Friday, October 21, 2011

Pissaladiere & Buckwheat Blini

Nana has been dutifully cooking away - even while I "played hooky" last week in San Francisco.  Although we planned for me to post HER results while I visited that beautiful city....I was unable to get online where I was staying and was too distracted eating pastry at "Tartine" to look around for wi-fi !  We both will be cooking and back on board (with our France memories too- promise !) next week but for now I am sharing Nana's fun in the kitchen.

Per Nana:  Pissaladiere

Dorie made mention in the introduction of her book
about making a judgement call....and she is correct.  
Not all stoves or cooking equipment is the same.  
When baking this, I put the timer on for
20 minutes and away I went.  
 The result was a very burnt and crispy pissaladiere.  

I  prepared the dough a day early,
 and today I sauteed the onions. 
 The kitchen smelled absolutely wonderful.  

After baking for 20 minutes I topped it with the anchovie
 and olives.  Since I could not find any Nicoise olives at the
 market I substituted pitted black olives.

Even though this turned out well done and very salty
(thanks to the anchovies), hubby and I enjoyed it very much.
This is a fun recipe to make and I plan to
 try it again with other toppings.
Per Nana:  Buckwheat Blini with Smoked Salmon &  Creme Fraiche
To celebrate our 57th wedding anniversary this week
 I decided to use this week's recipe for Sunday Brunch.
Buckwheat blini with smoked salmon and creme
fraiche  was perfect for the occasion served
with a lovely fresh fruit salad.

I made the batter on Saturday, let is rise as directed,
and then chilled it overnight. On Sunday morning I added
the eggs and continued with the recipe.

The blini cooked nicely and I kept everything warm in the oven,
along with hubby's favorite bacon. Even though the blini looks
like a small pancake, it is not, and I did not care for the flavor. 
 I'm not sure if it was the buckwheat flour,
 but to me it was tasteless. 
 Perhaps it is an acquired taste. 

 Smoked salmon and creme fraiche, which I love, did not help.
Sad to say, hubby had his with Mrs. Butterworth and enjoyed
 it more, with bacon on the side.

Per Tricia :

All I have to show for the last two French Fridays are some great pictures of tasty San Francisco memories :) No need for me to surprise everyone with how utterly gorgeous that city is - or how wonderful the food.  I will just share a photo or two and some of the highlights.....enjoy !
While Nana was happy celebrating her amazing 57th anniversary,
 my hubby and I were celebrating our 22nd in the city by the bay.
Highlights included the standards:
 Ferry Bldg Farmers Market - almost feel guilty seeing such gorgeous fresh produce when you are not cooking.  We enjoyed a roast pork sandwich on Acme Bread that was insanely good. My Aunt said she had not had a sandwich like that since she lived in Italy and that she planned to go back simply to have that sandwich again.   

We also learned that if you just pick the longest lines you will end up with the most amazing things....:) Also visited Miette bakery here, Sharfenberger chocolates, Cowgirl Creamery, Recchiuti chocolates, etc. My kids made out like bandits with gourmet gifts.
 Molinaro salami company - a family staple.  We never leave town without their cured salami (hot and regular).  My bag was so heavy that the salesman pointed out they ship.  Knew it but thought it would be fun to buy in person.  Until we had a lot of explaining when the salami registered as an "explosive" under testing at airport screening....we will ship indeed.
 See's Candy - again a family staple.  I grew up on See's being a guaranteed present and holiday treat when my Uncle & Aunt from SF visited. I am a card carrying member of the "Marshmint Club" but also love their peanut brittle & molasses chips dearly.
Tartine Bakery- so glad I researched this because the sign was virtually non-existent.  The rule of "follow the lines" does work well here. Can not rave enough about the baked goods.  I had a ridiculously yummy chocolate banana tart for breakfast and we even brought my Aunt back later that day !
Bi-Rite Creamery - great that it is literally up the street from Tartine in the Mission District.  I was hoping to try their amazing ice cream and got a cone with both "salted caramel" and "snickerdoodle".  Awesome !
Berkeley CheeseBoard - fun. We were headed to Alameda and had to kill some time in morning, so we stopped here to sample coffee and fresh baked goods.  Too early for lunch or dinner at Chez Panisse across the street.
 My Ivy - Thai restaurant on Divisadero in Pacific Heights.  Lovely and super sweet folks.  This place exceeded our expectations and we will visit again. 

Frankie's Bohemian - Czech restaurant also on Divisadero - across from My Ivy.  This place was a real kick - awesome food and drink in a very casual little neighborhood "joint".  Spaetzle is their homemade speciality.
Original Cowgirl Creamery in Point Reyes - fun to visit and the town had a surprising (to us) number of Zagat rated restaurants. Had a fabulous lunch and were not surprised to learn later that the Tartine folks started out here.
We enjoyed many other great meals in various locations (not to mention all the treats that should have ruined our appetites :) but the mostly unheard of and amazing time was our trip out to the tip of Alameda to the "St George Spirits/Hangar One" distillery. 
I had read about their Wasabi Vodka years back and while I missed out on that small batch - I have bought via their catalog on many occasions over the last few years. Chipotle Vodka and various small batch, European method brandies and spirits.  The selection at the site was far more extensive.
We took a "spirits" testing at 12 noon on a Friday and had a blast.  It sits in an old hangar right out on the water and was industrial gorgeous.   We opted to do a full tasting- a la "when in Rome"..... 
Scared at first, we were told the total alcohol would be similiar to one cocktail or so.  Not sure about that one but we did buy a lot on the way out (hey, we can't get this stuff in PA :) and made it safely back over the bridge.
  PS- if you get a chance to go- on weekend they do tours but it is much more packed.  They do testings only during the week and it is so empty it is fabulous. Just get someone to drive you back over the bridge....


  1. You know, my onions ended up being very dark and crispy as well. I liked them. Your food photos are making me drool!

  2. Happy Anniversary to you both! Nana's blinis and pissaladiere look gorgeous, and I loved that tour of San Francisco, Tricia.

  3. First of all, Happy Anniversary to all of must be the fabulous cooking and trips you take keeping those marriages vibrant ;-)
    These past two recipes weren't my favorites either, but both were good experiences and I also think both could be adapted to our tastes with different toppings on the blini and pissaladiere dough! So jealous of your trip to San Fran and the restaurants you visited!

  4. Wow! Happy anniversaries!
    Now I really want to get back to the Bay area. My mouth is watering!
    And Nana, good work with representing your team! I'm with you, I thought that the smoked salmon overwhelmed the blini (though I ended up liking them with other things). Too bad about your pissaladiere, but it was kind of fun to try!

  5. Happy Anniversary to everyone.
    57 years is amazing - my mom & dad are celebrating their 55th in a few months. I just think that is so awesome.
    And San Fran sounds wonderful :-)
    Good work keeping up things on the "Cooking front" Nana!

  6. Looked your SF photos ... thanks for sharing.

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  8. A great Dorie double header from Nana - and love your sunny San Fran pics Tricia! Wish I was there ...

  9. Happy anniversary. Both your pissaladiere and your blinis look great. Love the pictures of san fran.

  10. Happy Anniversary to you both! Loved the photos of San Francisco. And your blini and pissaladiere look wonderful. So nice that you got to do a two for one! Have a great weekend!

  11. Wow! Happy Anniversary! All looks amazing! You went to many places on my to-do list! :) See you next week!

  12. Loved your post - Happy Anniversary! SF is a phenomenal city - wish we had their market here! Both the dishes look really appetizing!
    Happy French Friday!

  13. Happy Anniversary and thank you for sharing your trip with us! Looks and sounds like a wonderful time. Nana, nice of you to hold down the fort!

  14. Wow...I'd love to go to San much great food, and such a pretty place to be. Loved the photos. Also enjoyed the FFwD posts...I used a pizza stone that was pre-heated for 30 minutes and my pizzas took only 5 minutes...these cook fast with such a thin crust. But sometimes I enjoy thing extra crispy. Happy anniversaries!

  15. Happy Anniversary to each of you! It's our seventh anniversary this week, too. October is clearly a good month.

    Nana - both recipes turned out beautifully for you; it's too bad the blini weren't a taste hit, though.

    Tricia - you've hit all the highlights I want to go to on my next trip to SF and I've added the distillery tour to the list!

  16. Happy anniversaries, Nana and Tricia. I'm glad you enjoyed the pissaladière, Nana. Tricia, I'm bookmarking this post - I have an overdue visit to San Francisco and you covered so many wonderful spots. Glad to see you back :)

  17. Nana's cooking looked good, but I got distracted by Tricia's travelogue. Sounds like a wonderful trip. And happy anniversary to both of you. Can't wait to hear about your trip to France.

  18. I'm so envious you went to Cowgirl, I used to sell the heck out of their cheeses when I worked behind a cheese counter. And Nana's extra crispy onions actually look good to me - I always loved the ones in the pan that got a bit too caramelized...

  19. Thanks for sharing your great pics! I will be going there again in a couple weeks and I always check out that farmers market when I am there. Got some other great tips into my file from your post! Glad you liked this. This was actually one of my favorites even though rushed it through with Puff Pastry.

  20. Nana: Both dishes look wonderful. I love how thin you were able to slice your onions. Happy 57th!!!

    Tricia: How neat that you were in my neck of the woods (or close to it!). Your photos are wonderful and I am glad that you had a great time. It looks like you were blessed with some SF sunshine during your stay. :) Happy 22nd!!

  21. You packed about three posts worth into this post! I don't even know where to begin! Most importantly, congratulations to both of you on you anniversaries!! The trip to San Francisco looks amazing!

  22. We celebrated our anniversary with the Buckwheat Blini, too! Tricia - looks like you had an amazing trip! I've been to Tartine and I agree it was wonderful.