Since its founding in 1818, by Nicolas François Billecart and his wife Elisabeth Salmon, the BILLECART-SALMON House, situated in Mareuil-sur-Aӱ, remains independent to this day. The House is now run by the seventh generation who continues to produce champagnes of the highest quality.
This Chardonnay cuvee has been elaborated from the five grand cru vineyards of the Cote des Blancs: Avize, Chouilly, Cramant, Mesnil-sur-Oger and Oger. It is a blend of two different years revealing the special quality of the Chardonnay.
Appearance: The fine mousse of delicate bubbles elegantly accompanies the glint of its gold colour.
Aroma: A cuvee that will surprise you with its pure intensity of dry fruits aromas, almonds and fresh hazelnuts mixed with those of fruits of white flesh.
Palate: The creamy sensation of the bubble associated to aromas of buttered brioche and mineral aromas. Persistent finish with a fresh and elegant sweetness.
Serving: This great bottle will make a perfect marriage with caviar or fine oysters but also with grilled fish and seafood.
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A few delicious dishes to compliment your drink.
Squid and tomato salad with fennel and basil
Fishmongers will be happy to clean and skin the squid for you if it seems daunting.
- 500g cleaned squid (8 medium squid)
- ½tsp cayenne pepper
- 4tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large fennel, trimmed
- 6 or so assorted seasonal or heirloom tomatoes – use different shapes, colours and sizes
- 75g mixed red and yellow tom berries
- juice of 1 lemon
- a few sprigs of Greek basil
Cut the squid tubes in half lengthways. Make sure the flesh is clean and then score what was the inside with a sharp knife to make diamond shapes without going through to the other side. Cut crosswise into rough strips about 1.5cm wide, depending on the squid’s size. Pat them dry with kitchen paper and toss with the cayenne pepper, a little sea salt and 2tbsp of the oil.
Using a mandolin or sharp knife, shave the fennel into fine slices and put in a shallow bowl. Slice the tomatoes and add to the fennel along with the tom berries. Add 1tbsp of oil and sprinkle over a little salt.
Heat a ridged grill pan (you could use a hot barbecue along with the ridged grill pan so the strips don’t fall through the bars) on a medium-high heat and when just smoking, cook the squid (in two batches) 3 minutes on one side. Turn over and cook for another couple of minutes until just tender (try a piece). Remove to a bowl. Cook the next batch the same way then put all the squid back into the pan with the lemon juice and stir well.
Tip into a bowl and when cold, add to the fennel and tomatoes. Toss in a few basil sprigs, spoon over the rest of the oil and serve scattered with more basil.
Figs and tuna carpaccio with citrus dressing, crispy crumbs, nuts and capers
A deliciously light, fresh starter. You can prepare the tuna carpaccio and fry the ciabatta crumbs a little in advance, if you wish.
- 1 clove garlic, crushed with some salt to a smooth paste finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
- finely grated zest and juice of 1 small orange
- 6tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 slices of ciabatta, made into rough crumbs
- about 350g fresh tuna steak,
- sliced just less than 1cm thick 6 or 7 small fresh figs
- 50g hazelnuts, skinned, toasted and roughly chopped
- 4tsp small capers, drained
- young salad leaves: buckleaf
- sorrel, chard, rocket or spinach
Put the garlic, lemon and orange zest and juice along with 4tbsp of the oil in a small pan. Whisk while the mixture warms up so it combines easily. Put to one side. Heat a frying pan and add the rest of the oil. Fry the breadcrumbs until golden and crisp. Put the slices of tuna, one at a time, between two sheets of cling film. Use a rolling pin to bash out to a thin shape about the size of your plates. Arrange on serving plates. Slice the figs into quarters and add to the tuna. Scatter over the crispy breadcrumbs, nuts and capers and spoon over the dressing. Add a few salad leaves and serve straight away.
Scallops pan-fried with soy sauce and garlic butter
- 8 scallops, coral removed
- ½tbsp Japanese soy sauce
- 1tsp garlic butter
Rinse the scallops, drain and pat dry with kitchen paper. Slice in half for quick cooking.
Heat up a frying pan and add a little vegetable oil. Cook the scallops over a high heat for 30 seconds on each side. When cooked, add the soy sauce and garlic butter, briefly stir fry and serve.
This article was published on 1st February 2012 so certain details may not be up to date.