2011 – a FFwD year in review

This past year I started cooking along with French Fridays with Dorie, an online group of lovely bloggers who are cooking their way through Dorie Greenspan’s gorgeous book, Around my French Table, one week and one recipe at a time. As I have previously written, cooking every recipe in the book is quite a daunting undertaking, but one which I have found to be immensely rewarding. To date the group has completed 65 recipes; as I write this I have made 56 recipes from Dorie’s book and have 9 still to catch up with. Nevertheless, it’s a new year and thus, time to do a little recap.

So, without further ado, my personal favorites from 2010/2011 are… (drumroll please)…

Gerard’s Mustard Tart was my all around Favorite Savory Recipe to date. I know this one got some mixed reviews from the other cooks, but for me, THIS is french food! And I love mustard, so I guess that helps too. And, interestingly enough since I hate to make pie dough, my hands down Favorite Dessert of the year was also a tart, the Orange-Almond Tart. I did my best to mess it up and it still came out tasting amazing!

And while I’m at it, the one I never would have picked to make on my own, and thus the Most Surprising Recipe of the year, goes to Dorie’s recipe for Beggar’s Linguine. I mean dried fruits and nuts on pasta! Really? But this recipe is exactly why this experience has been so rewarding, because it was easy and delicious and I’ve made it several times since!

The Easiest Recipe of the year was Dorie’s Mustard Batons. Defrost puff pasty, smear with mustard, bake… done! Seriously simple and oh so elegant looking.

At the other end of the spectrum was Hachis Parmentier, which took two days to complete, required the preparation of two different recipes before the final dish could even be assembled, and which was incredibly delicious, thus winning my nomination for most Worth the Effort recipe of the year.

And finally a nod to my ever patient husband, who has gotten used to waiting hungrily while his dinner is being photographed, the Happy Husband recipe goes to the Cola & Jam Spareribs. After I made this one he suddenly started paying more attention to this “online cooking thing” I was doing.

Now that that’s done, bring on the 2012 recipes, I’m ready!

So how about you, what were your favorites so far?

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5 Responses to 2011 – a FFwD year in review

  1. Cher says:

    Love the recap!
    I do think the beggar’s linguini was by far one of my favorites to date & I joined the group a week or so after they made the hachis parimenter, but may not ever find the enthusiasm to catch up to that one :-)
    Looking forward to what 2012 has to offer.

  2. Alice says:

    I certainly have some Dorie recipes to catch up on! I love that the spare ribs changed your husbands perspective on the Dorie group! My husband was supportive of it from the beginning but once he was able to be in the kitchen with us, reading the recipe, shopping for the ingredients and figuring out side dishes and dealing with some of the challenges that presented itself in making some of them like that phyllo dough chicken thing that was such a nightmare to assemble, he really enjoyed the Dorie recipes and would be lingering around the kitchen when I would get started with that week’s recipe to lend a hand and keep and eye on the “progress” … I love that he got so involved and that your husband has showed much more interest in it too! Love it!!

  3. Liz says:

    Great idea to review the best of FFwD!!! I think my favorite was the scallops. Happy New Year and looking forward to cooking along with you in 2012!

  4. Kathy says:

    I have so many recipe to catch up on…loved seeing the recap! I have to say I had several favorites. Hachis Parimenter was definitely one of them! I also loved the Orange Almond Tart!! Happy New Year!!

  5. Eileen says:

    I have so many favorites, it’s not even funny. Gougeres are the ones I’ve made the most often, because it’s a surefire thing that Charlie will eat. Anytime we’re going to be out of town for a few days, I bake a batch the day before and bring it with me. I also love the cauliflower soup. And the cheese topped onion soup. And the Endives, Apples, and Grapes. Tourteau de Chevre and Chocolate Mousse are probably my favorite desserts. So far. Haven’t tried the eclairs yet. They may trump everything.

    The first time I made hachis parmentier following all her instructions. Since then, I’ve made it with leftover roasts, and it’s still good. Not AS good as the original, but cutting the work in half makes it worth the sacrifice.

    Oh, and thanks for the tip regarding adding flour to the cookie dough. You nailed my problem exactly: I’m making the same Toll House recipe that has worked flawlessly for my entire life, and now the cookies are mysteriously flattening. I’m absolutely going to try your fix next time.

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