I had every intention of skipping this week’s French Fridays with Dorie because I didn’t think I’d have enough time to make it. Then I checked the schedule and saw that it was Cheesy Crème Brûlée and well, I found myself heading right to the store to pick up supplies.
I love crème brûlée and I love cheese, so this was quite the alluring combination for me. But, because it is all cheesy and creamy, I did opt to only make about a third of the recipe. This was roughly one egg yolk, 3/4 cup half and half (which I subbed for the whole milk and cream to make it a bit easier) and about 1.7 oz of cheese (a mix of Parmesan and cheddar). I used a very short, wide crème brûlée dish and it ended up being the perfect size to share.
Other changes I made: I added about 1/2 tsp of Dijon mustard to the custard and for the topping cheese, I mixed in a little smoked paprika and more freshly ground black pepper.
I had some troubles getting mine to set at such a low oven temperature (mostly due to . . . → Read More: FFwD: Cheesy Crème Brûlée
This week’s French Fridays with Dorie is all “knock knock.” And I’m all, “who’s there?” And it’s all, “Chicken liver.” “Chicken liver who?” I ask. And it’s all, “No, really. Chicken liver. Go buy some chicken liver and let’s do this.”
So, I bought chicken liver. I blended it up in my food processor with some egg yolk, half and half, garlic and herbs, etc…and I baked it. And it was pretty damn good.
Maybe it’s because I’ve gotten so used to ordering charcuterie (the dream of the 1890′s) when we go out and there’s always a delicious terrine or a pâté or what-not on the plate. Or maybe I was just feeling extra adventurous, but I did it. And I would do it again, too.
I loved the pickled onions (I also had some store-bought pickled peppers on the side) and we had it with a simple salad, some red wine and a long skinny baguette from Little T’s. A very delightful and very French meal. As always, the recipe is in the cookbook, Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan.
I made a third of a recipe (1 egg, 1 egg . . . → Read More: FFwD: Chicken Liver Gâteau with Pickled Onions
When I think of Cheez-its, I don’t immediately think of France, but in the spirit of French Fridays with Dorie, I’m willing to go with it. Perhaps French people just looooove Cheez-its? Kind of like Jerry Lewis?
There’s also probably an intro to the recipe or something that explains this connection but the book is downstairs and I am up here and it’s 7:00 AM and I don’t plan on going downstairs again until leaving for work. So there’s that.
Okay, notes and stuff:
1. I have been making a lot of crackers lately. That is a lot of butter. I have been trying this new thing where I replace about 1/3 – 1/2 of the butter called for in cracker recipes with olive oil. That worked here!
2. For cheese, I used mostly cheddar with just a little manchego added in.
3. Speaking of all of my cracker-making of late, I have started using a shortcut where I roll the dough out on parchment, then use a pastry cutter (like a small pizza cutter with a decorative edge), to slice the dough into crackers, and then just bake them like that (not separating them out). That technique was moderately . . . → Read More: FFwD: Cheez-it-ish Crackers
So, really, I was originally thinking that I would just sit this French Fridays with Dorie out. It’s a very busy week coming up and I just didn’t think I would have the time. Then, I saw that the recipe for Friday was Goat Cheese Mini Puffs and decided that I really, really had to make them, time management be damned.
Of course, I forgot to go to the store and get goat cheese. That’s a problem. After looking around my kitchen crazily for a bit I came up with the idea of Marscapone (cream cheese’s fancy-pants Italian cousin, which I did have in the fridge), Parmesan, herbs and low fat Greek yogurt for the cream. But then…I saw the sriracha. And some cheddar cheese. And that was that.
I also quartered the original recipe and wound up with six puffs. The quartering worked fairly well. The only issue I had was getting the lone egg to incorporate into the dough smoothly. After beating a bit in the stand mixer, I decided to use a rubber spatula and arm power — that seemed to work and the dough came together.
Srircha-Cheddar Substitute Filling: I used . . . → Read More: FFwD: Sriracha Cheddar Mini Puffs (Instead of Herbed Goat Cheese)
Wow! Well, I think I have found my most favorite French Fridays with Dorie ever! And that’s so surprising because I didn’t think this would be anything special at all. Something about the eggplant and vegetables and shaved cucumber slices that all just really worked together. I dunno…maybe it’s just olive oil-vinegar-herb-grill pan magic.
Speaking of grill panning, that is one thing I did differently, as we’re having a bit of a heat wave and here’s just no way I could have turned on my oven. Not even for nachos, so no way I’m roasting eggplant slices. I’m just saying…
Notes: (and there are many because I changed a lot)
1. I grilled my eggplant slices for about 5-7 minutes per side and got really nice grill marks and my eggplant softened up quite a bit. I also sprinkled a little garlic powder on my eggplant slices just because. Why not?
2. The tomatoes (Romas) and cucumber were from our garden!
3. I made a smaller recipe, with two slices of eggplant and a fractions of the tomatoes, cucumber, onion, etc.
4. Instead of oregano, I used fresh basil (also from the garden)!
5. White balsamic instead . . . → Read More: FFwd: Eggplant “Tartine” with Tomatoes, Olives, and Cucumber