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


Chris Hennes
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Tzatziki, p, 24

Basque Potato Tortilla, p. 142

This post doesnt have much wow factor, but is a testament to how one can pull together a quick, light, tasty meal when you get home late, have an empty fridge, but still want something home cooked that isn't pasta. This was last night.

The tzatziki is something I make often during summer. Super quick to prep, but it needs a little time for the salt to pull moisture from the cucumbers. In the meantime, you can make the tortilla.

Dories recipe for tzatziki is identical to mine, so this more of an endorsement of her recipe. I really like the fresh herbs, especially the mint, that she specifies. Served with pita chips and a glass of wine, its a great appetizer. For those times when I want a more substantial version, I crumble some feta into the mixtureyum.

DSCF0301.JPG

The tortilla is simple to put together. Usually I use boiled potatoes, but this time tried Dories method of sautéing cubed potatoes with the onion. It saved me some time and the browned potatoes added good flavor and texture to the final tortilla. The one you see here is a mini version of Dories, I only had 6 eggs so used fewer potatoes and a smaller pan.

DSCF0305.JPG

Voila! Home at 9:30 pm, dinner ready by 10.

DSCF0316-1.JPG


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Linda, I know you said the post didn't have much wow factor, but I don't agree: Home at 9:30; a good dinner at 10:00 -- that seems pretty wow to me!

Me too. I think your dinner looks great and the fact you had it on the table in 30 minutes is impressive

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Returned home after being away most of September to find this book waiting for me and to discover that the local farmer's market still had glorious corn, tomatoes, and basil and the the fisherman hadn't sold out of his great scallops. Making the Warm Scallop Salad with Corn, Nectarines, and Basil was like an end-of-summer celebration. I was a bit hesitant about the raw corn at first. I shouldn't have been. What a great introduction to the book.

Warm Scallop Salad (for posting).jpg

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Mike and JBN, I'm so glad to see you cooking from my cook.

Mike, you said exactly what I feel about the Endives, Apples and Grapes -- you have to make it. I'm in love with that dish.

JBN, I'm in chilly Kingston,Ontario today on the first chunk of my book tour, so seeing your corn and tomatoes made me a bit wistful. They won't be in my market when I get back, but I'm glad they were in yours.

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Chicken, Apples, and Cream à la Normande (pp. 218–219)

Another very simple sauteed chicken dish, this time with apples, onions, and mushrooms, finished with Calvados and cream. I personally would have preferred the apples cut a bit smaller (the recipe calls for 1" chunks), but otherwise the dish was quite successful.

Chicken, Apples, and Cream a la Normande.jpg

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Chris, once again your food looks beautiful. Of course, you can cut the apples smaller, if you'd like, and I'm sure small pieces would look nice witht the mushrooms and onions. I kept them a bit chunkier so that they would hold their texture a little better, but in a dish like this, it would be fine to have smaller, softer apple pieces.

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Quiche Maraîchère (p. 158)

This was unlike any quiche I have ever had: it is probably 90% vegetables by weight, with only the tiniest amount of custard holding it together. To give you some sense of proportion, here is the unbaked quiche without the custard:

Quiche Maraîchère Filling.jpg

So yeah: a LOT of vegetables. Here it is baked, fresh out of the oven:

Quiche Maraîchère Baked.jpg

And served an hour later, cooled to lukewarm:

Quiche Maraîchère Served.jpg

Wow. Fantastic. I mean, you have to love vegetables to love this quiche. But if you do, cancel dinner tomorrow and put this on the menu, it was fabulous. I made Dorie's crust from the back of the book and found it tasty, but more finicky than my usual quiche crust: I think you could probably use whatever butter-based crust recipe you are used to working with. Or maybe lard, which would probably also be good.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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IMG_0476.JPG

This is my son's plate of food including the Hurry Up and Wait Roast Chicken. I am set to go to the grocery store tomorrow and I was nearly out of food to cook. I had a frozen organic chicken though so I was able to make this very simple recipe. I have made some very complicated roast chickens (hello Zuni) and I really didn't think this would be that impressive.

It was dead easy. I put some fingerling potatoes and onion wedges in the bottom of my roasting pan. While the chicken was resting tail in the air, I made a pan sauce with the drippings. I served it with roasted carrots and a salad.

Dang. That pan sauce was beyond flavorful, even though I only used water. The chicken was moist and the combo was superb. I loved having the potatoes and onion with the sauce as well. I will be making this again, frequently!

-Becca

www.porterhouse.typepad.com

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So Dorie’s book arrived just as I was preparing to leave for Manitoulin Island. I did manage to read it cover to cover but didn’t have the opportunity to do any cooking from it. There as so many things that impress me about this latest book from Dorie but most notable is that the majority of recipes call for ingredients that are easy to find and not particularly expensive (except in the ingredient desert of Manitoulin!). Further, Dorie offers advice on what can be done ahead of time and what can be frozen for later. For a household of just two this is most appreciated.

So here on the Island I made my first recipe, the Savory Cheese and Chive Bread

click.

Chives were in short supply on the Island so I used the green parts of a bunch of scallions, my Gruyere cheese is still in my fridge down south so I subbed some nice Cabot Cheddar and I added a few sun-dried tomatoes. This was a tasty quick bread that came together in no time.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Spice-Crusted Tuna. Simple. Super quick. Very enjoyable.

I was glad I’d read her note saying that the tuna was good at room temp and that leftovers were delicious sliced and served on a green salad. I got a call I’d been waiting for all day just seconds before the fish was ready so I pulled it out of the pan and set it aside for nearly half an hour. Decided to just slice it and serve it on the salad. Good call.

This is definitely spicy. Much to my liking, but I’ll have to be careful to whom I serve it. I also think I could have cooked the fish probably 15 seconds less per side; it was pink in the center, but I would have preferred it more toward red.Spice-Crusted Tuna (for posting).jpg

Edited by JBN (log)
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So great to see so much great looking food.

Chris, I love the quiche maraichere for being more vegetable than custard and really loved your picture of the vegetables in the crust.

Becca, I'm so glad you like the chicken and so happy that you commented on how much flavor you got from the pan juices by just adding water. It's interesting to me how often the French use water where we would use a broth or stock.

Anna, the bread looks perfect -- I hope the staff like it.

JBN, the spice coating on the tuna -- as well as the doneness -- can be varied, but you know that. I'm sorry that you were called away just as dinner was almost ready, but happy that you were in the middle of preparing this dish which, as you discovered, is good at almost any temperature.

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Check here for two more dishes that I made from Dorie's book.

Edited to add a space.

Edited by Anna N (log)

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Anna, at first I was concerned, but then there was the line about the second serving : - )

No reason for concern, Dorie, it was delicious.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Spinach and Bacon Quiche (pp. 160–161)

I messed this one up, so this is a cautionary tale: make sure you roll your crust thin enough. If left too thick the strong buttery flavor quickly overwhelms the surprisingly delicate flavors of the spinach and it gets lost. Even the bacon seems subtle compared to the heavily-browned, super-buttery crust. Oops. I just didn't take enough care here, figuring this was a surefire winner and not worrying about the little details. Yes, I managed to screw up a spinach and bacon quiche... I bow my head in shame.

Spinach and Bacon Quiche Whole.jpg

Spinach and Bacon Quiche Served.jpg

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Here's a link to the speculoos cookies that I made. I heard they disappeared rather quickly at the clinic in Wiki.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Curried Chicken, Peppers, and Peas en Papillote (p. 221)

Cardamom Rice Pilaf (p. 382)

I know I've said that some of the above recipes were easy, but this one takes the prize: 30 minutes start-to-eating, 20 of which are spent in the oven. The flavor will be almost completely dependent on the curry powder you use, so make sure to find one you like. I made it with a spicy one, but I'm sure it would be fine with something a bit less so. The cardamom rice pilaf was a perfect accompaniment, though I found it slightly too moist for my tastes. I also had a bit of trouble getting this to plate up neatly: the chicken in the packets tended to clump together a bit. Dorie, do you have a solution to this? Try to put it in the packet more loosely next time, maybe?

Curried Chicken, Peppers, and Peas.jpg

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Here's a truely poor photo of the spiced butter-glazed carrots on page 335

GEDC0284.JPG

along with a stuffed bell pepper - one of my husband's favorites. They were exoticly flavored, easy and delicious. I love the cardomom seeds - they add a new twist and lovely aroma. I did add a touch of brown sugar as my carrots were not the sweetest.

I'm going to try the veal marengo next week.

Can't wait to meet you, Dorie, in Houston on the 21st!!

Stop Family Violence

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Anna N -- I'm so glad you made the Speculoos. Since that's the recipe with the Errata (for those of you who don't know: you must beat 1 large egg into the butter and sugar mixture before adding the dry ingredients), I'm spooked about it. It's a cookie I love, but the missing egg has made me nuts!

Chris -- I'm not sure why your chicken clumped together,it's an issue I"ve never had. Perhaps you did pack it too tightly -- you need to leave puff space in the papillote. Hmm. Stumped.

Dana -- happy you liked the carrots. And I'm glad that you added a little brown sugar on your own because you thought your carrots weren't so sweet. It's so important to taste and make adjustments, because it's impossible for an author to know the quality of a cook's ingredients. Nice work!

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I made the Creamy, Cheesy, Garlicky Rice with Spinach to serve with a hunk of protein, but from here on in it's going to be a main course. Comfort food par excellence. My garlic cloves may have been small, or too fresh, or something. I've made a note to try the recipe with 3 instead of two.

Creamy, Cheesy, Rice (for posting).jpg

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