Monday, November 17, 2008
A trip to Dehillerin is always a treat. How do they ever remember where everything is in this place? After you have compiled your list and located what you wanted to buy, you discover one more item that you just have to have in your kitchen.......well, this is what I found, that one more item that I still can't believe I dragged all the way back home to Florida. My blind-baked crusts will never shrink or puff up again, not with these. These pie weights are special~they will work because I purchased them in Paris.....and from the legendary store so many of us enjoy. No more beans or rice when baking my crusts!
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Not very often do I venture into the world of leeks. I don't quite exactly know why, but I think it has something to do with grit and sand~just when I think I have scrubbed and rinsed until my fingers have shriveled, I will bite down on something that should not be there. There first time I was preparing leeks, I was completely unaware about washing and the importance of cleaning between the leaves and root areas. Complete disaster as you can imagine. My latest experience proved to be a success in every respect! This recipe is adapted from Susan Loomis, author of On Rue Tatin.
1 C. water
1 Dried bay leaf
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
4 Large apples
2 T.unsalted butter
The white part of four large leeks, WELL rinsed and diced
2 T. to 1/4 C. bottled water
1/4 C. creme fraiche or heavy cream
Sweet cicely or flat-leaf parsley leaves for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the cored apples in a baking dish and pour the water around the apples. Remember to remove one strip of skin from the apple so it does not burst during the baking process. Add the bay leaf to water. Lightly salt the inside of the apples.
Place 1 T. of the butter and the chopped leeks in heavy saucepan, cook and stirring until leeks are transparent. Add the water, stir and cover pan. Continue cooking until leeks are tender, about 10 minutes, adding additional water if needed to keep the leeks from sticking.
Transfer cooked leeks to a bowl where you add the cream. Stir and season to taste with salt and pepper. Gently fill each apple with equal amounts of mixture, pressing it into the cavity and mounding it on top, if possible. Top each apple with 1/4 of the remaining butter.
Bake in center of oven until apples are tender and leeks are golden brown for about 45 minutes. Remove from oven, serve on warmed plates and garnish. Serve immediately.
Friday, November 07, 2008
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Bienvenue! Last week I made a very quick trip to Paris and had the opportunity to meet Susan Herrmann Loomis. She is the author of On Rue Tatin, Farmhouse Cookbook, French Farmhouse Cookbook, The Great American Seafood Cookbook and the Italian Farmhouse Cookbook. I can't keep up with all of these books! What talent! Anyway, the class was held in the cooking apartment belonging to Patricia Wells. Should you ever have an extra day or week while visiting the city, try to include a lesson or two from Susan. She is a delight to work with and very entertaining!
The menu for the day consisted of two favorite dishes of Susans', "Pintate Aux Agrumes Aux Legumes De La Ferme" (braised Guinea hen with citrus and farm vegetables) and "Pommes Farcies Aux Poireaux Et Creme" (apples stuffed with leeks and cream). After the completion of the dishes, we were able to sit down for the tasting.....then critique our creations. None of us had any negative comments! For dessert we made a pear clafoutis, which melted in my mouth. The entire experience was charming and how wonderful it was to be back in my favorite spot on the globe!