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FFwD: Paris-Brest

FfwD: Paris-Brest pastry

This week’s French Fridays with Dorie is Paris-Brest, which is a particular Parisan pastry that was created in the olden days (the 1890s) to commemorate the Paris–Brest bicycle race. It’s pâte à choux dough (like for cream puffs or gougères) piped out in circles, baked, sliced in half, and filled with an almond praline vanilla pastry cream. I opted to make a half recipe and instead of one big eight-inch pastry, I made four small ones.

Notes:
1. I think my pastry tip was on the small side, so I got more pastries than I was expecting.
2. I used English muffins rings to pipe my rings inside of, but I think I could have skipped this. Next time, I’ll try it without and see what happens.
3. I added coffee liqueur to my vanilla pastry cream.
4. Almost all of my sliced almonds fell off the tops of my pastries after baking.
5. I had enough pâte à choux leftover to make two cream puffs.
6. I decided to cover my puffs with melted chocolate and since my almonds mostly fell of the Paris-Brests, I covered two of those with chocolate too. The other two got the powdered sugar.

Check . . . → Read More: FFwD: Paris-Brest

FFwD: Dressy Whole Wheat Pasta-Kale “Risotto”

FFwD: Dressy Whole Wheat Pasta Kale Risotto

Everyone seems to have loved this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe and I was no exception. Although, as someone who kind of feels like they over-indulged a bit during the holidays, I was not super enthusiastic about making a pasta dish filled with cream, cheese, and well…pasta. So, I changed it a bit.

The easiest swap was wheat pasta for the regular (a substitution that I make a lot), the second was skipping the cream – and not just because I was too lazy to go to the store. There’s already marscapone cheese in there, so I thought that, along with the Parmesan would be enough to make it creamy. Not to mention that this pasta dish is cooked kind of like a risotto (hence the name) and the liquid is not drained, so the starchy pasta broth would help it all bind together as well.

I also added some chopped kale and a bit more cheese (hey! because I skipped the cream!) and I think it turned out fairly well. It’s still extremely creamy, cheesy, and satisfying, if a little less French, I guess.

Here’s a link to everyone’s Dressy Pasta Risotto . . . → Read More: FFwD: Dressy Whole Wheat Pasta-Kale “Risotto”

FFwD: Dilled Gravlax with Mustard Sauce

FFwD: Dilled Gravlax with Mustard Sauce

A little late, but it’s still Friday here on the west coast, so I’m just getting this posted under the wire. This week’s French Fridays with Dorie was quite the experiment – Dilled Gravlax. I want to say that I’ve made gravlax once before, but now I can’t find a post on that so maybe I’m just imagining it. Maybe I dreamed it. Or maybe that was in a parallel universe (pardon me, but we’re working our way through Fringe on Netflix right now and it’s all red vines, parallel universes, and Walter-without-pants-on over here).

So, where was I? Oh yeah – gravalx. I made mine with some previously frozen Columbia River salmon. And here’s something I learned at IFBC this year: if you’re going to eat raw salmon (which gravlax basically is), it needs to have been frozen and defrosted. Or else there can be parasites (hey! Like on Fringe).

I made mine pretty much exactly as Dorie’s recipe dictated, which can also be found here: Dilled Gravlax with Mustard Sauce, Bon Appétit | March 2004.

After three days of curing, we ended up having this as a snack the day . . . → Read More: FFwD: Dilled Gravlax with Mustard Sauce

Cooking with Roots: Rutabaga Hash with Onions and Crisp Bacon

Rutabaga Hash with Onions and Crisp Bacon

I have a confession – I usually have to go ask a produce person if the item I’m holding in my hand is a turnip or a rutabaga. Up until about 10 years ago, I thought a parsnip was a turnip. In fact, before I even posted this, I double-checked to make sure that I used rutabagas when I made this dish. Yep. It’s all good. Whew!

Last year, the cookbook, Roots: The Definitive Compendium with more than 225 Recipes by Portland-based Diane Morgan came out and I was very excited to get a copy right away. This is one of those cookbooks where every other page will be folded down or have a post-it on it marking a recipe that you just NEED TO TRY. It’s seriously such a great fall and winter cookbook to look through and make stuff from – if you don’t already, you should really try to get yourself a copy! Need more convincing? Two words: carrot margarita.

Roots: The Definitive Compendium with more than 225 Recipes by Diane Morgan

In addition to a unique root vegetable cocktails, there’s also many, many recipes for the . . . → Read More: Cooking with Roots: Rutabaga Hash with Onions and Crisp Bacon

FFwD: Mme. Maman’s Chopped Liver

FFwD: Mme. Maman’s Chopped Liver

This week’s French Fridays with Dorie is one of those liver ones – the type that some people like to sit out. And I don’t blame them at all. I’m okay with liver, but I must admit to always skipping the sardine recipes.

For this one, my plan was to just make a half recipe (there are only two of us), but my chicken livers came frozen, in a one-pound tub. So…made the full version and froze half the finished chopped liver (without the egg), to bring out sometime in January.

We had this for dinner with some sourdough bread from Roman Candle Baking Co, a spinach salad, and I discovered that if you serve capers on the side, they are delightful sprinkled on top of a slice of toasted sourdough that’s slathered with chopped (or in this case, food processor-chopped) liver. I like smoothness in my liver recipes and I must admit, this was a much more appealing project for me if I did it more like a pate. So that’s what I did. The verdict: Delicious! I am looking forward to using up the freezer stash.

For the spice mix, I used the version . . . → Read More: FFwD: Mme. Maman’s Chopped Liver