Tag Archives: French

Bastille Day Special: Steak au poivre (Peppercorn Steak)

In cooking as in life, simpler is oftentimes better. French cooking may have a reputation for complication, but, in reality, many classic homestyle dishes from “over the Alps” (d’oltralpe, as the Italians refer to things French) are quite simple. To me, there is nothing that quite captures the spirit of simple, unpretensious home cooking in the […]

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Fondue au fromage (Cheese Fondue)

When you want something filling and warming but don’t feel like spending a lot of time in the kitchen, cheese fondue is your ticket. ‘Fondue’ means melted in French and, indeed, cheese fondue is basically melted cheese, flavored with just a hint of garlic and thinned out a bit with white wine and kirsch, into […]

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Radis, beurre et sel (Radishes with Butter and Salt)—A Study in Culinary Balance

I’ve been convinced for a long time now that really good cooking basically comes down to two things:  technique and balance. The first requires some skill but can be learned by most people with enough practice, practice, practice. The second is more subtle and elusive. Yes, there are some basic rules of thumb can be […]

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Quick Note: Brandade Pancakes

The new year brought a rush of activity that had made it hard to keep up with my blogging ‘duties’, but here is quick note on a nice idea for ‘recycling’ leftover brandade: just mix it up with an egg or two, give it a grind or two of black pepper and perhaps a bit […]

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Crostata di mele (Apple Tart)

As regular readers of this blog will know, I am not much of a baker. Nor do I have much of a sweet tooth. But, for some reason, I felt inspired the other day to make a baked dessert for some dinner guests. Foolish, perhaps, to start my baking career by ‘experimenting’ on guests, but […]

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Catfish «en meurette»

The term «en meurette» refers to a dish that has been braised in a particularly delicious red wine sauce from the Burgundy region of France. Probably the best known of these dishes is oeufs en meurette, made from poached eggs. But even tastier, in my opinion, is fish made this way. The firm-fleshed monkfish (lotte […]

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Rillettes de porc

One of my favorite ways to while away a rainy Sunday afternoon is to browse through my old cookbooks. I have a fairly extensive collection, scattered in different places around the house, and there is nothing so pleasant than finding one of those old tomes that I had forgotten I even have and diving back […]

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Céléri rémoulade

I normally like my salads with a simple oil and vinegar dressing in the typical Italian manner, but once and a while I get the urge for one of those rich and creamy salads like cole slaw or Russian salad … or this French classic: céléri rémoulade, shredded celery root dressed with a mustardy mayonnaise. […]

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Aïoli with Spring Vegetables

While versions of it are made around the rim of the western Mediterranean, from Spain all the way to Sicily, this garlic sauce is best known in its Provençale incarnation known as aïoli. It is a commonplace to refer to aioli in English as garlic mayonnaise, but it is really something rather different. You begin […]

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Côtes d’agneau Champvallon (Lamb Chop and Potato Casserole)

This dish brings me back to my Paris days, when I took a couple of years off from the law to teach English.  Hearty but easy on the pocketbook, it was just the ticket for a temporary bohemian. These days my pocket are a bit deeper, but I still enjoy it from time to time, […]

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Moules au curry (Steamed Mussels in a Curry Cream Sauce)

Here’s a wonderfully rich but yet light supper dish—steamed mussels in a curry cream sauce—from Belgium, the world capital of mussel dishes. With a crusty baguette to sop up the delicious sauce, you have a one-way ticket to culinary nirvana. Begin by lightly sautéing chopped shallot and parsley in butter (or butter mixed with some […]

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Quick Note: Salade frisée à l’anchoiade

One of my favorite cold weather salads back in Rome were puntarelle, a kind of chicory typically dressed with a kind of garlic and anchovy vinaigrette. Fond memories…! This salad is a more refined French cousin, fit for elegant dinners but rustic enough for an everyday dinner. It makes a fine light entrée, a bed […]

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Gratinéed Ox Tongue in Mushroom Cream Sauce

As mentioned recently, veal tongue is a common part of a bollito misto, but tongue is also a wonderful dish all on its own. Although classified as an organ meat, tongue doesn’t taste ‘organ-y’ at all. Rather it tastes like a richest, most unctuous cut of beef you have ever had. If you haven’t tried […]

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Buttery Mashed Potatoes

While it’s true that we mostly eat Italian at home, there are some dishes that even I have to admit the French do better. (I hope Angelina isn’t listening….) One of them is potato puree, also known as mashed potatoes, and, more specifically, the incredibly buttery version made famous by Joel Robuchon at Jamin, his […]

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Fricassée de poulet à l’ancienne (Julia Child’s Old-Fashioned Chicken Fricassee)

I grew up on Julia Child. Other than nonna Angelina herself, no one inspired my love affair with cooking more. While other kids were eating milk and cookies and watching cartoons, I ran home to make rice and cheese and sit down to the latest instalment of The French Chef. And I practically memorized my […]

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Salade frisée aux lardons (Frisée Salad with Bacon)

This rustic salad was one of my favorite starters when I lived in Paris. It is sheer simplicity to make: just brown some lardons slowly in a bit of oil (I like olive oil) until they have rendered their fat and are lightly crisp. While the lardons are browning, rub a salad bowl with garlic, […]

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Whitefish brandade

Salt cod can be hard to find. It takes some considerable time to prepare and, plus, codfish stocks are dangerously depleted. So what is a brandade maven like myself to do? Well, I recently “invented” a new dish by using smoked whitefish–something you can fish in almost any grocery or supermarket here in the States–to […]

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