03 October 2011

lapin au saupiquet

Lapin au saupiquet: rabbit marinated in vinegar and stewed in wine, finished with prunes cooked in stock, butter and brandy. The sauce/gravy is probably one of the best I have made... ever. So delicious. We started with shaved fennel salad and ate the rabbit with parsley potatoes. Finished with a plum-frangipane tart. This is from vol. II of Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking (1970).

15 September 2011


I started with my favorite cake, a génoise, and with some fresh peaches and raspberries from the farmer's market and some various creams — whipped and bavarian (pastry cream and more whipped cream) — I made myself a pretty satisfying birthday cake.

13 September 2011

Odd Bits

I haven't been this excited about a book in a while. Yesterday I turned thirty, and today this arrived in the mail. Perfect birthday present to myself. (Now I just need to make time for some head cheese making).

Moreover, Tongue with salsa verde and potato-radish salad? Yes, please. Beef heart tartare? Swoon. Finnish blood pancakes? Tripe in Calvados? I can't wait.

Another great work of culinary writing and creation by Jennifer McLagan.

07 August 2011

frangipane apricot tart

The farmers market near my house has had the most wonderful stone fruits from Michigan; last week was sadly the final week of sour cherries so my caneton Montmorency fantasy will have to be fulfilled next summer as the last few weekends have been oppressively humid and the idea of roasting a duck in such conditions was less than desirable (meanwhile, I have some sour cherries saved in rum and others in Luxardo, which should make for some great late-summer cocktails). I decided to make a frangipane tart; above is the prep for a basic flaky pastry, which doesn't need to be pre-baked as the frangipane — a divine almond-butter-egg mixture — bakes into a cakelike consistency and the excess butter drains nicely out of the false-bottomed tart pan (and hopefully not onto the floor of your oven).

Setting up the tart I almost wished that I had made a fresh tart with pastry cream as the color was so vivid. The plums were very ripe, a rich vermilion, and the apricots were perfectly firm and smooth.

I glazed the tart with apricot jam; the upper edges of the apricots are perfectly caramelized and the frangipane firm but moist.

09 July 2011

black raspberries

Pretty excited to have found black raspberries from Michigan at the farmer's market near my house (I don't think I ever saw these when I lived in Massachusetts). They are a bit too good to do anything but eat on their own.

leek-asparagus quiche

The key to a great quiche is cream, not milk. I cooked ½ lb. sliced leeks in water, salt, and butter until they were soft and the water had mostly cooked off. I added ½ lb. sliced asparagus stalks and cooked that for a minute or two. That was added to 3 eggs, 1½ c. cream, some nutmeg, pepper and shredded emmenthaler and poured into a partially-baked crust. I topped it with the asparagus tips and cooked it until it was set and just starting to brown. Chervil on top was a great touch.

19 June 2011

pâté de campagne

Last time that I made pâté de campagne I didn't have a source of caul fat, that gorgeous membrane surrounding the internal organs. This time, living in Chicago, I did. Above is the terrine with a caul fat lining ready to be packed with the pâté mixture. As with last time, pork liver was hard to find and I substituted (veal liver this time, beef liver last time).

The caul fat held everything together beautifully and the pâté was firm, moist and delicious. (This is, once again, a mostly-faithful following of a recipe of Jennifer McLagan's). I served this with chervil, Colman's mustard and cornichons.

17 June 2011

finally, asparagus

Finally found fresh, local(ish) asparagus -- not being in Western Massachusetts this spring has been tough. All it needed was sautéeing with an anchovy, garlic, capers and some white wine. Toss with pasta, top with parsley and parmesan.

21 May 2011

tarte tatin aux poires

A tarte tatin made with pears and cardamom. Baked at 400º for 15 minutes or so, then lowered to 350º until done. That temperature to start seems to get the best crust - this crust is a basic all-butter pie crust, the butter just barely incorporated, allowing for a perfectly flaky crust.

20 May 2011

lamb shanks

This was very simple but really quite great. The lamb shank is actually a Jamie Oliver method of stuffing lamb shanks with butter and herbs and then baking them in foil with leeks, carrots, white wine and olive oil. I liked the simplicity of the method and the flavor was really incredible. It took just under 2½ hours. I served them with potatoes and Julia Child haricots verts, where they are blanched, pan-dried, then tossed in butter and parsley. It really is the best way - they stay crisp and bright.

13 May 2011

endive and cress

My new favorite salad: julienned endive, watercress, lemon juice, olive oil.

all sorts of delicious.

A smörgåsbord of Korean and Japanese banchan and tsukeomono, rice, and doenjang jjigae. (and that's not water, but delicious sweet potato soju, similar to Japanese shōchū).

06 February 2011

pappardelle with rabbit

This is a recipe from Jamie Oliver's Cook with Jamie (London: Michael Joseph, 2006); I tend to be very skeptical of all celebrity chefs, but I've received two of his books as gifts and everything he does is great. Leeks baked with bacon? Amazing. Pasta with stewed rabbit? Also amazing.

I used ½ AP flour, ½ semolina, rolled the dough out slightly thicker than I usually do and cut it by hand for pappardelle.

A full rabbit, jointed is marinated overnight in olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, lemon zest, thyme, and rosemary. It gets seared and is them simmered in white wine, in the over, with more garlic, rosemary and thyme. Shredded, with the cooking liquid strained, it is finished with green olives (I forget the name of the ones I bought, but they were great), marjoram, thyme and parmesan. As with many delicious things, I forgot to take a picture before digging in. Served with Julia Child's recipe for haricots verts: boiled, then dry-sautéed until the moisture is gone and topped with butter and parsley. My new favorite way to eat haricots verts.

05 February 2011

sam gye tang

A kit for Sam Gye Tang, Korean chicken soup with ginseng, comes in a little package like this. It contains rice, three dates, two ginseng roots and four or five chestnuts. You start by soaking the rice for at least three hours.

Then take a poussin (or game hen). I blanched it to reduce scum in the final soup. Stuff with rice and other ingredients. Space was limited, so a couple of dates and chestnuts and one of the ginseng roots stayed out, loose in the pot. Put the poussin in a pot, cover with water. Add some cloves of garlic (whole). Cook until done. This was just under two hours. I've seen a range of suggested times from forty-five minutes to three-and-a-half hours

Finish the soup by adding salt to taste at the very end. Serve with green onions and pepper. (And other side dishes such as kimchi, if you have them).

The poussin held together but comes apart easily with chopsticks. Very delicious. The ginseng is a little bitter, but the rice and dates balance it out perfectly. I know this dish is designed for the summer, but it feels perfect for frigid February days and an urge to fight the flu.


Chicken broth with shoyu, tofu, buckwheat soba, thai chili peppers, leeks and scallions. Perfect to fight off the flu everyone has.

29 January 2011

miso soup

Simple miso soup with chicken stock in lieu of dashi makes for a very satisfying dinner on a cold day.

12 January 2011

on nutmeg, and parsimony

“You have to be very parsimonious with your nutmeg.” (Jacques Pépin, More Fast Food My Way [208])

11 January 2011


Finally secured some miso and bonito flakes. Then, of course, dashi with kelp and bonito. I poached some julienned carrots in the dashi, removed them to a bowl and poached two eggs in the dashi. I removed the eggs, placed them atop the carrots and topped them with some greens whose name I forgot (some mild cruciferous green from the Korean market). I brought the dashi to a quick boil, added garlic-chili paste and turned off the heat; into that miso was whisked and then poured over the eggs and vegetables. Finish with sesame oil. So satisfying on a snowy day. Ate with cold rice wrapped in nori.

02 January 2011

fried risotto

Risotto from the other night, tossed in flour (mixed with mace, cayenne, crushed fennel seeds), then in egg, and then in some coarse breadcrumbs (from toasted sourdough). Fry in olive oil mixed with grapeseed oil (maybe just under 1/4" of oil). Garnish with fennel fronds. So good.