What are Claude’s specialities? That is actually a tough question to answer because the cornerstone of being fearless is pushing the envelope and trying out new things.
So, I’m going to ask a different question: What are the things that we always want Claude to make again and again? The short list includes:
No doubt that the best time to eat pretzels is just a few minutes after Claude pulls them out of the oven. Although for one person, making pretzels can be time consuming, Claude had discovered that having guests help roll and tie them makes for a great event. Laughing as friends new to pretzels figure out their own technique. Inevitably, the more creative souls will tie non-traditional knots and try to convince the rest of the guests of the ‘new’ way.
Once cooked, before cool, Claude cuts a slit into the fat part of the dough and inserts a pat of butter. The dare is to only have one…. or only have two…. or even only have three. Few succeed.
2. Champagne Jell-o
Guaranteed. Champagne Jell-o is as extraordinary as it sounds. Crisp, tart and refreshing, the dish comes with floating green grapes which crunch and burst with flavour as you bite into them. Claude serves this desert with fresh vanilla-bean whipped cream.
Variations include using a sparkling rosé or red, using champagne grapes or red grapes. The consensus is still that the original is best.
Remember to ask Claude his trick to remove the jell-o from the ramekin ensure the most sophisticated and tempting presentation.
3. Gnocchi in brown-butter sauce
Here is the problem with gnocchi in brown-butter sauce: There is but one person important enough to get access to it.
We’ve been lucky enough to smell the sweet creamy flavours wafting through the kitchen. We’ve watched rolling and cutting of little dumplings. But, as is always cleverly planned, dinner is served after all but Claude and Linda have left for other plans. We’re sure they must drown in the guilt of not sharing this treat with friends. But, then we’re sure it passes.
What is the recurring them here? Friends. Entertaining. Laughing. Eating.