Artwork by Jacob

Artwork by Jacob

Friday, August 22, 2014

Couscous Salad

This week on French Fridays with Dorie, we made couscous salad (page 136).  This was very reminiscent of another recipe I make called grilled lemon chicken with cilantro and almond couscous. Since we liked that recipe we were pretty sure we would like Dorie's.

This ramped up couscous salad was a hit with me and my husband.  My son does not like couscous. The addition of all the vegetables and other ingredients made this a wonderful recipe.  I paired it with lemon grilled chicken and it made a great meal.  I will definitely be making this one again.

These recipes are part of an international cooking group working our way through Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan.  You c an see what other members of this group thought here.  

Friday, August 15, 2014

Roasted Peppers

This week on French Fridays with Dorie was roasted peppers (page 112) something we are very familiar with in our house.  We often have roasted peppers as part of our roasted vegetable sandwiches we make for dinner though we make our roasted vegetables on the BBQ.
Dorie's version has you roasting peppers in a 425 degree oven, then peeling the skin off and serving with olive oil and fresh herbs.  I cooked my peppers for 45 minutes but I think it was too long.  My peppers were too soft for my liking.  I also did not enjoy having to peel the skin off, a messy job.  I will stick with our current method of cutting first, putting olive oil on and then grilling on my BBQ.  It is less mess, work and keeps a bit of crunch to the pepper.
I also did a make-up this week.  I made beef daube (page 244) because I had an open bottle of red wine I wanted to use up. Looks like the group made this back in 2010 and enjoyed it.  We certainly liked it 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.  You can read Dorie's post on roasted peppers.  

Friday, August 8, 2014

Tuna Confit with Tomato Salsa

We are back to fishy Fridays on French Fridays with Dorie.  This week was tuna confit with black olive tapenade and tomato salsa (page 305).  Tuna is not consumed in this house unless it comes out of a can but we were up for the challenge and cooked it anyway.
This recipe has you soak tuna steaks in olive oil, lemon rind, rosemary, parsley, thyme, celery, onions, sun dried tomatoes and garlic, overnight or at least 6 hours.
I was a little behind schedule so I had to cheat on the time the tuna soaked.
We ended up overcooking our fish but it was tasty anyway.  I served it with some mashed potatoes I had from a previous meal and that worked well.  I only made the salsa as we are not tapenade fans.  I enjoyed the tomato salsa and used the leftovers in some pasta that I made.  My tuna was also made without the preserved lemons.  Candy at recommended Sur La Table and they had it but I was not able to get to the store.
This past week we replaced our hardwood floors in our house.  I coined the week "my life in a ziptop bag".  It only lasted 5 days but it seemed like forever as me, my son, sometimes my husband and our new puppy were sealed on the second floor.  It is a wonder we ate at all that week. Luckily life is back to normalcy, well there is still the issue of our bathroom remodel.

These recipes are part of an international cooking group working our way through Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan.  You can get the recipe here and here.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Gateau Basque

We dove into desserts this week for French Fridays with Dorie, gateau basque page 470.  Dorie describes this as a double-crusted tart in which the crust is like butter cookies.  The filling is traditionally pastry cream or thick cherry jam.  I had an abundance of strawberry jam so that is what I used.
I was worried that I did not fit the dough in correctly and I put my jam closer to the edge than the recipe called for but it all worked out.  This cake is quite forgiving.

I allowed the gateau to cool to room temperature before slicing.  It came out perfect and was delicious.  This recipe reminded my husband of his German grandmother's cookies, it was missing raisins he said.  I scored some points for memories.  I look forward to adding this recipe to my repertoire.

When I am not cooking, I am chasing after our new puppy Hope.

These recipes are part of an international cooking group working our way through Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan.  You can see how other members of this group did here.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Provencal Vegetable Soup

This week on French Fridays with Dorie was provencal vegetable soup.  I didn't mind having soup in the summer because it was filled with so many fresh vegetables.

Dorie says this classic dish is from the south of France.  It is a soup but is almost like a stew since it is packed with so many fresh vegetables.  I served this with french bread and it was a satisfying meal for me. My husband preferred another soup I make that includes chicken meatballs.  So much for the vegetarian meal.  The basil pesto and Parmesan cheese were the finishing touches to this dish, don't skip them.  I would make this again and I think it would also make a great starter to meal.

There is always room for dessert in our house.  I made Dorie's The Most Extraordinary French Lemon Cream Tart from Baking From My Home to Yours.  The Sweet Tart Dough makes a wonderful crust, perfect every time.  The filling is a little too rich for my taste, I can't get past how much butter is in the recipe.

These recipes are part of an international cooking group working our way through Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan.  You can see how other members of this group did here

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Tomatoes Provencal

We are off and running in our July selections for French Fridays with Dorie.  This week's selection tomatoes Provencal (page 344).  Dorie states "You can serve tomatoes Provencal as a side dish, but because they're very good at room temperature, they're great on a buffet or in a picnic basket, or brought to a friend's for a potluck meal." So that is exactly what I did.  Here is how our holiday celebration meal went.

These vine ripened tomatoes looked so good in the store, I couldn't wait to bake them.

Tomatoes Provencal is a simple yet delicious dish.  Olive oil, salt, pepper, fresh herbs and garlic.  Roast in 375 degree oven for 30 to 60 minutes depending on firmness desired.  We enjoyed the tomatoes and they worked well with our meal.  The leftovers will put on pizza this weekend.
I made German potato salad with dill from Bon Appetit.  This was also a simple but delicious side dish.

Smoked ribs.  It is good to have a friend with a smoker, we always have good meat.

And to finish the meal my favorite cherry pie from Cooks Illustrated.

See what others made in this cooking group here.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Guacamole With Tomatoes and Bell Peppers

For French Fridays with Dorie, I waited a day late to make this recipe so I could share it with friends. Every year we go to this event which includes a picnic dinner and fireworks.  We also celebrate our dear friend's birthday which this year happens to be on the event so a cake was in order for dessert.

Dorie's recipe for guacamole included red bell pepper, lime, red onion, jalapeno, cherry tomatoes, cilantro and of course avocado.  I didn't have any cilantro so I just left it out.
My husband and son do not like guacamole so my husband made salsa.  There were a few jokes while making our separate appetizers.  We got thumbs up for the guacamole recipe.  I really liked the addition of the lime zest.  I read fellow Dorista's reviews and used less lime juice.
To finish our meal off I made Big Bill's Carrot Cake from Dorie's Baking From My Home To Yours. It was delicious but definitely not a light cake with 3 layers and cream cheese frosting.

No matter where you are in the world, I hope you enjoy some fireworks this summer.

To see how other members of this group did link here.