Friday, January 28, 2011

Chicken B'Stilla for French Fridays with Dorie

I first had chicken b'stilla at a Moroccan restaurant in D.C. many, many ... okay, many ...  years ago, and (culinary naif that I was) I thought it was quite the exotic dish. For one thing, I had never before experienced cinnamon in a savory preparation, something I now know is fairly common to many North African and Middle Eastern cuisines. For another thing, the fragrant herbs and spices, particularly the saffron, were not tastes that I was used to.

Alas, shortly after I ate there, I heard a rumor (from a very reliable source!)  that  - how shall I put it? is this a family blog? - certain types of explicit adult films were shot in the very same restaurant space after hours. I'm no prude, but the visual of what may or may not have been occurring on the very table upon which I had blissfully and innocently enjoyed my b'stilla was enough to prevent me from ever going back.





Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Rosemary & Garlic Tomato Soup with Cheesy Focaccine

Poppa Trix has declared that January is Soup Month in the Trix household, and he's not kidding. So far this month, I've posted a roast chestnut and butternut squash veloute, Paris mushroom soup for French Fridays with Dorie, and now this - which, by the way, I've made twice. You don't even know about the pumpkin and yogurt soup I whipped up (but forgot to write down what went into it), or the fact that I made garlic cream soup (Knoblauchcremesuppe)  for lunch the other day from an instant Knorr's soup packet from Austria.

It's a sickness, I'm telling you.





Friday, January 21, 2011

Double Chocolate Mousse Cake for French Fridays with Dorie

I'm just going to come right out and say it: This is one ugly cake. Just look at it - short of a faux antique paint job on a chest of drawers, how many visually appealing things can you think of that are covered in hard, crackly wrinkles?





Saturday, January 15, 2011

Savory Salmon Mousse Eclair "Hot Dogs" for the International Incident Hot Dogs Party


iip-hotdog

Welcome to the very first International Incident Party of the year, hosted as always by the effervescent and lovely Penny aka Jeroxie. But before I talk about what I've brought to the party, I'd like to direct you to her post about the Queensland floods. Many of you reading this may have friends or family affected by the tragedy; for those of us in North America this may bring back memories of Hurricane Katrina and the  ensuing devastation to the Gulf Coast. If you'd like to help, Penny's post outlines some things of the things that you can do - no matter where in the world you are. So please make sure to check it out.

And now, on to my dish. You may be wondering what savory eclairs and salmon mousse have to do with hot dogs.  But, when you break it down, what is a hot dog, really? It's simply ground meat with seasonings on a tube-shaped bun. And that is precisely what we have here! Plus, a hot dog is such a summery food, and I think my interpretation brings an element of picnic to what is usually a backyard barbecue kind of dish.





Friday, January 14, 2011

Gnocchi a la Parisienne for French Fridays with Dorie

Blogger Sanjana of KO Rasoi (if you don't read her blog you should!) recently jokingly referred to me as the supreme master of gnocchi. While I certainly wouldn't go so far as to call myself anything close to a master, I certainly do seem to have turned into quite the gnocchi maker of late. This is, after all, the fourth time I've done a gnocchi post. And I have a feeling it won't be the last.

First, I made sweet potato gnocchi with brown butter sage sauce; then came malfatti, lovely quenelles of Swiss chard, after a dish I loved at Al di La Trattoria in Brooklyn;  followed most recently by oh-so-light Viennese gnocchi baked in pumpkin cream. And now here we have these little dough balls again for French Fridays with Dorie, the weekly blogger event where members cook a predetermined dish from Dorie Greenspan's book Around My French Table. Yep, me and gnocchi ... we're tight like that.





Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Skillet Brussels Sprouts with Crispy Lardons

A blank canvas of Brussels sprouts ... waiting for the bacon
 For someone who didn't eat any meat (except for the occasional fish) for over 10 years, I certainly seem to be making up for lost time, don't I? Take this dish - I could have gone on making Brussels sprouts one of the two delicious ways I always do: either roasted in the oven with olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper, or sauteed in butter with some fresh lime juice. Brother-in-law Trix made them, to great acclaim,  the latter way at Thanksgiving a few years ago.





Friday, January 7, 2011

Paris Mushroom Soup for French Fridays with Dorie

Even though I don't believe in making resolutions, I did make a New Year's decision to join in on the fun over at French Fridays with Dorie, inspired in part (and I believe unbeknownst to her!) by the indefatigable Mardi of Eat Live Travel Write. Each Friday, members of the group post a predetermined dish from the fan-tabulous Dorie Greenspan book Around My French Table.  I know, I know - as if I don't have enough to do ... but something about the discipline of the project (not to mention the recipes) really appeals to me. It's so easy to get caught up always trying to create that "new now next" recipe, that cooking from an actual book - not a blog, not a Web site - feels quite comforting and almost old fashioned. Of course, we'll see how well I keep this up once culinary school starts back up, but my intentions are good!





Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Roasted Chestnut & Butternut Squash Velouté


I think I have culinary Stockholm Syndrome. One of the things I had to prepare for my final last semester was a mushroom velouté, and now I can't seem to stop myself from making different versions of the same thing ... over and over and over.

Eh, I don't really mind.  I am not ready to jump on the January New Year's resolution salad bandwagon just yet. Sure, I'd love to lose a pound (or three) but ... I simply cannot bring myself to care all that much. At least, not enough to give up rib-sticking foods in the middle of winter. So, for now,  I'll just suck it up and do some extra time on the treadmill so that I can continue to slurp on hearty, mostly-healthy things (and wash it down with wine of course). May I humbly suggest that you do the same?





Saturday, January 1, 2011

A Perfect Roast Chicken, and My Voodoo Wedding

No recipe today, I just wanted to answer some questions, ask a question, and post something that I am absolutely in love with: this perfect roast chicken. The method comes from Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc at Home, but if you don't have the book you can find the recipe recreated on numerous food sites, including Simply Recipes. It yields skin that is paper-crisp and has separated just so from the juicy, tender meat. The trick is to slather the bird with olive oil and butter, and then blast it at 475 degrees F for 25 minutes before lowering the heat to 400.