Saturday, October 19, 2013

FFwD - Caramel-Pecan Custard Tart

Dorie's Caramel-Pecan Custard Tart
I've made this with pecans and I've made this with almonds. It's simply delicious however you chose to make it! My sister was visiting and we had a girls dinner party so she could meet some of my friends.
I think my favorite tart was with almonds but its pretty darn good either way! And its very simple to make and your guests will think you are a culinary diva!

Dorie was at the center of the party (where she belongs).  I made a variation of  Tuna Nicoise Salad and everyone loved it! Instead of tuna I used shrimp and changed the ingredients a bit but kept the potatoes, beans and vinaigrette. It was very good and I meant to get a picture but you know how that goes!

It was a fun evening made even merrier by Cosmopolitans. This recipe makes a pitcher so you can keep the drinks flowing without spending all your time tending bar!  For parties I love a cocktail that is delicious but not so strong that the guests are past appreciating the food when it arrives! Yep, that's the way some of my dinner parties have gone.....and that's not all bad either.
Chirabouga Blue in the front, my new favorite. Its from Bavaria and exquisite!  Tomme Brulee on the right.  Prima Donna is on the left, a gouda type.

I had to show you this beautiful cheese course. My sister arranged the platter and we all thought it was gorgeous.  Almost too pretty too eat. I said almost.

It was a fun evening and now my sister is back at home in California. I wish her home wasn't so far from mine. We are in Memphis at the moment and then in Dallas (and the Fantastic Mr. B, our grandson) next week. Home? one of these days......

My wonderful cook-mates in this project can be found at French Fridays with Dorie as we cook our way through Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table.

Friday, October 11, 2013

FFwD - Boeuf á la Mode (aka Great Pot Roast)

French Pot Roast!

This is a great pot roast. I made it for Gary's birthday. He had a long day at the river working the Head of the Oklahoma, our rowing group's biggest event of the year. I had this ready when he came home and he was a very happy and grateful hubby!

It was easy to prepare. Dorie suggests marinading the beef over night in a red wine but I skipped this step. I'm curious to see if others did the marinade and what they thought. I was concerned it would mask the beef taste. Anyway after browning the meat and veg I poured in the liquid and stuck it in the oven for a braise.  Tender and flavorful were the results!

While +IFBC so many people asked me my favorite recipe from our Dorie project and I never had a great answer. As I was plating this meal I realized gremolata is my favorite recipe or technique or whatever you would call it from my French Friday experience. I love the way it turns pot roast into something special. I think it is the technique I use most from Around My French Table and it makes everything taste fresh and elevates a dish to the next level!

The best ingredients make the best cake! Thank you @Scharffen Berger Chocolate and @Lagrima!
The next day we had a family birthday party for Gary. It was good to have everyone together and the cake was wonderful. If I had more time I would write out the recipe but I'll save that for a future post. Dorie has a wonderful recipe for a flourless chocolate cake called Michel Rostang's Double Chocolate Mousse Cake that I should have made. I've just been making the other one for so long I kind of forgot about my new recipe. They are actually pretty similar though. I used my +IFBC goodies for the cake! That's an entire post in itself!

Baby B had too much fun and needed a rest!  He had a small piece of cake and a spoon of ice cream then turned to me and said "I want more cake." Cracked me up!

Visit all the Doristas at French Fridays with Dorie. I'm still working on last week's posts comments but will make it all eventually! Happy cooking!
Too much fun or too much cake?

Friday, October 4, 2013

FFwD - Salad Nicoise

Elk crossing

Life has been hectic since I returned from Seattle and The International Food Bloggers Conference. Our son from Dallas arrived the day after I did, my sister from California later in the week, and our rowing club's biggest regatta is this weekend, along with Gary's birthday! I can hear my mom saying 'you can rest in the grave':) My mom was full of sayings. When I was younger it could be annoying. Now I smile at how often I hear her expressions in my head.

We shared our delicious salad with our good and frequent French Friday friends. The addition of a Whole Foods to our city makes last minute entertaining a breeze. I ran by and picked up a couple of cheeses, good crackers, and a few small cakes to share. This easy salad and a couple of good bottles of wine made for a fun and impromptu dinner party.
Salad Nicoise

This is a French Fridays with Dorie post. Join us as for year four as we cook our way through Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table.