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FrogPrincesse

Cooking from "Sunday Suppers at Lucques" by Suzanne Goin

56 posts in this topic

This wonderful book does not have a dedicated thread yet but does deserve one. One of the things I like about the book is its use of seasonal produce. Obviously I am very lucky to live in California and have access to the items that the recipes call for. Some of her favorite vendors mentioned in the book are even vendors at my local farmers' markets! (Schaner Farms for example).

The book is organized by season and has a number of menus (for 6 people). I rarely prepare the whole menu but it's good to have ideas of dishes that go well together. I found that if I followed the recipes as written, including all the accompaniments, the recipes were somewhat involved but not overly difficult, and led to exceptional results. So I try to follow her recipes as is for dinner parties. However, for everyday cooking I do tend to simplify the recipes a little, meaning that I don't prepare every component of the dish or shorten the times required to marinate meats, for example.

Last month I made the Grilled Duck Breasts with Roasted Grapes. The duck breasts are seasoned with juniper berries and thyme and then very simply cooked on the grill, which I had never done before and resulted in very flavorful meat and crispy skin (and also much less mess as I am used to when cooking duck breast on the stove). I used a muscovy duck breast which was quite large (about a pound) and ideal for this preparation as it stayed very moist. The grapes are roasted in the oven. In the book she serves this dish with crème fraîche and a potato-bacon gratin. This was a weeknight dinner, so I opted to skip that part to stay on the somewhat lighter side. Instead, I served it with roasted chestnuts on the side.

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The full recipe is available here.

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A couple of weeks ago, I bought a Kabocha squash and was looking for something new to make with it, after trying David Lebovitz's excellent pie and a number of different soup recipes. I first heard about Kabocha in Sunday Suppers at Lucques. In the book, before going into the seasonal menus, she discusses her favorite ingredients for each season and explains that Kabocha is one of her favorite varieties of winter squash because it's so flavorful. I decided to make her "Pumpkin" Cake with Pecan Streusel. It is inspired by traditional pumpkin pies but she recommends using Kabocha or butternut squash (hence the quotation marks), which are less watery than pumpkin.

It's a cake, so there is no crust per se. However the batter hardens at the bottom of the pan and forms a type of crust. The cake is flavored with traditional spices such as cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and also vanilla bean and honey. I will likely use vanilla extract next time as I found that the vanilla bean got lost in the mix, and prefer to reserve vanilla bean for applications where it is better showcased.

My mold was a 9-inch mold instead of the 10-inch specified in the recipe, so the cake was a little thick. The topping gave a nice crunch to the cake.

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The recipe is currently available on Google books, here.

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On the dinner thread a while back I talked about her phenomenal burger recipe, the Grilled Pork Burgers that I've nicknamed triple pork burgers. It's impossible to go wrong with ground pork, chorizo, and diced bacon. Also the seasoning mix of sautéed shallots and garlic, roasted cumin, thyme, parsley, and chile de arbol is especially flavorful. Then she tops the burger with Manchego cheese (which I was not familiar with before the book and now love), arugula for a touch of bitterness, and aioli (my husband decided he preferred barbecue sauce so that's what you see on the picture). They are juicy and super flavorful.

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The recipe is available here on Google books.

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A dish that seems a propos for the colder weather we are currently experiencing in San Diego: Corned Beef and Cabbage with Parsley-Mustard Sauce.

Earlier in the year I made a corned brisket for Charcutepalooza. After it was fully cured, I prepared it according to the recipe in Sunday Supper at Lucques. The beef is slowly cooked with the aromatics (onions, cloves, bay leaves, thyme, chiles de arbol). Then it is removed from the broth and crisped in the oven before it is sliced. She cooks the vegetables (carrots, turnips, potatoes, cabbage) in the broth, but separately from the beef, to make sure that they are not overdone, with the potatoes cooked first. The parsley-mustard sauce, which also contains shallots and vinegar, adds a bright note to the dish and reminds me of the whole grain mustard we traditionally serve in France with pot-au-feu.

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Complete recipe here on Google books.

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Another hearty dish: the Lamb Osso Bucco. Lamb osso bucco or shank can be used. The preparation requires a little planning since the lamb needs to be marinated overnight with garlic, thyme, lemon zest, rosemary, black pepper, and olive oil. It is seared the next day, then braised in the oven with white wine, stock, and vegetables (onion, carrots, fennel). At the end, she removes the meat from the liquid and turns up the temperature to brown it.

I deviated from the recipe in the final garnish and used gremolata when she calls for tapenade (my husband does not care for tapenade). Also I ran out of steam for the preparation of the accompaniments as this was just a very nice weeknight meal. She serves the lamb on top of a ragout of haricot verts and fresh shell beans, which sound lovely for what she presents as a summer recipe. However, since I made the recipe in the fall, I served it with boiled new potatoes.

The meat was really spectacular.

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Recipe here on Google books.

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Thanks for sharing the lovely dishes you have prepared from the book. I am working on my Christmas list so this is giving me delicious "food for thought".

Here is an eGullet friendly link to the book on Amazon.

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Thanks Heidi. I think you would be very happy with this book, especially knowing that you live in LA.

In the book, she has several recipes for savory tarts which are variations of the Alsatian tarte flambée, or Flammenküche. These are easy to put together as long as you have puff pastry in your freezer. (I realize that traditional Flammenküche does not use puff pastry, but this is a nice twist).

Young Onion Tart with Cantal and Applewood-Smoked Bacon

The bacon (I used home-cured bacon) is fried in a little olive oil with young onions and thyme. A mixture of crème fraîche, ricotta (I used homemade), and egg yolk are spread onto the puff pastry, then slices of Cantal cheese are added and finally the bacon mixture.

This makes a great appetizer to share, or a light meal with a green salad.

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Here is another savory tart recipe, the Swiss Chard Tart with Goat Cheese.

I made it for my foodblog back in July. I used feta instead of goat cheese. It's an excellent use of chard that I often get in my CSA in the summer. In the recipe she garnishes the tart with a pine nut and currant relish before serving.

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Recipe here on Google books.

I made it as a gratin as well instead of a tart, and it was delicious too.

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Speaking about Swiss chard and greens, there is another recipe in the book that makes good use of them. It's the Mussels and Clams with Vermouth, Cannellini Beans and Cavolo Nero. The flavor profile is Italian. Cavolo nero is black kale (also known as dinosaur kale), but this could work very well with other types of greens. The broth is deliciously flavored with onion, fennel, garlic, chile de arbol, rosemary, thyme, and my favorite part, dry vermouth (I use Noilly Prat) which adds an extra note of fennel/anise. Serve with plenty of crusty bread.

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Recipe here on Google books.

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No pictures unfortunately (soup is not that photogenic anyway), but I made several soups from the books that are worth mentioning.

Yellow Tomato Gazpacho

This twist on the classic gazpacho is a great summer soup. It combines yellow tomatoes and cucumber. The soup has a hint of spiciness from jalapeño peppers. A garnish of diced sweet pepper, onion, and cucumber adds crunch, together with halved red cherry tomatoes drizzled with good olive oil.

Recipe available on Food and Wine magazine here.

Chilled Red Pepper Soup with Sumac, Basil and Lemon Yoghurt

This is another chilled soup. It's interesting to see how she develops flavors from a few simple ingredients. The onion is cooked slowly, then the peppers are added and caramelized with sugar and sumac. Water is added and the soup is simmered for a while. The soup is garnished with basil (she specifies opal but regular basil is fine too), and yoghurt mixed with lemon juice.

Kabocha Squash and Fennel Soup with Crème Fraîche and Candied Pumpkin Seeds

The soup is made from roasted squash and fennel bulb. The aromatics are fennel seeds, onion, thyme, chile de arbol. For the liquid she uses chicken stock and sherry. The garnish is crème fraîche and candied pumpkin seeds. I could not get the pumpkin seeds to candy properly (they were very hard and unpleasant so I ended up not using them). Even without them, the soup was very nice. I served it for Thanksgiving last year.

Recipe here on Google books.

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Moving on to salads.

My favorite salad of the moment is the Persimmon and Pomegranate Salad with Arugula and Hazelnuts.

I've become addicted to persimmons thanks to this recipe (and so has my family). They are a wonderful surprise in this salad. She uses a mix of shallots, hazelnut and olive oils, rice and sherry vinegars for a very flavorful dressing. The pomegranate seeds and toasted hazelnuts add texture. The flavor is a mix of sweet (persimmon), tart (pomegranate), peppery (arugula). It's a wonderful winter salad. I can't get enough of it.

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Recipe link.

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Another salad from Sunday Suppers at Lucques that we really enjoyed is the Roasted Pear Salad with Endive, Hazelnuts and St. Agur.

In typical fashion for this book, the instructions and attention to detail for this recipe are almost extreme. It's only a salad but it is a fairly involved/lengthy procedure requiring toasting the hazelnuts; roasting the pears in butter and thyme until golden brown; incorporating a portion of the roasted pears into the dressing together with a combination she uses in other salad recipes (see above): shallots, sherry and rice vinegars, grapeseed and hazelnut oils; etc.

She even describes how and in what order to arrange the various ingredients to compose the final salad. The result is that each step is designed to maximize the flavors and in the end it is really worth the effort.

Here is a picture.

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I really enjoyed the combination of arugula, endive, pear, hazelnuts and blue cheese. The St Agur works very well with the roasted pears as it is a little less assertive than Roquefort that is often paired with endive. This creation can be seen as a twist on the classic French salad of endive, Roquefort and walnuts.

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Another salad from Sunday Suppers at Lucques that we really enjoyed is the Roasted Pear Salad with Endive, Hazelnuts and St. Agur.

......

This is one that really called out to me from the book. I bought the pears and the cheese and the nuts and then life interfered. :laugh: I ate the pears and the cheese - still have the nuts! Must try again. Thanks for sharing.


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)

"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

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Although not currently seasonal, here is another salad from the book that I made for my Foodblog last summer: Summer Fruit Salad with Arugula and Marcona Almonds.

I used peaches, but any stone fruit such as nectarines or plums would work too. For the berries I used raspberries. The dressing is made with olive oil, sherry vinegar, shallots. Similar to the roasted pear salad, she incorporates some of the fruit into the dressing as a puree.

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I love Marcona almonds. I discovered them at a restaurant last year and was very excited when I found them at Trader Joe's!

Recipe here.

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To round up the salad recipes, there are others that I tried that I wanted to mention, even though I don't have any pictures.

Barbara's apples and Asian pears with radicchio, mint and buttermilk dressing

The Asian pears are a nice surprise because they look like apples at first until you start biting into them. The dressing was very good (although the yield was off - I would reduce quantities to 50% or less).

Coleman Farm's treviso with Gorgonzola, walnuts and saba

Radicchio/blue cheese/nuts is a classic combination. She uses an olive oil/lemon juice/shallot dressing. The saba which is drizzled on top is a wonderful addition which adds sweetness to balance the bitterness of the treviso.

Dad's steakhouse salad: early girl tomatoes, red onion and Roquefort

Heirloom tomato salad with burrata, torn croutons and opal basil

The red wine vinegar/balsamic dressing she uses for these tomato salads really works. I never thought about using them together. I love highly acidic salad dressings but having the balsamic there helps bring out the sweetness in the tomatoes.

Lobster chopped salad with fava beans, cherry tomatoes, avocado, corn and applewood-smoked bacon

This is the real standout. It's a delicious salad that feels luxurious with the large quantities of lobster. I didn't use fava beans because I was having a hard time finding them (additionally I noticed that they were not included in the ingredient list, only the recipe title). When I made this salad last summer I used the best produce I could find together with some home-cured bacon. The corn is cooked in the bacon fat which adds another layer of flavor. Really wonderful. This is a good first course for dinner parties as most of the prep can be done in advance. It works well with a light main course (I served it with steamed clams).

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While I don't own the book, "Orecchiette w/ Braised Kale & Cauliflower" is a favorite in our house. I'm vegetarian, so we leave out the anchovies. It sounds simple, but each element (the currants, the nuts, the chili) really adds something. I plumped the currants in vinegar before adding to the dish this time, and I liked the result.


Edited by Will (log)

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Will, that recipe sounds wonderful. Just to make sure, is it this recipe: "Torchio with cauliflower, cavolo nero, currants and pine nuts"?

It was not really on my radar screen but now that you mentioned it, I may have to try it soon!

A lot of her recipes have multiple components that make the dish special and build a lot of flavor. The recipes work without them but are not quite as memorable that way.

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There is a recipe that I make regularly now, it's the Braised Beef Brisket with Beluga Lentils.

I had never heard about brisket until I moved to the US. I was always intrigued by it but had no idea what it tasted like. I don't even know how to say brisket in French (poitrine maybe?). Anyway, the recipe seemed simple enough so I decided to give it a go. I make it over 3 days but there is very little work involved each day.

The brisket (with a layer of fat still on - she specifies to keep 1/2 in) is rubbed with a mixture of spices (including lots of black pepper, chile arbol, thyme, bay leaves, garlic) and left to marinate overnight.

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The next day, I brown the brisket (with the garlic and chiles set aside and added for the braise) in large Le Creuset pot. Then I cook the chopped vegetables in the same pot (carrots, celery, onions), deglaze with balsamic vinegar, add beef stock and beer (a stout such as Guinness works best), reduce the liquids, then finally add the brisket and transfer the covered pot into the oven to braise for 4-6 hours.

The browned brisket with the liquids reducing

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The brisket after 5 hours

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Then the brisket is allowed to cool and transferred to the fridge. I store the sauce separately and defat at that point.

To serve it, the brisket is sliced and reheated in a hot oven in the sauce. The slices are spread into a single layer in a baking dish, covered with the sauce, and reheated until slightly caramelized. This step is key as it transforms the meat and adds even more flavor. The rest of the sauce is reheated separately on the stove.

She serves the brisket with lentils and I like to use Puy lentils. Her preparation is straight-forward with some onions, thyme, and chile arbol. She adds basil at the end (I use mint when I cannot find basil), which brightens up the flavors. I adopted this practice and every time I prepare lentils I make sure to use plenty of fresh herbs. If I eat the leftover lentils on their own, I like to add some red wine vinegar as well. (I love lentils.)

I made the horseradish cream that is served on the side; it’s a simple mixture of crème fraiche and horseradish. She also includes a salsa verde as an accompaniment but I haven’t tried that one (talking about shortcuts!).

Here is the plated dish.

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Here is the plated dish.

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FrogPrincesse, it looks really delicious.

I had never heard about brisket until I moved to the US. I was always intrigued by it but had no idea what it tasted like. I don't even know how to say brisket in French (poitrine maybe?). Anyway, the recipe seemed simple enough so I decided to give it a go. I make it over 3 days but there is very little work involved each day.

I like the long recipe with little work. I should give it a try. I always buy poitrine of pork or veal. At my butcher's shop they always have on display the plat-de-côtes maybe I should ask for the poitrine.

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Will, that recipe sounds wonderful. Just to make sure, is it this recipe: "Torchio with cauliflower, cavolo nero, currants and pine nuts"?

Yup - looks like that's the one (orecchiette is mentioned as an alternative in the book, apparently). The one downside is that, for something that ends up coming across as a "one pot" meal, it does involve a bit of work.

I also really like another cavalo nero / lacinato kale recipe of hers, as served at A.O.C.:

http://www.latimes.com/features/la-fow-sos28-2009jan28,0,3039776.story

When done properly, the texture is a bit chewy, while still being tender. If you blanch the greens too long, it may end up being too soft.

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Good golly that brisket is gorgeous.


"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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Franci and Kouign Aman,

Thank you for the nice comments! My husband, the amateur photographer, did a pretty good job with what is not a terribly photogenic dish (brown on brown...).

Franci, if you try beef poitrine I don't think you will be disappointed, especially if you already like plat-de-côtes (short ribs).

I tried a couple of fish dishes recently. I get really good quality fish from Catalina Offshore in San Diego so I am always looking for new ways to prepare it.

Sautéed Halibut with Arugula and Roasted Beets

I used mixed baby beets from my CSA that I roasted in the oven. In the meantime, the fish marinated with the herbs (thyme and parsley). I substituted lemon confit for the fresh lemons in the recipe for a more intense flavor. The fish was local black gill rockcod (caught off La Jolla!).

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The fish was cooked on the stove in olive oil. It was served on top of arugula (also from my CSA) and the roasted beets. I wanted something light so I opted to omit the horseradish crème that can be drizzled on the beets and the fish. Instead, I just seasoned everything with a little bit of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice.

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Halibut with Fingerlings, Fava Beans, Meyer Lemons and Savory Crème Fraîche

This is a dish from the spring menus. It's not yet the season for fava beans but I had gorgeous little Russian banana fingerling potatoes and a couple of Meyer lemons from my CSA so the recipe caught my eye.

First I made the Meyer lemon salsa, using some of the juice and segments from the Meyer lemons combined with shallots and let to rest, then adding olive oil and plenty of herbs. I used mint and parsley and skipped the savory as I didn't have any.

The savory crème fraîche was made by pounding more fresh herbs with a pestle and stirring in the crème fraîche. The recipe calls for savory again but I used dill from my weekly CSA. On a side note, I usually don't care much for dill, but this bunch had the most amazing and delicate fragrance.

I cooked the potatoes for a short time in my pressure cooker (about 5 min). Then I smashed them slightly with a fork and cooked them on the stove in plenty of butter.

Similar to the recipe in my previous post, the fish is marinated in herbs and lemon rind (I used fresh lemons this time), then seared in olive oil. The fish was a local white seabass.

For plating, the potatoes are drizzled with the cream and salsa, then the fish is placed on top with more of the cream and salsa. The cream melted almost instantly into a very lucious sauce. I thought this was a clever way to serve a cream-based sauce with fish, much easier than the traditional beurre blanc.

In the end the dish really came beautifully together. I really loved the flavors in this recipe.

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Edited by FrogPrincesse (log)

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Last week I bought moro blood oranges. I really like this variety; they have a beautiful dark red color, almost black, and a great flavor. I use them a lot in cocktails.

Blood Oranges, Dates, Parmesan and Almonds

In this salad, arugula, dates, pinwheels of blood oranges, thin slices of parmesan, and toasted almonds are layered on a plate. The salad is dressed with a drizzle of almond oil, a little bit of juice from the blood oranges, fleur de sel and black pepper.

The dates were a key element in the salad as they balanced the peppery taste from the arugula and the acidity of the oranges. This was very simple to make and absolutely delicious.

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