Friday, February 28, 2014

FFWD ~ Garbure from the Supermarket

Garbure from the Supermarket
This week our French Friday recipe is for an incredibly delicious Garbure. What is Garbure, you ask? Garbure is basically a peasant soup or stew made of meat, beans and vegetables from the southwest region of France. Dorie tells us that a true Garbure is always made with white beans, cabbage and potatoes cooked in duck or goose fat. That would be the Duck Confit, which I could not find in my small grocery store, here in Florida.  However, Dorie wrote this recipe for those of us not able to find all the ingredients for a true Garbure. This is the Supermarket version!  I did happen to find a duck leg, a pork shoulder and some garlic sausage that made up the meat portion of the garbure.  I started mine the day before I planned to eat it, because the dried beans needed to be boiled and then sit for at least an hour. I boiled my beans, let them rest for an hour, and then placed them in the fridge overnight.

This was one of our favorite meals from “Around My French Table"
The next day, I browned my meat and prepared all the veggies.  Cutting up the veggies was the most labor intensive part of this recipe.  I cut my onions rather small because my hubby does not want to see onions in his soup…as long as he doesn’t see them, they’re not there! Trying to keep this palatable for him, I made some very minor changes.  I placed the onion, garlic, leeks and shallots into the pot and slowly let them become soft and translucent.  I then added the broth and cabbage, another veggie my hubby really doesn’t want to see.  After the cabbage softened, I used my trusty immersion blender to roughly puree the cabbage, onion, shallots and leeks.  Then I added all the other veggies to the pot, along with the meat.  Once every thing was in the pot, it's pretty much hands off. Let it simmer away for several hours, with an occasional stir.

To say this was delicious, is an understatement!  We really loved the delectable flavors in this Garbure!  But beware, the recipe made enough to feed a small army. Thank goodness my husband really enjoyed this meal. He was more than happy to eat it for four nights this week! He actually said to me ”I wouldn’t mind eating this one more night, it was really delicious!” Obviously, he never saw those onions!! Thank you Dorie…this one was a true winner!! Happy Friday, everyone!

This recipe can be found in Dorie Greenspan’s cookbook, “Around My French Table”. You can also find it here, where it has been previously posted.  To see what the other Doristas thought of the Garbure check it out here.

Cooking the Garbure with duck leg….the aroma was so enticing  

A wonderful dinner…Bon Appétit


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Maple Walnut and Fig Bread ~ Chelsea Market, NYC

Maple Walnut and Fig Bread from Amy’s Bread Cookbook
One of my favorite places to go, when I’m in NYC, is Chelsea Market. It happens to be a must see for any foodie visiting Manhattan. "It originally housed the Nabisco Company back in 1912. In1997 it evolved from a bakery landmark to a foodie’s mecca.” It houses the likes of Sarabeth’s, Eleni’s, Buon Italia, Bowery Kitchen Supplies and is also where I first discovered Amy’s Bread! Did I mention that the Food Network headquarters is upstairs? It is where the Iron Chef is filmed, as well as several of their other shows. A few years ago I attended an Emeril taping there.

This bread is loaded with figs, and walnuts
The first time I visited the market, was when my daughter was in college at Cooper Union.  I went for a weekend visit, and she brought me to this amazing place. It looked like an old factory, but had so much charm. It was still relatively unknown, and not yet on the tourist radar. It was my introduction to Amy’s Bread, still one of my favorite bakeries. The shelves were lined with the most wonderful rustic breads.  I bought a few small loaves to enjoy back at my daughters place. They were amazing!  Since 1992, Amy’s Bread has been baking and selling the most delicious rustic breads, and enjoys a reputation for quality and variety.  Amy has been recognized several times for her excellence in baking, most recently as one of the 10 Best Bread Bakers in America by Dessert Professional Magazine. She has published two wonderful cookbooks. One of which, is where I found the recipe I’m sharing with you today.  It’s a quick bread that is filled with walnuts and figs. Absolutely delectable! So if you happen to be in NYC, check out Chelsea Market, you won’t regret it.  But if NYC is not on your radar, you can still bake this wonderful bread! I hope you do!

Welcome to Chelsea Market, a foodies paradise 
One of my favorite bakeries
Some of Amy’s wonderful bread
And more bread
A peak inside Chelsea Market…note the great old architecture 
Sarabeth’s Bakery

Buon Italia….filled with the most wonderful Italian imports
Just one small section in Buon Italia 
This store has been there since my first visit, and will overwhelm you with all  it’s wonderful kitchen supplies
A small section inside Bowery Kitchen Supplies
Maple Walnut and Fig Bread…just out of the oven…wish I could share the aroma!

My tasters really loved this bread. The flavor of the Maple syrup gave it a lovely unique sweetness .  

Maple Walnut and Fig Bread
Recipe courtesy of Amy Sherber from her book Amy's Bread

Level: Easy
Makes 2 ~ 9x5 inch loaves

1 3/4 cups (10 1/2 ounces) dried figs, diced
1/2 cup (4 ounces) warm water (85 degrees to 90 degrees F)
2 2/3 cups (12 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 2/3 cups (6 1/2 ounces) cake flour
1 3/4 cups (5 1/4 ounces) old-fashioned rolled oats
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/3 cups (11 ounces) maple syrup
1 1/3 cups (11 ounces) milk
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 large egg yolks
3/4 cup (6 ounces) canola oil
2 cups (8 ounces) walnut pieces, toasted
Additional maple syrup for glazing

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Put the diced figs in a medium bowl and add the warm water. Let soak until softened.

Whisk the unbleached flour, cake flour, oats, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.

Put the maple syrup, milk, eggs, egg yolks, and canola oil in a medium bowl and stir with the whisk to combine. Add the mixture to the dry ingredients, stirring with a spoon just until all the flour is moistened. This should be a wet batter, because the oats absorb a lot of the liquid during baking.

Fold the walnuts and figs into the batter (the figs do not need to be drained). Divide the batter evenly between two oiled 9- by 5-inch loaf pans. Bake for about 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (If your oven bakes unevenly, rotate the pans from left to right and front to back about halfway through the baking time.)

Remove the pans from the oven and use a pastry brush to glaze the tops of the loaves with maple syrup. Set them on a rack to cool for about 10 minutes. Turn the loaves out of the pans and set them on the rack to cool completely before serving. Wrap any leftovers tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature. They may also be frozen, wrapped first in aluminum foil and then in plastic wrap or a heavy-duty freezer bag.

Friday, February 21, 2014

FFWD ~ Butter and Rum Crepes…Plain and Fancy

Beautiful Butter and Rum Crepes for French Fridays

Crepes are the pick for this week’s French Friday, and I couldn’t be happier! I love crepes! I grew up on crepes, however we called them Palacsinta.  My father was Hungarian and my mom made Palacsinta, quite often on the weekends. They are paper-thin pancakes, similar to French crepes. We would stand by the stove, full of anticipation for what was to come, as my mom would flip those wonderfully thin pancakes. We would spread them with my mom’s homemade jam, roll them and sprinkle them with powdered sugar! Could anything be better?

In the 80’s, Crepes were the rage!  Everyone made them with the “NEW" electric crepe maker. Putting your batter into a pie plate and dipping the hot crepe maker into it.  I used it for years, but always felt as though I should be making them in a fry pan like my mom. It just felt like cheating! So, several years ago I bought a wonderful crepe pan from De buyer.  Made in France of blue steel, once seasoned, it produces the most wonderful crepes. When I saw crepes on our French Friday February recipe rotation, I packed up my trusty crepe pan to make the journey to Florida with me.

Our first stop was in Atlanta!  For some reason, my grandsons and I were talking about our favorite foods, and crepes came up. So, I did what any good grandma would do. I pulled out my crepe pan, along with Dorie’s recipe, and mixed up a double batch of the batter!  The next morning we had a wonderful breakfast. So much so, that I made another batch for the next morning.  To say they were a hit would be an understatement! 

These were so good filled with the lemon curd…an afternoon delight!
That brings us to this week, and Dorie’s wonderful Butter and Rum Crepes! I mixed the batter the night before, as Dorie suggests.  I had a jar of Lemon Curd in the fridge, from Trader Joe’s, that I planned on using.  I loved Dorie’s recipe!  The trick with the sugar and zest is wonderful.  Dorie's recipe tells you to zest a lemon and orange, and rub it into the sugar, before adding to the other ingredients. It gave so much flavor to these crepes.  Making the crepes was quite easy. I’m an old pro and, once you get the hang of it, you will be too!  We ran some errands yesterday, so my hubby took me out for a lovely lunch. When I got back to the house I cooked up the crepes.  They were our late afternoon snack or, you could call them our dessert before dinner. Either way, they were delicious, and very much enjoyed!  We finished the rest of the crepes for breakfast this morning, with some homemade jam and powdered sugar. Just the way my mom made them! Happy Friday everyone!!

This recipe can be found in Dorie’s Cookbook “Around My French Table” or here, where it has been published. To see what the other Dorista’s are up to check it out on our French Friday site.

My trusty de Buyer crepe pan…doing it’s job!
These were such a treat…ask my grandsons

 Bon appétit! 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

TWD ~ Chocolate Mascarpone Cheesecake

The luscious Chocolate Mascarpone Cheesecake…all dressed up for Valentine’s Day
This weeks TWD-Baking with Julia recipe is by contributing baker, David Ogonowski. It is for a luscious Chocolate Mascarpone Cheesecake.  It was chosen just in time for Valentine’s Day!  I am a cheesecake lover! When I saw this pick, I knew I had to make it.  We are in Florida, and I didn’t have a spring form pan, or a mixer for that matter. However, that was not going to stop me. I went out the other day, visited two stores, and finally found an 8 inch spring form pan.  I had to go to three stores to find the mascarpone cheese. Funny, but in New Jersey you can find mascarpone in just about any deli or grocery store. I’ve made many cheesecakes, and know that as long as you soften the cheese, you can definitely mix this up by hand. That’s what I did.  It mixed easily and was quite smooth. There was no way I was flipping this cake, so I added my crumbs to the buttered spring form before I poured in the batter.  Since I love salty….sweet, I changed my crumbs to pretzel instead of cookie. It really added another tasteful dimension to this cake. It was a wonderfully delectable cheesecake…very creamy and not overwhelmingly sweet! I spent Valentine’s day with my son and his family, and it didn’t take long for all my Valentines to devour it! I’m adding this recipe to my favorite cheesecake recipes. I will definitely be making this again! Happy Tuesday everyone!
Check out what the other bakers have come up with, here at the Tuesdays with Dorie page. 
So creamy and delicious!
Beating the cream cheese and mascarpone until smooth
Adding eggs one at a time
melted chocolate
Blending the chocolate mixture into the batter
Just out of the oven
A winner for sure!

All of My Valentines really enjoyed it!

Chocolate Mascarpone Cheesecake                                                                                             adapted from Baking with Julia, contributed by baker David Ogonowski 


1 1/2 lbs cream cheese, room temp.
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 lb mascarpone, room temp
3 eggs, room temp
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream
6 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted-keep very warm
cookie crumbs (I used pretzel crumbs that I sprinkled into the pan before pouring in the batter…I was not about to flip a cheesecake)
butter, melted

• preheat oven to 350*. Prepare spring form pan, butter all over and line outside with foil. 
• cream cream cheese until perfectly smooth, about 4 minutes. add sugar and beat for another 4 minutes. scrape down the bowl and add flour, vanilla and mascarpone beat until incorporated
• add eggs one at a time. Scrape down side of bowl after each egg. Mix in the sour cream until incorporated.
• remove one cup of mixture and stir into the warm melted chocolate. mix until you no longer see white streaks. pour batter into your prepared 8″ spring form pan.
• set the spring form pan in a roasting pan and place in the center of the oven. pour hot water into the roasting pan until it comes halfway up the sides. bake 50-60 minutes, until you see a quivering wave across the cake when shaking the pan. remove the pan from oven and place cake on a wire rack to cool to room temperature.
• place in the fridge for at least 3 hours or over night. Unmold cake before putting in fridge.  flip cake over onto a cake plate and sprinkle bottom of cake with crumbs. press crumbs into cake. once set, re flip cake so crumbs are ultimately on the bottom. Refrigerate till ready to serve.

Friday, February 14, 2014

FFWD ~ Hélène’s All-White Salad

FFWD ~ Hélène’s All White Salad
It has been another bad weather week for the northeast, and this time it reached deep into the south! So, anticipating some ugly weather, we left our sons house in Atlanta and headed to Florida on Monday.  This week’s French Fridays is coming to you from sunny Seaside! When we arrived it was chilly, and for the next two days it rained. Today it hit a balmy 61 degrees and the sun was shining bright. Perfect weather for this weeks pick….Hélène’s All White Salad. 

It was a good lunch…loved the combo of apples and celery…I think some nuts would have been really good, too!

Dorie tells us that her friend Hélène Samuels created it for her cafe, Delicabar Snack Chic, in Paris' Le Bon Marche department store. She created many salads, named after the hues of the dining room, where they would be served. According to Dorie, she had a green (naturally), yellow, orange, red and the beautiful salad I am sharing with you today, Hélène’s All White Salad. This salad consists of celery, mushrooms, granny smith apples, Napa cabbage and a homemade mayo dressing made with Greek yogurt. I originally planned on serving this as a side salad, which I knew my hubby would have eaten, and enjoyed as part of his evening meal. Instead, I decided to make it for lunch, so that I could get some good photos!  Oh the life of a food blogger…lol! I halved the recipe and was able to get two lunch size portions from it! So, while Bill ate his ham and cheese sandwich, I ate Hélène’s All-White Salad, topped with some goat cheese! I found this to be a delicious lunch, although my eyes kept searching for some color. In the end it was a salad…a good salad but still just a salad! Maybe next time, topped with some beets and walnuts!  Happy Friday everyone!! And Happy Valentine’s Day!! 

This salad recipe can be found in Dorie’s cookbook “Around My French Table” or here at Serious Eats. To see what my fellow Doristas are up to, check it out here

I thought the dressing was quite good
The goat cheese gave the salad some substance…it was really good

Friday, February 7, 2014

FFWD ~ Boeuf à la Ficelle or Beef on a string

My "not so" great photo of my absolutely delicious Boeuf à la Ficelle 

This has been a crazy week, for sure.  Monday, we had 8 inches of snow in N.J. Tuesday was clear and dry, with another snow storm expected on Wednesday. So, not wanting to tempt fate and deal with one more snow and ice storm, we took our window of opportunity and headed south on Tuesday! We stayed overnight in N.C. and met many more escapees at the motel, who took advantage of that same window! The drive was easy and uneventful, arriving at my son’s house Wednesday, while my neighborhood was being battered again with one more snowstorm. So, while my friends up north were digging out, after yet another storm, we had arrived in cool, but sunny Atlanta!

The next day, I thought it would be a treat if I made dinner.  Since "Beef on a String" was our pick this week for French Fridays, it was on the menu!  I did my shopping Thursday morning.  I already knew that this cut of beef was going to be expensive. Bill went shopping with me. While I picked up all the ingredients needed for this dish (minus the turnips - there was no way my grandkids or my husband were going to eat turnips) Bill waited at the butcher counter (what was I thinking)!   He found me in the veggie isle and looked stunned. What’s wrong I asked? Do you know how much this piece of meat is?  I told him, going into the store, it was an expensive cut, so I wasn’t expecting any big reaction. Then he showed me the sticker…a pound and a half…$29.00!  Oops…Hubby sticker shock!  Having him pick up our beef was my mistake. I should have sent him for the veggies, while I took care of the butcher!

The most time consuming part of this meal, was making the broth. It was about 2 pm before I started, and I was worried it wouldn’t be ready for dinner. We planned to eat about 6:30.  I was certainly cutting it close.  The broth was delicious and I’m glad I made it. However, Cher pointed out that you could use a good quality beef broth to shorten the time. Once the broth is made, the rest of the prep goes pretty fast. Cutting up the veggies, and adding them to the strained broth until they are soft. Then, removing the veggies to a bowl while you poach the beef.  Dorie suggests fifteen minutes, and if it is too rare you could ladle some hot broth over it. That is what we did!
While I was getting all the bowls ready to serve, I grabbed one to take a photo…everyone was hungry and impatient! They were not going to wait for photos!  I got one or two "not so" great shots, and then we ate!  Everyone loved this dish! I’m talking about a house full of meat and potato men, including the young ones!  A hit all around…but what’s not to love.  An expensive cut of beef, and a wonderful beef broth filled with veggies! A missed opportunity, was capturing photos of my grandsons dipping slices of bread into the broth, while waiting for the beef to be ready!  Happy Friday everyone!

This recipe can be found in Dorie Greenspans cookbook, “Around My French Table or here at the Splendid Table.  To see what the other Dorista’s did with this one, check it out here.

Browning the oxtail, onions and marrow bones
All the veggies added to the stock
A wonderful meal….Boeuf à la Ficelle
This is what I left behind in New Jersey
Although beautiful…glad to be in Georgia!