The French Classical Menu Contains Seventeen Courses. Today, A Menu Of This Size Is Hardly Ever Offered. But Even Today’s Shorter Menus, Follow The Structure Of The Classical French Menu As Far As Succession Of Courses Is Concerned. They Always Starts With Light To Stimulate The Appetite Like Starters, Build Up To The Main Course And Become Lighter Towards The End Of The Meal. In
Professional Menu Planning For Lunch Or Dinner Dishes
Are Selected From The Seventeen Courses And Arranged In
The Same Sequence.
- 1 1. Hors D’oeuvre (Starter/Appetizer):
- 2 2. Potage (Soup):
- 3 3. Oeufs (Eggs):
- 4 4. Farineux (Pasta):
- 5 5. Poisson (Fish):
- 6 6. Entree:
1. Hors D’oeuvre (Starter/Appetizer):
They are served at the beginning of a meal. It also covers whatever items are served before the soup. They traditionally comprise small amount of tidbits which are tangy in taste and are served to stimulate the appetite for the future courses to come. They are served from Tray or Trolley. All horsd’oeuvres (not classical hors d’oeuvres) are often eaten with a fish knife and a fish
fork. Being of a highly seasoned and piquant in nature, this course is used to manipulate the appetite for the dishes that are to follow. In recent years, hors d’oeuvres have gained in popularity, and now appear even on simple menus in modest eating places. Although the actual term “hors d’oeuvres” applies to the service of various cold salads and morsels of anchovy, sardines, olives, prawns, etc.
Examples of Hors d’oeuvres:
• Melon Melon Frappe
• Oysters Huitres Nature
• Smoked Salmon Saumon Fumee
• Caviar Caviar
• Grapefruit Pamplemousse
• Potted Shrimps Petites Pots de Crevettes
• Shrimp, Prawn or Lobster Cocktail
• Fruit Cocktail Coupe Florida
• Souses Herrings Hareng Dieppoise
• Pate of Goose Liver Pate de Foie Gras
• Fresh Prawns. In French called as “Les crevette rose”
• Gull’s Egg. In French it is called “Oeuf de mouette”
• Snails. In French called “Escargot”
• Ham mousse. In French it is referred to as “Mousse de jambon”
• Oysters. In French called “Les huitre”
• Smoked Trout. In French it is referred to as “Truit fume”
• Smoked Eel. In French it is referred to as “Anguille fume”
• Salad Nicoise:
Mix sliced French beans, diced tomatoes and stoned black olives with chopped onions and dressing.
• Salad jardinière:
Mix equal quantity of batons of carrots and turnip, peas and diamonds of French beans and flavour with vinaigrette.
• Russian salad:
Take equal quantities of 8mm dices of carrots and turnip, peas and diced French beans and mix with mayonnaise.
2. Potage (Soup):
Potage is a liquid food served at the beginning of a meal. Originally in France soupe was a slice of bread on which was poured the content of the cooking pot (potage). The French have three separate words for soup. Consommé is a clear, thin broth. Soupe refers to a thick, hearty mélange with chunks of food. Potage falls somewhere between the two in texture, content and thickness. A potage is usually puréed and is often thick, well-seasoned meat or vegetable soup, usually containing barley or other cereal or a pulse (e.g. lentils). Today, the words soupe and potage are often used interchangeably. On good-class à la carte menus, a fish soup is also usually offered for selection, the two most common being “Bisque d’Homard” or “Bouillabaisse.” Soups can be classified into two broad categories. They are Thick soups And Thin soups.
Examples of Potage:
• Shrimp bisque – Bisque de cervettes
• Crayfish – Bisque de langustine
• Lobster bisque – Bisque d’homard
• Crawfish bisque – Bisque de langouste
• Consomme Mercedes – Consomme flavored with dry sherry , garnished with small rings of red pimento and cockscomb.
• Calamar bisque – Bisque of squid
• Chicago bisque – Mix bisque of lobster with tomato soup and garnish with seed tapioca and dices of lobster.
• Consomme Ambassadrice – Chicken consommé garnished with dices of thre different types of royals. Peas , tomatoes and truffles also diced chicken and mushroom.
• Consomme Monte Carlo – Chicken consommé garnished with paysennes of carrot truffles,turnips and juliennes of savory pancakes made with fine herbs.
• Potato Americaine – Blend crayfish bisque with cream of tomato soup and garnish with tapioca seeds.
• Consomme Royal – Chicken consommé garnished with
savoury egg custard cut into any shape.
• Princesse Royale – Mix equal parts of cream of chicken and cream of asparagus and garnish with juliennes of chicken , ham and ox tongue.
• Botvinia – Cold soup from Russia made with from beetroot leaves ,sorrel and spinach, white wine, tarragon and gherkins and served with ice in it.
• Ajo Blanco – Emulsify almond and garlic in olive oil and moisten with water and served poured over dried slices of bread.
• Vichyssoise – Stew leek with onion butter , add chicken stock, milk and potatoes and finish with cream and chopped chives.
• Okhrochka – Mix hard boiled egg yolks with mustard, cooked mashed potatoes and sour cream and moisten with kyass and diced cooked white of eggs, cooked beetroot, carrot, pickled gherkins and flavored with dill.
3. Oeufs (Eggs):
This course does not include preparations like boiled eggs, fried eggs , scrambled eggs, etc. Which are served during the breakfast. Oeufs are the dishes made from egg. The omelette is the most popular item, but there are other styles of cooking and preparation of eggs such as boiled, en cocotte, poached or scrambled. This course is not included in the dinner menu. Some examples are omelette, Espagnole, Oeuf en Cocotte a la crime, Oeuf poche florentine.
Examples Of Oeufs:
• Oeufs sur le plat – Shirred eggs.
• Oeufs sur le plat doria- Garnish the cooked egg with diamonds of sautéed cucumber mixed with cream.
• Egg Africaine – Serve on slice of ham placed on a round buttered toast, garnish with a spoonful of pilaf rice and some tomato concase.
• Oeufs en-cocotte Colbert – Line a cocotte dish with chicken and fine herbs, force meat and eggs .Cook and finish with Colbert Sauce.
• Egg Aurore – Place the egg on an oval or round bouchee and coat with sauce supreme colored and flavored with tomatoes.
• Moulded Egg – Oeufs mould – Break into a buttered dariole mould , cook in a bain marie, almost covered with a lid for apporx. 10 mins. The egg should be soft. Turn out and served.
• Eggs Benedictine – Cover a toasted crumper with a round Ox tongue, place the egg on top and cover with sauce Hollandaise.
• Oeufs sur le plat Alsacienne – Place cooked saurkrat in a Oeufs sur le plat dish, break an egg on top and cook and serve with a slice of hot garlic sausage.
4. Farineux (Pasta):
Pasta are made from durum wheat semolina that has high gluten content, water and egg. In France pasta is generally eaten as an accompaniment to the main course. This is Italy’s contribution to the courses of the menu. It includes different kinds of rice and pasta. Pasta dishs are spaghetti, lasagne and gnocchi. Pasta is made from durum wheat semolina or milled durum wheat to which water is added to form a dough. It can be coloured and flavoured in various ways. There are more than 200 varieties of pasta. The ingredients, size, shape and colour determine the type of pasta. Some examples include Spaghetti Bolognaise, Lasagne Napolitaine and Macaroni au gratin. Dried pastas are generally factory made and thoroughly dried so that it can be stored indefinitely.
Type Of Pasta:
• Spaghetti – Long thin rod shaped pastas.
• Macaroni – Long and short tubes .
• Fettuccine – Lomg flat strips, ribbon shaped pastas.
• Buccatini – Very thin macaroni .
• Fussili – Long hollow spirals.
• Cannelloni – Large tubes.
• Ravioli – Stuffed squares.
• Agnelotti – Stuffed rounds.
• Farfalle – Bow or butterfly shaped. Linguini -Thin flat ribbon shaped thinner than fettuccine.
• Penne – Angled tubes .
• Ziti – Large tubes.
• Lasagne – Wide flat strip also made in green and red color.
• Rigatoni – Ribbed tubes .
• Manecotti – Smooth tubes.
Examples Of Farineux:
• Risotto – An Italian rice dish. The rice is fried in oil with chopped onion till golden brown that put in stock. Butter and various garnishes are added such as various veg, cheese, ham, mushrooms etc.
• Macaroni Italienne – Tossed drained macaroni in hot butter, season with salt papper and grated nutmeg and fish by adding grated parmesan cheese.
• Ravioli Arabiata – Ravioli mixed with pimento flavored spicy tomato sauce.
• Spaghetti Napolitaine – spaghetti in tomato based sauce comprising tomatoes. Chopped concassed tomatoes, garlic, shallots, basil or marjoram and olive oil.
• Ziti Levantine – Add cooked Ziti to diced ham and tomato flavored cream sauce.
• Linguini Sicilienne – Make a fine puree of lightly sautéed chicken liver, mix with little chicken veloute and stir in the pasta.
• Spaghetti Bolognaise – Saute chopped and minced beef until brown and sliced mushroom and red wine. Reduce. Add brown sauce and garlic . Cook and pile in buttered pasta.
• Farfalle Imperial – Add dices of foie gras , mushrooms and truffles and mixed with Madira Sauce.
5. Poisson (Fish):
Poisson are the dishs made from fish. Fish, being soft-fibred, prepares the palate for the heavier meats that follow. Deep-fried or grilled fish dishes do not generally occupy a place on the “classical dinner menu,” but are freely offered on the shorter-coursed luncheon menu. This also applies to the coarser members of the fish family, and the dinner menu is usually comprised of the finer fish prepared and cooked in the more classical manners. Ideal fish for dinner menu compilation are: Sole, Salmon, Halibut, Escallops, etc. Rarely seen on a menu for the evening meal are: Cod, Bass, Haddock, Brill, Hake, and Plaice. One deep-fried fish dish, which normally finds itself on the dinner menu, however, is “Blanchaille”, and this only because Whitebait are so light and in no way too filling for the comfort of the guest.
Examples Of Poisson:
• Grilled salmon with lemon butter- Pieces of salmon without bone, grilled and served with lemon butter.
• Lobster Americaine-Dices of lobster cooked with tomatoes, butter, crushed garlic, shallots and white wine and oil, finally a good helping of brandy.
• Grilled whitebait Maitre d’ hotel- Grilled whitebait served with pieces of maitre d’ hotel butter.
• Lobster/crayfish/crawfish Thermidor – Cooked in bercy
sauce or cream. Seasoned with mustard and arranged in two half of the shell,either sprinkled with grated parmesan cheese and gratinated or covered with Mornay Sauce.
• Grilled conger eel Nicoise- Cover the grilled slice of conger eel with garlic and tomato and decorate with olives and trellies of anchovy.
• Fillet of sole Duglere- Cook fillet of sole in white wine and fish stock with chopped parsley, shallots and tomatoes. Reduce the cooking liquid.
• Fillet of pomfret Bonne Femme – Cook in white wine, fish stock with chopped shallots, parsley and diced
button mushrooms. Reduce the cooking liquid , finish with butter and cream. Coat the fish and glaze. A border of cooked sliced potatoes is authentic.
• Fillet of sole Colbert- Fillet of sole egg washed, rolled in the bread crumbs, deep fried and served with Colbert butter(Maitre d’ hotel butter + meat glaze + chopped tarragon)
• Fillet of Lemon Sole Crawford- Roll the fillet of lemon sole in egg wash, roll in bread crumbs. Deep fried and
served with tartare sauce.
• Fillet of sole Meuniere- Roll fillet of sole in flour, shallow fry on hot butter, basting it occasionally. Place
it in a dish with a peeled slice of lemon on each fillet sprinkle with lemon juice, pour nut butter all over at the last moment and sprinkle with chopped parsley.
This is the first of the meat courses on a menu. It is always a complete dish in itself. It is despatched from the kitchen garnished and sauced in the manner in which it is intended to be served. The “entrée” is always cooked and garnished in an artistic manner and usually served with a rich sauce. The “entrée” can be devised of almost anything light. This course consists of all the small cuts of butcher’s meats, usually sautéed, but never grilled. Grilled steaks, cutlets and chops invariably replace the joints as the roast (roti) course. The following items, with their appropriate garnishes and sauces, can be successfully served as entrées.
• Brains (Cervelles)
• Liver (Foie)
• Oxtail (Queue de Boeuf)
• Kidneys (Rognons)
• Calves Head (Tete de Veau)
• Trips (Tripes)
• Rump, Entrecote and Tournedo Beefsteaks
• Lamb Chops and cutlets – Noisettes and Filet Mignons
• Pork Chops and cutlets
• Escallops, Granadins, Medallions, and Cotes of Veal
• Sweetbreads – (Ris de Veau / Agneau)
• Hot Souffles or Mousses
• Pilaws and Rizottos
• Small cuts or portions of poultry, individually cooked, are also served as entrées
Examples Of Entrees:
• Lamb kidney Turbigo- Lamb kidney cut into half, sautéed and garnished with grilled chipolatas , sautéed mushrooms and covered with a sauce made from cooking juice mixed with white wine and tomato flavored demiglaze sauce.
• Chicken Mexicaine- Sauteed chicken served with tomato flavored demiglaze, which has been mixed with shredded red peppers and garnished with mushrooms, stuffed with chopped tomatoes, sautéed peppers and aubergine pulp.
• Mother’s creton- A cold preparation made out of minced pork, mixed with chopped onions, garlic, breadcrumbs, milk, chopped parsley, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly and cook for 2 hrs. Cool and blend in a processor. Put in a buttered terrine and refrigerate until firm.
• Pork chops charcutier- Sauteed pork chops served with a Charcutier sauce. Charcutier sauce is a demiglaze added with white wine, mustard and gherkins. The serving dish should be lined with mashed potatoes.
• Lamb chop Mexicaine- Sauteed or grilled lamb chops cooked and served with a tomato flavored demiglaze to which shredded red pepper has been added. It is
garnished with mushrooms stuffed with chopped tomatoes, chopped sweet potatoes and aubergine pulp.
• Chicken Marengo- Sautéed chicken garnish with sautéed mushrooms, glazed onions, fried eggs and crayfish tail.
• Lamb brochettes- Boneless cubes of lamb cut from the leg of lamb skewered with alternating slices of blanched lemon and sliced wild mushrooms. Brush with melted butter before grilling. Serve on a bed of buttered rice.
• Breaded lamb cutlets- Season the cutlets with salt, peppers and coat them with beaten eggs and roll in
breadcrumbs and coat them with beaten egg then with breadcrumbs. Saute on both sides in clarified butter. Arrange them in a crown and sprinkle with noisette batter.
• Irish stew- A stew made from mutton and potatoes. Pieces of neck end of mutton are arranged in alternate layers with sliced potatoes and onions. Water is added to the pot and is left to simmer on a very low heat. The traditional accompaniment is pickled red cabbage and Worcestershire sauce.
• Moussaka – A dish from Greece, made from dices of aubergine arranged in layers alternating with chopped mutton, onion, aubergine pulp often with addition of a thick béchamel sauce. Moussaka is served with a tomato fondue. Villeroi sauce- Meat stock + white stock + mushroom essence (reduced). The sauce may be finished with truffle essence and puree of tomatoes and onions. Perigaux sauce-Madeira sauce + chopped truffles.
• Chicken Maryland- Coat with egg wash and bread crumbs, shallow fry and serve with a grilled rasher of
bacon, corn and banana fritters grilled tomatoes and served with a horseradish sauce.
• Chicken sauté chasseur- Sautéed chicken cooked in a sauce made up of demiglaze, mushrooms, shallots,
tomatoes and white wine.
This is the main meat course on the menu, and is commonly known as the “piece de resistance.”These joints would be cooked by the sauce cook in a first-class hotel or restaurant, by any method except roasting. They are usually cooked on casserole, braise or poêle. Generally cooked in a sauce and served with it. These are generally the butcher’s joints, which are either roasted or grilled or braised. They are served with their own accompanying sauce and accompanying vegetables. It may consist of joint of any of the following:
• Lamb (Agneau)
• Chicken (Poulet)
• Beef (Boeuf)
• Duckling (Caneton)
• Veal (Veau)
• Fowl (Poulard)
• Ham (Jambon)
• Tongue (Langue)
• Pork (Pore)
Examples Of Releve:
• Roast leg of lamb with mint sauce.
• Roast leg of mutton with onion sauce.
• Roast leg of pork with apple sauce.
• Roast shoulder of pork with 5 spices.
• Roast Milk lamb.
• Roast loin of lamb.
• Braised joint of beef.
• Spit roasted ribs of beef.
This course is a rest between courses. It counteracts the previous dishes, and rejuvenates the appetite for those that are to follow. Normally served between the releve/remove and the roti, it is a water and crushed ice slush flavored as a rule with champagne and served in a glass. A frozen dessert made primarily of fruit juice, sugar, and water, and also containing milk, egg white, or gelatin. Some examples are Sorbet Italian and Sorbet creme de menthe. During this course the Russian cigarettes are passed to the guest in a formal banquet and hence the ashtray is also passed. Nowadays the sorbets are also served as sweet dishes. Russian or Egyptian cigarettes are often passed around during this course. It is the interval course and taken after the releve to
provide some kind of an interval before the roast is served. A type of water ice that is softer and more granular than ice cream and it does not contain any fat or egg yolk.
Examples Of Sorbet:
• Peach sorbet.
• Pear sorbet.
• Raspberry sorbet.
• Calvados sorbet.
• Lemon sorbet.
• Champagne sorbet.
• Apricot sorbet.
• Sugarcane and Champagne sorbet.
9. Roast (Roti):
This course normally consists of game or poultry and is often included in the entree. Each dish is accompanied with its own particular sauce and salad. Some examples are Roast chicken, Braised duck and Roast quail. This is the heaviest course in the French Classical Menu and comprises roast poultry, roast game birds and roast
game animals. Game birds are called feathered game and game animals are called furred animals. When
these dishes are served they are served with their own accompanying sauce, roast gravy and vegetables. Game chips or roast potatoes are commonly served with roast course. A salad is also served along with the roast, which is served in a salad crescent.
Examples Of Roast:
• Roast turkey
• Roast venison
• Roast partridge
• Deer or Venison
• Wild boar
• Hazel grouse
10. Legumes (Vegetables):
These are vegetable dishes that can be served separately as an individual course or may be included along with the entrée, relevé or roast courses. From here onwards the menu tends to become lighter. Normally all the vegetables that are served as classical hors d’ oeuvres are served here as well. Same accompaniments are also served.
Examples Of Legumes:
• Apple pie
• Chocolate souffle
• Cassata ice-cream
• Cauliflower Mornay
• Baked Potato
• Grilled Tomatoes
Various types of salads are served in this course. This course contains raw vegetables with or without sauce or dressings. The vegetables are cut into different cuts.
Examples Of Salad:
• Vert (Green Salad)
• Lettuce Salad
• Kukumber Salad
• Beetroot Salad
• Carrot Salad
12. Buffet Froids:
This course consist of a range of cold cooked meats. This dishes are prepared in the Garde Manger Section of the Hotel.
Examples Of Cold Buffet:
• Poulet roti : – Roast chicken
• Ham in Parsley Aspic (Jambon Persillé)
• Caneton Roti: – Roast Duck
• Mayonnaise d hommard: – lobster mayonnaise
13. Fromage (Cheese):
Fromage is an alternative to the outdated savoury course, and
may be served before or after the sweet course. It is usually
served with butter, crackers and occasionally celery. Gouda, Camembert and Cheddar are some examples of cheese. All type of cheese may be offered together with appropriate accompaniments, the ideal cheese board will combine hard, semi-hard, soft or cream, blue and fresh cheese.
Cheese Type County
Cheddar Hard England
Edam Hard Holland
Brie Soft France
Demi-Sel Soft France
Ricotta Fresh Italy
Entremets on a menu refers to desserts. This could include hot or cold sweets, gateaux, soufflés or ice-cream. Some Examples are Apple pie, Chocolate souffle and Cassata ice-cream. literally meaning (“Between Servings”) is in modern French cuisine a small dish served between courses or simply a dessert. Originally it was an elaborate form of entertainment dish common among the nobility and upper middle class in Europe during the later part of the Middle Ages and the early modern period. An entremet marked the end of a serving of courses and could be anything from a simple frumenty (a type of wheat porridge) that was brightly colored and flavored with exotic and expensive spices to elaborate models of castles complete with wine fountains, musicians, and food modeled into allegorical scenes.
15. Savoureux (Savory):
A dish of pungent taste, such as anchovies on toast or pickled fruit. They are seved hot on toast or as savoury soufflé. Welsh rarebit, Scotch woodcock, Canape diane are some of the examples. A savoury as an item indicates a savoury item served on varying shapes of toast in tartlets(round), in barquettes (oval), in bouchees, a quichelet etc. The term savoury also includes savoury soufflés and stuffed omelettes. On lunch and dinner menu savoury is served as an alternative to sweet, while in a banquet it may be a course on its own coming between the sweet and the dessert. Ina full a la carte menu the savouries are listed in a section on their own.
Examples Of Savoureux:
• Canape Baron – Garnish with slices of fried mushrooms, grilled bacon and poached bone marrow.
• Croute Derby – Spread with ham puree and garnished with pickled walnut.
• Anchovies on toast- Toast the bread and lay the anchovy fillets side by side. Trim the toast and finish with the heated oil from the anchovies. Decorate with sieved hard boiled egg yolk and chopped parsley.
• Canape Ritchie – Creamed haddock garnished with slices of hard boiled egg.
• Croute Windsor – Spread with ham puree and garnish with small grilled mushroom.
• Roes on toast- Shallow fry the roes and dress on toast. Sprinkle with lemon juice, coat with beurre noisette and serve.
• Angels on Horseback – Poached oysters wrapped with streaky bacon and grilled on skewers and served on a slice of toast.
• Scotch Woodcock – Scrambled egg garnished with trellis of anchovy and studded with capers.
• Welsh Rarebit- Reduce 1/4th litre of beer to 1/8th. Mix into 1/8th litre of thin béchamel sauce. Stir in 118
gms of grated Cheddar. Season with salt, cayenne pepper and Worcestershire Sauce. Bind with a liason of 1 yolk. Pour onto fingers of toast and glaze.
16. Desservir (Dessert):
This course comprises fresh fruits and nuts. It must be distinguished from sweet dishes which have been discussed earlier. Dessert is a course that typically comes at the end of a meal. The French word desservir mean “to clear the table.” This is the fruit course usually presented in a basket and placed on the table, as part of the table decor, and served at the end of the meal. All forms of fresh fruit and nuts may be served in this course. Common desserts include cakes, cookies, fruits, pastries and candies.
Examples Of Desservir:
• Fresh Raspberry
• Fresh Mango.
17. Boissons (Beverage):
All types of hot or cold beverage, Tea, Coffee etc. are served.
Always remember that while compiling menus beverages are not counted as a course. It maaay be offered at the end of the meal accompanied with white/brown sugar and Milk/Cream.
Examples Of Boisson:
• Coffee: Cafetiere
• Filter Speciality
• Tea: Indian
• Earl Grey
• Orange Pekoe