Tuesday, April 28, 2015

food and coffee pairing session with Bonhomia and a recipe of apple peach walnut salad with home made feta cheese

Coffee and food pairing sessions make sense if you are someone who likes entertaining with a lot of coffee being served. I would probably have one shot of coffee during a meal or snacking session with friends, but when you are to learn the intricacies of coffee, you got to gulp down a lot of caffeine in one sitting. I was ready to take this caffeine assault greedily when Bonhomia hosted a coffee and food paring session at Le Bistro du Parc.


Le Bistro du Parc is a standalone French bistro located at the edge of a park in Moolchand market, a nice place to sit and relax while dining with the company of old trees. The bistro, founded by Naina de Bois-Juzan serves French cuisine using locally grown seasonal ingredients, not too difficult as we are growing almost everything now. The fresh ingredients make a difference and that is evident at Le Bistro du Park, of course I could witness the finesse with which the ingredients were handled too. More about that later.

Bonhomia is a premium brand of coffee that makes coffee blends packaged in capsules compatible to Nespresso machines, the coffee blend capsules are made for a single shot of coffee and are packaged in boxes of 10 capsules each. Now that is a convenient way to enjoy great coffee in the comfort of home. Coffee that gives a perfect crema, as I had learned with Illy coffee master barista Nicola Scognamiglio from Italy.


The coffee blends that go by the names like 'Free love', 'Dark deeds', 'Black viel' and 'Vanilla artisan' are blended creatively. Mr. Tuhin Jain (CMO, Bonhomia) introduced us to the nuances of Bonhomia coffee blends and that these are all sourced from high altitude coffee plantation of south of India. Mr Kunal Bhagat joined us later and discussed how these capsules of coffee are made locally using the best coffee beans.

A Tomato tartar prepped with lime juice, esplette pepper and basil wrapped in a pickled ribbon of radish was served in dainty portions along with the blend Free love. The freshness of the salad bites fits well with a medium strength espresso shot.

Next was garlic bread topped with baby romaine folded around goat cheese, sun dried tomato and radish microgreens paired with Dark deeds served as Americano. Sharp edgy flavours raising the bar to a stronger full bodied coffee blend.


Next came dainty bites of stuffed puff pastry with olive tapenade and confit peppers paired with Black veil, the most potent coffee blend of the day. It was served as cappuccino but I tried the espresso shot too and it is indeed a very robust coffee blend.

The dessert platter had an assortment of miniature almond financiers, lemon Madeleine, crisp meringues and pistachio tuiles with some fresh fruit bites. Vanilla artisan blend served as macchiato is perfect with dessert and the pairing was received well.

Now it was a lot of caffeine in my bloodstream. The food was beautifully done, the dainty lemon Madeleine proved that the French bistro is worth it's salt. The finesse in every little detail is very evident, the taste hits the spot perfectly.

And then I had to make the next meal that could hydrate me and be filling at the same time. I made this apple peach walnut salad with home made feta cheese and home grown rucola greens. Nothing could have served the purpose that day. The salad was so good it got repeated for the weekend breakfast too. Yes we do eat unconventional things for our meals.


Home made feta cheese makes so much sense for me, the reason being I love the creamy feta so much and the packaged feta is just too expensive. So I have to do the effort of making feta, it takes some time but I try and make large batches and refrigerate for about 2 weeks. Will share the recipe of feta cheese sometime soon. Have not been able to photograph the process for the purpose.

The dressing... whisk everything together

balsamic vinegar 2 tbsp
lime juice 1 tsp
brown sugar 2 tsp
salt and pepper to taste
crushed walnuts 2 tsp or walnut oil few drops

Chop one large green apple and 4-5 small peaches. The Himachal green peaches are starting to come right now and I love the complex flavours they pack. Chop about 15 walnuts halves and mix with the cut fruits. Tear a handful of rucola leaves and add. Drizzle the dressing and toss the salad.


Serve immediately topped with as much feta cheese as you want. We had kept some feta cheese on the side too and kept digging the fork to pick up the creamy cubes of goodness.

This apple peach walnut salad will be really great for a summer menu, especially during day time. If you chop the fruits a bit smaller the salad can be served over garlic bread too. But we eat breads very occasionally so the large bowl of this salad will be good any time. Check out another Peach and feta salad to see how you can make variations of this salad.

No coffee with this salad please.

2 comments:

  1. Love the combination of fruit and cheese in salads. Would love to see the recipe of home made feta. I do buy it very often and am always under pressure to finish it quickly before it spoils

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  2. I dont like peach that much, but apple and walnut is my fav combo. now that you have described, I can actually get the taste of feta cheese in all this, would really give it a punch.

    You make your Feta cheese at home? I know its ridiculously expensive here too, the good varieties. But I never thought of making it myself, hardly makes paneer at home. hats off girl.

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