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It really IS around her french table!
on October 18, 2010
I first discovered Dorie Greenspan after reading David Lebovitz's book "The Sweet Life in Paris." I loved the book and started reading everything I could on him. Since Lebovitz and Greenspan are friends, naturally on Google, I soon discovered Dorie's blog, doriegreenspan.com. The first time I went there, I was in search of a Financiers recipe. I used to get them in a wonderful bakery in New Orleans' French Quarter and fell in love with them, and found a good recipe on the blog.
A dear friend sent me Greenspan's latest book "around my french table." When I first opened it, I figured this would be so far out of my league, and probably mostly upscale Parisian food. Not having been to France (yet!) I wondered if I could find anything in the book that would be at my skill set, which is being a very good cook and baker but still, an amateur. I decided to take the book and lay across my bed perusing the recipes. In no time flat, I was off to the desk to get my post-it notes. By the end of the hour session, I had about a dozen recipes marked to make. Far from being anything like the average American envisions French cooking, this seemed to me to be French home cooking. (Actually, she had me on the front cover)...the photo of the recipe "chicken in a pot: the garlic and lemon version" which is depicted on the cover is a very good example of why it wasn't upscale cooking alone. A large, heavy porcelain cast iron dutch oven with a whole chicken, celery, garlic, sweet potato, onions and carrots surrounded by a golden ring of dough (a dough seal) between the pot and the lid. In my mind, this looked straight from Provence, like I know anything about Provençal cooking!
I ventured into some of the recipes. The first I made was the brown sugar squash and Brussels sprouts en papillote. Two years ago, I despised Brussels Sprouts. Now, I love them. The brown sugar and the squash make a sweet compliment and tone down the sulfuric taste of the sprouts. The dish was a big hit. Yesterday I tackled the cauliflower-bacon gratin. Oh wow.WOW. just delicious. I bet some kids would not even know those are cauliflower and not potatoes. The taste is so good, and this is my new favorite vegetable side dish. I also made the spiced butter-glazed carrots and this is going on the Thanksgiving table! On page 342, one of the simplest, yet most delicious and handy to have on hand recipes is the slow-roasted tomatoes. Seasoned and slow roasted, the flavor is intensified, and I keep them in a jar in the refrigerator. They are great with salads and I am sure would be great on pizza.
There are so many things I want to make, but usually I have to make them on the weekend. I have to make the garlic crumb-coated broccoli, the potato gratin (the photo is just wicked!) I found a French version of a brittle cookie my Mom used to make, but simpler and with an egg wash to make it golden, called salted butter break-ups. I can't wait to make that next weekend. I saw something good for the fall, pumpkin & Gorgonzola flans.
Ok, I am about to make myself sick with hunger, so let me just say: GET THIS BOOK! Your family and friends will want to steal it. Be sure and check out her blog at doriegreenspan.com Some of the recipes featured are in the book.
Did I mention the Marie-Hélène's Apple Cake?
UPDATE: I continue to cook my way through...MAKE the Potato Gratin. Velvet is what it should be called. Sinfully good, sinfully simple.