Friday, November 19, 2010

FFWD: Potato Gratin

This week I decided to do the Potato Gratin from "Around My French Table" by Dorie Greenspan. Check out my French Fridays with Dorie link to see what everybody else has been cooking this week. I was looking forward to this recipe with a little dread. I knew the recipe would be delicious but it meant I had to struggle with my demons about using a mandolin. I consider this the most dangerous piece of equipment in my kitchen and if I was threatened by an intruder, I'm sure I could slice and dice them with this thing. All my apprehension is because a few years ago, the first time I used it, I cut myself severely. The potato I was slicing got caught in the blade and I removed the guard to try and pull it out. When I couldn't pull it out, I had a major brain fart and tried to push it through with my bare fingers. Not a smart idea. I ended up cutting my thumb pretty bad. It was very traumatic. My advice: DON'T EVER REMOVE THE GUARD, NO MATTER WHAT!

After following my own advice, I sliced the potatoes just fine with my handy mandolin and the resulting dish was wonderful cheesy deliciousness. I served it with steamed green beans and pork chops glazed with a combination of orange marmalade, honey mustard, and crushed fennel seeds. Definitely a keeper recipe and meal.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Apple Hill

My darling hubby and I have very little time together during the school year because we just can't get our days off coordinated. When we have a day off together we love to get out of the house for a little road trip. Today we went to Apple Hill near Placerville, Ca. It's a wonderful area with lots of orchards, wineries, and craft items to browse through. I couldn't wait to go on this trip and have been planning on what photos I would take. I wanted to get some of the fall colors in the vineyards because it's really beautiful up there this time of year. We were about 40 minutes from home when I remembered I didn't bring my camera. Boo Hoo!  Here's a couple of photos I grabbed off the Apple Hill web site.

We visited Boeger Winery and tasted some of their excellent wines. I bought a Saviongn Blanc for Thanksgiving dinner. We also visited my favorite orchard, High Hill Ranch and had a wonderful piece of Caramel Apple pie. We visited the craft booths and I bought darling hubby a new coffee mug that looks like a little person holding a Giants baseball. Go Giants!!! I had to have some pumpkin butter, apple butter, some pickled cauliflower, and a cinnamon apple cider donut.  We also stopped at Denver Dan's for chicken
pasties. Needless to say the diet went out the window today.


Friday, November 12, 2010

FFWD: Roast Chicken for les paresseux

Translated: Roast Chicken for Lazy People. That's me. This is the latest recipe that I made with my French Fridays with Dorie friends. Check out the web site and buy Dorie Greenspans new book, "Around My French Table" and then come join us in our cooking fest.

This roast chicken couldn't have been any easier. A month or so ago, my darling husband bought me a porcelain covered cast iron dutch oven from Paula Deen's line of cookware. I love this dutch oven almost as much as I love my husband. It cooks the food great and is easy to clean up. But back to the roast chicken.  I followed the directions to a t in this recipe and you can see, it came out great. It didn't take long to prep and I cooked it 90 minutes. The only thing I would do different is put the vegetables in a little sooner. My carrots were still a little under done only cooking for 45 minutes. For all you people who are afraid to try the bread in the bottom of the pot, I say go for it. I used a thick slice of Rustic Tuscan bread. I also cooked the chicken liver like Dorie suggested and mashed it up to put on the bread. It was so good. The bread reminded me of something my grandfather always made for us after he fried chicken. He would fry the bread in the chicken drippings and then sprinkled it with sugar for us. Probably not the healthiest snack but boy, was it good!

Saturday, November 06, 2010

FFWD: Pumpkin Gorgonzola Flans

This month at French Fridays with Dorie we could decide what order we wanted to make our dishes. I decided on the Pumpkin Gorgonzola Flans. This time of year I just crave anything with pumpkin. It is a real comfort food for me and I don't really know why. This recipe was a breeze to fix and it tasted wonderful. I loved it. Darling Daughter complained about the cheese and hubby hasn't tasted it yet. I don't know if he will because he doesn't care for anything pumpkin. I used a little creme fraiche and a drizzle of honey on the top and it was crazy good.

Head on over French Fridays with Dorie to check out how other people did this recipe. Better yet buy Dorie Greenspan's book "Around My French Table" and cook along with us.