Friday, April 27, 2012

Grenouille à la Provençale

After seeing a sign for frog legs at a local restaurant, Tubby asks himself, "Gosh, frogs' legs for sale. Imagine that! I wonder what people do with them. Well, it won't hurt to ask."  Tubby walks into the restaurant and inquires what people do with frog legs.  The answer ... we eat them!  This scene comes from the aptly named movie, Frog's Legs (1962).  

I have been in a few restaurants that served frog legs and have never felt the need to ask what people do with them.  I know to eat them, because, when done right, they are very delicious.  The best frog legs that I have ever had was a dish called Cuisses de Grenouille a l'Ail et au Persil, served at Le Bistro du Beaujolais.  Large frog legs, cooked with garlic, parsley and white wine, and served in a mesclun salad. I am salivating right now thinking about it. (Le Bistro du Beaujolais serves probably some of the best French food that I have ever had and it is always on the short list of Cleveland-area restaurants that I strive to visit whenever I am in the area.)  The frog legs were so delicious that I have been wanting to make frog legs for quite some time.

The only problem was finding the ingredient.  I had no desire to go gigging for frogs.  Gigging -- which involves using a gig or small spear to hunt frogs -- is usually done at night.   I like to sleep at night.  And, besides, I do not think gigging frogs is legal in Maryland.  So, I would search for the amphibians at the grocery stores, but to no avail ... until very recently.  I found frog legs at a local Asian store.  While everyone associates frog legs with French cuisine, they are also a popular ingredient in Chinese cooking.  So, I picked up a package of frozen frog legs and headed home.

I thought about making frog legs as I enjoyed them at Le Bistro du Beaujolais; however, I wanted a recipe to use as a guide, because this was the first time that I was cooking with this ingredient.  I found a recipe for Grenouille à la Provençale on Food Network's website.  Christophe Marguin provided the recipe that presumably is used in his restaurant, Marguin Restaurante, in Les Echets en Dombes, France, which is just outside of Lyon, France.

This dish turned out well, but it is was not as good as the frog legs that I had at Le Bistro du Beaujolais.  Still, it was great to cook with a new ingredient for the first time.  

Recipe from Christophe Marguin of Marguin Restaurante in
Les Echets en Dombes, France, available at Food Network
Serves 1

1/2 pound of frogs' legs
Ground white pepper
All purpose flour
1/4 pound unsalted butter
1 clove of garlic, diced
1 tablespoon of fresh flat leaf Italian parsley

1. Prepare the frogs' legs.  Season frog legs with salt and white pepper. Dust the frog legs with flour.

2.  Saute the frogs' legs.  Heat a large saute pan with butter over medium heat.  Add frog legs and saute until golden brown, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Turn over and brown other side, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and parsley and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Serve immediately.

3.  Plate the dish.  Plate the legs.  Spoon some of the garlic and parsley over the legs.


The Brotherhood of Frog Thigh Tasters (yes, there is a brotherhood, they host the yearly frog leg festival known as the Vittel Frog Fair in eastern France) recommends that frog legs be paired with a Riesling.  It is not hard to see why.  The light fruity wine pairs well with the flesh of the frog legs.  In addition, one does not have to go too far from Lyon, France to find some good Riesling wines.  The Alsace region produces some very good Riesling wines. 


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thank you for the compliment Chef Keith.
We wil talk about the frog legs really soon !

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