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Archive for the ‘French Fridays with Dorie’ Category

Runny egg, bacon, and vegetable salad

A bacon and eggs and asparagus salad sounds pretty simple, right? It even sounded a little boring to me when I first read this month’s French Fridays with Dorie schedule. At least from the writing standpoint. But I actually had a lot of fun making this salad because of the six-minute egg that lies on top of it. Once I read the recipe, I couldn’t wait to experiment with that egg.

A six-minute eggI now know, is a whole egg with a cooked, firm white and a runny yolk center. When I sliced into the finished egg, the yolk ran out in a thick yellow stream, covering the salad and mixing with the vinaigrette dressing. It’s was really kind of cool to see.

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Spinach and bacon quiche

Thanks to French Fridays with Dorie, I’m more confident in my tart-making skills.  I started with a sweet tart crust – the sweet comes from the powdered sugar in the recipe – to make Dorie’s orange-almond tart and torteau de chèvre.  This was the perfect crust for me to start with because I merely had to press it into the pan.

Now this week, there is spinach and bacon quiche.

Quiche is new to me. I don’t eat eggs. I’ve tried, and I just can’t handle the texture. So all I knew of quiche is that it’s kind of like a savory pie, often served in slices next to bright green salads for lunch.

I know now what quiche is at its most basic level: a tart filled with a custard that is made with eggs and milk or cream.

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Torteau de chevre, goat cheese cake, Dorie Greenspan

There are few desserts I don’t like, and one of them is plain, traditional cheesecake.  I don’t like the texture.  It’s too rich and creamy for my taste.  So when I first heard we were making torteau de chèvre – a simple goat cheese cake with a sweet sugar cookie-like crust – for this week’s French Fridays with Dorie,  I was expecting that moist cheesecake texture.

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Chocolate Eclairs

I was both excited and very intimidated about making chocolate éclairs for French Fridays with Dorie. Making them requires using a bag and pastry tip to pipe the dough onto a baking sheet, then the pastry cream into the middle of the éclair.

I can’t use a pastry bag. Every time I fill it with icing or cream and gently press the bag to start piping, the filling oozes out of the top of the bag. Or I pipe squiggly lines instead of straight ones. Or, if I’m piping a border on a cookie, my icing is so thin that it slides down the edges.

I also have never cared for éclairs. The pastry – the same one I used to make gougeres, the French cheese puffs – tastes too much like eggs for my taste.

But maybe I’ve just never had an éclairs with chocolate. Because Dorie’s recipe was delicious.

There are three part to these éclairs: 1) the pastry, 2) the chocolate pastry cream that fills the pastry, and 3) the chocolate ganache topping that covers the top of the pastry. The final version is so rich that I cut mine in quarters to take to a few Easter parties. I didn’t have any leftovers.

Chocolate pastry cream, chocolate ganache, chocolate eclairs<

Here's a few tips if you want to make your own chocolate éclairs:

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Garlicky, Crumb-Coated Broccoli, French Fridays with Dorie

I think eating plain steamed vegetables is kind of like chewing a vitamin instead of just swallowing it: You know it’s good for you, but the unpleasant taste while chewing makes getting the stuff down feel like work.  I much prefer the crispy brown texture that vegetables get from sautéing or roasting.

So I wasn’t sure I would like this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe, which starts with steamed broccoli.

I only eat steamed broccoli when I’m at a restaurant that serves it as the vegetable of the day.  But this broccoli would be coated in a buttery garlic and lemon bread crumb mixture that sounded rich and bright and flavorful.  So I dug out my bamboo steamer and gave the broccoli a chance.

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Quinoa Salad, French Fridays with Dorie

Every month, the FFwD crew votes on the recipes we will make for the next month’s French Fridays with Dorie. I voted for this week’s quinoa salad recipe, but I thought about skipping this post. After all, what was I going to say about salad?

I thought about it though, and realized this recipe is incredibly versatile. You don’t even need a recipe.

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Scallops with Orange Caramel Sauce

I love a good excuse to splurge on one of my favorite foods. So thank you, French Fridays with Dorie, for this week’s selection: scallops.  

I’ve used bay scallops to make cioppino, a fish stew.  But I’ve never cooked sea scallops because they’re so pricey. At half the price of their larger counterparts, the bay scallops are much more gentle on my wallet.

I like to hop on the Monterey Bay Aquarium website to check the sustainability of seafood before I buy it.  I was surprised to learn that diver-caught and farmed sea scallops are actually a better choice than wild-caught scallops.

Fishermen catch wild-caught Atlantic sea scallops by dragging a net along the bottom of the ocean floor, which upsets the habitat that lives there.  Still, the Aquarium lists Atlantic varieties as a good choice if you’re buying scallops.  

I know this sounds very environmental of me to check if scallops are sustainable before buying them. But this time, I didn’t check the website first.  I went to Whole Foods, got a half pound or 8 scallops for $8.50, cooked them, and enjoyed every moment of eating them. Either way, I was not passing up the scallop recipe, so I figured why spoil my meal beforehand?

Which brings me to the recipe: Scallops with Caramel-Orange Sauce.

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