French Fridays with Dorie: Orange and Olive Salad

A New Years Resolution Christmas is not here yet, and I’m already thinking of New Years’ resolutions.  Food resolutions, that is.  Although I try to eat well at least 70% ...

Great Food Reads: Provence, 1970

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Last week, after a late night at the office, I found myself scrambling to get to the supermarket on time to grab a rotisserie chicken.  At one of the grocery ...

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Mofongo Mashing

Necessity is the mother of invention.  Or at least of managing your kitchen with what you have.

While mortars and pestles – pilones as they are known in Spanish – are essential kitchen equipment, sometimes even your best meaning friends do not have one in their house when those cravings for mofongo hit.  Mofongo – one of Puerto Rico’s signature dishes – consists of fried plantain chunks that are smashed with fresh garlic, olive oil, a little bit of chicken stock, and crackly pork rinds or bacon. Read More…

French Friday with Dorie: Desserts with a French Accent

dorie greenspan smithsonian

I will be upfront: I made the bonne idee for this week’s French Fridays with Dorie selection, Beatrix’s Red Kuri soup.  Instead of making soup with red kuri squash, I used the suggested cubed butternut squash and chestnuts substitution. I didn’t care much for the soup.  In hindsight, it could have used a punch of spice because otherwise, it felt like pumpkin-peanut butter soup.  I wish I had tried the real thing, though.

But I did have a wonderful, true French Friday with Dorie Greenspan last week.

We spent almost a week in DC, taking in all the history, culture and great food we were able to handle.  One of the highlights of our visit was coinciding with a Baking Chez Moi event sponsored by the Smithsonian Associates – Desserts with a French Accent.  Joe Yonan, food and travel editor for the Washington Post, interviewed Dorie for about an hour.  Having listened to her keynote address at last year’s IFBC and some her most recent podcast interviews (thanks to Betsy and Teresa), I was especially happy when the following the following tidbits surfaced during the talk: Read More…

Tuesdays with Dorie: Cranberry Crackle Tart

cranberry crackle tart

Today is our second Baking Chez Moi Tuesdays with Dorie outing, and after the easy peasy Palets de Dames Lille Style, it’s time to show off our first tart.  The selection for November is the very seasonal and fantastic cranberry crackle tart.  The crackle part comes from the meringue topping that crisps up in the oven. Read More…

Arroz con Maiz – Puerto Rican Style Rice with Corn

Arroz con maíz puerto rican style

On the blog’s homepage mini slide show, you may have noticed a new tag floating with the pictures of the recent posts.  Domingo Criollo is a new section I am developing to share some of my favorite Puerto Rican or Puerto Rico influenced recipes.  These recipes are easy and a great introduction to the flavors of the island.  Truth be told, you can add sofrito to many of your own favorites soups and stews and they will instantly warm up with that touch of onion, garlic, peppers, cilantro and recap that’s so distinctive to the island’s cooking.  Puerto Rican food is not spicy, but rather savory and bursting with the taste of all those delicious aromatics. Read More…

French Fridays with Dorie: Storzapretis

storzapretis

“I’m melting.  I’m melting”

Guess the Wicked Witch of the West was not the only green thing capable of disintegrating at the touch of water.  If the storzapretis – Corsican spinach, herb and cheese dumplings reminiscent of gnocchi – I made for this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe could talk, the very same words would have escaped them.  It was automatic: the quennelles hit the water, they swelled up, and the spinach bits wanted to escape the dumpling. Read More…

Plantain Spiders – Arañitas de Platano

plantain spiders arañitas de platano

Food is a feast for the senses.  The first point of attraction is the way a dish looks and how it is presented.  Smell wafts through the nose.  Fingers and mouth take on texture and temperature.  Before the taste buds can have their way, it all explodes with a deafening CRUNCH.

I love plantain spiders – aka. arañitas de platano.  They are bites that truly engage all five senses.  Eating them is a loud experience.  That crunch, the hit of salt, the unmistakable smell of fried plantain. Read More…

French Fridays with Dorie: Sangria Chicken

sangria chicken

The best kind of challenge

Every so often, a French Fridays with Dorie recipe pops up that makes you wish you had access to great ingredients. This week’s recipe, Seared Duck Breasts with Kumquats, is one of those. Duck breasts?  Not on my radar unless I call “my” friendly restaurant supplier.  Kumquats?  If my fellow Doristas couldn’t find them state/Canada-side, you can imagine there’s little hope for this island girl.  Not that it bothered me.  Au contraire, it was time to improvise and have fun with this challenge.

What do we always have on hand?  Boneless, skinless chicken thighs.  The dark chicken meat will never be an apples to apples substitute for gamey duck breasts, but it is as close as it gets.  Orange zest syrup replaces the not-yet-in season kumquats.  A bottle of $4 merlot fills the fruity wine quota.  If the recipe from Around My French Table is your woo-food, dinner date at home recipe, this is the weekday version for whenever the cravings hit for citrus and wine sauce.  This is no impostor fragrance version of the recipe.  It’s good on its own merits. Read More…

Tuesdays with Dorie: Palets de Dames Lille Style

Palets de Dames Lille Style

I am officially stepping out of my comfort zone.

I love cooking and I am confident in the skills I have built since I was a college junior with an actual kitchen. A baker? Not so much. There are plenty of exhibits I can pull out for your reference, worthy of the #PinterestFail label.  Some of them have even made it to the blog.

Read More…

Green Pigeon Pea Escabeche (Gandules en Escabeche)

green pigeon pea escabeche

A Holiday Tradition

Gandules – also known in the rest of the Caribbean as guandules or just peas – are the traditional Puerto Rican legume of the holiday season.  I dare you to go to a Christmas party in Puerto Rico without arroz con gandules.  These days, I might even extend that dare to Thanksgiving meals in the island.  The minute you taste the sofrito laced rice and peas, you know it’s Christmas or you are reminded of the season.

Green pigeon peas can be found either canned or frozen, with fresh peas being a little harder to come by.  I was extremely lucky a few years ago.  I had a co-worker that grew them on her backyard.  When the holiday season was around the corner, she would start taking orders for her cosecha, the harvest.  Although there are few things better dishes than arroz con gandules made with fresh peas,  the convenience of canned gandules cannot be denied, especially for recipes like this one. Read More…

French Fridays with Dorie: Leek and Potato Soup

Leek and Potato Soup Dorie Greenspan

While the rest of the Doristas are showing today’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe, Jerusalem artichoke soup with parsley coulis, I’m going playing catch-up with a classic leek and potato soup.  The group prepared this soup back in December of 2010.  Given the similarities between potatoes and sunchokes, I figured this throwback recipe would fit in nicely with the rest of the group’s soups.

Leek and potato soup is also known as potage Parmentier, after Antoine-Augustin Parmentier.  Parmentier was a French agronomist and scientist that championed for the use of potatoes in the French diet after subsisting on them as a POW in Prussia.  It’s hard to imagine French cuisine without potato gratins, mashed potatoes, and frites. Read More…

Great Food Reads: Make It Ahead

Make It Ahead by Ina Garten

I have kept a tradition with two neighbor families of making potluck dinners every other month for over two years now.  E has been friends with most of them them for almost two decades now – which is scary but comforting at the same time.  Even though we have learned to split responsibilities and dishes for these gatherings, the hosting family often ends up working on a dish or two while we are all hanging out or playing with the girls.  That’s why we try to cook as many items as we can beforehand – to be able to enjoy each other’s company more those Sunday afternoons.  I’m very excited to have received a copy of Ina Garten’s newest tome, Make It Ahead.  It will definitely be put to use for our neighbor dinners, and beyond that. Read More…

French Fridays with Dorie: Osso Buco à l’Arman

Osso Buco a l'Arman

This week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe, Osso Bucco a l’Arman, is a light braised dish that combines mild tasting veal, tomatoes, carrots and onions with a citrus based sauce.

If you had asked me before this week about making a dish with an orange and tomato sauce, I would have raised a skeptic eyebrow.  If we had been talking about braising osso buco without wine, I would have gone full Knope: Read More…

Chicken and Pumpkin Green Curry

Chicken and Pumpkin Green Curry

October couldn’t wrap up without a pumpkin recipe!

I started dating E ten years ago.  During those first months of courtship, he made sure I knew that he could cook. Pastas? Check. Steaks? Check. Composed salads?  Oh, please.  A whole Thanksgiving feast?  That too.  This year, E took off most of the month of September off from work, and on several days I came home to find dinner waiting for me.  Just when I was getting used to arriving to a tasty meal, it was time for him to head back to the office. Read More…

Happy French Friday Birthday Dorie! – Cannelés

Baking Chez Moi

Today is a very special French Friday for our FFwD group.  First, we couldn’t be more excited about the release of Dorie Greenspan’s newest tome, Baking Chez Moi.  Imagine the beautiful section on desserts at the end of Around My French Table and super size it.  Or that AMFT and Baking from My Home to Yours had a baby.  Or… yes, you get it.  Wonderful recipes with easy to follow directions, and the stories about the people and places that inspired them.    Read More…

Great Food Reads: French Roots

French Roots cookbook review

Can you miss something you never had? That’s one of the many questions that French Roots: Two Cooks, Two Countries and the Beautiful Food Along the Way posed while I read it.  French Roots is a joint effort by husband and wife team Jean-Pierre Moullé and Denise Lurton Moullé.  Jean-Pierre Moullé is best known for his tenure as executive chef at Chez Panisse.  Denise Lurton Moullé was a French wine importer and tastemaker, following her wine-making family footsteps.  Read More…

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