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A Champagne Dinner

A Champagne Dinner

You’re celebrating a birthday. Maybe an anniversary or promotion. Or perhaps you’re just into celebrating life. Well, there’s a champagne for that. Three of the top champagne houses share their recipes for the perfect pairing. From caviar (which is always a good idea) to vegetable tarts, these are the recipes you want now.

While we may be well-versed when it comes to drinking bubbly, the pairing of champagne and food is an art unto itself. So, naturally, we asked the experts who live it everyday to come up with champagne and food pairings nonpareil. You’ll want these recipes in your back pocket as the holidays approach.

The House: Moët & Chandon
The Champagne: Imperial Brut
The Dish: Elevated Steak Tartare

Let’s start off dinner with an appetizer that will blow your mind. When finding balanced pairings for a fruitier, nuttier champagne like the Imperial Brut, the team at Moët & Chandon recommends incorporating both raw and fatty elements into your dish, like oysters or sashimi. And while you could go with those options, we wanted to bump it up a notch with the ultimate steak tartare.

We know what you’re thinking — this dish, as is, is already pretty elevated. But adding a salty cured egg yolk and zingy fried shallots brings this classic appetizer to the next level. The ingredients speak for themselves, so make sure to use the highest quality ones possible, especially when it comes to the beef. We recommend something grass fed and preferably from a local butcher.

Elevated Steak Tartare

Ingredients

2 egg yolks
1 tbsp of mirin
¼ cup of soy sauce
2 anchovies, chopped and smashed into a paste
½ lb of high quality tenderloin
1 tablespoon of capers & brine
2 tbsp of chopped chives
1 shallot
1 tbsp cornstarch
Olive oil

1 heaping tbsp of parsley
1 tbsp of lemon juice
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp of Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp of Dijon mustard
A dash of favorite hot sauce or tabasco
Potato chips or crostinis

Directions

Begin by creating the marinade for your egg yolks. Add the egg yolks to a container with the soy sauce and mirin. Let it sit in the fridge for 4 hours. You’ll only need one yolk for this recipe but can save the other one to use over rice dishes or ramen. 

Next, trim your meat. Removing everything but the dark red beef. Discard skin, fat flaps, gristle, etc. Place the trimmed beef in the freezer, along with the cutting board and knife you will be using. Make sure to use your sharpest knife for this! Allow the beef and your supplies to chill while you prep the rest of the ingredients. 

Cut your shallot into two halves. Dice one half, and thinly slice the other. In a medium-size bowl combine the diced shallots, 1 tbsp of chives, anchovies, capers and brine, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, 2 tbsp of olive oil, a dash of hot sauce, and dash of black pepper. Mix well and set aside.

Next, toss the thinly sliced shallots in cornstarch, using a fork to make sure each slice is separate and evenly coated. Sift out excess flour by tossing the shallots through a sieve. Heat ¼ cup of olive oil over medium heat. Test your oil by dropping in one slice of shallot — if it sizzles, your oil is hot enough. Fry the shallots for about 5 minutes or until just golden brown. Make sure to watch closely, because these burn easily. Drain on a paper-towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt.

For the Finish

Right before serving, remove the tenderloin from the freezer. Using gloves — to protect the meat’s temperature from the heat of your hands — cut the steak into bite-size cubes. These can be as big or as small as you like. Just make sure the size is consistent. Add the chopped beef to the diced shallot mixture; mix well. Plate the tartare using a ring mold on the center of a plate, piling the mixture into a compact circle. Top with the fried shallots, one cured egg yolk, parsley, and the remaining chives. Serve with potato chips or crostinis.

The House: Ruinart
The Champagne: Blanc de Blancs Cuvée
The Dish: Roasted Langoustines Over Garlic Smashed Potatoes

Is it really a champagne dinner if there’s no seafood involved? We didn’t think so. Maison Ruinart’s resident chef, Valérie Radou, recommends the decadent pairing of roasted langoustines and crispy smashed potatoes for the Blanc de Blancs cuvée.

Chef Radou collaborates with Maison Ruinart’s oenological team (fancy name for wine experts) to create the most harmonious pairings for Ruinart cuvées, and it shows in each component of the dish. So basically, you know it’s going to be good. Crunchy carbs and a rich buttery sauce create a perfect bed for the langoustine, while smaller portions keep the spotlight on the bright and floral champagne. 

Roasted Langoustines with Garlic Smashed Potatoes

Ingredients

4 raw langoustines
8 baby potatoes
1 lemon
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 sticks of room temperature salted butter, divide
Splash of white wine
2 tbsp of olive oil
2 shallots
A dollop of crème fraîche

2 teaspoons of lemon juice

Directions

Preheat your oven to 400 ˚F. Cook the potatoes, skin on, in a pot of heavily-salted water for 20 minutes. While the potatoes cook, mix 4 tablespoons of butter with the garlic. Toss the cooked potatoes in the garlic butter, then place on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet. Using the bottom of a glass, apply pressure on each potato until they are properly smashed. Season with salt and pepper, then bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.

While the potatoes cook, heat 4 tbsp of butter and 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large pan. Cook the langoustines for 3 minutes on their backs, splashing water on the top side regularly. Set aside when done. 

To make the lemon butter sauce, finely dice your shallots. Add the white wine, lemon juice, and shallots to a saucepan. Let the mixture reduce to ¾ its original volume before adding in the butter, one small piece at a time. Whisk butter until the sauce is smooth and season with salt and pepper. Strain the sauce, if necessary, and add a dollop of crème fraîche to prevent settling. 

For the Finish

To plate, place 1 or 2 smashed potatoes on a plate before layering the langoustine on top. Drizzle over a few spoonfuls of the sauce and garnish with a dash of black pepper. Serve with Ruinart’s Blanc De Blancs.

The House: Perrier-Jouët
The Champagne: Belle Epoque Rosé 2013
The Dish: Pavlova & Cream

Sophie Roe is an internet sensation — an Emmy-nominated TV host and James Beard award-winning chef. Now, she’s partnering with Perrier-Jouët to create thought-provoking pairings for their acclaimed champagnes. Her seasonal menu is designed to evoke a sensory-first tasting experience inspired by nature. Finish out your at-home tasting menu with this vanilla pavlova and fluffy whipped cream and wash it down with the silky 2013 Rosé.

Ingredients

6 large egg whites, room temperature
1.5 cups 0f granulated sugar, blended until it’s a fine-ish powder
2 tsp of cornstarch
1.5 tsp of lemon juice
1.5 tsp of vanilla bean extract
2 cups of cold heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp of powdered sugar
1/4 tsp of cream of tartar
Fresh seasonal fruit; we recommend pears

Directions

Begin by preheating the oven to 225˚F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a standing mixer, beat 6 egg whites on high speed for 1 min until soft peaks form. With the mixer on, gradually add 1 1/2 cups sugar and beat 8 to 10 min on high speed, or until stiff peaks form. Using a spatula, quickly fold in lemon juice and vanilla extract. Whip for another 60 seconds, then fold in corn starch and mix until well blended.

Pipe meringue into 3-to-3 1/2-inch-wide spirals or circles onto the parchment paper using a piping tip of your choice. Bake at 225˚F for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave the meringue in the oven until fully cooled.

For the Finish

Transfer the pavlova onto the counter and allow it to cool to room temperature. Meanwhile, beat cold whipping cream with sugar in the cold bowl for 2 to 3 minutes or until whipped and spreadable. Once cool, you can place the Pavlova on a plate. Spoon cream onto the pavlova and top with fresh fruit.

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