French onion soup

French onion soup was a big favorite with my husband.   No matter where we travelled  in France, if he saw it on the menu he had to order it.   As a matter of fact, I truly dislike it.

The amazing thing is that I do love onions, especially caramelized with calves liver and bacon, or raw slices on a hamburger, etc. but there is something about onion soup that just does not  work for me.

That said, I made this week’s recipe in the smallest amount possible and used a ramekin for the results.

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Cooking the onions down to a paste took a very long time but they turned out nice and brown.  After adding the broth, I continued to cook it for 45 minutes on a very low simmer.

I toasted a slice of hearty country white and slathered it with fresh garlic, then topped it with grated Jarlsberg Swiss cheese.

After baking in the oven for 20 minutes, I used  the broiler to brown  the cheese.  The end result was pretty good, but I have no idea the taste of the soup, I just couldn’t try it.

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Sweet chili chicken thighs

This recipe is definitely a meal that can be prepared for a week night supper.

After prepping and sautéing onion and garlic with minced ginger,  then browning the chicken thighs on all sides, you  add  in the  Thai sweet chili sauce, soy sauce and mustard with a touch of sriracha and cook on low heat for about 30 minutes or so.  The chicken comes out so tender when finished,  the sauce is so delicious,  and it goes so well  when served over rice.

Since we were planing to have Super Bowl festivities at my house, Tricia and I decided that we would work on this recipe together.  It was a team effort, including her hubby, and when it was done we sampled it and declared it a definite winner.

The flavor of the Thai sweet chili sauce, when added to the other ingredients was perfect and very tasty.

Topping the dish with thinly sliced scallions give it a special touch.

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After taste testing, we went on to enjoy our usual super bowl assortment of  wings, pigs in a blanket, chips and dip.  An enjoyable and fun evening.

Celery root puree

The selection from “My Paris Kitchen” for this week is Celery root puree.

Celery root is an interesting vegetable, not too pretty, but tasty, and a perfect substitute for mashed potatoes.

Simmering the celery root in milk supposedly adds additional flavor to the dish, and with the addition of potatoes and garlic, that is definitely the case here.

I used my food processor to whip the cooked vegetables and they came out quite smooth and I topped it with a little paprika for color.  The dish was delicious.

I will say one thing about celery root, I  found it quite difficult to peel and also to slice.

We have used celery root before, about three times in our journey with both Dorie and David,  as a soup,  as a salad,  plus this recipe, and all three times the recipes were delicious.

 

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I find that some of these so called unknown veggies that we come across as we cook our way thru these wonderful cookbooks really opens up so many avenues that we would not have even considered.

 

 

Roasted root vegetables

fullsizeoutput_da5Roasting vegetables in the oven is the perfect method for caramelizing and flavoring them but still keeping them moist and tender.

In this recipe from “My Paris Kitchen”,  I chose  carrots, parsnips, potatoes and Brussels sprouts.  David suggests using beets but I think they are so messy and did not want to color the rest of the vegetables.

After coating the mixture with oil, salt and pepper, I sprinkled some dried  thyme on top and put them in a preheated oven at 400 degrees.    The vegetables roasted for about 50 minutes, had a beautiful color, and were perfectly browned.

I served this with  an old standby,  Salmon and tomatoes en Papillote,  from “Around My French Table”,  by Dorie Greenspan.   Both  recipes are so easy to prepare and  go well together, but more importantly are  delicious.

Potato chowder.

This recipe is called “potato chowder lots of ways”  from “Everyday Dorie” by Dorie Greenspan.  Depending upon the season you vary the vegetables but the main ingredient will be the potato.

The basic recipe,  which is the one that I am using here,  consists of leeks, onion, shallot, and garlic that is cooked in either bacon dripping or oil  until they have softened, then   add the chicken broth and the potatoes, cooking until the potatoes are soft enough to be smashed,  giving  the soup another texture.

Before serving,  add about 1/2 cup of either cream, half and half or milk.  I used milk in my soup but I think that cream would be a better choice.  When you are ready to plate the soup you can add a dollop of  sour cream or yogurt and sprinkle the bacon bits on top. Since I did not use the bacon to cook with, I just topped mine with parsley.

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This was a delicious soup, easy to make using vegetables that we always have on hand, and I am looking forward to trying the other suggestions using spring or fall vegetables that Dorie  mentions in her book.

 

 

Tangerine-Champagne Sorbet

This is the perfect recipe for the New Year of 2019.

I’m  off to a good start, not only did I substitute Clementine for Tangerine, I actually purchased a bottle of juice rather than go thru squeezing a lot of fruit.img_2770

Also, I did not use an ice-cream maker.  I mixed up all the ingredients and put that in the freezer and every two hours or so I would take it out and give it a good stir.

The combination is very tasty and the end result is so refreshing.

Since we were having champagne to celebrate the New Year, along with our traditional cooked lentils,  I was lucky enough to save some for this recipe.

Happy New Year to everyone.

 

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Bûche De Noël

This was a recipe that took a lot of planning.  I wanted it to be so perfect and I kept going over and over it hoping to get it straight.

I decided to make the little mushrooms the first day since they could be held at room temperature for a few days.   I actually had to make two separate batches since the first ones looked a little pathetic to me.  I found it to be a messy job using a plastic baggie so the second batch I did by hand.  Not great, but at least they were round.

The second day I worked on the Genoise and that wasn’t too difficult.  I  rolled it without a problem and was pleased that it did not crack.

As for the filling, I thought it was delicious.  I didn’t  use the orange peel because I don’t like fruit cooked that way.  Besides, with the chocolate in there, that’s enough for me.

After filling the cake I rolled it again in the plastic wrap and put it into the refrigerator overnight so I could finish the decorating the next day.

I think I cut the branches incorrectly because they did not look exactly as David had in the book, but when they were covered up it didn’t seem to matter at all.

The chocolate icing was very easy to prepare and went on the cake smoothly.

All in all I am pleased with the results, and most importantly, I’m  glad we are finished with that recipe.IMG_2747

Roasted Squash Hummus

This month’s selection from EVERYDAY DORIE is for toasted squash hummus that can be prepared with either Acorn or Butternut squash.

Even though it has the usual tahini, it also has the addition of za’atar, and pomegranate molasses.

It can be served with fresh vegetables or pita, but Dorie likes to spread some yogurt on the plate or bowl and pile the hummus on top with a drizzle of oil and additional pomegranate seeds.

I roasted the butternut squash in the oven and under the broiler for some additional browning, and then after cooling I scraped the flesh and mashed it very fine before adding all the rest of the ingredients.

I have never used pomegranate molasses before so I had no idea what it would do to this recipe.  I thought perhaps it would turn red or something, but it just made it sweet.

Since I was expecting something like the chickpea style hummus I was a bit disappointed with the flavor. however, everyone has different tastes.fullsizeoutput_d7c

Comté and ham wafers

fullsizeoutput_d77The first time I saw this recipe I knew I would like it and I wasn’t  disappointed.

I used a sharp cheddar  instead of the comté as that was on hand, and as delicious as it turned out,  it was a strong flavor.   I think the comté is a more mild cheese and would be the best choice for this recipe.

I am sorry I didn’t  use my box grater to cut up the cheese, but David suggests a chef’s knife.  I found that to be a bit difficult to make the pieces tiny enough, and when everything was mixed together I had trouble rolling it into a log.  That said, after an hour or so in the fridge it did slice easily and I was able to patch the parts that crumbled.

The baking times were a bit off, but perhaps that could be my oven.  I actually baked them for a total of 14 minutes after  rotating them in the oven.

This is a delicious recipe, and would go very well with a glass of wine or drink of your choice.

David mentions that these are really good fresh from the oven and he is definitely correct on that score because when I tasted them the next day they weren’t as crisp.   I am going to try to freeze them and then reheat and see how they turn out.

 

 

Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh is a recipe that I am not familiar with and that’s  the fun  thing about cooking with a group such as ours.  When we come across recipes that we know nothing about, or if it had not been chosen for us in the schedule, we would have definitely passed it by.

That is the case with tabbouleh, this week’s recipe for the extra edition.

Not saying I particularly enjoyed the recipe, but I did learn all about bulgar wheat, and also, that  I definitely do not like parsley as a salad and I was glad that I had cut the recipe using only  1/4 of all the ingredients.   Maybe if I had used pita or flat bread to go along with this it might have tasted differently.  However, that said, I just topped a few chips to show the results.

I made the recipe for the experience and I must admit, it looked pretty.

At least Tricia enjoyed it, so it was not a complete waste of time and ingredients

 

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