Behind the French Menu gives a tasty background to French cuisine, French dishes, how they are made and how they should be served.
Where there is a story behind a dish's creation and
that story may aid the diner's enjoyment then that will also be included. Bon appétit!
Millefeuilles, Mille-feuilles, Feuilles, Feuilleté and Feuillantine on French Menus.
Behind the French Menu
Bryan G. Newman
Grapes and vine leaves.
Photograph courtesy of rachelgreenbelt.
Feuille – A leaf.
On French menus more that vegetable and fruit-tree leaves may be on the menu. Thin slices of pastry, often puff-pastry, and other products may also be described as leaves.
Feuilles on French Menus:
Feuilles d'Épinards au Beurre – Spinach leaves prepared with butter.
A slice of bread served with a medium-aged Cantal cheese, locally cured ham, and young spinach leaves.
Photograph courtesy of Hotel des Voyageurs à Tarnac en Corrèze
Feuille de Chêne– Leaves of oak leaf or butterhead lettuce. In the UKthis lettuce is also called Bridgemere lettuce. Young oak leaf lettuce leaves will be the baby salad leaves in many salads.Thisis a delicate lettuce and when usedas a bedto present a dish it does not offer a competing taste.
Feuille de Chêne Rouge –The red and red tinged leaves of the red oak leaf lettuce.
The leaves of the red oak lettuce.
Photographs courtesy of dflegmatic.
Feuilles de Doucette – Another name for the leaves from France’s excellent salad green, more usually called mâche. In English this salad green is called field lettuce, lamb’s lettuce or corn salad. Unfortunately, it is only rarely on the menu in the UK and North America. I believe that Mâche is just as indispensable to a French green or mixed salad as the French think it is. Eighty per cent of Europe's supply of mâche comes from the area around the city of Nantes, so this salad green may well be on your menus as Mâche Nantaise
Feuilles de Vigne Farcies – Stuffed vine leaves are on menus in all countries where there are vineyards.French chefs often choose specific vine leaves by their fragrance. I have enjoyed vine leaves stuffed with shrimps and squid and also a vegetarian dish of vine leaves stuffed with raisins, courgettes (the USA zucchini) and rice flavored with herbs.
Feuilles de Vigne a la Grecque – Vine leaves stuffed in the Greek manner, often called dolma. The Greek version I know best is vine leaves stuffed with lamb, rice and pine nuts. However, the Greek name dolma is in fact Turkish, and so many assume the origin of the original dish is Turkish.Be that as it may, dishes wrapped in vine leaves, using a variety of recipes, go back thousands of years.Additionally, there are many traditional Greek and Balkan versions of Dolmathat are not seen in Turkey,Nonetheless, those countries did live under Ottoman rule and their traditional dishes, names and recipes were often shared.
Feuilleté- A puff-pastry covering.
The word feuilletée, coming as it does from feuille, a leaf, refers to thin layers of puff-pastry. The pate feuilleté, the puff-pastry dough is created by folding and refolding and refolding the dough with butter again and again. In the oven these very, very thin layers of butter create steam and separate the leaves of dough.Voila, you have pâte feuilletée that is a special form of puff- pastry. Feuilletés may be part ofthe hors d’oeuvres, theentrée (the French first course), the main courses or the dessert.
Feuilleté on French Menus:
Feuilletéaux Pommes et Cidre Cornouaille – Puff pastry covering apples soaked in theCornouaille AOP ciderof Brittany and served with puff-pastry.
Feuilletéde Saumon à l’Oseille-A puff-pastry covering of salmon cooked with sorrel.
Feuillantineor En Feuillantine - Surrounded by puff-pastry
Feuillantineand Feuilleté are sometimes used interchangeably. However, feuillantineor en Feuillantine properly used indicates that the puff-pastry or possibly fruit or vegetable leaves are surrounding the main ingredients.
Pâte Feuilletéeis also used to made millefeuilles. Millefeuille or Mille-feuilles are interleaved layers of pâte feuilletée filled with sweet and savory fillings. Taking the idea behind the original millefeuille a stretch further has seen the creation of millefeuilles with no pastry at all. Thin slices of vegetables and or fruits have replaced the pastry.
Millefeuille Chocolat Chloé, Pierre Hermé,
A Millefeuille from Japan.
Japanese pastry chefs do wonders with French pastry.
Salon du Chocolat 2009 Tokyo, Shinjuku Isetan
Photograph courtesy of yuichi.sakuraba.
Millefeuilles on French menus:
Millefeuille de Céleris et Topinambour– A millefeuille of celery and Jerusalem artichoke.
Millefeuille de Légumes de Saison – A garnish of seasonal fresh vegetables cooked and interleaved with another vegetable, not puff-pastry.
Photograph courtesy of mhuang
Millefeuille de Saumon Fumé et Crème de Raifort – A millefeuille of smoked salmon and a cream or horseradish.