Thursday, January 26, 2012

Broth Braised Potatoes

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.  But nothing special either :)

Per Nana ~

Sad to say, but while I was preparing and cooking these potatoes,
 I was wondering what I could do with the leftovers.

There was absolutely no flavor to this recipe even though the
 aroma from the cooking liquid was wonderful.

I served the recipe as a side dish with salmon and 
brussels sprouts but I was not impressed.

I decided that I will be using the leftovers for a frittata 
with  the addition of swiss chard and onion.
We completed out meal with a delicious cheese
 danish from Costco that hubby insisted we "needed".  
My downfall, to be sure.

Per Tricia ~

In full disclosure, Nana generously offered to make a frittata for my 
household too.  No need to ask twice and in fact, I asked her why she
 bothered to ask once - of  course we wanted one !
 We accepted and devoured the extra large frittata in a single day. 
 I had considered it a victory, until she sent over the photo of the Danish...

 Now for those broth braised potatoes.

We deemed them "nothing unusual and nothing particularly special". 
 My husband kept asking what was supposed to be the "Dorie" part
 of the potatoes and said that unless you got one where the seasonings
 had landed....they simply tasted like fairly plain potatoes. 
 In Dorie's defense, I think this household is getting a bit heavy handed
 in adding "Old Bay"  and "Baby Bam" (Emeril's) to their food. 

 Regardless, I was particularly delighted it was a quick and easy
 experiment that gave a break in the "clean up" department this week. 

 Happy French Friday !

Thursday, January 19, 2012


An obscure title which ended up being very "obvious" after reading the recipe.  This basic French cake consists of equal parts of  four ingredients. As the weather stays cold we have been more than willing to test out any new cake recipes and this FFWD gave us the perfect opportunity ~
Per Nana~
Interesting recipe.

Hubby thought the texture reminded him of corn bread, 
and I thought is tasted similar to a Bisquick type cake. 
It is definitely a pleasant cake, very basic as Dorie stated, 
and can be served with various toppings. 
I served the first slice with a drizzle of honey
 that had pistachio nuts in it.  I also served it with whipped cream 
which I thought worked perfectly.
I am glad I shared half with Tricia or I would have experimented 
with toppings all day. It was interesting and I am happy that I tried the
 recipe,  but I really  was not impressed.   However, that said, it did not
 stop me from indulging.

Per Tricia~

I enjoyed my first slice of this recipe when testing Nana's version.  
My first reaction was that I had tasted this cake before-per my memory it 
tasted just like Marie-Helene's Apple Cake (circa Oct. 2010 :) ....sans apples. 
I liked the concept of four ingredients used in proportion but did
 find that for a quick and simple pound cake, I would have preferred to 
not mess up the KitchenAid mixer for whipping egg whites ...
just to produce a pound cake.  I will save that machine for my Brioche dough.  
Folding in the egg whites also never felt quite right to me on this one, 
since the batter was so dry to begin with.  But I followed along and got
 a nice French coffee cake for a cold winter's day. 

  I also indulged ~ perhaps even more than the cake actually deserved. 
I am now pining for the Butter Breton cake that Nana makes 
and this would be the perfect time of year for it.  
Actually, any time of year is perfect ~

Thursday, January 12, 2012

M. Jacques Armagnac Chicken

A split decision this week ~ our first for 2012 !

Per Nana:

This recipe was fantastic.  I can not remember the last 
time I have cooked a whole chicken, but this was wonderful.  
So moist, juicy and tasty.  

Trying to diet over the years, the favorite diet food was chicken,
 so much so that I truly  dislike the taste of chicken.  

Hubby loves his Popeye's and Kentucky fried, and thank
 goodness  they sell by the piece, but I can do without.
(Except for the biscuits)

But this recipe  is what a chicken should really taste like.
The smallest I could find was about 4 lbs and was fresh, not frozen.  

I cut the veggies and stirred them in the hot oil for 
a bit,  added the chicken and the brandy and let it
all warm before covering with foil in my Le Creuset.
At 450 degrees in the oven without checking for 60 minutes, 
the kitchen was smelling good.   After 1 hour, the chicken was cooked, 
but not very brown so I placed it on a cookie sheet and put it under
 the broiler. I added the water to the pan and prepared the gravy which
 was delicious, and removed the chicken from the oven.

Hubby and I truly enjoyed this and I had a thought about either
 adding some Brussels sprouts or turnips to this mix to make
  it even more of a stew type dish.

I'm sure this is a recipe I will definitely be making again and again. 
 The simplicity of the recipe, and the prep time is wonderful.  
For  anyone who works all day and wants a simple recipe to prepare,
 this is really great.

Per Tricia:
Nana got her chicken done first and I was 
delighted to hear how much she had enjoyed it.
 Not to mention how "time friendly" the prep was.

  I was ready to like it.
  I wanted to like it.
  And then things went downhill.

I saw how much the organic chicken cost compared to the 
roasters that were on sale -more than four times the price. 
 But for French Fridays, I splurged.  
To be honest, a 3 1/2 pound bird doesn't really get far in 
our house - but since this was what the recipe called for I 
considered it lucky that I found the perfect match.  

I used a lovely cognac which probably did not serve its
 best purpose in life by being stuck in a pot with a chicken for 
an hour, but there you have it.   The family was ready to devour
 it  and the  kitchen smelled amazing. But my heart sank a bit as
 we took the  lid off and I saw the lack of color.
 I am a big fan of roasted, crispy, crunchy that bird 
got put under the broiler.  When I plated the meal I was surprised
 as how little flavor it ended up having. Overall, it was nothing special. 
The family agreed.  Nothing bad, of course, just not the added 
oomph that we thought it might have.  Fun to try things a bit differently, 
but I will not plan to revisit this one~

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Bubble~Top Brioche Rolls

A perfect recipe for a cold winter's day ~

Per Nana:

Anyone who has made a New Year's resolution to start
 a diet should skip this week's FFWD recipe.
Hubby and I had the butter waiting before the
 timer went off.  These little rolls are so good.

Seriously, the recipe is a bit time consuming, but well worth it.

I prepared the dough as instructed, and put the bowl in the 
refrigerator overnight.  When I removed it in the morning I thought
 the dough was quite stiff and might turn out tough, but all went well.

My brioches may not have the bubble top effect that
Dorie is showing in her book, but they were delicious.

 About two months ago I started cleaning out the basement,
 sorting thru old pans and cupcake tins intending to purchase new,
 but have not gotten that far yet.  The only pans I had left were
 my popover pans and maybe that is the reason my bubble top
 did not come out as planned.

Per Tricia:

While I have not met a carb I didn't like, I was actually prepared to
 "not like" this one simply because of the amount of time involved.
As I have shared in  previous posts, we have an amazing bakery outlet
(Le Bus) near my office and I do enough damage there. 

But French Friday is French Friday and while I anticipated these
would be good - the results were more impressive than I expected. 
 I also figure that no matter what else I serve company for dinner, if
I have these on the table and my house smells this  good .....the meal 
will be a winner.  My prior "fall back" had been to simply keep
 refilling the wine glasses - there is usually a direct relationship between
wine consumption and meal compliments.  I will now arm myself with Brioche. 

Thank you Dorie !!