Menu for the meal of fish organized by Madame de Pompadour and Luis XV in the castle of Choisy on November 4th 1747.

  • 2 soups: one with lentils and one country-style.
  • 2 vegetable soups: one with lettuce, one with endive cut in stripes.
  • 8 hors-d’oeuvres: sorrel galantine, Breton beans, herrings with mustard, butler’s mackerels, fried bread omelet, cod with cream, fresh herrings with mustard, assorted pâtés.

  • 4 main courses: a Polish-style pike, a baked salmon-head, a carp in jelly broth, a Chambord trout
  • 4 middle courses: sole with herbs, grilled trouts in sauce, perch in Dutch fashion, perch with white wine, angler fish in German fashion, ray with fiied butter, grilled salmon.

  • 8 Rost dishes: soles, fried pike fillets, fried soles, fried angler fish, trouts, halibuts with white wine, a salmon tail, soles.
  • 4 salads.

  • 8 hot dishes: cauliflowers with parmesan, bread and mushroooms, toasts with anchoas, mixed meat sauce, fried artichokes, French beans, cabbages, spinach.
  • 4 cold dishes: crawfish, Bavarian cream, poupelin, cake.

  • The recipe for Luis XV’s chocolate

    "Put as many chocolate bars as cups of water in a coffeepot and let it come to the boil; when you are ready to serve it, add an egg yolk every four cups, stir with a wooden spoon and simmer it without coming to the boiling-point. It’s better to prepare this chocolate the day before you want to drink it. It’s also possible to use the beaten white of an egg instead of the yolk. You have to dilute it in some chocolate before you add it to the coffeepot and finish cooking it like with the yolk.."

    Pompadour’s soft ice-cream

    Ingredients for 4 people: a base of vanilla ice-cream, 350 g of sponge cake, a little glass of Cointreau (or any other sweet liqueur as you wish), 500 g of small strawberries, white wine, caster sugar, _ l of whipping cream.
    Prepare the vanilla ice-cream, following the instructions of the specific recipe. While the ice-cream is in the freezer to harden, take a round mould with a diameter of 22-24 cm, cover it with some silver paper and put it in the freezer. Meanwhile cut the sponge cake into slices. When the ice-cream is hard enough, take it out of the freezer and, in the same container, add two or three spoons of liqueur, then amalgamate it with a wooden spoon in order whip it. With half the ice-cream you’ve got at your disposal make a layer in the mould and level the surface carefully. Put half the sponge cake slices on the ice-cream and soak them in some liqueur. Make a second layer of ice-cream and cover it with the sponge cake left, soak it in some liqueur too. Cover everything with some silver paper and leave it in the freezer for one hour. Meanwhile wash the strawberries in the wine, remove their stalks, put them in a bowl and sprinkle them with sugar. Soak them in some liqueur and let them steep for 16 minutes. With a hand-whisk or an electric one whip the cream till stiff (it should be very cold) and add two spoons of icing sugar. Then put it in a sac-à-poche with a star shaped mouth or in a icing syringe. When it’s ready, take the ice-cream out of the freezer, overturn it on a plate (better if previously cooled in the refrigerator) and remove the silver paper. Decorate the soft ice-cream putting some Savoy biscuits vertically on its borders. Decorate all around with some whipped cream, leaving enough space in the centre of the sweet for a little pyramid of strawberries. Serve this impressive sweet immediately.

    Beef steak en Bellevue

    Not even republicans denied that one of the most important dishes of their meals, the beef steak en Bellevue, had been created for Madame de Pompadour in her castle of Bellevue. This tender meat, which must be served cold and embellished by a cover of jelly, was her favourite course for late suppers. A formula you can repeat at your place after the theatre, providing that you restrict the number of your fellow guests. Alfred Capus noticed: “It’s a tiresome situation, whenever we are more than 20,000 at table, someone will die during the year”.

    "Pompadour" style sole fillets

    Main ingredients: soles, truffles, prawns.

    Remove the fillets from the soles. After covering them with a mix of finely cut truffles and mushrooms, roll them up and cook them with some good Capri white wine. Add some herbs and salt, reduce the sauce, add some fish broth and thicken with two egg yolks.
    Put the fillets on a tray around a circle made of shelled prawn-tails: pour the sauce and serve it hot.

    Lamb in the sun

    Mme de Pompadour invented some rissoles and some lamb dishes, she wanted the king to taste in her castle of Bellevue.
    You can cook artichokes in more than 19 different ways.

    Pompadour-style soup

    Prepare some tapioca consommé, take care it is not too thick and pour it in a soup tureen on some Norcia truffles, chicken breast and corned tongue, all cut into stripes.

    Pompadour-style oysters

    Ingredients for 4 people: 24 fresh oysters, French brandy q.s., white truffle, white pepper q.s.

    Open the oysters, put them on a tray and sprinkle them with some French brandy. Cover them with some white truffle, cut into fine slices. Add a little pepper and put into the oven, average temperature, until the brandy is evaporated. Serve with a very cold sparkling wine.

    Pompadour-style beef steak

    Ingredients: gr. 140 of fillet (a person), small pieces of toast, oil, butter, meat sauce, brandy, white wine, cream, mashed potatoes.
    Prepare the steaks: beat them with your hand, season them with salt and pepper and flour them. Brown them in a frying pan with some oil, sprinkle them with some brandy and white wine. Let evaporate. Add some butter, some meat sauce and simmer for a quarter of an hour. Add cream at the end. When the steaks are cooked, the sauce must appear quite thick. Serve them on the pieces of toast you have browned in some butter,in this order: sauce, steak, mashed potatoes.

    Pompadour -style macaroni

    “Cook macaroni in some meat broth; when they are cold, add some pork sauce, roasted minced capon breasts, minced ham, pepper and grated cheese; after you have put it in the serving dish, cover it with egg yolk, parmesan, butter and milk cream with cinnamon. Put it in the oven in order to herden the cream. Serve it hot”.

    We don’t know if Mme Pompadour really tasted and appreciated this tempting pie!

    Asparagus after Pompadour’s fashion

    You will see that this recipe is at the same time charmingly simple and perfectly elegant. Choose three bunches of beautiful Dutch asparagus that is white with violet tips.

    Peel them, wash them and boil them as usual in hot salty water. Cut them on the bias, from the side of the tip and about the length of the little finger. Use just these chosen slices and put aside the rest of their stems. Put the aforesaid slices in a warm napkin in order to drain them and to maintain them warm while you prepare the sauce.

    Empty half box of butter capturing some the content with the spoon and putting it in one silver pot: add a little salt and an abundant pinch of mace in powder, an average spoonful of spelt flour and two fresh yolks diluted in four spoonfuls of muscat grapes juice.

    Cook the sauce in a bain-marie, avoiding to thicken it too much: you put your asparagus slices in the same sauce and serve all abundantly in a covered pot, so that excellent entremet does not lack and can be appreciated in all its perfection.

    This interesting recipe has come to us from the archives of Mr Grimod de la Reynière, who received them by inheritance from his great-uncle, Mr de Jarente, minister of the State during the period of Madame de Pompadour’s favour.

    The author of the original manuscript observed that this asparagus recipe must be served by the spoon and be eaten by the fork.

    Courtesan in the white dress

    Legend or reality? Jeanne Antoine Poisson in Le Normand D’Etoiles, marquise of Pompadour (1721-1764), poor birth, made Le Normand D’Etioles fall in love with her, to be introduced at court , where she became Luois XV’s mistress.Until this reality. But the legend says that, loving all the kind of arts, she didn’t disdain “the art of good cooking”, when this cuold help her to reach a man’s heart. Refined but intense astes as love is, strong smells as her womanliness are the characteristics of the: “Courtesan in the white dress”.

    The recipe:
    Stew covering in shallot minced butter and little cubes, flour the meat in pieces (chicken breast or turkey-cock but also veal or pig) making it becoming savouryin the base; sprinkle with saintwine and when it is wellevaporated dust in a light way with spices and cook with milk adding some little orange rinds before taking it off.

    You can serve with pancarré gilded in the butter or with cabbages of bruxelles boiled in the butter and in the saintwine.