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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…

French Fridays with Dorie: Roasted Chayote with Garlic

 

Jerusalem Artichokes Redmond Farmers Market

Last year E and I spent a week frolicking in the Pacific US Northwest/Canadian Southwest after IFBC wrapped up.  On our last day and a half before returning to Puerto Rico, we hung out around Redmond, a Seattle suburb famous for its proximity to the Woodinville wine tasting rooms, the Microsoft campus, and The Herbfarm.  After spending about an hour in the Redmond farmers’ market that Saturday, I decided the next time I visited that area I would rent an apartment with a good kitchen.  We were wowed by the wonderful produce we saw at the market, stand after stand.  I took an especially good look at the Jerusalem artichokes, aka sunchokes, knowing that I’d likely wouldn’t be seeing them again in the (near) future. Read More…

Whipped Potatoes with Olive Oil and Pesto

 

Whipped Potatoes with Olive Oil and Pesto

Countertop Ornaments

Storage space is a touchy subject in our kitchen.  While a cluttered countertop doesn’t bother me on most days, sometimes I wish I had enough storage space in the cupboards to stash the kitchen gadgets that are scattered around.  Even if I could, there are two larger pieces of equipment I definitely can’t fit in the cabinet.  One is the toaster oven, a key appliance when cooking for two.  I use it almost every day and it wouldn’t be practical to stash it away.  The other is the stand mixer.  Every time I see it, it begs to be used.  I usually take it out for a spin once or twice a month, but know I should be taking advantage of it for more ‘everyday’ cooking.  My favorite of those cooking tasks is whipping potatoes.  Nothing against the humble potato masher, but if in a minute or two I can have perfectly smooth potatoes ready for dinner… Read More…

French Fridays with Dorie: Monkfish with Double Carrots

 

monkfish double carrots

This week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe, Monkfish with Double Carrots, comes with a warning.  Monkfish is an ugly, ugly fish.  Not even sunglasses can make this guy attractive to me.

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October is World Vegetarian Month

October World Vegetarian Month

October is World Vegetarian Month!

October was declared World Vegetarian Awareness month by the North American Vegetarian Society in 1977.  The food holiday was adopted by its international counterpart in 1978.  As awareness of the benefits of plant based diets increases, so has the demand for delicious vegetarian and vegan fare. More and more restaurants are including meatless dishes in their menus.

Here are some of my favorite vegetarian and vegan recipes for World Vegetarian Month and beyond.  Feel free to link yours in the comments section.

Breakfast of Champions

Orange cinnamon oatmeal

Orange Cinnamon Oatmeal

Lunch Ideas

tomato mozzarella avocado salad

Tomato, Mozzarella and Avocado Salad

Roasted Asparagus Soup

Quick Veggie Stir Fry

Quick Veggie Stir Fry

Vegetarian Cocktail Hour

Garlic Sherry Mushrooms

Garlic Sherry Mushrooms

Green Bean and Scallion Crostini

Green Green Crostini

 Vegetarian Dinners

Vegan garbanzo stew

My Favorite Chickpea stew

Kale Sofrito Risotto

Kale Sofrito Risotto

French Fridays with Dorie: Celery-Celery Soup

Celery-Celery Soup Dorie Greenspan

“I’m doing the Friday recipe today!”

“Cool.  What is it?”

“It’s soup.  A celery root and green celery soup. But it has apples in it.”

“Okay.”

“I can go the criollo route and do it with garlic and sofrito and cilantro if you want.”

“Whatever way you choose is fine.  But the recipe says it has apples you should probably make it as it is written.”

“Yeah… I guess.”

And that’s how I ended up cooking the recipe, exactly as written.  Two Fuji apples joined a mountain of onions, a couple of stalks of celery, and chunks of the root vegetable we call apio, which translates to celery. Read More…

French Fridays with Dorie: Vanilla Vegetable Salad

Vanilla Vegetable Salad Dorie Greenspan

Frustrated by not knowing how to do something in the kitchen?
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Sweet Potatoes Stuffed with Lamb and Eggplant Picadillo

Picture courtesy of Lala López – a fashion and art blogger that should be in your radar!

I have a confession to make.

I live in Puerto Rico and I visited José Enrique’s flagship restaurant at la Placita de Santurce for the first time a month ago.  The restaurant has been operating non stop since 2007.  The lines have not thinned out since then.  It took friends visiting from Boston and the ‘it’s Tuesday, how bad can the wait be’ reasoning to get me to Calle Duffaut. Read More…

Five Lessons: Oliva Dieta Mediterranea

For many home cooks like me, a meal is an opportunity to be inspired. Ingredients we thought we were familiar with take on new shapes, or are paired in combinations that did not seem possible. Recently, I visited Oliva Dieta Mediterranea, the restaurant lodged in the Olive Boutique Hotel in Condado, Puerto Rico. Oliva – as it is often referred to – was acquired by its head chef, Argentine expat Nicolás Gómez. Chef Nico renewed its concept, opting to work directly with farmers and local food producers to bring a menu that’s as much fun for him to prepare as it is for the diner to enjoy.  Additionally, he lowered the prices in many items, making the restaurant more accessible to both locals and tourists. Read More…

Summer Sips at Gallo Negro Santurce

Gallo Negro Santurce - (Pirates) Booty Punch

(Pirates) Booty in Santurce

I’m not one to make a lot of cocktails at home.  Although lately I have been experimenting with simple syrups and homemade sodas, I haven’t developed that knack for mixing sweet, sour, bitter and savory in a glass.  Enjoying cocktails is one of the highlights of many a dinner out these days, especially with the continued mixology boom.  One of the best places to enjoy cocktails with specialty spirits and mixers is Gallo Negro in Santurce, a San Juan neighborhood.  The brainchild of siblings John Mercedes and chef Maria T. Mercedes-Grubb, Gallo Negro opened in 2013 and since then has offered modern takes on American and Caribbean cuisine.  Chef Maria first made waves in the Puerto Rico gastro-scene  in 2011 with the UDC – Underground Dining Club, one for the island’s first pop up restaurants.

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Salmon Rillettes with Cream Cheese and Scallions

The rain in Humacao stays mainly in the beach.  Do not be fooled by the bright blue sky!

When July arrives, Puerto Ricans flee the bustle of city life and make their way to one of the many strips of beach in our 100 x 35 mile island.   Salty air clears away the noise and staleness of the mundane. Be carefree, darned it – it almost screams at us.  It has been quite the breezy – if hot – weekend here at the Humacao beach where we try to spend most long weekends. The wind has cleared up many rain showers fairly fast, lulled us to nap, and given us a soundtrack to relax to. I will definitely miss it once we are back to daily grind.

Beach weekends call for meals that are easy to pull off, often prepared before heading to our destination.  The snacks concocted for taking to the beach or entertaining need to be simple enough to be prepared with basic kitchen equipment.  On previous visits to the Humacao apartment, I’ve hauled over my stick blender/mini food processor combo, and this time considered tossing in a microplane grater in my bag this time around.  I’m glad I didn’t.  Faux-grating lemon zest was not the arduous task that gadget marketers make it out to be. Read More…

Harissa Red Pepper Dip

Harissa Red Pepper Dip

Harissa is a Tunisian pepper paste or condiment that is used to season meats and vegetables or to bump up the flavor in soups and stews.    Although it is traditionally found and can be made at home in paste form, dry blends have been popping up in specialty grocery stress.  The dry blend I have on hand has paprika, caraway, chili pepper, cayenne pepper, coriander, cumin, garlic, and peppermint.  The jar suggests mixing it with oil to create a paste closer to the traditional preparation.  I’ve been using it lately as as substitute for Cajun seasoning, especially for blackening fish.  The fresher herbs give such a nice contrast to the fiery peppers.  Harissa is often combined with lemon, another essential ingredient in North African cuisine. Read More…

Buen Diente Features Adriana’s Kitchen

Salmon Rillettes - Picture courtesy of BuenDiente.com

Salmon Rillettes – Picture courtesy of BuenDiente.com

Back in September 2013, I had the chance to Dorie Greenspan.  Between conversations, she signed my copy of Around My French Table with the following inscription:

 

Her hope is alive and kicking.  A few weeks ago we hosted at home our friends Nelson Torres and Ismael Martinez from Buen Diente along with fellow food blogger Myriam Ocasio from Puerto Rico Eats, and food entrepreneurs Paulina Salach and Gustavo Antonetti from Spoon Food Tours and Puerto Rico Restaurant Week.  The overall theme of the dinner was my cooking journey and influences, especially those recipes featured in the blog.

We started the evening with Gougeres de Queso del Pais, followed by my take on New Orleans barbecue shrimp.  The main dish was one of my favorite recipes from Around My French Table, the Short Ribs in Braised in Red Wine and Port. To cap our meal, my sister made my paternal grandmother’s signature dessert, bienmesabe.  I can best describe a bienmesabe as a coconut cream layered dessert – sort of a Caribbean tiramisu. Our evening was beautifully recapped by Nelson here.

Photo Courtesy of Buendiente.com

Thanks again to our friends at Buen Diente for this wonderful feature and here’s to future gatherings!

The Porchetta Project

porchetta toscana

Girl and boy salivate in awe at certain food preparation on TV.  Trips are planned with the hope to find this mythical creation.  Oceans are crossed, stick-shift cars rented.

“Look!  There is its!”

“Didn’t we just have lunch?”

“Oh… maybe later.”

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