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French Flair From Francois Payard

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Francois Payard is a third generation French pastry chef born in Nice.

He cultivated his passion for the art of pastry as a child in his grandfather's acclaimed shop, Au Nid des Friandises, on the Riviera. He grew up surrounded by delicious classic French pastry in the tradition carried on by his parents and grandparents for over fifty years.

After honing his skills in classic pastry by his family's side, Pavard moved to Paris, where he learned the artistry and refinement of transforming traditional desserts into exquisite plated presentations whose taste, texture and originality opened new horizons in his career.

His dedication and passion earned him positions in several of France's finest kitchens.

Pavard came to New York in 1990, and has won a variety of awards.

Although pastry is clearly his obviously his true love, he is certainly an accomplished, well-rounded chef, as Saturday's meal proves.

He prepares Red Beet Salad with Blue Cheese and Mustard Dressing, Linguini with Clams, Mussels and Tomato Sauce, and a Grapefruit Terrine with Basil Infused Citrus Soup and Mango Sorbet.

FOOD VOCABULARY

Frisee: A member of the chicory family, frisee has delicately slender, curly leaves that range in color from yellow-white to yellow-green. This feathery vegetable has a mildly bitter flavor.

Terrine: Typically a molded pate made of meat; terrine can be a molded dessert.

RECIPES

Red Beet Salad with Blue Cheese and Mustard Dressing

Serves 4

Ingredients:
4 medium-sized beets, washed and trimmed
1 shallot, finely diced
1/4 lb. (about 3oz) blue cheese, crumbled
1 large frisee, washed and rough chopped
sea salt

Mustard Dressing

Ingredients
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/3 cup plus 2 tsp red wine vinegar
1 cup plus 2T olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Method
1) Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Wrap the beets individually in aluminum foil and sprinkle with sea salt.
2) Place wrapped beets on baking sheet. Bake at 450 degrees for 1 hour.
3) Allow beets to cool for about five minutes. Peel and cut each beet into quarters. Set aside.
4) Place beets in bowl. Drizzle with half of the mustard dressing and the diced shallots.
5) Divide beets evenly among four plates.
6) Spoon crumbled blue cheese over beets.
7) Toss frisee with remaining mustard dressing and put on top of beets.
Serve.

Linguini with Clams, Mussels and Basil and Tomato Sauce

Serves 4

Ingredients:
16 mussels, scrubbed
1 lb clams, scrubbed
2 T olive oil
1/4 cup water
2 garlic cloves, sliced thin
1 16-ounce pack of linguini
12 fresh basil leaves, juilenned

Tomato Sauce

Ingredients
1 small onion, peeled and diced
1T olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1 small red bell pepper , remove seeds and diced
1 28 oz. can whole (or diced) tomatoes
basil stem (from the basil leaves above)
pinch of crushed red pepper flake

1) Cook the pasta for 10 minutes in boiling, salted water.
2) Place clams in a saucepan with 1/4 cup water, 2T olive oil and garlic. Cover and let cook for one minute or until clams open up.
3) Add the mussels to the clams and cook for one minute covered until mussels open.
4) In large bowl combine linguini, clams and mussels, basil and tomato sauce. Toss well and serve.

Tomato Sauce

1) Heat oil in sauté pan over medium heat.
2) Add onions to pan and sauté until soft.
3) Add red bell pepper and garlic, saute until soft.
4) Then add the tomatoes and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook for 10 minutes at a simmer.
5) Next, using a hand-held blender, blend until smooth and strain through a fine strainer.*
6) Return strained sauce to pot and keep warm until ready to serve.

*If using diced tomatoes, skip this step.

Grapefruit Terrine with Basil Infused Citrus Soup and Tangerine Sorbet

Serves 4

Ingredients
2 large grapefruits
3 blood oranges (regular oranges can also be used)
1 envelope powdered gelatin
1/4 cup sugar
1 Star Anise (optional)
1 clove
2 grinds of freshly-milled white pepper
1 sprig of basil
4 basil leaves for garnish
1 pint of fruit sorbet

Necessary Tools

Loaf Pan

Method
1) Remove skin and pith from all citrus fruits. Using a paring knife, carefully slice out segments from each citrus fruit over a bowl to catch citrus juice. Set segments aside in separate bowl. The remaining "skeleton" of each fruit should be squeezed into the large mixing bowl containing the citrus juice.
2) Take 4x8 loaf pan and tape a square piece of cardboard inside the pan to divide the pan into two compartments. Line one of the compartments with plastic wrap.
3) Stack citrus segments evenly in lined compartment of the pan. Set aside.
4) For the soup, set aside ¼ cup of the juice. Stir gelatin powder into the 1/4 cup juice until the gelatin softens.
5) Place the remaining juice in a non-reactive saucepan. Add the sugar, spices and basil to the pan. Cook over medium heat until liquid is reduced by about half. Strain and discard solids.
6) While the soup is still hot, remove 1/2 cup of the hot soup and add the softened gelatin mixture. Stir well.
7) Pour this mixture evenly over the segmented fruit that was placed in the loaf pan, making sure it is evenly distributed throughout the terrine. This will allow the terrine to hold together properly.
8) Cover terrine with plastic wrap. Freeze for at least an hour. Cool the remaining soup in refridgerator until it is needed.
9) When ready to serve, un-mold the frozen terrine onto a cutting board. Using an electric knife cut into four slices, one for each serving.
10) Place each slice in the center of a bowl and allow it to come to room temperature. Place a single scoop of sorbet on top of the terrine and garnish with basil leaf.
11) Spoon the reserved soup around the terrine and serve.