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Chris Hennes

Cooking with Dorie Greenspan's "Around my French Table"

196 posts in this topic

Photogenic, indeed -- Chris, it looks fabulous! What a cooking week you've had.

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.

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I'm sorry to continue torturing those of you who don't have your copies yet (did I mention I love getting new cookbooks?)...

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:

Chicken Basquaise.jpg


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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I'm making the "Green as Spring Veal Stew" tonight for dinner, and have a question, just to make sure I'm not missing something: the veal is never browned, just poached. Is that correct?


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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I received the cookbook last week and had a wonderful evening perusing it. Glad to see the photos of those cooking from it and recommendations of what is truly worth trying first (though looks like most recipes are worth trying)! Thank you, Chris!

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!


Donna

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Green-as-Spring Veal Stew (pp. 262–263)

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).

Green-as-Spring Veal Stew.jpg


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Chris, I was on a train when I saw your question about poaching the veal and for reasons unknown, I got a 'can't reply' message. But clearly you didn't need me. The color is amazing, isn't it? I was just as surprised the first time I made it.

If you make it again, you can go lighter on the tarragon. It's not a wallflower herb and 1/4 cup (by volume or weight) is not an insignificant amount.

Your brioche is gorgeous -- I didn't miss the egg wash at all when I looked at it.

Eldereno - congratulations on losing so much weight! I think that if you look through the book, you'll find many recipes that will fit into a diet. But you put your finger on it when you mentioned portion size. The French are very careful about portion size -- I read somewhere that, on average, French portions are one-third the size of American portions! -- so maybe you just need to cook from the book and say you're on a French diet :- )

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My copy arrived today and I'm really pleased. The book has a good array of classics, classics with a twist, and innovative recipes that you won't generally find in French cookbooks. Great photos, too.

I'd expected to steer clear of the classics for now--been there, done that, so I thought. But the recipe that has me most excited is that for the Red Kuri Soup. If I'm lucky enough to be in France during fall or winter, potimarron soup is one of my favorites and I order it whenever I see it on a menu. I make butternut squash soup, but it isn't at all the same. The red kuris have just started to appear at my local farmers market. I'm not quite ready to give up the last tomatoes and green beans of the season, but when I do, this classic will be the first thing I make.

What is with the recipes with corn? Are French markets carrying fresh corn these days? Sacre bleu!



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Fresh Orange Pork Tenderloin (p. 273)

Go-With-Everything Celery Root Puree (p. 354)

This could hardly have been simpler or more delicious. I was a little unclear on what shape my pieces of pork tenderloin were supposed to wind up (cutting a small tenderloin into four pieces along its axis yielded roughly cube-shaped pieces of pork). The pork is seared over high heat, then the pan deglazed with orange juice. Onions, orange zest, and cardamom are added, a lid is put on, and the dish is gently simmered for ten minutes. It's finished with a few supremes of orange, and served over a bed of celery root puree (which was also excellent). The whole process takes around half hour, so this is a great weeknight meal option.

Fresh Orange Pork Tenderloin.jpg


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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LindaK -- I'm in Connecticut and haven't seen Red Kuri yet, but today it's certainly cool enough to want to have Beatrice's potimarron (or Red Kuri) soup. I hope you get to make it soon.

Chris -- as always, your food looks beautiful. The combination of fresh oranges and cardamom for a French pork dish is not usual, but I love the brightness of it. I'm glad you liked it, too.

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Béatrix's Red Kuri Soup, p, 78

I told myself that I'd wait until fall to make this soup, but yesterday was cold, damp, and dreary. And I had picked up a red kuri squash from the farmers market a couple of days before. So, reader, I had to.

DSCF0265.JPG

Delicious! This is one of my favorite soups and this recipe did not disappoint. It was perfect as is, though I will admit that, being accustomed to restaurant and bistro versions that must use cream to add richness, I added a liitle more milk and a couple of tablespoons of butter (no cream in the house) to the full recipe. But it's hardly necessary. I topped each serving with a bit of creme fraiche and some croutons, as is traditional, and served it with a salad of arugula and the last of my garden tomatoes, and of course some bread and wine.

This soup has to be one of the easiest recipes I've made in a long time. Get this: you don't have to peel a kuri squash, despite it being a hard squash. Once you cut out the seeds, you cube it, simmer it, and puree it, skin and all. I would never have guessed. Thanks for the conseil, Dorie!



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LindaK -- our messages must have crossed in the ether! I am so, so happy that you made the soup and that it was just what you wanted. And so, so jealous too -- I'd love to have a bowl of it now. And I wouldn't mind some of that gorgeous tomato salad that's peeking out from behind. It would make Beatrix so happy to see her soup being made in America --- I'm going to send her the link now.

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Dorie, the only thing wrong with that soup is that it made me "homesick" for Paris and the little restaurants that serve it. I've tried to replicate it over the years with various squash and pumpkins, to no avail--I didn't know it was a red kuri. Merci mille fois, Béatrix.



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Liinda, I didn't know it was red kuri either. I had made the soup and other dishes with potimarron over the years in Paris and then, one day, I returned to Connecticut and saw a squash that I'd used for decoration and the lightbulb went off. That squash was a red kuri and it was exactly the same as potimarron. I was thrilled!

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Linda, that looks fantastic. It may be 85°F here today, but to hell with it, I'm making soup for lunch...

Celery-Celery Soup (pp. 65)

This is another easier-than-pie pureed soup: you basically just simmer the vegetables in chicken stock until cooked (under a half hour), puree, and serve. The sweetness of the apple and celery root were nice, and I really liked the addition of the curried croutons (I made mine with the leftover brioche from last weekend) as suggested in the "bonne idées" sidebar. And yeah, I put on a LOT of croutons, I love the things. I really love celery, and wouldn't change a thing in this recipe: if it's cool where you live (and if you like celery... I know some don't) I strongly recommend making this soup.

Celery-Celery Soup.jpg


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Aleppo is a decent sub for Espelette, often easier to find and less expensive. Although I do love Pd'E, it's med spicy and pretty aromatic, it's usually ground just a little coarser than most chile powders as well.

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Hachis Parmentier (pp. 258–259)

I meant to serve this last night, but neglected to survey my potato situation beforehand. Fortunately the recipe mentions a couple good stopping points, so I simmered the beef yesterday and then finished it today. I used Mexican Chorizo (the only sausage in the house at the moment), which I suspect is not exactly traditional here. And I used beef stock rather than bouillon. So, I guess this is more like "Inspired by Dorie" rather than actually the exact recipe in the book. Nevertheless, it's hard to go wrong with tender beef and good sausage topped with mashed potatoes and gruyere. This recipe was a bit more involved than some of the others in this chapter, but its still great for a fall weekend, and not difficult: just a bit more time-consuming.

Hachis Parmentier Whole.jpg

Hachis Parmentier Sliced.jpg


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Made the Pumpkin and Blue Cheese Flan as part of brunch for myself and family this morning. Loved that it was easy, pretty low in carbs and very much appreciated by all those who ate it. My first, but not last, recipe from this beautiful cookbook!007.JPG

edited to add how easy this recipe is!


Edited by eldereno (log)

Donna

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eldereno, that flan is definitely on my short list, it looks and sounds fantastic!


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Both the Hachis Parmentier and the Pumpkin-Gorgonzola Flans look terrific. It's funny, I was in Washington, DC last week taping a segment for NPR/All Things Considered and we made the Hachis Parmentier in host Michele Norris's kitchen. And then, last night, I was debating between the flans and coddled eggs and the eggs won. Great minds, etc...

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Buckwheat Blini with Smoked Salmon and Crème Fraiche, p 172.

My offering for a potluck brunch today was batch of Dorie’s blini with smoked salmon. Very easy and the buckwheat flavor was delicious and a nice change of pace with the salmon. I didn’t fuss much with them, just crème fraiche, capers, and chives. But I can easily see dressing them up for a party.

Here’s a tray of them before they were whisked off to their demise.

blini.JPG

The one tricky part is making them uniformly round. As you can see, I didn’t really succeed. Anyone have any tips there?



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Linda, I'm not a perfectly-round kind of cook, but if you really wanted to fuss over the blini, you could make sure that you were using the same amount for each little pancake and you could even use rings to keep them in shape. The other, easier way, is to use a blini pan. but, I think yours look tempting just the way they are. I'm so glad you and your friends enjoyed them!

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I would probably use muffin rings or blini pans also - but my muffing rings are larger than the size I prefer for blini.

Truly, I don't think anyone is going to notice that some of the blini are not perfectly round. The results shown in your photo are lovely and look extremely appetizing.

I prepared the Salted Butter Break-Ups yesterday and my results were beyond my expectations.

I did use the sel gris. Lord knows I have plenty of salt in my "collection" and the only problem was deciding which one to use - some have larger crystals than others - I chose a medium size.

I have to confess that I cheated with crosshatching the top. I just used one of my cooling racks to press into the top.

I also tried an experiment/addition - I scattered a few flakes of Cyprus black sea salt over the top just before it went into the oven.

The flaky crystals retained their shape and added just a tiny brittle crunch to the cookie. I really don't know what came over me. Ordinarily the first time I prepare a recipe I don't change a thing. Must have been my alter ego in control for that moment. I hope Dorie is not offended by my "tweak" of this lovely cookie.

I would have taken a photo but although I have my camera, the memory card is absent as I took a lot of photos at a birthday party for the child of one of my neighbors on Saturday and left the card with her to transfer the pics to her computer.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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I made that veal marengo again for dinner tonight, though out of necessity I changed the garnishes: instead of potatoes I served it over egg noodles, and instead of onions I made brussels sprouts. I also cooked the mushrooms using the "wet and crowded" technique from Cooking Issues rather than the more conventional technique in the book. All of this worked quite well, in particular the mushrooms. If you aren't familiar with that technique, you can check it out here. It's as easy as can be, and really results in wonderful mushrooms.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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