Friday, August 30, 2013

Floating Island

Per Nana~
Definitely not a winner in our house. I had planned to make this recipe
 using 2 cups of milk to boil the whipped meringues, but Hubby thought it 
was a waste of good milk.  So, to please him, I prepared the "cake" version.
 The recipe was very easy, but the end result was too sweet for me. It was 
also very messy to deal with when trying to transfer to a plate.
When I served the meringue cake I improvised, using half of a "Klondike"
 bar, some chocolate sauce and raspberry spread. 
Per Tricia~
This was a first for me - I had only ever heard about this dessert
 prior to this week, but never tasted or considered making the elusive
 "floating island" myself.  Not to mention the crème anglaise
I thought it would be very challenging, especially after reading through 
Dorie's instructions about whipping meringues, tin foil going around the 
spring form....which then goes in water bath. Seriously ? But as usual, she 
was spot on. Not bad at all ~ simply follow her instructions.

We enjoyed a variety of special sauces I have been stockpiling, 
along with options of salted caramel or chocolate ice cream. 

Just in case there wasn't enough going on - I added sprinkles of gold 
shimmer sugar.  Not a health food, but a fun dessert. My husband enjoyed
 this so much he had two servings. The boys got to enjoy this as their last 
Dorie Adventure before heading  back to school. I was delighted.

Happy French Friday ~

Friday, August 23, 2013

Boulevard Raspail Corn on the Cob

Per Nana~
Who says you can't teach an old dog (lady) new tricks ? Well Dorie just changed my mind on how to cook corn the easy way.  I first tried this recipe a few weeks ago on corn that had already been shucked. I wrapped it in "Martha's Wrap" and then followed the rest of Dorie's instructions. Hubby and I agreed it was the best tasting corn ever.
I followed her instructions completely for this week's version and it was delicious. Unfortunately I did not take any photos, but they certainly browned up nicely. It doesn't take much more time than boiling water to cook the corn, tastes better, and no clean up.
Tricia and I visited the market on Boulevard Raspail a few years ago and it was great fun. Unfortunately we were traveling so did not do much shopping. Everything looks so fresh and delicious. It is such a different way of life.
Per Tricia~
This is a week of thanks for me. Thanks for:

  • the upcoming International Food Blogger's Convention (IFBC) in Seattle, Sept 20-22.
  • the work our fellow Doristas have done (especially Mary, Susan, Alice and Trevor) to organize social activities, FFWD signature tote bags, a special place to sit together at the convention and various meet & greets...including one with Dorie Greenspan - our collective idol. Nana and I are over the moon and can not wait to meet all our long time "pen pals" who will be attending this conference.
  • thanks to Dorie for a wonderful and crazy easy way to prepare corn on the cob.
  • appreciation that this week's ingredients literally cost less than $3 for local farm fresh corn. And tasted amazing.
  • thanks that my family all enjoyed the roasting technique.
  • sincere thanks that such an easy week came amidst such a busy week as I juggled work, back to school prep for two sons going away AND managed to get a full day visit to 3 colleges for our younger son in Washington DC.
  • thanks that I not only visited the colleges, but kept my priorities in check and took the family to Georgetown Cupcakes as well. When in Rome....
  • and appreciation for the wonderful memories I have of visiting the actual market on the Boulevard Raspail with Nana on several occasions. 
  • We usually stayed in that area of Paris when we visited and just hearing the name brings back wonderful memories of the 6th arr and it's neighbors. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Make-Up Week !

A brilliant idea - a "breather" week to catch up on a FFWD recipe that we might have missed....
Per Nana~ "Socca from Vieux Nice"
This week's FFWD is a make -up week for everyone so I decided to do the socca from Vieux Nice. I had a little trouble finding the chickpea flour so I into checked  I was pleased to see that they did carry the item and the price was right. 
Unfortunately, I did not notice the amount of weight for the package. When the UPS driver dropped off the 5 pounds of flour, I had no idea when I would possibly use it up, if ever.  
The recipe is delicious, but I wish there was a better way of cooking it instead of a 500 degree oven. I had so much smoke in the kitchen I was surprised the smoke alarm didn't go off. I love chickpeas in any form- as a side veggie, hummus, etc. and this recipe was really very tasty. Even after supplying Tricia with a bag, I still have 2 -3/4 packages to go.  Any suggestions ? I am definitely going to research some recipes to use up my supply.
Per Tricia~ "Clafoutis"
Personally, I could use a make-up MONTH right about now- but I am happy with the freebie Friday regardless. I chose to do the clafoutis that I missed earlier this month and knocked out two different varieties-  a red raspberry one made from frozen Trader Joe's organic raspberries.
 Since I had dried apricots on hand also I tried a version using those, but chopped up a bit.
The recipe could not have been much simpler, the ingredients are staples and my guys loved them. All thumbs up and yes, all agreed that the powdered sugar at serving time was the way to go.   So glad we had a week to circle back or we might have missed this treat........

Friday, August 9, 2013

Duck Breast with Fresh Peaches

Today is a very special post, and not just because the duck was fantastic.  Today is Nana's 82nd birthday !  And while she will kill me later for posting such, I think most of us - Doristas or not- will find it inspiring that she is in the kitchen not only testing new recipes, but blogging about them !  Happy Birthday Nana !

Per Tricia~
Compared to the recent swordfish, the price of duck didn't look all that
 expensive. But I tend to only buy it when we have a FFWD recipe and 
this week I decided  that has been a mistake. 

My guys LOVE duck and this recipe was no exception. 
It looks like steak- not poultry !
All taste testers were anxiously on hand and very appreciative of the results.
 When asked what might have been tweaked- all responded "not a thing". 
My poor camera- but I had to get a shot of this gorgeous browning !
In fact, as much as they adored the prior teriyaki duck from another
 Friday, they said they even preferred this one better. 
Win, win, win.  Thanks Dorie.
Per Nana~
Unfortunately, this week's recipe did not turn out well at all.  
It was definitely a cook's error all around. I think I browned the meat too
 much, and yet- even though I cooked it a bit longer than called for, it was
 still too rare for us. I sliced half the breast and zapped it in the microwave. 
Ugh ! 
The peaches I used were white peaches without flavor. The ruby port had to 
be strained because it had ???? in it (probably some cork, I hope)  
There are times when you should quit while you are ahead. This was such a 
disappointment to me because the first time we made one of Dorie's duck 
recipes, Hubby and I raved so much that we used it again when we spent
 the Christmas holiday in Vermont with Tricia's family. 

Note from Tricia- Nana gave her leftovers to my sons who adore duck, 
rare meat in general and RAVED about it. It was eaten when it hit the
 kitchen and never made it into the fridge :)

Happy French Friday~

Thursday, August 1, 2013


Per Nana~
Thanks to Mary we can pronounce this week's recipe of TZATZIKI, as well as a few other difficult words. I am not fond of yogurt, especially Greek yogurt, so I was sure this was not for me.

With that in mind, I immediately cut the recipe in half.  After chilling for a few hours, I tested it with a cracker and found it to be delicious. I cut a red pepper into strips and used it as a dip, and even spread some on a sandwich for lunch. I am definitely going to be making this again, but next time I will prepare the full recipe.
Per Tricia~
I caught a bit of a break this week as I made the Tzatziki (along with my older son doing the same recipe from afar) for "Food Revolution Day". My good intentions originally had me making up one of the many recipes I have missed from FFWD...but ultimately the only new recipe I knocked out this week was for banana bread. I decided to deal with the over ripe ones on my counter, in desperate need of attention.  So I tried a new recipe from "Cook's Illustrated" for "ultimate banana bread".  And without Dorie's wonderful attention to detail- I missed the reason I chose the recipe in the first place - the sliced bananas on top !  

The actual recipe did not spell them out as an ingredient, so of course I went on my merry way  - forgetting all about them.  Until I got the last step, which instructed me to arrange banana slices on top.  My taste-testers found this to be hilarious. Me, not so much, as all available bananas were now mush. My guys went on to admonish me that "all cook's learn to read the entire recipe from start to finish before taking the first step".  These guys have been supervising FFWD too long.  Of course I replied that the recipe had a breach of protocol and should have separately stated the slices in the ingredients list, as a "reserve" .....explaining that Dorie would have done so and never would have let me down :)  Next week, back to the big book- AMFT.  PS- I am not bothering to include the recipe as it did not get a standing ovation.  Note the sugar on top is from IKEA. Doesn't everyone go there to purchase groceries ? 

Happy French Friday~