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European flavours for 6

 

Unusual though it may sound, gratin of mussels with Camembert is a superb combination. Follow this with a main course that has plenty of Italian influence and a dessert that's well overdue for a revival.

Starter

 

Gratin of Mussels with Melted Camembert 
I first sampled this concept in Normandy where the Camembert was used as a topping for oysters. Then back home, I discovered it goes superbly well with mussels too. 
 

Main course

 

Beef in Barolo with Parmesan Mashed Potatoes
This is a classic from Piedmont but because Barolo is such a very fine and quite expensive wine, I tend to make this with something less costly but from the same region. Then splash out and buy a bottle of Barolo to drink with it. 
 

Dessert

 

A Return to the Black Forest
This is a qualifier for my 1960s recipe revival. There was a time when this recipe was certainly overexposed, but now that it has become a forgotten rarity, we can all re-appreciate its undoubted charm, which remains in spite of changes in fashion

 

 

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