May 14 Class

French Cooking Class #1

Tuesday, May 14: Mardi, Le 14 Mai (mar-dee, luh-katorz-meh)

Anything in italics is in French! To help you with pronouncing these words (that will soon be meaningful), the phonetics follow the spelling. Sound it out for yourself and practice with other people!

1) Good Day!: Bonjour (bon-joor)!and more basic greetings...

Welcome!: Bienvenue (By-en-ven-oo)

How are you?: Comment ca va? (Kum-ahn-sah-vah?)

I’m well, thanks.: Ca va bien, merci (Sah-vah-bee-uhn, mer-see)

So, what’s new?: Alors, quoi de neuf? (Ah-lor, koa-duh-nuff?)

I’ve been busy!: Je suis tres occupe! (Juh-swee-treh-zo-koo-peh!)

Please: S’il vous plait (seel-voo-pleh)

Thank You: Merci (mer-see)

Yes, absolutely: Oui, absolument (wee, abso-loo-mon)

No, not at all: Non, pas du tout (naan, pah-doo-too)

Later! Salut! (sahl-oo!)

2) Super Basics: The Personal Pronouns

SINGULAR  I: je (juh), you: tu (tuu), him/her: il/elle (eel/el)

PLURAL we: nous (noo),you: vous (voo), them: ils/elles (eels, els)

Super Basics: In French, its either Masculin or Feminin

le poisson (the fish) masculin

la pomme (the apple) feminin

Super Basics: Demystifying certain accents

é acute e (ihhh) summer: été

è grave (eh)  father: père (pehr) mother: mère (mehr)

ê circumflex (ehh) party: fête

à grave (ahh) used when its “to” something like “à la carte” or “à la maison”

3) Get Your Ass to the Table!: A Table! (ah-tab-luh!)

Plate: L’Assiette (ass-y-ette)

Fork: La Fourchette (foor-chette)

Knife: Le Couteau (koo-toh)

Spoon: La Cuillère (Kwy-erre)

Napkin: La Serviette (serv-y-ette)

Glass: Le Verre (ver)

Wine: Le vin (vuhn)

In a Restaurant: Bonjour Monsieur/Madame!

Two, Please! Deux, s’il vous plait (duhh, seel-voo-pleh!)

Some wine! Du Vin! (Doo-vuhn!)

Some Verbs:

Do/Make: Faire (fehr) ex. Can you make the vinaigrette? Peux-tu faire la vinaigrette? (Puh-too-fehr-la-vin-egg-rette?)

Want: Vouloir (voo-loar) ex. I want: Je veux... (juh-vuh...))

Eat: Manger (mahn-gey)

Cook: Cuire (kw-eer)

Drink: Boire (bo-ahr)

Mix: Melanger (mel-ahn-gey)

4) Dish #1: Fried Oyster Salad

Salade d’Huitres Frites (sahl-ad-dweetruh-freet)

An oyster: une huitre (oon-weetruh)

The salad: la salade (la sahl-ad)

The vinaigrette: la vinaigrette (you know this one)

The mayonnaise: la mayonnaise (ok, seriously)

The egg: l’oeuf (l-uhff)

The oil: l’huile (l-wheell)

The radish: le radis (le rhah-dee)

Sidenote: Let’s talk oysters for a sec...

A dozen oysters, please! Une douzaine d’huitres, sil vous plait! (Oon-dew-zen-dweetruh, seel-voo-pleh!)

And a bottle of white wine! Et une bouteille de vin blanc! (Eh oon boo-tey duh vahn blanh!)

5) Dish #2: Seared Rockfish with Asparagus, Turnips, Spring Onions, and Pea Shoots

Filet de Rascasse avec Asperges, Navets, Oignons, et Germes de Pois (fee-ley duh ras-casse av-ek ass-perge, nav-ey, on-yon et germe duh poa)

The fish: Le poisson (luh-poa-sohn)

The filet: le filet (luh-fee-ley)

The salmon: le saumon (luh so-mon)

The asparagus: l’asperge (lass-pehrge)

The onion: l’oignon (lo-nion)

The sauce: (la so-ce)

Fried Oyster Salad by JJ Proville

Serves 2


Breaded Oysters:

8 oysters

1 cup flour

2 eggs, beaten

3 cups panko breadcrumbs


2-3 cups vegetable oil

1 egg

1 tsp white wine vinegar

1 tsp mustard

Kosher salt


1 T sherry vinegar

3 T oil

1 tsp mustard

1 pinch Kosher salt

To Assemble and Serve:

1 bunch salad greens

2 radishes, sliced thinly


For the Mayonnaise:

In a bowl, combine the egg, vinegar, mustard, and salt. Insert a stick blender into the bowl. Blend while slowly adding the oil until mixture becomes thick.

For the Vinaigrette:

In a jar with a lid, combine the vinegar, oil, mustard and salt. Put the lid back on the jar. Shake vigorously until the mixture is smooth and emulsified.

For the Breaded Oysters:

In three bowls, separate the flour, beaten eggs, and panko breadcrumbs. Dip the shucked oyster into flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs. Reserve breaded oysters on a separate plate.

To Assemble and Serve:

Heat 2 inches of vegetable oil to 350F. Add the oysters to the oil, one by one. Using a metal spoon or chopsticks, monitor the color of the oysters, flipping when golden brown on the bottom side. When the oyster is golden brown on all sides, remove to a folded paper towel. In a separate bowl, toss the salad and radishes with the vinaigrette. Check the seasoning. On the plate, spread a circle of mayonnaise. Place oysters on top of mayonnaise.Place a mound of dressed salad on top of the oysters.

Seared Rockfish with Asparagus, Turnips, and Spring Onions

Serves 2



1 cup asparagus puree (come back next time for the technique! or call me)

1/4 bunch asparagus, bottoms trimmed

8 baby turnips, quartered

4 spring onion bulbs, tops trimmed off, halved

Unsalted Butter

Kosher salt

To Assemble and Serve:

1 pound rockfish fillet, pin bones removed, cut into two portions

Salmon Roe

Pickled Beets

Baby Greens



For the Vegetables:

In a pan, heat olive oil until smoking. Add onions, turnips, and asparagus. Toss until vegetable are bright and are starting to look cooked, about five minutes. Turn the heat to low and add a small knob butter. Toss, add a small amount of water to glaze the vegetables, and reserve warm.

To Assemble and Serve:

Season the fish with salt. In a separate pan, heat vegetable or grapeseed oil until smoking. Add the fish and let cook until bottom is golden brown and the fillet is starting to be cooked near the middle. Using a fish spatula or other spatula, carefully flip the fillet over. Turn the heat to low. Add a knob of butter and spoon the butter gently over the fish as it foams. Let cook for another several minutes. Test the doneness by inserting a pin into the middle of the fish and checking for warmness on your lower lip. If cold, it is undercooked, if hot, it is over. You want it warm. Let the fish rest off the heat on paper towel for a few moments.

On the plate, place a pool of puree. Position the fish onto the puree. Place warm vegetables over the fish. Garnish with salmon roe, pickled beets, seaweed and baby greens.