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RURAL GASCONY - Autumn and Winter

PRICE - $3200 per participant (mon eve - sat morning); $1000 per non-participant
2024 DATES  - Rural Gascony - Autumn and Winter is available, starting on Mondays, for weeks falling between November 4 and March 15th. E-mail for availability and short classes.
This is our traditional cool weather class, which includes visits to local wine makers, Armagnac makers, and of course, shopping at our local markets.  However, our primary focus is on cooking foods from the Gascony region, and on applying our approach to make all things we cook more delicious.  In addition to a full day of cooking, you'll have 3 hours everyday to explore, rest, or simply hangout.
Monday evening 6PM - WELCOME DINNER

First thing in the morning, we'll begin making Duck Confit and Rillette and then we're off to visit a nearby market and a local winery or chocolate factory where you'll meet the proud owners and sample their products. Upon return, we'll taste test some of our purchases and then continue learning how to process duck - preparing among other things, the beginings of a Cassoulet, and Duck Breasts destined to become Prosciutto. It's a lot to get through and we still need to master our Apple Cake recipe for the evening and maybe even learn to make Creme Fraiche and Butter.  At lunch we'll assemble a classic Gersoise Salad with french bread, and wine, dawdling for an hour or more before break.  You'll return at 6pm when you'll practice Grilling Duck without splattering.  Dinner will begin at 7pm with the requisite l'Apero, followed by an entree (starter) of Smoked Duck Breast with shaved butter and sea salt, a plat (entree) of Maigret (duck breast cooked pink) with Gascon Potato Cakes, then Salad and a Cheese Plate.  We'll drink Madiran wine and finish with Apple Cake and Creme Fraiche.
Wednesday 9:30 ARMAGNAC and PORK
Morning will include a few more steps for our Cassoulet preparation, and a trip to one or two local Armagnac makers followed by early lunch at a local restaurant in Lectoure.  Ater lunch , we'll have an hour or so to work on pastry making (3 kinds),  complete a Dessert Cheese Tart with Prunes and Armagnac.  and start our Slow Cooked Pork.  When you return after break, we'll make Chicken Liver Pate, Pickled Prunes and Onions, a Dried Fruit Chutney, and a Potato Celeriac Puree. ... it won't take long and soon, we'll again be enjoying another l'Apero and a delicious dinner with paired local red wines.
Thursday 9:30 Pâte à Choux and GIFT MAKING
Today we will work on making Pâte à Choux and all the things that can be made with it - Gougeres, Cream Puffs and Eclairs, and we'll make treats to take home - Pâtes de Fruits, Citrus Curd, Confitures, and more.  For lunch we'll put together the ever popular Hachis Parmentier, made with leftovers, to be served with, salad, bread and wine and we can always sample an Eclair for dessert.  After a long break to fit in some brocante shopping, you'll be busy. After putting together a quick Duck Leg Stew with fresh Turnips and Carrots, you'll learn to make a Twice Cooked Goat Cheese Souffle, and make and stuff the Toulouse sausage needed for your Cassoulet.  Apero will start with the Gougeres made earlier, followed by the Goat Cheese Souffle entree, a plat of Duck Stew and Polenta Gnocchi, Salad, and if you have room - Cream Puffs with Salted Caramel.  
Morning class will include a trip to our local market where you will have the opportunity to choose your produce for the day.  We'll start by making a Kuri Squash Soup to be consumed at lunch with a fresh winter salad, pate, foie, and some of the desserts made earlier in the week.  Then we'll spend the rest of the day finishing our Cassoulet and making some accoutrements.  Dinner, will start with a prolonged l'Apero, the long awaited Cassoulet, Salad, and if you have room, a dessert or two. Afterwards we'll relax for a final time with local Roasted Walnuts, Armagnac, and Poire Eau de Vie.  

Saturday 9:30 GOOD BYES

I will personally cook you a large brunch, present gifts and recipes, and we'll say our goodbyes.

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