Uncork a bottle of champagne to cook this light yet rich and romantic dinner. Oh and did I mention slip off those shoes, put your feet up and enjoy. I know very little about champagne other than most times if I partake of it I am guaranteed a quick buzz and a blast to the head in the morning. I found a little guide that gave me an idea of what I may like to use in these following recipes.
The finest champagne producing regions of the world have cool, foggy summers, which result in a grape that is high in acid and low in sugar. Extra sugar must be added before corking to balance the acidity. The levels of sweetness varies.
- Brut (very dry, less than 2 % sugar)
- Extra Sec or extra dry (dry up to 2.5 % sugar)
- Sec (slightly sweet up to 4% sugar)
- Demi-sec (sweet up to 6 % sugar)
- Doux (very sweet over 6%)
The last two are dessert wines.*
Most champagnes are non-vintage, made from a blend of chardonnay and pinot noir. The best among these blends are good enough for practically anybody or any occasion, but there are more to satisfy other tastes and budgets.
Blanc de blancs, made from white grapes may appeal to those with lighter tastes have a thinner body.
Rose or pink champagne can be quite good and is undeniably pretty.
Crémant, which means creaming, is made so it has less fizz and tends to be very light and delicate.
In good weather years vineyards will offer a richer, more individualized, expensive champagne. Some houses put out superlative and very expensive tête de cuvées which is made from the first and most gentle pressing of the grapes. Moët’s and Dom Pérignon are the most famous of these. Have Fun choosing.
When I saw this article featured in a vintage home magazine by M.A. Butler, I found it irresistible. With the little guide above on champagne, making a choice should be a little easier to pick one for your romantic dinner. I did change the main course to vegetarian, the original had pork tenderloin if you so choose. Enjoy your Bare foot Champagne Dinner for two!
Salad with Wild Mushrooms and Champagne Vinaigrette
- 3 cups mesclun or other mixed greens
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon champagne
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
- 1 1/2 cups wild mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Wash and dry salad greens. Set aside.
- In bowl blend the 3 tbs olive oil,rice vinegar ,champagne and Dijon style mustard.
- In a small skillet cook garlic and mushrooms in 1 tbs olive oil till heated through.
- Toss salad greens with dressing.
- Drain mushrooms, and add to greens and toss.
Makes 2 Servings.
Tofu Tenderloin for Two
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon black or white pepper
- 1 pound firm organic tofu
- 1 medium yam
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion peeled and sliced
- 1 fennel bulb, cut into thin wedges
- 1/2 cup champagne
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 teaspoon vegetable bouillon granules
Preheat oven to 375.
- Mix salt, ginger and pepper.
- Drain Tofu and place between two dinner plates.
- Add a little weight on the top plate and let the excess water drain out of the tofu.
- Slice the tofu into steaks and rub salt mixture onto it.
- Place in a roasting pan coated with olive oil.
- Roast for 30 minutes turning tofu to brown both sides.
- While your tofu is roasting, cook yam in boiling water for about 12 minutes,until tender, drain, cool slightly then peel and slice it. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, cook onion and fennel in hot oil, covered , till tender(about 10 minutes) stirring occasionally. Add champagne, water and bouillon.
- Heat to boiling reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for 5 minutes.
- Add yam, heat through.
To serve, arrange tofu steaks on plates, Spoon vegetable mixture around tenderloins. Serves 2.
- Butter or non stick spray
- 3 ounces semisweet chocolate
- 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate
- 2 farm fresh eggs
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup organic whipping cream
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Sifted powdered sugar
- Fudge Mocha Sauce
- Butter two 8oz soufflé dishes. Attach buttered foil collars.
- Melt chocolate in heavy small sauce-pan over low heat , stirring constantly.
- In a large bowl beat eggs till frothy.
- Slowly add sugar, beating 4 to 5 minutes or till thick and lemon-colored.
- Beat half the cream and cinnamon till soft peaks form .
- Fold chocolate mixture into beaten eggs.
- Pour into prepared dishes .
- Place in baking dish, pour 1 inch of hot water into dish.
- Bake at 350º in oven for 30 -35 minutes or till a knife inserted into center comes out clean.
- Remove collars.
- Cool to room temperature.
- Whip remaining cream and cinnamon .
- Sprinkle soufflé with sifted powdered sugar.
Fudge Mocha Sauce:
In a saucepan combine:
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup light cream
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate chopped
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1 ounce semi-sweet chocolate chopped
- 1 table spoon instant coffee
Cook and stir over medium -low heat till smooth and slightly thick serve warm Refrigerate left overs.
Makes 1 3/4 cup.
This finishing touch makes the soufflé extremely rich it is also nice to just have that little extra left over for bringing memories of this simply beautiful meal back as you treat yourself in the future by adding it to fresh berries, bitters and cream! Just a suggestion I might add!
Salute to your barefoot champagne dinner!