Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Classic Bistro Soup

Just a few Saturdays ago, Paris was chilly with a "few odd showers about". Blue skies kept popping through and stopping the rain periodically.....the perfect time of year for the classic bowl of French Onion Soup.This soup is all about cooking the onions until perfectly caramelized, dark and tender. Then, for me, the best part...the big gooey cheese on the top. Aged Swiss (Gruyere) is the key to getting that rich bubbling crust on the top of the soup. I always seem to have a difficult time scooping up a chunk of the croutes (toasted baguettes) smothered with cheese, and getting it into my mouth without leaving a trail of cheese from the bowl to my mouth! I recently read this classic soup is eaten in the mornings for breakfast as a cure for the common hangover........I think I just would prefer to savor it for lunch! The bistro is located at the entrance of the Paul Bert ( flea) Market on the left. A perfect location to taste this classic, luscious soup.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Zucchini and Feta Fritters

There are many ways to cook with cheese besides melting it on toast or including it in an omelette or even making a souffle. By far, this is a wonderful combination with some of my favorite cheese, feta. This is so easy and incredibly have got to try this!

5 medium zucchini, coarsely grated
1/2 t. sea salt
1/4 cup grated onion
3 oz. of flour
1 beaten egg
7 oz. crumbled feta
oil for frying.I started out with 1 T. and added more with each batch I fried.

Place the grated zucchini, salt and onion in a large bowl. Mix and let sit for 30 minutes until the juice is drawn out by the salt. Drain. Mix the flour, egg and stir in feta cheese to the zucchini mixture. Fry large tablespoons of the mixture in moderately hot oil until brown on both sides, making sure the fritters are well cooked. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.
I served the fritters with a chunky hot tomato salsa and sour cream on the side.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Pumpkin Cheesecake

The abundance of pumpkins from across the country has to be one of the best aspects of fall. I am delightfully amazed at the varieties that sprout up every season. I recently found some wonderful varieties at my local Walmart, of all places.....not fond of that store at all. Anyway, the pumpkins and gourds came from Frey Farms located in Illinois. This is a huge outfit and one of the largest producing pumpkin farms in the country.
Having just arrived home from another motorcycling adventure with Big Al, I searched and found Central Market in Ft. Worth. They had a beautiful display of fall gourds and vegetables. As I rode the highway home towards Florida (1200 miles) on my little Honda, all I could think about was what I was going to make with the canned pumpkin that I made last November. It was time to pop the lid!


1 lb. of cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup of light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 1/4 cup of pumpkin
3 large eggs
1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream
1 t.vanilla
1/4 t. ground cloves
1/2 t. ground ginger
1 t. ground cinnamon

Gingersnap Crust
5 T. melted unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup of crushed gingersnaps
3 T. sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the crushed gingersnaps, butter, sugar and pat the mixture into a 9 inch spring form pan. Pat the mixture up the sides of the pan about one inch.. Bake until lightly darkened, about 5 minutes. Let cool.
In a large bowl, mix the cheese and brown sugar until creamy. Add the pumpkin and eggs and beat until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and beat until smooth. Pour into the crust- lined pan. Bake for 45 minutes or longer or until firm. Refrigerate until chilled and serve.