Favorite French Recipes

I’ve posted a recipe before where I tried to dupicate a tagine without actually have the right dish. A while ago we got one at our grocery store, a store called Hyper U-I thought it was such a funny name when I first moved here. After you have spent hundreds, if not thousands, of euros there, you can get “free” items. I got a toaster, an electric water pot and now this.


It’s made by a company called Emile Henry whose family has been making these since 1850 in Burgundy. I had wanted to buy a tagine dish in Morocco but was worried about carrying it home. This is a nice substitute. By the way, the word tagine refrers to both the contents cooked inside as well as the cooking container. It’s made from glazed clay and has a lid like a pointed hat that allows the steam to circulate inside.


A close up of the label.


I had been given this bag of spices some time ago but never used it until now. I was afraid there would be a strong taste of curry but it turned out to have a really nice flavor. Normally, tagine is made with lamb, prunes and almonds which is very representative of Morocco. I decided to use chicken.


It tasted so much better than this photo shows. Chicken can be a difficult subject to photograph-so pale.
Here is the recipe. Not really French but you find this type of dish a lot in France now.

In a hot tagine, fry the chicken in olive oil adding chopped onions, salt and pepper, dried ginger and saffron (I just used the spice I had.) Add 3 glasses of water and some sliced preserved lemons. ( I didn’t have preserved lemons so just added some fresh sliced lemons). I also added some white wine. Cover and cook for 30 minutes over low heat. More water can be added if it looks too dry. I usully do this type of dish in the oven but decided to try it their way. Add the juice of one lemon and cook for 15 more minutes. At the end of cooking add 2/3 cup green olives, and chooped parsely and coriander.
It was very fragrant, the chicken very tender and very easy to do. I think I could have put potatoes in the dish too but decided to cook rice serarately.

Favorite French Recipes

The other day I received an email from a person working for the world famous Petrossian. They are known for their caviar but a quick look at their online boutique shows you that they sell much more. The champagne filled chocolate truffles look really good to me.
Petrossian
They have a restaurant in the seventh arrondissement in Paris and also sell their products there and I plan to make a visit soon. I was sent three recipes from Petrossian and I thought I would give one of them a try. I’m not a fan of caviar but I adore foie gras so I decided to try the recipe for the salad. I’ve learned I should never serve something to company that I haven’t tried myself before especially if I’m having some French over but I decided to do it anyway. Also, I didn’t have time to trek out to the seventh for their foie gras so I punted and just used some from my market. It turned out to be a very elegant salad, perfect for company and I think the French eating it really liked it.

Foie Gras SaladBy Petrossian

Ingredients:
1 pound baby frisee
16 walnut halves
16 haricot Vests, blanched
1 Granny Smith Apple, peeled and cut into a small dice
Foie Gras Terrine, 8 oz. (I just used regular foie gras and only put it on the top of the salad).
4 teaspoons of white truffle oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Roasted Shallot Vinaigrette
1 cup olive oil
4 large shallots, peeled and sliced thinly
3 teaspoons of chopped thyme
3 teaspoons of chopped parsley
¼ cup of sherry vinegar
Salt and pepper
This made a lot more vinaigrette than I used but I saved it for more salads down the road.

In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium heat until shimmering and add shallots. Sauté for two minutes, then lower the heat to low and add the vinegar, salt, pepper, and herbs. Cook for 10-15 minutes until the shallots are tender. (In retrospect, I would have sauted the shallots a little longer and cooked them until more tender than I did). Remove from the heat and cool. When the shallots are cool, add them to a blender and blend for 30 seconds, add the olive oil in a steady thin stream to form an emulsion. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper if needed.

Assembly

In a large bowl, combine the frisee, walnuts, haricot verts, apple, and four ounces of the foie gras terrine cut into ¼ inch dice.(I didn’t add diced foie gras) Dress the salad with the roasted shallot vinaigrette and toss to combine. Divide onto 4 chilled plates and top each salad with a one ounce slice of the remaining foie gras terrine. Drizzle a teaspoon of truffle oil over each slice and serve chilled.

Serves 4

Favorite French Recipes

I’m not sure if you could call this a recipe and I’m not even sure if it is French but today I wandered into an Oliviers and Co to have a look around and found samples of sliced bread toasted with olive oil infused with basil, flavored salt and tomato powder. It had a great flavor so I bought their little kit and made the toast for dinner.


I imagine these ingredients are available at Olivier and Co in the States but at a higher price. You can also buy salt here with white truffles which cost probably 5 times less than in the States so it’s always worth a look while in Paris.

I think it would be a great little apperatif maybe topped with a tomato or a slice of avocado. I made the toast and then made a simple salad along with some ravioli mixed with the same olive oil, some parmasan cheese and some fried parma ham. It was a great light dinner.

Favorite French Recipes-Breton Apple Cake

Monthly I recieve, via the Internet, a e-magazine Called France Monthly http://www.francemonthly.com/
which gives great information on various parts of France. I love reading things like that, storing up places I want to visit next. They always give a recipe from the region written about. This month the subject was a part of Brittany and they offered this recipe for an apple cake. I had just bought some apples that looked good on the outside but on the inside were less than thrilling so I was looking around for a recipe so I could cook them. Maurice doesn’t like cinnamon so that leaves out most of my Amrican recipes so I was happy to find this one. While I was in the middle of mixing the ingredients, I realized that there wasn’t any baking powder on the list. I thought about adding some anyway but didn’t. The photo on the magazine looked like the cake would be rather heavy and dense so I decided to trust the recipe. It turned out to be great-it did raise a little-and the apples made it very moist. It was very easy and fast to make. I beat the egg whites first so I wouldn’t have to meticuously clean the beaters if I did it at the end. It calls for 6 ounces of butter which I think is about 2/3 cup-it’s what I used anyway.

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Breton Apple Cake

Ingredients:
6 oz softened butter
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup flour
3 eggs, separated
2 large apples
1 Tablespoon honey
Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius).

With a mixer, beat the soft butter with the sugar and add 3 egg yolks, having put the whites aside. Add the sifted flour and the honey.

Whip the egg whites until they form firm peaks and delicately fold them into the mixture.

Peel the apples and cut into small cubes. Add them to the dough.

Pour into a 7 ” round, buttered cake pan and bake for 50 minutes at 350 degrees.

Eat when cooled.

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Bon appétit !

Sideroads of Europe

Favorite French Recipes-Pissaladiere

We were in the grocery store the other day and saw what is called a Pissaladiere Nicoise. We almost bought it but Maurice decided that he would make it himself. It is a sort of onion tart without cheese, or any tomato sauce so not really a pizza either. I bought a quiche crust, ready made, but really should have gotten some pizza dough so that it came out thicker but, really, it was very good. I am not a fan of anchovies so I just took it off of my portion after it was cooked. I think, had I been the chef, I would have carmelized the onions and added thyme and maybe herbs de Provence but Maurice is very pure when it comes to cooking and likes things simple. I think this would make a great appetizer.

Pissaladiere Nicoise

Peel and cut 4 to 5 onions into small quarters.

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In a small pan heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and fry the onions. They shouldn’t get coloured during the cooking. They should be melted and white at the end of the cooking time.
Wash anchovies(the ones in a can), prepare the fillets, dip them into water.
Put olive oil on top of the dough. It probably would be a good idea to cook it a short while first so it doesn’t get soggy although we didn’t. Roll the endings around in order to make a cavity at the center.
Place on a cookie or pizza pan sprinkled with flour.
Heat the oven (250°)
Sprinkle an inch of sugar on the onions, mix them and cover the dough with the mixture.(In some recipes, a fish called Pissal is added which is where the name of this dish comes from. Too much fish for me.)
Drain the anchovies, put them on the onions, decorate them with nicoise olives.

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Put the “pissaladiere” in the hot oven, cook it for 30 minutes. Serve hot.

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Sideroads of Europe

Favorite French Recipes

 I heard about this recipe from a friend and it isn’t technically a French recipe but rather one from immigrants to France. It’s called a tagine and it should be cooked in one of those neat dishes that I didn’t buy when I was in Marroco. I’ve seen all sorts of recipes using any sort of meat and vegetables and people add nuts and fruit as well. Mine is more simple and I’ve done what is probably an American thing and added wine. As I always say, anything tastes good if you cook it in wine.

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 It doesn’t look that good in the photo, but it is.

Chicken Tagine

Any amount of chicken that you want

Any amount of potatoes cut in chunks. I microwave them for about 5 minutes before adding them to the dish to make sure they are finished cooking the same time as the chicken.

Dice garlic and chop onions into large chunks.

Oil the cooking pan that you use to save clean up time. Put olive oil on both sides of the chicken pieces and mix into the potatoes and onions. Salt and pepper everything and sprinkle everything with herbs de Provence or any other type of dry spice that you like. Sprinkle the garlic pieces over the whole dish. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the chicken (you can also marinate the chicken in lemon juice for a while if you like)and then pour white wine into the dish. I use about 1/2 cup usually-it depends on how much chicken I have. You can also put green olives into the dish but add them about 15 minutes before you take the dish out of the oven so they don’t over cook. I usually cut up the half of the lemon that I squeezed the juice from into wedges and add it to the dish as I like how it looks. I think you could use preserved lemons too which I never have. Cover well with foil and bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Remove the foil and then grill until everything turns nice and brown which usually takes 10 to 15 minutes. Squeeze the juice of the other half of the lemon over the chicken and serve putting the juice on the chicken.