Archive for the 'French' Category

Fondant Potatoes

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My friend Tim sent me a link to this recipe a few weeks ago.  As it turns out, it may be the perfect potato recipe.  Cooking over very low heat with a lid on the pan allows the potatoes to both brown and steam in butter at the same time, leading to perfectly creamy interiors with slightly crispy exteriors.  As you can see in the picture from the previous post, I served these with poulet en cocotte.  That recipe yields a small amount of pan sauce which worked very well with these potatoes.  I expect this recipe to become a standard in our house.

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Poulet en Cocotte

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This dish requires a relatively large Dutch oven, and I’ve been meaning to make it since I bought one a couple of years ago.   This recipe is essentially the one that Julia Child included in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, though the addition of foil in combination with the lid (which enables the chicken very moist despite the long, slow cooking time) was a twist introduced by the folks at America’s Test Kitchen, so that’s what I’ve linked to below.

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Beef Carbonnade

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This dish is essentially Belgium’s answer to Beef Bourguignon.  Traditionally, it’s made with just beef, beer, and onions, but the extra ingredients in this particular recipe enable a much deeper flavor and thicker consistency which I prefer.  You really need to use some kind of dark beer here (Guinness works well and is easy to find, though a dark Belgian beer adds a nice, authentic flavor) to get the desired result.  This can easily be made a day or two in advance and reheated.

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When Pixar made the film Ratatouille, they engaged Thomas Keller in a consulting capacity.  The producers spent time in Keller’s kitchen at the French Laundry to get a feel for how a commercial kitchen operates.  They also asked Keller “if you wanted to serve Ratatouille to a restaurant critic, how would you prepare it?” The result is, essentially, this recipe.  If you’ve seen the film, you’ll recognize almost every step in the preparation.

A couple of notes.  First, this calls for Japanese eggplant which I’ve always included.  I couldn’t find it this weekend, so I just omitted it.  If you can find it, definitely use it.  Second, I generally use an oval dish so I can spiral the vegetables out from the center.  I didn’t have access to one this weekend, so I just went with rows in a rectangular dish.

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Coq au vin

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This recipe is another example of me taking a classic recipe and simplifying it in a way that would frustrate the purists.  This dish really should be prepared with pearl onions.  The mushrooms and onions should be prepared separately (and slightly differently).  But this is slightly easier, takes less time to prepare, and uses one fewer pan – all good things.

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Green Beans Lyonnaise

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I use the adjective “Lyonnaise” loosely. Prepared authentically, this classic recipe (Haricot Verts Lyonnaise) would use no oil, no garlic, way more butter, parsley instead of thyme, and onions instead of shallots. Continue reading ‘Green Beans Lyonnaise’

Beef Bourguignon

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Serves 6 – 8

Adapted from Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook

· 4 – 5 lbs beef chuck or neck cut into 1.5 inch pieces

· Salt and Pepper

· Olive Oil

· 6 onions

· 2 lbs white button mushrooms

· 4 – 6 Tb all-purpose flour

· 1 bottle red wine

· 12 carrots

· Bouquet garni

· Demi glace

Prep – thinly slice onions. Peel carrots and cut into 1-inch pieces. Thaw demi-glace (if using frozen) or prepare (if you have concentrated demi-glace on-hand). Tie bouquet garni. Chop some flat parsley if you want to use it for garnish. Cut the meat into 1.5 inch pieces. Continue reading ‘Beef Bourguignon’


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