Napa Valley, it was easy for me to build upon my wine knowledge. After becoming an assistant sommelier at Manresa, I decided to take my sommelier certification which establishes a high standard of the knowledge and service of wine for professionals in the Hospitality Industry.

When tasting and purchasing wine for Baume, I take into account the food and work on building a well rounded wine list. I include most of the significant wine regions in the world with a focus on both local Californian and French wines.

I try to make wine approachable. Below are two examples of wine pairings with a couple of our spring dishes that will help you understand my selecting process :
For the Caviar Crudités, I am pairing the non vintage Bruno Paillard Premiere Cuvee Brut Champagne; it provides a nice acidic backbone with fine bubbles which enhances the experience of the caviar popping on the palate. It also provides both a cleansing purity for the caviar, as well as a slight yeastiness to compliment the brioche.

For the Salade du Printemps, I have paired the 2009 Domaine du Salvard Cheverny, a Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley. It has an herbaceous quality to it that complements the young flowers, herbs and spring vegetables that have just come into season. It is light bodied enough to complement the dish without overpowering it.

Bon appétit!”

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