Artwork by Jacob

Artwork by Jacob

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Strawberry Shortcakes Franco-American Style

One of the great things about being part of a baking group is that I do not need to think about what to make for the next holiday.  I informed my husband  we were having strawberry shortcakes for Father's Day.  The only decision he had to make was plain or roasted strawberries. He went with roasted as he is well versed in Dorie's recipes.
I was concerned about getting this dessert right as there were 3 recipes to follow and I was just back from vacation.  I had not seen the inside of a kitchen for a week. But I had nothing to fear, all came together perfectly.
First I cut and roasted the strawberries.  I added the optional cloves, balsamic vinegar and lemon zest. All the flavors worked well together especially after they all rested a bit.  Then I made the ladyfinger batter.  I was most worried about this but Dorie's directions worked perfectly and they turned out great. There is nothing better than homemade just whipped cream.  Everyone was happy when they saw what was in the mixer.  This dessert came together just like the photo.  All my guests had empty plates with not a crumb left, I could not have asked for a better compliment. 

To round out our Father's Day meal we made Cafe Salle Pleyel Hamburgers from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan (page 240).  If you have not made these yet I suggest them for a change from your usual summer burgers.

Tuesdays With Dorie is an international baking group working our way through Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan. We don't publish the recipes, instead we encourage you to buy the book.

Strawberry Shortcakes Fanco-American Style page 338.
Ladyfinger Batter page 424.
Roasted Strawberries page 458.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Celebration Week #3: The Play-It-Again-Dorie Recipe

Down to the final 2 weeks on French Fridays with Doire.  This week we were to choose the recipe from the book that you have made the most often.  Given that I joined the group so late my rule was not to repeat but continue cooking the book.  But as in life there are a few exceptions to the rule and this Gateau Basque is one of them.  This was such a hit with my husband that he raved about it with every bite.  You see this cookie reminded him of his grandmother's.  Food creates memories for all of us so I picked this one not only because it is great but because of the memories it invoked.  We also made it again for a brunch and once sliced it was gone.  

Gateau Basque page 470. 
If you have not bought Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan, I urge you to do so.  Once book is in hand, you must make  this Gateau Basque and share it. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Sweet and Sour Fish

It is Mystery Box Madness Challenge time again for I Heart Cooking Clubs. From the list of this month's eligible ingredients I chose:  white fish, bell peppers and cornstarch.  
We made marinated sweet and sour fish from Jerusalem A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi.

With olive oil in an ovenproof pan I sauteed onions, coriander seeds, bell peppers, garlic, bay leaves, curry powder and tomatoes.  After cooking add sugar, cider vinegar, salt and pepper. Separately the fish (we used tilapia) is breaded in flour and cornstarch, then dipped in eggs and fried in another pan for about 3 minutes.  The fish is then added to the pan with the vegetables. Water is added and the pan is put in the oven for about 10-12 minutes to finish the cooking process.  The instructions for this dish is to let cool to room temperature to eat but we ignored that and ate it hot.  We served with bread which worked well as there is sauce in the pan for dipping.

This was just delicious and we were really pleased with the dish.  It is so nice to be able to learn another cooking technique for fish.  We thought this was company worthy.  I recommend sweet and sour fish from Jerusalem A Cookbook (page 238).

To see what others made from the mystery box ingredients go here.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Chocolate-Cherry Brownies

Brownies, dark chocolate, dried cherries what's not to like?  Our baking assignment this week on Tuesdays with Dorie, chocolate-cherry brownies from Baking Chez Moi page 322.

I cooked my brownies the recommended time and went with the "uniformly dull" top as my done point. Completely cooled I was able to cut them into serving sizes without any difficulties except a stray cherry here and there.  The parchment sleeve was essential in getting the brownies out of the pan, it worked like a charm.

We opted not to cut them in le petite sizes but Americano style with ice cream.  My husband and I loved these.  My 11 year old son is a purest and would have preferred no cherries.  These were moist and chocolaty with a depth of flavor.

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, June 5, 2015

Celebration Week #2: The Never-Doubt-Dorie Moment

In our second week of celebration moments with French Fridays with Dorie we are contemplating which recipe was a "never doubt Dorie moment".  Here were the instructions: "Choose the recipe that might not have been your favorite or even something you enjoyed making or even something you were skeptical about but which taught you a technique or gave you an idea or provided a lesson of some kind". Honestly every recipe taught me something but one recipe was a stand out for me, Storzapretis (corsican spinach and marjoram gnocchi).

Storzapretis are like cheese gnocchi and I had never made gnocchi before.  I did not know what quenelle was so I did a Youtube search for tutorials.  I also found someone who had made the dish and blogged about it so I could get some ideas.  This recipe taught me so many new techniques.  It was very tasty and enjoyed by all.  Honorable mentions were osso buco and duck. Which reminds me, I should make duck with fresh peaches now that they are in season.

To see what others thought go here.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Celebration Week #1: The AHA Moment

French Fridays with Dorie will be spending the next 4 weeks reflecting about our time with the group. This week's topic our top 5 favorites list.  I cooked my first recipe with the group on 4/4/14 and it was the Visitandine cake, a sweet start to a wonderful group.  I think creating this top 5 list was probably easier for me since I did not have 4 years of posts to go through but none the less I had a hard time choosing. In no particular order these are my top 5 favorites.

Quiche Maraichere.  One of the few recipes I have made twice once for Mother's Day.
Gateau Basque.  The other recipe I have made more than once.  My husband's favorite.
Twenty-Minute Honey-Glazed Duck Breasts.  This recipe turned me into a fan of duck.  Now that peaches are in season I can make Duck Breasts with Fresh Peaches.
Beggar's Linguine.  This was the most unique dish and biggest surprise hit.  Which reminds me I should make this again.
Shrimp and Double Carrots.  This simple dish was well liked by everyone.  Which reminds me I should make this again:)
I am saving my "favorite, loved the most, best recipe" for week # 3 Celebration week.  I have made a point to not make recipes more than once since I joined the group so late and had make-ups to do.  I will be reviewing the groups top 5 list closely so I will know what to cook next.

IHCC May Potluck! Basil Pesto

I Heart Cooking Clubs May Potluck
A simple Saturday night supper, pesto.  My basil plant was very full and needed to be used.  I chose Giada De Laurentiis basil pesto recipe from Everyday Italian.  

We have not had basil pesto pasta in a long time so we enjoyed this meal.  Pretty straight forward recipe.  Giada's instructions included using a blender to make the pesto but I found this did not work well.  Next time I will remember to use my food processor.  We added some sun dried tomatoes and served with french bread.  A nice vegetarian meal for a change.

To see what others did for IHCC May Potluck go here.