I started participating in French Fridays with Dorie last January. I am proud to say that I only missed one recipe in all of 2011!
While I actually cooked all but one of the recipes, I took a blogging break last summer and didn’t get to share all of my results with you. Here is a long overdue recap of the recipes I missed.
Looking at all these pictures from last summer is making long for some warmer weather!
Salmon and Potatoes in a Jar
Salmon and Potatoes in a Jar was a very unique cooking experience! First, raw salmon is cured in salt and sugar, then the salmon and cooked potatoes are packed in separate jars and marinated for up to 3 days. Remove from the jar and eat!
I have never cured my own salmon before, but it was very easy. I served this with rye bread I made using the no-knead method. I thought we (especially my husband) would prefer the potatoes over the salmon, but the opposite was true. The salmon was quite tasty, but the potatoes seemed a little boring. I don’t think I would make this again as a dinner, but I can definitely imagine making just the salmon to serve as an appetizer at a party.
Eggplant Caviar is a spread made from (you guessed it!) eggplant. It also contains garlic, lemon zest and juice, chopped onion, and several herbs and spices. The eggplant is first roasted and then combined with the rest of the ingredients. I thought I would like this more than I did. The flavor was a little too lemony for my taste, and I did not like the taste or texture of the raw onions. That said, it made a very satisfying summer lunch with crusty bread and tomatoes.
Café Salle Pleyel Hamburger
The Café Salle Pleyel Hamburger is a French take on an American classic. The meat is mixed with chopped sun-dried tomatoes, capers, cornichons, tarragon, and parsley, giving it a wonderful flavor. For serving, the buns are spread with homemade red onion marmalade, which is topped with thinly sliced dill pickles. Ribbons of Parmesan cheese top the meat.
I really loved the flavors of this hamburger! I don’t generally like pickles on my burgers, so I used them sparingly. After taking a few bites I added more pickles because the flavor blended so well with the rest of the burger. This recipe won’t replace our favorite grilled hamburgers, but I will definitely make them again when I am looking for a change of pace.
Corn Soup is like a taste of summer. In-season, fresh corn is a must here. The corn kernels, cobs, onions, celery, carrot, garlic, and herbs (thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf) are simmered in milk until tender and flavorful. After blending the soup, it is served with a garnish of fresh corn kernels, green onion, and cooked bacon. Dorie says the garnish is optional, but to me it is not: the garnish really made the soup! A very nice way to enjoy summer corn.
Cinnamon-Crunch Chicken is a quick but interesting dish. Chicken breasts are quickly sauteed until almost cooked through, and then simmered with a mixture of crushed cinnamon spice cookies and crème fraîche. The first time I made this I could not find the suggested cookies (LU Cinnamon Sugar Spice Biscuits) so I used gingersnaps instead. After I found the correct cookies I made it again.
I’m not sure how I feel about this dish. I like chicken. The sauce went nicely with the noodles. I think the problem I had with it was the sweet taste from the cookies. It just didn’t seem right to me. While this was a fun dish to try, I don’t think I will be making it again.
The group started cooking in October 2010, so I missed three months of recipes. I have been slowly working my way through those recipes too. These are the ones I have completed:
Spiced Butter-Glazed Carrots: I made them to accompany Scallops with Caramel-Orange Sauce.
Roast Chicken for Les Paresseux: I have made this a couple times now, the first time last January – delish!
Gougeres and Sweet and Spicy Cocktail Nuts: I made these as appetizers for Thanksgiving 2011 and both were met with rave reviews!
My Go-To Beef Daube: A satisfying beef stew for a cold winter’s night.
Potato Gratin: I made this for Christmas dinner. It was rich and delicious!
I have a few recipes left to make and some of them I’m not sure I will feel inspired to make, but I will try. I plan on making Vietnamese Spicy Chicken Noodle Soup very soon (tonight, actually!) after reading how much Alice at A Mama, A Baby and Shar-Pei in the Kitchen liked it recently. Aside from the Vietnamese soup, I still have to make the following:
Gerard’s Mustard Tart
Marie-Helene’s Apple Cake
Caramel-Topped Semolina Cake
Leek and Potato Soup
I would love to be able to say at the end of the French Fridays with Dorie journey that I cooked every recipe!