Where the heck have I been? Seriously, I want to know. 2013 seems to be flying by me in a high-speed blur. All I remember is that there an awful lot of nights spent in hotels, home cooked meals have been few and far between and, as you may have noticed, I’ve been a pretty pathetic Dorista.
So thank goodness for make-up week, because boy, do I have some recipes to make up. This will be a small dent in my FFwD To Do list.
First, do you still remember May? Back when we were all still happy about the slightest hint of warm weather and not complaining about the heat? Back when asparagus was in season? My memory is faint, but I have pictures on my computer of Asparagus Soup topped with creme fraiche, chives, and strips of ham, and I have a note in my book which reads, “yummy!”. So I guess that just about sums that up.
Somewhere along the line I also made Dieter’s Tartine. Many Germans use the word Abendbrot for their evening meal, which literally translates as “evening bread”. In fact, Abendbrot is not at all uncommon in my house after a long day. In addition to Dorie’s original recipe, I also whipped up a few other favorites. I find that the key lies in a good quality loaf of bread. So long as I have good bread, even the most mundane toppings can work.
Hopefully my schedule settles down soon and I can find more time to hang out in the kitchen. I’m missing it and my fellow Doristas.
Considering how often I’ve eaten this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe, Cherry Clafoutis, it’s rather a wonder that I’ve never made it before myself. This dessert was quite the hit in my family some years ago and was made quite often during cherry season. Though, as I recall, the recipe was a bit more involved and included a hit of cherry liqueur.
Dorie’s recipe is the height of simplicity. You don’t even have to pit the cherries. Just throw them in a baking dish and drown them in a quick mix of cream, milk, eggs, vanilla, and sugar, and into the oven it goes. Dorie suggested that other berries could be used and so I decided to do half cherry, one quarter raspberry and one quarter blueberry to see what we liked best.
A word on the whole cherry idea before I go on. When I mentioned this to my parents I was met with a resounding NO! The concept was apparently way too bizarre to contemplate. And I have to agree that it sounded odd to me at first as well. But if you think about it, why is this so very different from sitting and eating a bowl of fresh cherries? I certainly don’t take the time to remove the pit from fresh cherries before I eat them and this was pretty much the same procedure. I think it’s more of a mental thing because fresh cherries are typically eaten in a casual atmosphere whereas a fancy french dessert surely deserves more refinement. But hey, if the creators of the dish (namely the French) are not too proud to deal with the pits, who am I to put on airs?
So, whole cherries it was, and they were delicious! I really enjoyed this dessert and I especially liked how easy it was to prepare. My husband and I both liked the addition of cherries and blueberries, but were not convinced by the raspberries. They seemed to let out more water into the custard and may have been the reason why my dessert needed an hour in the oven before it was cooked through. All in all, a winning dessert.
Ahh, the daily commute. I’ve heard of some pretty unbelievable ones. In comparison, mine is just not that bad. But that doesn’t stop me from complaining about it.
What confounds me is that my drive to work is usually pretty straightforward, but my drive from work often takes 2 to 3 times as long due to traffic. What the heck!
By the time I get home I’m just done and any previously conceived ideas about cooking up a nutritious dinner have flown out the car window. And that’s why recipes such as this week’s French Fridays with Dorie selection, Wheat Berry & Tuna Salad, are a lifesaver.
This dish was delicious and will absolutely be added to my weeknight repertoire. This is exactly the kind of leftovers which I want in my fridge when I get home. I made the base recipe (wheat berries, onion, celery, & apple) on Sunday night and just added the dressing and remaining fresh veggies when I got home from work. Don’t laugh, but I was too tired to even boil the eggs and just left them out. Pathetic, I know.
I have often speculated that certain foods belong to a specific place or time. Try to reproduce them out of that place or time and you are only inviting failure. I have to say that Socca, this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe, struck me as the perfect example of such a recipe.
Socca, for those who are not familiar, is Nicoise street food. In Paris you get crepes, in Nice you get socca. Crepes are made with wheat or (better yet) buckwheat flour, socca is made with chickpea flour. Crepes are topped with sugar and fresh lemon juice (well, they are when I order them!), socca is topped with fresh ground pepper. And as I type this it is becoming clear to me why everyone has heard of crepes and why so few have heard of socca. Chickpeas and pepper anyone?
Which brings me back (in an ever so round about way) to my original point. Socca is best made by a street vendor who has the right equipment and it is best eaten hot off the griddle while standing on the sidewalks in Nice, preferably with a glass of chilled rose in your other hand. My puny little oven simply wasn’t up to the task of tackling this recipe and the results were, well, uninspiring. Hopefully my fellow Doristas had better luck.
I missed quite a few French Fridays with Dorie posts in May, among them Creamy Mushrooms and Eggs, which is this week’s catch up recipe.
I so wasn’t feeling this one when it popped up on the schedule. Just didn’t sound very spring-like. That was, until I got the idea to make it with morel mushrooms, those tasty, crinkly harbingers of spring.
Dorie recommends serving this dish as an appetizer. I’m not generally one for multi-course meals when cooking at home. So instead, I decided to serve them for a hearty Sunday breakfast. And since it was breakfast, I went with basic fried eggs.
Verdict? Delicious! Really, really good. I loved this dish and can see making it again either for breakfast or for a quick weeknight dinner.
Not a lot of cooking going on in my kitchen lately. In fact, I feel a bit like I’m reverting back to my bachelorette habits. The trouble is that both my husband and I have been traveling quite a bit for work and it never seems to make sense to invest in groceries for the few days that we are both home. It’s gotten to the point where my fridge is well stocked with beer, wine, condiments, and not much else.
Luckily, the beer is from a recent beer & chocolate run over the border to Belgium. And so that is what I served with this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe, Cheese & Olive Bread.
I’m no wine or beer pairing expert, but I will say that this made a very satisfying late night dinner after a long work day. This is our second foray into cheese bread with Dorie and I must admit to a slight preference for the Savory Cheese and Chive Bread. But it was pretty tasty with olives too and, with so many possibilities, there’s no going back now.