Friday, January 24, 2014

Moules Marinière & Some Catching Up

Per Tricia
With the boys back to school the only mussels eater between my house and Nana's is  my own husband. He got to enjoy 2 pounds of this recipe all to himself, and he just about finished it all in one sitting. Easy, fairly inexpensive, and different from the typical weeknight fare.
 While my husband feels a loyalty to Dorie Greenspan based on the enjoyment he has gotten out of French Fridays over the past few years, he also knows which side his bread is buttered on and declared that he prefers Nana's recipe. She makes a similar dish each Christmas Eve as part of the Feast of the Seven Fishes, and I imagine he wants to ensure he still gets invited. 
Speaking of redemption, I needed a "do over" on the recent stuffed apples since yours truly managed to screw up the simple recipe by using cider vinegar instead of cider. I am glad I have a great sense of humor. And forgiving taste testers. 
With homemade whipped cream and gold sugar ~
I went ahead and did these individually this time. One thing that struck me on the first foray was that the stuffing seemed to brown and frankly, almost burn. I went ahead and loosely covered each bowl with foil from the get go. Was I glad I did. As the pictures show, the lighter colored fruit and nuts kept their color and the final result was truly spoon soft juicy decadence and they cooked beautifully in just about an hour. 
Drizzled "Fat Toad Farm Vanilla Bean Caramel" finishes it (and me) off ~
Per Nana~
Since our Feast of the Seven Fishes, which included mussels, was less
 than a month ago, I could not possibly bring myself to prepare mussels again.
 I do enjoy them but Hubby does not eat them at all, so I decided to prepare
 two "catch up" recipes instead. The first is hachis parmentier. 
For Christmas dinner I had served a beef tenderloin and with all the meat
 trimmings left over I decided to use them in the recipe. The combination of 
beef and sausage was out of this world. I added the remaining cooked
 vegetables to the filling and topped it all with mashed potatoes. 

The melted Gruyère cheese and grated Parmesan gave the topping a beautiful 
color and added delicious flavor. A wonderful dish that I will be making again, 
but maybe not with a beef tenderloin.  
My second catch up recipe was Gougères.  
 This turned out to be so easy that I wondered why I didn't try it earlier.
 I had leftover Gruyère from the hachis parmentier so it all worked out quite well.
 These little morsels of cheesy dough were wonderful and they go
 perfectly with a glass of Kir, Champagne or even wine
Absolutely delicious.


  1. You two outdid yourselves this week!! Every dish looks wonderful. Tricia, I think covering the apples with foil is a grand idea1

  2. Wow ladies - what a week! Some great Dorie recipes in there! (gougères are still my faves!)

  3. OK, Tricia, you know I am cracking up! I wish I lived in your neighborhood so I could see both of your reactions when you compare recipes on Friday! Of course, I would be on Nana's side. (just kidding)
    Nana, I feel so much better now that I know you have missed a couple recipes. I have many, many to make up. I may copy you and make those recipes also! yours too Tricia!
    Thank You ladies! Reading this post is a late birthday gift from you to me!!!

  4. Aren't those gougeres amazing?!?!? That's one of our go-to recipes for parties now. Love!

  5. Gougeres are my #1 favorite recipe from this book, and yours look beautiful, Nana. Hachis Parmentier was also delicious. You had a tasty week! Hooray for apple redemption, Tricia! I think you were smart to cover the apples. I'll try that next time.

  6. wow. what a week for you two! The hachis parmentier was one of my favorites! Its nice to be reminded of it as I have always meant to come back for seconds of this one. I still get a huge smile regarding the cider vinegar incident. That is one for the storybooks. Regarding mussels...I would have them for Christmas or January 24th as long as I was not at home. That is my story and I'm sticking to it.

  7. Wow, a busy week for catching up! Everything looks terrific!

  8. Tricia - Glad you found redemption with your apples and it is good to know your husband knows what's what! Smart man.
    Nana - those are two great recipes from the beginning of the book, aren't they? I put off making the meat pie for a very long time but was very pleasantly surprised when I finally got around to making it.

    Stay warm, you two!

  9. Tricia, glad your hubs enjoyed the mussels, and your apples take 2 look devine with all that juicy sauce. Nana, you chose 2 great recipes to catch up on. Both turned out great!

  10. Wow ladies…great post! Tricia my husband enjoyed the mussels all by himself, too! I am not a shellfish fan…unless they happen to be scallops! And your baked apples are absolutely luscious looking! Nana, the hachis parmentier was one of the first things I made for French Fridays. It's still is a favorite! And I still have not made the Gougeres!! Happy Friday, ladies! Have a great weekend!!

  11. That is one heck of an impressive Post this week - you gals knocked off four Your biggest boy is no dummy, Tricia, that's for sure. No need to raise the hackles of the woman who cooks and shares lots of goodies. I did think the broth could have been pumped up a bit. Isn't is magic what not using apple cider vinegar can do to a dish. I was delighted with your phrase "truly spoon soft juicy decadence" because my apples weren't. I think another Dorista covered her apples and got a tastier result also. I will do that next time. They looked pretty. And, Nana, both your recipes look just fabulous. I am not overstating my case. I have made neither of those recipes but both need to be made in my kitchen this winter. After reading about your experience, I'll take the time to do it, for sure. Nice Post, Ladies. (And, yes, Tricia, you sense of humor is wonderful with or without vinegar.

  12. Wow, both of you did great!
    Trica: That baked apple is perfection (grand idea of tenting with foil) and the mussels is awesome!
    Nana: gougeres is on my to-make list and hachis parmentier too - you made these two look DeLisH!

  13. Wow, what a feast! Wish I had been invited over to your houses this week.

    Tricia - Your husband sounds like a very intelligent man:-) And I'm happy that you got a do-over on the apples. They look perfect and I really like the idea of individual servings.

    Nana - You did two of my favorites this week. And, the last time I made Hachis Parmentier was also with leftover Christmas beef tenderloin. Isn't it a great recipe? I have my eye on it again since it looks like the Boeuf a la ficelle is going to make it on the docket for February, and I'm sure we will once again have leftovers.

  14. I haven't made the hachis parmentier… perfect for this time of year. I tend to think of mussels as a summer thing. We cook the feast of the seven fish,.. no mussels in our mix. They might make a good appetizer… you got me thinking.

  15. Great makeup week! Smart husband. And redemption from the cider vinegar. I have to move Hachis Parmentier up on my makeup list after reading this. I did the Pork ala crème normande this week and loved it!

  16. OMG, look at all the fun ffwD assignments! I'm glad your husband enjoyed the mussels, though everything looks great!

  17. What great reminders of old recipes to revisit, Nana. I've made the hachis parmentier a few times, but not this winter. It's the right season. It's good with ground beef too (though I'm sure it was extra special with tenderloin). Glad you tried making the mussels, Tricia, even if you didn't eat them. And your "re-do" baked apple looks scrumptious. I love the Fat Toad Caramel.

  18. I am not a mussels fan so no cooking for me this Friday! But, reading your post and looking at the photos of the hachis parmentier I want it now!! Do you girls have Pinterest? I have created a board to pin our recipes on. Here is the link

  19. Everything looks fantastic:) You two were busy this past week. This weeks recipe was delicious and everyone liked it. That doesn't happen too often at my house. Have a great week.

  20. Everything looks great! Nana I made the hachis for friends from Algeria. I thought it quite daring of me to try French cooking for them. They enjoyed it but told me vegetables aren't authentic. They called two days later to say they were wrong; vegetables aren't added where they are from but other places add all kinds of things! Tricia, I agree your husband is smart to look to future dinners! Your apple looks wonderful.

  21. Great catch-ups! I loved both the hachis parmentier and the gougeres.

  22. Tricia, thanks for the tip about the baked apples. My only complaint was that the filling was almost burnt. Nana, the gougeres are great, aren't they? They're one of my go-to appetizers when we have company.