Friday, September 28, 2012

Endives, apples and grapes

What a wonderful dish for Autumn.....
Per Tricia~
Lovely. I don't recall using endive before -
 I know, I know, how can this be ? 
We were all very curious about this combo.

The aroma was OUT OF THIS WORLD as the 
ingredients caramelized in the fry pan and we 
could not wait to try it. 

Yum - we all agreed that it was very unique.
My husband and son had fun deciding whether the items were better 
individually or if you scooped up a combo of the 3 on the same fork -
 and the combo won. The grapes were a delicious idea that made 
the dish for us. Loved it !
Per Nana ~
Endive is something I always like to cut very thin and add 
to salad greens.  I have never cooked it, but
when I saw the photo of this week's recipe I had to try it.
I chose a Fuji apple and some white grapes, and used rosemary 
sprigs from the containers on the patio. Everything caramelized 
beautifully and the aroma was fantastic.

This is such a simple dish to make, but the results would 
compliment  any meal.Now that I have learned how to cook 
the endive I will be using it again.

Since this is the last recipe for September, let me just say 
that all the recipes for this month were great. Hubby and I enjoyed 
each andevery one and I look forward to making them again.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Chicken Basquaise

A bit time consuming, but the results are worth it !
Per Tricia~
The good news is that I got one of my taste-testers back.  The bad 
news is my college freshman came down with mono AND strep :( 
He is already on the mend but will happy be providing his opinion 
on "Dorie food" until Spring semester. And he started off with two 
thumbs up for this chicken dish.
Peeling the peppers and tomatoes was not practical for me. 
So I skipped that step.

 I gave it a try but it would have been a deal breaker if it was mandatory.
The recipe was overall quite simple and mostly just took time-for prepping
 the veggies and then waiting in between steps. I am not sure how I managed
it but my chicken thighs stuck terribly to my Dutch oven. Since we reduced
the pot remnants with wine, not was all lost. Nana and I also enjoyed
trying the Piment d'Espelette that Dorie recommended.
 (Have I mentioned how much I love Amazon for this stuff ?)

My husband enjoyed the dish as well and wants a repeat.

 He was surprised at how sweet the overall dish was but enjoyed
it thoroughly. I did as well and look forward to adding that new spice
 to other dishes for a little "heat".
Per Nana~

This week's selection, chicken basquaise, was the most
 time consuming recipe I have worked on. Normally, 
I do not peel peppers but Dorie suggested this method.  

I remember  using red bell peppers in a chicken dish before, 
and it was not pleasant finding the skins in the sauce.
Peeling the peppers turned into a chore so the next method 
was broiling them. That did the trick and went quickly.  
I then had to blanch the tomatoes. At this point I had been 
working for a hour and had nothing accomplished.
Since Hubby and I have a preference for chicken thighs,
 I took Dorie's suggestion rather than the whole chicken 
cut in pieces. When it had finished cooking, it looked so good.  
Not having rice, I decided to go with some pasta -"acini de pepe", 
 which is like couscous. The minute we tasted this combination it 
brought back memories of Paris.

We were staying in a small hotel near the Parc Monceau and 
walked around the corner toa little Middle Eastern restaurant. 
 Never having tried this food before, we had the waiter
make some suggestions.
When our dinners arrived, it turned out to be exactly the same 
as this chicken basquaise served on top of couscous.
It was scrumptious.
After all my griping about the  preparation of this recipe, 
it was one of the most delicious recipes from FFWD.  
I hope everyone  enjoyed this as much as we did.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Spiced-Poached Pears

The perfect time of year for this recipe- tasty and worth preparing for the aroma alone !
Per Nana ~
It feels like Fall here in Pennsylvania, the weather has been gorgeous, 
makes you want to cook or bake something. This week's selection for 
French Friday with Dorie was spiced-poached apples or pears. 
The aroma of all those spices cooking on the stove makes me think
 about the coming holidays. Tricia and I had a fun trip to  Penzey's 
Spices the  other night and found (hopefully) all we needed for the 
months ahead. For this recipe, I used Bosc pears rather than apples.  
Possibly I used a bit too much star anise, the flavors were extremely
 strong.  I could not decide if two pieces meant 2 whole stars or  2 points 
of the star. More is better, right ? So in went two stars. The syrup turned 
out well, a bit sweet, but we topped it with a dab of sour cream. 
All in all, it was a pleasant dessert, and I will be making it again.

Per Tricia~
This was a simple and wonderful recipe. I decided to "donate" 
a jar of my particularly good Savannah Bee Company honey
 to the cause so I imagine that helped the results as well. 
 I hadn't made spiced-poached fruit before, but will definitely do it again.  
The aroma in the house was amazing and the recipe was simple and quick. 
 Luckily I still had some of that Nelson's vanilla ice cream
 left from the peach melba, (fairly miraculous....) so hubby and I 
enjoyed yet  another glorious dessert.  Thank you Dorie ! 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Eggplant tartine with tomatoes, olives, and cucumbers

Per Nana ~

I really think I should get extra credit this week since I originally 
made the Beatrix's red kuri soup before I found out the recipes were switched.
However, since both of these recipes were good, I will stop 
complaining.  I'll just be that much ahead when the kuri soup comes up.
The eggplant tartine was really fun to make and I loved all the 
ingredients that went into the "salsa" . Perhaps the eggplant I bought was
 a little too small because when I made the salsa I seemed to have too 
much for only six small slices.  But, that said, this combination goes
 great with crackers or chips.
The roasted slices of eggplant were very tasty even without a topping. 
All in all, hubby and I both agreed that this was a wonderful recipe, 
and I think it would be a great starter to any meal. 

Per Tricia ~
Once again I came up short and will post the tartine hopefully this week-
 but am sharing a few photos of the wonderful treats we enjoyed while 
dropping the kids in Boston.   Amidst packing and unpacking we enjoyed
 Hot Chocolate at the famous "Burdicks" chocolate shoppe in their Cambridge
 location.  Just outside of Harvard's steps, it was the perfect setting.  

We lucked out at hit the famous Mike's Pastry in the North End when it was
 not too busy. Which is basically a miracle. We had heard about their
 "florentine cannoli" and it did not disappoint. I think each cannoli 
weighed about 5 pounds (kidding) but the shell was to die for. Amazing.
We also had an amazing brunch in Beacon Hill at the Paramount. 
 I can't  remember the last time I waited in line so long for anything, 
but the caramel, banana French Toast was ultimately well worth it.

 Can't wait till Parent's weekend 
for some more.......