Thursday, October 28, 2010

French Fridays with Dorie: Marie-Helene's Apple Cake


This is a French apple cake and it's the easiest cake I've ever made. Really. No mixer required. This is also about half apple, half cake, so it's kind of healthy. Sort of. Something about this dessert is so comforting, so simple - and yet so decadent. The interior is like a custard, chock full of apples and laced with rum and vanilla. Sure, it looks like dessert, but just between you and me....I ate most of it for breakfast the next day.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Country Captain


Need an idea for dinner? Something different, yet easy to make and absolutely delicious? Let me introduce you to this tasty number, Country Captain. Not being from the south, I wasn't familiar with this dish, but it was given a make-over by Bon Appetit and one look was enough to convince me that I needed to try this. Originally, it's a saucy chicken dish flavored with curry powder and served over rice. There's an interesting article on the history of how it got its name here. But all you really need to know is that it's easy and mouth-watering and (if you're interested) good for you.

Friday, October 22, 2010

French Fridays with Dorie: Hachis Parmentier

It's time for another visit with French Fridays with Dorie. This week we made Hachis Parmentier, which is essentially a French shepherd's pie. I almost didn't make this. It didn't seem like it would taste like much. Just meat and potatoes? I wasn't inspired, I'll be honest. However, this is another winner and maybe the best example of approachable French food I've come across. The base is browned ground beef and sausage in a sauce with a hint of tomato. The topping is mashed potatoes, but potatoes elevated to a whole new level. It's so simple, yet full of flavor. This is comfort food at its best: easy to prepare and it has a big payoff. The man in your life will love you for it, I promise!

I read someone's response in the Problems and Questions post for this assignment that a Parmentier is a person who sings the praises of potatoes, or something like that. So this is a dish for potato lovers. It glorifies the humble potato and makes it ethereal. If for no other reason, I love the French for the way they love and respect food. The preparation for these mashed potatoes will be my go-to recipe for the fluffiest, creamiest, most flavorful potatoes ever. And the cheese on the top? Gilding the lily, my friends. It's browned Gruyere and Parmesan and it's a thing of beauty.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pumpkin Bread with Cream Cheese Ribbon

Well, I've finally decided which of my pumpkin recipes I'm trying first. I went with pumpkin bread because I liked the idea of a little cream cheese tucked inside of these loaves. I love how the filling turned into Amazon smiles.  I promise this bread will make you smile, too, because it's easy and delicious.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Grilled Pork with Cider Jus and Browned Butter Cauliflower Puree


Okay. I'm ready to jump headfirst into fall foods. Fall is my absolute favorite time of year. No other season inspires me as much to get in the kitchen and create things.  This is actually one of my favorite savory meals to celebrate the season. I can't get enough of the cider reduction--it smells like everything that makes autumn special. It's sweet, spicy, aromatic and complex. I've made it three times and I'm thrilled to share the recipe with you.

Friday, October 8, 2010

French Fridays with Dorie: Gerard's Mustard Tart


Welcome to my first installation of French Fridays with Dorie. This is an on-line cooking group that enables bloggers (or anyone with a camera and a kitchen) to cook the same recipes from the same book and compare notes and photos of the results. The book in question is Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan. It was just released last month and this is the first recipe I've made. I'm in love..

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Orange and Oat Scones


For the first of what promises to be one of many scone recipes on this blog, I wanted to start with this one. I made it for the first time only last week and it is now one of my favorites. And I've consumed quite a few in my life. This one is a keeper.  Thank you, Heidi, for sharing this gem and I'd like to pass on the word that this is one delicious and comforting recipe.