Posted 03 September 2010 - 04:52 PM
Chicken Breasts Diable (p. 217)
Broth-Braised Potatoes (p. 358)
As is typical with Greenspan's books, the text of the recipe is well-written, very clear, and generally feels like you've got Dorie there looking over your shoulder giving you pointers the whole time. The recipe fits well into a book that bills itself as "more than 300 recipes from my home to yours"—I don't think that a dish such as this would be out of place on anyone's weeknight dinner table. We're not breaking new culinary ground here: it's boneless, skinless chicken breasts, served with a white wine pan sauce. The ingredients list is delightfully vague: three tablespoons mustard ("or a bit more"), "about one tablespoon olive oil," etc. This is a dish to make and tweak to your tastes: don't bother getting out the scale. Hell, I didn't bother with measuring spoons. So, it's hard to comment on the end result: my wife and I really liked both the chicken and potatoes. Earth-shattering new flavor combinations? No. But a very good rendition of a classic, tweaked to be just the way I like it. Bon appetit, indeed!
Posted 03 September 2010 - 08:02 PM
Posted 04 September 2010 - 09:07 AM
Posted 04 September 2010 - 04:40 PM
Crunchy Ginger-Pickled Cucumbers (p. 340)
I love getting new cookbooks... so many new recipes to try! It being Labor Day weekend here in the US, a burger seemed like a great meal choice. In addition, I think this particular recipe is the one I was most intrigued by when first reading through the book. The flavor combination looked so completely unlike anything I had ever had in a burger, I knew I had to try it.
First, the ingredients: mixed in with the beef are capers, cornichons, sun-dried tomatoes, tarragon, and parsley. Under the burger is a red-onion and corriander relish. On top, parmesan cheese. Now, when I list out those ingredients the burger may not seem that odd, even to Americans. But there is not just a sprinkling of these ingredients: there is enough vegetable matter in these patties to qualify these burgers for genuine health-food status. OK, I may be exaggerating somewhat, but check these things out:
Subtle that seasoning is not. And one bite of the burger confirms this in vivid detail: a massive punch of tarragon startles you awake, followed by the bright brininess of the cornichons and capers, the sweetness of the relish, and the "greenness" of the parsley. Somehow amid all of this the sun-dried tomatoes don't really pop, but that's probably a good thing: they are best left as a background note anyway (in my opinion). In fact, amid all of this, even the beef itself plays second fiddle. It's in there, but it's a background note. If you are looking for a burger to add to your regular backyard BBQ rotation, this is not the burger you are looking for. At least, if I served this here in Oklahoma and tried to call it a burger, I'd probably get lynched, or at least laughed out of the state.
THAT SAID... I loved the flavors here, and the utter surprise of that first bite. Like I said, these won't be making their way onto my regular burger menu, but every once in a while, when I'm looking for something really different, these just might make an appearance.
With the burgers I served the cucumber-ginger salad from the book. I like the taste combination in principle, but I found the ginger to be a bit too strong for me. If I made this again I'd cut back on the quantity. If you really like ginger this will be right up your alley, but otherwise I'd suggest a cautious approach.
Posted 04 September 2010 - 04:50 PM
It's very exciting for me to see my food made by others -- and made so beautifully. Thank you!
Posted 04 September 2010 - 07:17 PM
My boyfriend is a chef and does all the cooking but since fall is around the corner and the horrific NYC heat will be GONE, I will be a little more motivated. Yay! Chris, these photos are AMAZING. You guys never disappoint.
Posted 05 September 2010 - 04:24 PM
I made the salted butter break-ups today. I was sad that 1 tsp of Morton's kosher salt left them not salty. Sadly I remembered after I made them that I do in fact have some sel gris, but it seems pretty coarse. Does that sound right? I will definitely try them again with the grey salt, as they were delicious and I love the break-apart nature of the cookie.
Posted 05 September 2010 - 04:52 PM
I've never made "chicken in a pot," or at least never quite like this, with the dough sealing the edges of the dutch oven. Here's what that looks like without the lid, on its way into the oven:
Joining the chicken in that pot are the usual raft of vegetables (carrots, onions, celery) as well as four heads of (unpeeled) garlic, and half of a lemon's worth of preserved lemon rind. You give everything a quick sear over high heat, then combine into the pot with white wine and stock, seal it up, and bake it at 450°F for 55 minutes. It comes out looking like this:
I was a little unclear on how to serve it, given the amount of liquid in the bottom of the pot, and the whole unpeeled garlic cloves in the vegetable mix. In the end I just put all the vegetables on a plate with a piece of chicken and spooned a little of the "sauce" over the top:
In general, the chicken was pretty overcooked (a thermometer into the breast read 175°F), so the first adjustment given my oven and my chicken is that it can't be cooked for 55 minutes. In addition, eating around the unpeeled garlic was annoying, so next time I'll pull it out before serving. And finally, the chicken didn't really wind up infused with any of the flavors of the surrounding liquid, so next time I think I'll strain it out and reduce it some, and actually serve it as a real sauce: that's where the flavor of the preserved lemon really comes to the fore.
Edited by Chris Hennes, 05 September 2010 - 04:56 PM.
Clicked "post" instead of "preview". Doh!
Posted 06 September 2010 - 10:10 AM
Posted 06 September 2010 - 05:08 PM
French Lentils: A Basic Recipe (pp. 367–368)
The port roast in this case is stuffed with a mixture of swiss chard, onions, garlic, and raisins. It's then tied up, rubbed with cracked black pepper and coriander, and roasted. Here is the stuffing:
And here it is wrapped up and ready for the oven:
My wife prefers things cooked a little more on the "well done" side, so I cooked the roast to 150°F. Here it is sliced:
I served it with the basic lentil recipe on page 367:
As you can see, I topped it with rather bountiful quantities of a grainy dijon mustard, one of my favorite accompaniments for pork. Both of these recipes are clear winners in my book: the pork stuffing was delicious, and the rub of coriander and pepper on the surface a perfect accompaniment. I especially loved the raisins, which add great nuggets of sweetness when you bite into one. The lentils are finished with cognac and a shallot, a nice touch, I thought. I highly recommend that if you are unsure what to make first from this book, add these two recipes to your short list.
Posted 08 September 2010 - 05:05 PM
This was a wonderful braise, especially on a rainy fall day like today: it made the whole house smell good, it looks great on the plate, and the sweet-and-savory combination is one of my favorites. My wife suggests that this would be a great dish to serve guests because it's just "exotic" enough to be unusual (here in the States, anyway), without the flavors coming across as too outlandish for the not-so-adventurous. I'll probably cut the apricots in quarters next time: while the whole apricots looks nice, you have to cut them to eat. Otherwise, this one is just about perfect.
Posted 08 September 2010 - 08:40 PM
Posted 09 September 2010 - 05:09 AM
I'm curious,did you make the dish in a tagine pan or a Dutch oven? (It works well in both.)
Posted 10 September 2010 - 07:36 AM
Like Chris's comment about the apricots, I cut up the chicken and the prunes into bite-sized pieces just for ease of serving and eating. That, together with the fact that the sweet potatoes absorbed a lot of liquid overnight in the fridge, which made the whole thing more stew-like, which is totally fine with me.
Posted 10 September 2010 - 05:57 PM
First, a confession: I did not follow the recipe terribly strictly here. I really love mushrooms, cipollines, and new potatoes, so I doubled, or maybe even tripled, the quantities of those. And I kinda eyeballed the rest. So: point a) this recipe must be very forgiving, because it tasted great despite all that, and b) it's really easy to make, and for a braise, really doesn't take that long. To a certain extent that relies on using a decent quality veal: I don't think you could make this so quickly with beef or lamb. But if you've got access, and especially if it's starting to cool down where you live, this is another one to add to your "to try" list.
Posted 11 September 2010 - 02:12 PM
It's a fall weekend, and in my house that means football. Which means snacks. Usually small, cheesy snacks. Ergo, gougeres. Maybe not your typical football fair, and I served them with beer rather than champagne, but I think it worked... although I made them too big to they are a bit misshapen.
Posted 11 September 2010 - 02:18 PM
...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)
"Never call a stomach a tummy without good reason.” William Strunk Jr., The Elements of Style
Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog
My 2004 eG Blog
Posted 11 September 2010 - 02:51 PM
AAAAAAAAARGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH Amazon.ca keeps saying my copy is ready to ship but still I wait!
Anna, I am having an identical experience with Amazon in the US!
Posted 11 September 2010 - 03:05 PM
And to "the bookless": Sorry to hear about Amazon. I had heard that Amazon US had sold out, but it never listed the book 'out of stock,' so who knows? I hope you get your books soon and, of course and most of all, I hope when you get them you'll like them.
Posted 11 September 2010 - 04:36 PM
Osso Buco à l'Arman (pp. 270–272)
Another photogenic braise. This is a very interesting Osso Buco in that it is very heavily flavored with orange zest: in the braising liquid, in the rice, and in the gremolata. Since I think of lemon as being the more "classic" flavor this was a welcome change, and worked very nicely with the other flavors in the dish.
Posted 11 September 2010 - 04:52 PM
I'm about to make the Mediterranean Swordfish, but seeing your osso buco (and seeing as how chilly it got here all of the sudden), I'm wishing I were chez you for dinner.
Posted 12 September 2010 - 06:25 PM
Chicken Basquaise (pp. 210–211)
This is another braise that I don't think would be out of place on any American table: think "chicken and peppers" (there is a bit more refinement here, of course). I was unclear on how spicy the piment d'Espelette is supposed to be: I have a couple homemade chile powders, so I just used one of them, since I couldn't source the piment here in town. Naturally, I chose a spicy (capsaicin-wise) powder made from thai bird chiles—it was delicious, and very fiery. I loved how it worked in the dish, but then again, I love spicy foods. I served this with white rice, and did not make the egg version in the "Bonne Idée" sidebar. Here it is:
Posted 13 September 2010 - 02:50 PM
Posted 13 September 2010 - 03:16 PM
I, personally, have been cooking less because I have been eating less (have lost 32 lbs in the last 4 months) and I have in the past usually thrilled my family with foods I loved. Poor family must now just scrounge on their own with store bought stuff. Now that I have my eating demons in check, I may be able to start cooking more again. I think I have learned that I just need to eat less? Looking forward to cooking from this cookbook. I certainly have loved cooking from other of Dorie's cookbooks!
Posted 13 September 2010 - 05:16 PM
Bubble-top Brioches (pp. 494–497)
No, I did not bump up the saturation in that photo, it really is that green. When I put it on the table my wife commented that it "looked like it came out of a bag in a sci-fi movie." I shouted "Soylent Green is PEOPLE!!!" but I don't think she was amused. I know, it's not exactly spring here, or even the depth of winter: it's late summer, but I had a bunch of arugula and spinach in the fridge, so I figured I'd give this one a shot. For the most part it was successful, but was a bit heavy on the tarragon: I find measuring herbs in these quantities (fractions of cups) to be notoriously challenging: I know the publisher doesn't like to see weights, but I think for something like this it would really help. The brioche were lovely, of course, though as you can see I omitted the egg wash (no reason, just laziness).
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