Tuesdays With Dorie – Summer Market Galette

No reminiscences from me on this one. Sadly, apricot season has long passed us by, here in Florida. I used peaches, nectarines, and black plums, and then did an apricot glaze because I do so love apricot jam and it only seemed appropriate having left them out. Also out of stock were the butter cookies recommended, so I used leibniz instead, which was a simple substitution. But seriously. Much of our fruit, including peaches, are coming from California. I do not understand this. I mean, Georgia is right next door. Hello? Peaches? GEORGIA??? I passed by a roadside fruit stand over the weekend. If I can recall where I saw it I will have to stop this coming weekend. 

Anyway, I made the dough on Friday evening and then finished this on Sunday, so it is always nice when something is so simple. I know one ought to just heap the fruit into the center of the dough, but I really love a more elegant presentation of the fruit against the ruggedness of the dough. Plus, I had time to kill while I was waiting for the oven to pre-heat. I served this with a little whipped cream.

I might go so far as to say that if you don’t have amazing fruit, this recipe might not be worth it. It is front and center, the true star of the show. Some of my fruit was… well… it was what you might expect from fruit that has travelled 3000 miles to get to you. It was a little tart (even with the extra sugar) which took away from the sweet, juicy, run-down-your-fa e, amazing, summertime stone fruitiness of it. I might have to skip the next CTBF challenge if I can’t find local apricots. I am not sure it would be worth it to substitute. It really does make a big difference. Before we moved, there was all sorts of abundant stone fruit… I had coworkers that would just bring me bushels of apricots and plums from their own trees, and it was the sort of thing you really looked forward to because it was that good. We get different produce here… citrus and mangos. Anyway, it was good but I think the lack of amazing fruit tempered it for me. Maybe I am just being high maintenance? I will let the reader decide. 😎

Posted in Baking Chez Moi | Dorie Greenspan, Dessert | Tagged , , , , | 13 Comments

Cook the Book Fridays – Buckwheat Crêpes with Ham, Cheese and Egg

Crêpe making, at least in our house, turns into a team activity. One person to pour the batter in, the other to quickly swirl the pan around, and both to decide by committee (hovering over the pan all the while) that the crêpes are doing ok, or bickering over the best way to turn them without tearing them. Indeed I learned the art of Crêpe making from one of my ballet friends as at about the age of 11, and I have a picture of me making a crêpe breakfast for my family once I got home… I was so enthralled by the process. I will have to dig it up and show you all. I was also introduced to Nutella at the time, and I made my mom go to the specialty food shops in Montauk to find it when we went out for our vacation that summer. Such a diva, even at the age of 11!

I digress…

It is a good thing this batter yielded so much… we definitely sacrificed four crêpes before getting our first perfect one (ie one we could agree on). We also used a larger pan which yielded a slightly larger outcome.

I have never used buckwheat before. On its own the flour has this earthiness that reminds me of seaweed (which makes it unsurprising that this batter is also used with a seaweed butter in another recipe). The flavor is so delicate and there is just the nicest chewiness from it. 

Of course I used prosciutto because, well, do I even have to explain? Also used the recommended emmenthaler, though I could easily see gruyere being used here. 

We loved these. They are super easy to eat, and we quickly devoured the fruits of our labor, easily going back for seconds. The richness quickly caught up with us both, though, and we couldn’t finish as we collapsed in an umami-filled satisfaction on the sofa, post-lunch. Just thinking about them right now makes my mouth water a little. 

Posted in My Paris Kitchen | David Lebovitz | Tagged , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Tuesdays With Dorie – Cornmeal & Berry Cakes

When I was about 11 I attended this summer performing arts camp on Long Island. I basically danced all day.

We would gather at wooden picnic tables in the woods for lunch that we would bring from home, and there was another girl who always had Nabisco (?) Blueberry Mini Muffins in her lunch. Of course, coveting what others had (in retrospect, yuck), I asked my parents to buy some, which they definitely would not do. Instead, my mother made me blueberry bread. Basically a blueberry muffin recipe made in a square cake pan, and then topped with sugar that caramelized when baked. Now *I* had the covetable treat! Way better than those processed, packaged things. What a mom!

Of course these little cakes have nothing except blueberries in common. I thought I would go for a classic combination of lemon and blueberries, and the blueberries took me back to a lovely memory. 

These are absolutely delicious. And of course when there is a “bonne idee” that includes a lemon glaze, I am all over it. I do say that in these mini loaf pans they are a little awkwardly sized. To do it again I would either make them in a full loaf pan and slice it like a pound cake, or make them as maybe financier bars. I could see this served on a brunch buffet, or served with a tea… they would be absolutely perfect that way.

Posted in Baking, Baking Chez Moi | Dorie Greenspan, Dessert | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Cook the Book Fridays – Raw Veg Slaw

Ok. So mine looks like a basic salad. 

We had gone down to Palm Beach over the weekend to visit my sister in law’s family, and we didn’t get back until Sunday afternoon, and just then had to go grocery shopping. I didn’t make this until Tuesday, which was also the day where the Blogilates calendar required what felt like a million plank position cardio exercises. By the time I got to making this I was in a “give zero f***s” sort of mood and so this is what it turned out like. I should have used the shred function on my Cuisinart if I’d even wanted to lift it out of the pantry with my wrecked arms and shoulders. 

I used romaine because we had extra in the house, plus carrots, radishes, and Granny Smith apples. The salad dressing… omg. It made so much, and I think I only used a few tablespoons to dress it. It was OK for me, which I can’t distinguish between my mood at the time I made it, or the actual taste. *shrug*

Posted in My Paris Kitchen | David Lebovitz, Sides | Tagged , , | 13 Comments

Tuesdays With Dorie – Rose Fraisier

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Rose tastes so very much like it smells, don’t you think?

Everything went swimmingly with this cake. Not a hitch in sight. That is, until filling time.

I had my Strawberries lined up at attention like little fruit soldiers. My strawberry sizes were not terribly dissimilar. I remember what others had said about their Strawberries toppling over, and for a minute I considered using some acetate sheets to protect the shape of the cake as I filled and cooled it, much the same way I would make a Milk Bar cake. And then I thought… “nah… I will be ok”. In retrospect I am really not sure how I intended to get those clean sides without wrapping it.

I began to fill.

I am sure you can guess what came next. The Strawberry Hoover Dam broke. Pastry cream flooded out of one side of the cake. Urgently I called to my husband for help. He used an offset spatula to hold the strawberries up while I scrambled to cut a sheet of acetate into strips and carefully wrap the cake (which I should have done at the start…).

Once we got the cake wrapped, of course we couldn’t leave a heap of pastry cream on the platter, so we eagerly scooped it up, ate it, and carefully wiped up the remainder.

Dorie’s recipe said to chill the cake for an hour, but out of an abundance of caution I let it set up for 24 hours to ensure we had no more pastry cream crises. The upside is that you would barely know anything happened (thankfully), though that was definitely not the side I took a picture of!

The cake was amazingly delicious. I love that this has heapings of pastry cream to offset the tartness of the strawberries. The rose was very rose-y. Elegant and floral and delicate and everything that could make a summer cake perfect!

If you would like to try your hand at this classic cake, you may find the recipe here on Dorie’s website. Just make sure to use an acetate sheet to wrap it before you fill the pastry cream!

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Cook the Book Fridays – Chicken Lady Chicken

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Ok. So my chicken skin is a little over done. I also made a few substitutions in the marinade… we don’t like really spicy things, so I left out the chili paste, and used sumac instead (because, sumac). I subbed brown sugar for the honey.

The whole thing was delicious, though maybe not enough to hoard it all for myself like David talks about in his head notes. I was disappointed that the marinade didn’t really flavor the meat, even though there was a significant amount of it under the skin. Maybe it is the result of my substitutions. Maybe it is just that I am over chicken right now (possible). We ate half of it for dinner one night and then I left the rest for my hubby as I went off on a business trip.

Speaking of which I am in the car driving to the airport right now. Luckily I have an analyst that prefers to drive so that I can do other things. Long day of travelling ahead, and I don’t get back to Florida until 10pm, so see you on the flip side!

Posted in Meat, My Paris Kitchen | David Lebovitz | Tagged , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Tuesdays With Dorie – Rice Pudding with Strawberries and Spiced Hibiscus Syrup

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I was excited to see Hibiscus as a major player in this week’s recipe. I live in Florida on Hibiscus Street, and need only to walk out my door to enjoy the lovely red, pink, and yellow Hibiscus bushes. When we first arrived here after a tiring cross country move, I stepped out of the truck to smell the ocean and the sweet smell of Hibiscus. I knew instantly I would be happy here.

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I did half consider picking some hibiscus flowers for this recipe but was not sure whether they would dry adequately in time. I wound up using Red Zinger tea instead, which worked out well. My mother used to drink it all the time (tea at 3:30 with Gram every afternoon!), but I only just realized it had Hibiscus in it. I was intoxicated by its ruby red color as it steeped. I definitely think the syrup really made the rice pudding. It had so much depth of flavor, and each of the steeping spices really stood out on its own.

There is not too much that you can do with any rice pudding recipe to make it substantively different from any other. I was interested to see that the only thickener was the starch from the rice (I used arborio). For a while I was worried that it would thicken up enough, but I “stayed with it” at Dorie’s urging. I usually make my Aunt Verna’s rice pudding which uses an egg/sugar slurry and sweetened condensed milk (plus a quart of whole milk (!) to thicken (it is SO good). I haven’t had rice pudding in quite some time, though this brought back many memories of all the time my mom made it for me… Dorie’s technique is similar to my mother’s. Of course Aunt Verna’s is rich enough to stand alone, whereas this delicious syrup really requires a less rich rice pudding to coordinate with it.

Posted in Baking Chez Moi | Dorie Greenspan, Dessert | 12 Comments