FFwD: Mustard Batons and Bistrot Paul Bert Pepper Steak

Mustard batons for FFwD: such an easy and good . We used bavarian mustard which made them somehow sweet. Next time we will try with a strong Dijon mustard, or with tapenade. Anyway it will be good! The recipe can be found in Dorie’s blog.

Even more special has been the recipe we made today: the pepper steak. Very very nice! And great: it was our first flambé: the flames were over a meter high but it is really quick. The match lights the evaporated gas (we used Grappa, not Cognac), so you do not need to put it too close.

Quinoa salads and crumb-coated broccoli

FFwD in April brings again quite nice recipes to our table and a lot of fun in the kitchen. Here is the schedule for this month:

    April 1, 2011- quinoa, fruit and nut salad
    April 8, 2011- garlicky crumb-coated broccoli
    April 15, 2011- vanilla eclairs
    April 22, 2011- mustard batons
    April 29, 2011- bistrot paul bert pepper steak

We made the quinoa, fruit and nut salad for lunch at work. It was nice but as by the beggar’s linguine, it is not our favorite combination. Very good but just not our kind of comfort food.

The week before we had made another quinoa salad from WholeLiving (photo on the left). This one was soooo delicious. It is for sure a keeper, and we will include it regularly in our meal plans. Give it a try!

We have actually try recently this quinoa hash which is also superb.

The garlicky crumb-coated broccoli came also shortly after to our table. It is very good, not better than the usual dishes we prepare with broccoli, but for sure a good dish to alternate, and a great side dish.

FFwD: Break-up

The last recipe for March in FFwD (well, the one we waited longer to make), was a great one: Butter break-ups or a slightly salty very rich (read buttery) giant cookie to share with the ones you love. I cut a bit on the salt as I don’t like it so much in sweet treats, and it was just perfect. I also substituted the egg wash with milk, as I usually do. Remember those metal boxes full of danish butter cookies?? The break-ups come very close to them. Really a keeper, just not as a regular treat because of all the butter, but great from time to time and quick and easy.

FFwD: March

Today I am going to try to bring up-to-date our posts. We have been very busy lately and could not come to post anything.

Let us start with some of the dishes scheduled for march in French Fridays with Dorie. The schedule read:

    March 4, 2011- savory cheese and chive bread, pages 34-36.

    March 11, 2011- beggar’s linguine, pages 370 and 371.

    March 18, 2011- salted butter break-ups, pages 400 and 401.

    March 25, 2011- scallops with caramel-orange sauce, pages 317-319.

We had already talked about the cheese bread And now is the turn of the other two savory recipes: beggar’s linguine and the scallops with caramel-orange sauce. Both are nice recipes but probably none of them will be repeated at home. Instead of linguine we made fusilli (see left photo). But regardless of the kind of pasta used, the recipe is too sweet for us. We added a bit of ham, but nevertheless it will not become one of our favorite pasta meals. For the second recipe we had to make some changes as we do not get here fresh scallops, which is really a pity. We decided to used shrimps instead, which can be a nice substitution. Again it was nice but the flavors not really convincing. Too much caramel??

FFwD: February

From the list of recipes for February by FFwD, I just came to do two of them:

Orange-almond tart: extremely good. The shortcrust pastry dough (Mürberteig/pasta frolla/pâte sablée/masa quebrada) is filled with an almond cream and topped with semi-dried orange segments. I freeze half of the dough to make a smaller tart. I was perfectly delicious. I would repeat it any time. The recipe can be found online here or of course in the book “Around my french table”. The dough can be easily exchanged by any similar recipe as for instance the one of Artusi. We just forgot to take any fotos 😦

Pancetta green beans: the recipe is described here, but we used bacon instead of the pancetta. They were very good but for us nothing special as we prepare quite regularly a similar recipe which we actually like even more as it is not so greasy. We make it both with green beans or with peas and we just add Jamón Serrano instead of the pancetta.

FFwD: Chicken b´stilla

This is actually a moroccan dish that has found its way into the french cuisine. Its sweetness recalled us of arabic meals. It has many components building the final flavors: tart, sweet and spicy at the same time. It was delicious and the crispy phyllo dough gives a nice touch. We omitted the cinammon-sugar on top, just because it sounded to strange to me on a savory dish. Our little daughter was not a fan of it even if she loves chicken. I guess it was a bit to unusual for her.

The house was filled with the fragance of saffron, which is something I love. We will keep this recipe for another time, but it is quite time-consuming, so that it will be kept for a special occasion. As always in FFwD the recipe is taken from the book “Around my french table”. There is a similar recipe in internet. Give it a try!

FFwD: Paris mushroom soup

In November I joined the group of French Fridays with Dorie and I have been since then cooking along. Not all the recipes as I did not manage due to lack of time, but several of them. The good thing of this group is that there is no required number of accomplished tasks. So if you cannot make a recipe in time, there is just no pressure. But until now I couldn’t put any of the recipes here, of some of them I did not even take a foto. The one for last week was a quick and easy one: Paris mushroom soup. I did not use Paris mushrooms (the very white ones) but the plain mushrooms they always have in the supermarket here. The soup was very good and comforting in a cold evening. It is really a soup, not a creamy one (well I also skip the addition of creme fraiche), but it was perfect that way. I could imagine adding some potatoes to make it thicker, but we all liked it very much as it was. As always in FFwD the recipe is taken from the book “Around my french table”, and this time it can also be found online here. Give it a try, we will repeat it soon!

Some other recipes done in the FFwD-group:

Potato Gratin: could have been better, but I also did not use any cream at all but milk to make it lighter. I shall try again sticking to the real recipe.

Roast Chicken for Les Paresseux: superb!

Leek and potato soup: similar to the leek soups we always cook at home. Very good and comforting. See for instance here for a version in bread bowls.