Artwork by Jacob

Artwork by Jacob

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Roasted Salmon and Lentils

The rest of French Fridays with Dorie are making Riviera Fish Soup (page 92).  We love fish but I was not sure about a fish soup with a tomato base.  I am not a fan of Manhattan Clam Chowder so I was worried about this one.  I look forward to see how it comes out for everyone. We decided on another fish make-up Roasted Salmon and Lentils (page 300).  Our favorite fish is salmon and we love lentils.

This meal was a hit for us, even on the leftovers, but I am not sure it counts that I made the dish. My husband was in charge of the salmon, which he cooked on the BBQ.  I made the lentils but I did not puree some of the lentils like the recipe called for. My husband likes whole lentils and not lentil soup so I was worried about the puree preparation. I also added extra carrots, celery and onions to the mix since I did not want to make a separate vegetable.  All in all it was a great meal and would make it again.
These recipes are part of an international cooking group working our way through Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan.  To see more roasted salmon and lentils go here.  To see more Riviera Fish Soup go here.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Pink Grapefruit Tart

This week on Tuesdays with Dorie we are making Pink Grapefruit Tart page 138 from Baking Chez Moi.  I voted for this one because my husband loves grapefruit and I thought it sounded different. Armed with my 10-pound bag of Texas Red Grapefruit, I was ready to start baking.

My sweet tart dough turned out great this time.  I was mindful that is was covered in foil to prevent burning.
The lemon-almond cream also turned out well.  It provided a nice barrier for the cream and prevented a soggy crust.
I took the advice of Christie at goldenlifephx and used my hand mixer to whip up the grapefruit cremeux after it chilled, worked like a charm.  I did not add any Campari to the cream. I substituted another liqueur.
I would say this was a hit with all especially my grapefruit loving husband.  He called it a fancy Key Lime Pie.  My son said it was very tart but I was proud of him for trying it and finishing it.  I think it has a sophisticated taste.  The red grapefruit I bought was delicious and juicy.  I did not need as many grapefruit as Dorie called for as mine were so big.  A good time of year to be baking this.  This is a plan ahead dessert as there are many components and long chilling times but I would make this again. Update, my tart has held up well and was just as good the next day.
Tuesdays With Dorie is an international baking group working our way through Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan.  To see what others did in this group go here.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Vanilla Butter Braised Lobster

Happy Valentine's Day from French Fridays with Dorie.  We had a lovely dinner thanks to Dorie and the Doristas.  Vanilla Butter Braised Lobster (page 324) was the star.
We bought lobster tails which my husband was in charge of cooking.  He had trouble getting the lobster to 160 degrees in the butter.  We thought this technique was a little more complicated than it needed to be.  I couldn't get pass the amount of butter, we did not use 6 sticks of butter but 4. A pound seemed enough.  We also made lemon-steamed spinach (page 331) that Dorie suggested.  It was a great meal and enjoyed by all.
I made Liz's Red Velvet Brownies for my son.  For the rest of the week there were known as Reddies instead of Brownies.
Dories's Marquise au Chocolat from Baking Chez Moi served the second time around with strawberries.
Those of you on Facebook saw this picture already.  Mary is very organized and timely in her photos. We had a fabulous lunch hosted by the lovely Susan and John Lester.  I had a great time meeting fellow Doristas and I didn't want to leave.
These recipes are part of an international cooking group working our way through Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan.  To see what the others did go here.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Chicken Couscous

On fishy Fridays, I mean French Fridays with Dorie, we made a chicken dish!  Chicken couscous page 214.  I love chicken and couscous so I was looking forward to this dish.
Since I was making 1/2 recipe I did not want to buy a whole chicken so I bought 2 pounds of legs. First you make a dry rub with ginger, cumin, turmeric, saffron threads, cinnamon, garlic, salt and pepper.  Dorie states to add the chicken to the pot then sprinkle the dry rub over the chicken. Instructions were to cook "just until they lose their raw texture - you don't have to brown them" was a little vague for me.  I prefer more specific cooking instructions.
Then you add chicken broth, leeks, onions, celery, carrots and turnips.  Dorie's instructions were to cut in strips but I chopped most everything to make it easier to eat.  
At the end of cooking, add zucchini and chickpeas.  We decided to add our raisins to our couscous instead of serving on the side.  I was hoping for a home run with this one but it really fell flat for us. I enjoyed the couscous salad we made page 136 much better than this dish.  There have also been some other chicken dishes that I have made that turned out better than this one.  This dish will not be making a repeat in our house.
These recipes are part of an international cooking group working our way through Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan.  To see what the others did go here.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Marquise au Chocolat

We are diving into chocolate this week on Tuesdays with Doire.  Marquise au Chocolat (page 357 in Baking Chez Moi) is a frozen chocolate mousse.  
To make, melt 13 ounces bittersweet chocolate with 1/2 cup butter.  I used my microwave which I thought was easier than over simmering water.
Beat 4 egg yolks, I used pasteurized eggs since they will not be cooked, with 1/3 cup sugar.
Blend the two together.
Whip 1 1/2 cups heavy cream and 3 tablespoons sugar until stiff peaks, then blend with the chocolate mixture.  Place in prepared loaf pan and freeze for 6 hours (the hardest part is waiting).  

I love chocolate and think everything tastes better with chocolate.  I was not sure if I was going to like this but I did.  This was excellent and my husband thought so too.  My son said it was too chocolaty but he does not like chocolate much.  I took Mardi Michels suggestion of using parchment paper first and then plastic wrap to prep the pan.  This did make unmolding the pan very easy.  I served only a 1/2 inch piece since it is such a rich dessert and that was plenty. Dorie suggests almost an inch but that is a rich piece.  I am saving the rest and serving it again for Valentine's Day.
Tuesdays With Dorie is an international baking group working our way through Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan.  To see what others did in this group go here.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Croquants and Curried Shrimp

This week on French Fridays with Dorie we are finally making a dessert!  Dorie says "named for its texture (croquant means crunchy), the cookie is so crisp that there's no way to eat it silently."

Dorie gave a few suggestions on nuts and I went with hazelnuts and almonds.
This cookie had very few ingredients; nuts, sugar, egg whites and flour.  It made for an interesting looking dough.
These crunchy cookies are meringue-like in texture with the addition of nuts.  Definitely crunchy. My review, I should have cooked them a little longer.  My first batches were cooked but pale. My last batch was the darkest and most crunchy.  My book club liked them, members kept going back for more.  I took some to work and the nut lovers in the group loved them.

Inspired by my fellow Doristas, I made the curried mussels recipe with shrimp.  It was delicious and will be made again.  We made one mistake as I halved the recipe but put in all the cream.  It was a little too creamy but still good.

The fisherman's hut
Mixed with little shrimp
Some crickets!

From The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery which I am currently reading.

These recipes are part of an international cooking group working our way through Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan. 

To see more Croquants go here.
To see more Curried Mussels or Shrimp go here.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Brown-Butter-and-Vanilla Weekend Cake

This week on Tuesdays with Dorie we made Brown-Butter-and-Vanilla Weekend Cake (page 6) from Baking Chez Moi.

Brown butter is still a technique that I am learning.  I usually don't cook it long enough because I am afraid I am going to burn it but I am getting practice as Dorie has a few recipes with brown butter.

I used white rum instead of dark which seemed to have worked.  It did not over power the cake as some stated who had already made it.  My review, I think I would use my glass pan next time and I would bake it slightly less.  I think I over did it by about 5 minutes and it was a little dry.  My book club said they liked it and everyone finished their piece.  They also agreed that it was a little over baked.  Everyone tasted the vanilla bean.

Tuesdays With Dorie is an international baking group working our way through Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan.  To see what others did in this group go here.