From Paris to North Platte

From Paris to North Platte, Chef Chuck Lalanne brings the taste of gourmet to Nebraska.

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Mushroom Soup with Flaky Pastry

Inspired by culinary all-star Paul Bocuse, Lalanne’s modified masterpiece adds a mix of mushrooms, edging out the $200-apound truffle. The savings don’t come at a cost to flavor – and it’s every bit as elegant as the original.  


1/2   cup each diced carrots, celery and onions (mirepoix) 

2  medium shallots, finely diced 

1  cup each sliced crimini, portabella and shiitake mushrooms 

1  leek, sliced into rounds and washed 

1  sprig fresh thyme 

1  qt rich chicken, beef or veal stock  

3/4  cup Madeira or sherry wine

3  Tbsp butter 

1/4 cup olive oil 

1  17-oz package frozen puff pastry 

1  egg, lightly beaten  

chives, chopped for garnish


Serves 6

In a 2-quart sauce pan, melt butter into olive oil and sauté mirepoix vegetables, leeks and shallots until soft. Add thyme, mushrooms and stock and bring to a boil. Finish with salt, pepper and sherry or Madeira; set aside. Cut thawed puff pastry into 6 equal parts. Ladle soup into four 10-ounce soup crocks and cover tightly with puff pastry, brush with egg wash. (Remaining puff pastry can be used as garnish.) Place soup crocks on a sheet pan and into a 425° oven until golden brown. Remove from oven when done, slice open center and garnish with chives.


Vanilla Tart with Caramelized Bananas

There has been no greater gastronomical romance than that of vanilla and chocolate. According to Chef Lalanne, it’s more fun with rum! Any way you slice it, this amped-up version of Foster’s famous dish is, well, bananas. The simple crust paired with quality ice cream is a guaranteed hit.


3  cups Oreo cookie crumbs  

1/2  cup melted butter  

1/2   gallon vanilla ice cream  

1  cup granulated sugar  

1/4 cup heavy cream  

1  cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted  

4  bananas, sliced 

splash dark rum 

fresh raspberries for garnish

Serves 6-8

Mix cookie crumbs and butter and use mixture to line a tart or pie pan. Refrigerate 15 minutes. While the crust is chilling, allow vanilla ice cream to soften at room temperature. Fill tart crust with softened ice cream and freeze for one hour.

In a sauté pan, caramelize sugar by adding sugar and 1/4 cup water to a heavy-bottomed pan. On high heat, stir consistently and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and continue boiling without stirring for about eight minutes or until the mixture is amber in color. Remove from heat; slowly add heavy cream until a light sauce is formed. Finish with a splash of rum. Add sliced bananas; pour mixture over sliced bananas and drizzle with melted chocolate. Garnish with fresh raspberries.

(This story originally appeared in the January/February 2013 issue of Nebraska Life Magazine)

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