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June 2014 COTM - My Paris Kitchen: Main Courses (Plats)

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Main Courses (Plats)

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  1. Chicken with Mustard, p. 169

    A simple and very savory pan-braised dish which appears in the cover-photo of the cookbook--probably because it is so very inviting with its promise of succulent, well-browned chicken pieces nestled in a gorgeous copper pan. The recipe does not disappoint. Basically, chicken thighs and legs are rubbed with an easy marinade of 1/2 cup Dijon mustard and 1/4 tsp. of sweet or smoked paprika (I used the latter). Meanwhile a cup of diced thick-cut smoked bacon is browned to render its fat; then the bacon is removed and a small finely diced onion is cooked in the fat till translucent; a tsp of fresh thyme is added (or 1/4 tsp dried) and then this mixture is set aside. The chicken pieces are browned in the same pan (I used a mixture of thighs and breasts) and then removed while a cup of white wine deglazes the pan. All is then simmered back together till the chicken is tender and done, at which point 3 TBS more Dijon mustard is added to the pan along with some mustard seeds OR a bit of grainy mustard, and finally 2-3 TBS of creme fraiche add their silkiness to finish everything off.

    How could it not be delicious? Bacon, onion, mustard, thyme, creme fraiche, chicken and white wine. These are a few of MY favorite things!! I just trusted Lebovitz that the almost 3/4 cup of Dijon mustard would not overwhelm the other flavors and indeed, it did not. A simple yet completely satisfying combination with no fussiness. I finished cooking the chicken a few hours ahead, and then reheated it before I added the creme fraiche. It's a versatile meal that can star as a family dinner or as a company meal. I served it with rice and the Green Beans with Snail Butter (222.)

    5 Replies
    1. re: Goblin

      Chicken with Mustard (Poulet à la moutarde)

      This lovely braise, along with the suggested celery root puree, was dinner for us last night. Goblin does a lovely job describing the recipe, so I will just add my general thoughts on the dish.

      I have to start by saying I too am a sucker for the flavour combo here. The combination of bacon, chicken juices, mustard, onion, and wine, makes for an absolutely delicious sauce that has just enough body to enrobe your chicken in it's savoury goodness.

      As is often the case with chicken braises I sometimes struggle with the skin a bit. Either I lose some to the bottom of the pan, or it ends up a touch too soft after it's final cooking, that said, despite these few challenges the chicken was deliciously juicy and the sauce great. I think I just need to brown at a lower temperature for a bit longer to avoid sticking chicken skin, as well as possibly running the finished chicken under the broiler to re-crisp the skin before plating.

      I'd definitely recommend this one.

      1. re: Goblin

        Chicken with Mustard, p. 169

        I had three thighs to work with, so I halved the recipe otherwise. I'm a non-pork eater, so I used turkey bacon in place of lardons, and because it's so much lower in fat I added a bit of olive oil to cook it in. I added more oil before browning the chicken, but poured off quite a bit of rendered fat before deglazing the pan. I chose not to turn the chicken as the recipe indicates, because I wanted the skin to retain as much crispiness as possible. At the end, most of the liquid in the pan had cooked away, so I stirred a bit of wine into the mustard mixture before adding it to the pan. With neither creme faiche or cream at my disposal, I used the remotely creamy thing in my fridge, nonfat Greek yogurt. The small amount and adding it off the heat meant there were no issues with it breaking. I ended up with just enough sauce to coat the chicken.

        This fairly simple dish has deep savory flavor from the smoky bacon, onions, mustard, and wine, and is quite delicious. Paired with simply roasted red potatoes, steamed asparagus, and a glass of wine, it felt very much like a traditional bistro supper.

        1. re: Goblin

          Chicken with mustard here, finally. I ended up making it two days after I put the
          mustard, salt and smoked paprika on the chicken thighs -we have an 11 month old, our dinner plans are often in flux.
          This didn't seem to hurt the dish any and we loved the overall flavor.
          How can it be bad, the recipe calls for a cup of bacon?
          Next time I'd try to get slab bacon so I could cut the pieces thicker, and I think this recipe is a great jumping point for lots of easy, quick braised chicken dishes.
          I added half a bag of frozen artichoke hearts in the final stage, and I could see adding additional veg just to make it a one pot dish.
          I always think I need to braise in the oven, so this was eye opening, and a great alternative during the warmer weather when I'm loathe to turn on the oven.
          We will make this one again.

          1. re: Goblin

            Chicken with Mustard, p. 169

            This is another recipe I would have likely passed by as I am not a great fan of dark meat or braised skin on chicken. I made it last night for dinner, and loved it.

            This dish is surprisingly quick to prepare. I loved how the skin crisped up after the first cooking, and will have to find a way to keep that crisp skin after going on with the rest of the recipe. Either that or add some skinless breasts into the mix for me. But even with the limp skin, I can't deny this is a perfect recipe. The sauce was perfect in consistency and the flavors so well balanced. Yum is right!

            We served this over wide noodles.

          2. Chicken Lady Chicken [Poulet Crapaudine Façon Catherine] (page 173)

            A spatchcocked chicken is marinated in minced garlic, salt, olive oil, lemon juice, white wine, soy sauce, harissa, mustard and honey for 1 to 2 days. Some of the marinade is also spooned between the skin and the breast and thigh meat. I marinated the chicken for a full 2 days. The chicken is placed breast-side down in a heated cast-iron skillet and loosely covered with foil that is topped with either a brick or a large saucepan filled with water. The chicken is cooked until browned, about 10 minutes, then it’s flipped it over, the weight is replaced, and it’s cooked for another 5 minutes before the foil and weight are removed and the skillet is put in a preheated 400F oven for 25 minutes. Cut the chicken into 6 pieces French-style and serve.

            Although I do have a foil-covered brick specifically for chicken-under-a-brick-type recipes, I decided to try the saucepan with water thinking it would cover a larger area. I wonder if that’s why some of the skin stuck to the skillet, making for a less than perfect presentation. I also think I didn’t flatten the breast enough and that’s why mine wasn’t as evenly browned as the chickens on page 172 that I assume were taken in situ at the Chicken Lady’s place.

            The skin that didn’t stick was wonderfully crispy and full of flavor with a nice kick from the harissa although the chicken itself I actually preferred as a leftover; it was so much more tasty than cold, leftover chicken usually is. Not to say I didn’t like the chicken hot, it just didn’t knock my socks off quite as much as I expected it to.

            And I need to point out, just because it annoys me and I wouldn’t have expected it of David Lebovitz, that the photo on page 175, supposedly illustrating the finished dish in the pan, does not show a spatchcocked chicken prepared as directed in the recipe.

            36 Replies
            1. re: JoanN

              I'm planning to make this with chicken thighs. Any tips on what I might need to change in order to do this?

              1. re: LulusMom

                Not much. You won't be able to "spoon" the marinade under the skin, but I can't imagine it will make any difference. And the timing might be a bit off, so I'd check with a thermometer. But that's about it. Will be eager to hear how that works for you.

              2. re: JoanN

                Joan, if that's char on the chicken pieces, it's very off-putting to me. The process seems easy enough, and I'll probably use thighs and drums just to make easy on G, but it's the char that bothers me.

                1. re: Gio

                  It was charred, but only rather lightly, not as bad as it looks in the photo and very definitely edible. My CI skillet may have been hotter than necessary and I probably should have checked the chicken before the first 10 minutes was up. I wouldn't pass up trying the recipe for that reason alone. That said, I'm not sure how drums would work since you really want drums cooked on all sides, not just a top and bottom. You'd have to keep removing the brick or saucepan of water to turn them, which might well defeat the purpose of using them in the first place. I may be wrong about that, though; just trying to think it through.

                  1. re: JoanN

                    Thanks for the reassurance about the burnt looking skin. You're absolutely right about about drumsticks under a brick. It would probably work with complete legs though.

                    FWIW: I used to use a brick but since I inherited my Grandmother's two heavy old irons I use the heavier one covered with AL foil. The handle is perfect for picking it up, etc.

                2. re: JoanN

                  Chicken Lady Chicken (Poulet crapaudine façon Catherine)

                  I purchased the ebook a few weeks ago and this was my first dish from it. I was intrigued because I enjoyed a good many rotisserie chickens when we were in France, they just seemed so much more flavourful than those I get at my local grocer.

                  The flavour profile of this dish was definitely different than those I got in France, but it was nonetheless very tasty. I proceeded very much as Joan describes above, except for the fact that the smell emanating from my cast iron pan told me to check my bird at about 7 minutes. I turned it and then proceeded as directed. I will say that turning the chicken without ruining the skin proved to be one of the most challenging parts of the recipe. In the end I used two fish spatulas to flip my plump little bird.

                  Once it was all done I cut it up in the recommended French fashion and served with the raw vegetable slaw. The bird was indeed very tasty. While the skin looks quite well done it was actually just right for us, with a lovely crispy, sweet, and spicy edge to it. The marinade did permeate the bird, especially on the breast where I was able to spoon some in as suggested by DL. This was different enough to likely be repeated at our house, and tasty enough to be much appreciated.

                  I would likely keep a very close eye on it and continue to turn at the 6-7 minute mark. I would also not bother leaving the wing attached to the breast, as I found this a bit cumbersome to eat, plus the wing tips were likely the only part of the bird that did char so I might simply clip them off after cooking next time.

                  On the whole, another lovely chicken recipe.

                  1. re: JoanN

                    If I can bug you one more time, does he recommend any wines to go wit this? And if no, what wines would you recommend? Should I be chilling a specific white? Would a red work, and if so which grape would you go with?

                    1. re: LulusMom

                      He doesn't have a wine recommendation for this recipe, but I've been drinking a lot of Riesling and especially enjoy a slightly sweet (not too!) one with spicy food. Been loving it especially with all the Hunan and Szechuan dishes that I make regularly and I would think it would work well here, too.

                      1. re: JoanN

                        I'm a fan of the French Rieslings, usually find the German ones a little too sweet for my tastes. We may have a Gruner or something else that is crisp and just slightly fruity - will have to go check. We've got a lot of wine hanging out. Thanks much for the tip.

                        eta: I just found a bottle of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, which I normally find too heavy on tropical fruit flavors, but I'm ok with if something is spicy. Seems like it could be the perfect time to get that one drunk and out of our collection.

                        1. re: LulusMom

                          Look for the word "Trocken" on the German Rieslings, and they will be dry. Unfortunately they are the minority of the ones sold here, so if you go into a shop with 50 Rieslings, there will be maybe two in that style.

                          1. re: MelMM

                            Yeah, I've tried that in Germany. Still just wasn't to my tastes. But then again, I'm kind of always willing to at least TRY another glass of wine.

                            1. re: LulusMom

                              Riesling has a very distinct flavor or aroma... kind of a petrol or motor oil note to it. I can identify one in the glass by the smell alone, which just leaps out at me. Many people find that off-putting (including me). I find a dry one has enough good qualities that I can get past it, though.

                              1. re: MelMM

                                Not all Rieslings do. Most don't. It's actually rare to find a Riesling with the petrol aroma - they're older. I've had my share of Rieslings, and only three times have I had one with the petrol smell - the first time was at a wine tasting, and I thought someone put petrol in the glass. But the vast majority are too young to develop that aroma.

                                But maybe some folks can smell that in even young - last year's vintage - Riesings?

                                1. re: foreverhungry

                                  I have a very sensitive nose, and yes, I can smell it in most Rieslings, even very young. To me, they all have it to some degree, but in some it is almost undectectable, and in others, quite pronounced.

                                  1. re: MelMM

                                    Interesting! I've never noticed it in most Rieslings; then again, I rarely drink Rieslings. I'll have to give it a better sniff next time I have a Riesling. Thanks for the info!

                                    1. re: MelMM

                                      I guess I like petrol. Not entirely surprising, since I also like retsina.

                              2. re: MelMM

                                I've had very elegant, bone-dry Rieslings from the Rheingau.

                            2. re: JoanN

                              Austrian dry Rieslings are amazing. Hirsch is a wonderful producer.

                          2. re: JoanN

                            We made this for dinner a few nights ago night and really enjoyed it. The marinade is easily put together and once it is done, it goes into the fridge for 2 days. So this is a good candidate for a weekday meal. From the recipe, I wasn’t clear if I was supposed to pat dry the chicken before putting it in the hot cast iron skillet. I did, but probably not thoroughly enough. My cast iron was already occupied (I served this with a crispy potato galette - a David Tanis recipe from One Good Dish) so I put it directly in the oven on a sheet pan, skin side down, with a pot lid on top to weigh it down. After 10 minutes, it was not browned in the least so I decided to continue cooking it skin side up until the skin browned, another 25 minutes or so. It did not come out as beautiful or crisp as some of my roasted chickens, but I think that was due to the wet marinade - not sure, just speculating. The flavor was spot on, so no changes there. As I said, served it with a crispy potato galette, roasted carrots, and crispy dates. Delicious but probably won't replace my go to recipe (which is the roasted chicken from Patricia Wells Simply French).

                            1. re: dkennedy

                              It's been ages since I made that roast chicken from "Simply French." In fact, it's been ages since I've made anything from that book and it has so many recipes I adore. The Confit of Fresh Chestnuts, Walnuts, Fennel, and Onions is one of my all-time favorites. Must make that roast chicken again. Thanks for the reminder.

                              1. re: JoanN

                                That chestnut thing sounds right up M's street.

                              2. re: dkennedy

                                The marinade is *super* easy on this one. I made it yesterday - alas, mine will only sit for something like 31 hours, not the full 2 days. But then again it is thighs, so maybe the smaller size will soak up the marinade quicker (fingers crossed).

                              3. re: JoanN

                                Made the Chicken Lady Chicken last night with bone-in, skin on thighs. Incredibly easy to put this together, and the taste was wonderful. Like JoanN I had a problem with the skin sticking to the pan (it still sits, soaking). I overcooked mine a bit despite having done some planning for the smaller size (this may have something to do with the fact that we found snake scat in the basement about an hour before dinner and I needed to drink copiously). I honestly feel like that initial stage under the brick *might* not be necessary with thighs, although they were pretty wet from the marinade. Still, I think I will give it a go sometime just roasting after marinating.

                                  1. re: LulusMom

                                    did Lulu like it (the chicken, not the snake!)?

                                    I don't like chicken very much (except the zuni chicken, which I make once a year) but I really want to try this one.

                                    1. re: Madrid

                                      Yes, Lulu liked the chicken a lot. She wasn't too taken with the Israeli couscous I served with it. I serve her couscous with currants all the time, but for some reason having cranberries and apricots was beyond the pale. Kids.

                                      1. re: LulusMom

                                        Lulu is a great and adventurous eater! Don't even ask me what my 14 year old will eat (however, we adopted him at age 7 from foster care after a lot of trauma and abuse, including food trauma). Interesting thing is, he loves to devise recipes and have his parents try them out, so I have some hope for the future! There are lots of adults who wouldn't eat couscous like that......

                                        I think there is quite a Lulu fan club here! You and Lulu have such a great relationship...it's really heartwarming.

                                        1. re: Madrid

                                          Oh Madrid, thank you so much. Of course the reality isn't *quite* as rose-colored as you may think. But it sounds to me like you're a saint, and bless you for it. I would imagine food trauma (to go along with all the other trauma) would be tough ... but also so rewarding to gently help him through. Sounds huge to me that he wants to devise recipes for you to make for him. Good luck with it, and happy to see you chatting on the boards.

                                  2. re: JoanN

                                    I am thinking of doing this on the grill (weber kettle) with chicken thighs or chicken leg quarters. Any thoughts on which cut would be better and any tips on how I would go about doing this? I am pretty new to grilling!

                                    1. re: Westminstress

                                      Lifelong apartment dweller here, so grilling tips are definitely not my forte. But based on LulusMom's report above, I'd forget all about trying to weight the chicken. Just use the marinade and grill as you would any other chicken pieces. I don't think there's any question that you'd get the essence of the dish even without following the directions to the letter.

                                      1. re: JoanN

                                        Exactly what JoanN said. I was thinking around lunch time how well I think these (as thighs) would do on the grill.

                                    2. re: JoanN

                                      my cornish hen is marinating in the refigerator.
                                      I used red wine in place of the white

                                      1. re: jpr54_1

                                        prepared it according to instructions and is now resting-
                                        it looks just like photo-surprised
                                        can't wait to eat it

                                      2. re: JoanN

                                        Chicken Lady Chicken (Poulet Crapaudine Façon Catherine), p. 173

                                        My turn on the CL chicken: I marinated the spineless bird for 12 hours and then cooked it outside on the grill, under a foil-wrapped brick--10 minutes breast-side down then flipped and cooked probably another 20 minutes. When I first checked it after 5 minutes, it was already charring from flare-ups so I moved it to a cooler part of the grill and monitored it pretty closely thereafter.

                                        We enjoyed this. The marinade really gave the chicken great flavor, and I'd use that again. I don't know how often I'd do this whole recipe. The spatchcocking was easy enough, but I rarely cook whole birds as we are partial to dark meat here. It would be a good option for guests. I am looking forward to sandwiches made from the leftover breast meat though.

                                      3. Fried Ham and Cheese Sandwich--Croque-Monsieur, p. 137

                                        Did I really need a recipe for croque-monsieur? No, but I decided to go ahead and follow DL's method anyway. As expected, this was delicious and decadent (and DH was delirious). How to justify such a calorie extravaganza? When it serves as two meals-in-one (aka "brunch").

                                        First, you make a bechamel (1 T ea butter and flour, 3/4 c milk, pinch of salt and dash of cayenne). While that cools and thickens, prep everything else. My only real deviation was that I used a lovely multi-grain from a nearby "artisanal" bakery when they were out of their miche, which would have been perfect here. (That said, the grained bread did not detract at all from the glory that is croque-monsieur.)

                                        Then you spread bechamel on a thin slice of bread, top with a slice of prosciutto, then some thin slices of cheese (I used Comte), then another slice prosciutto, then top with the second slice of bread. Brush generously both sides of sandwich w/melted butter. Sandwiches go into a heated skillet or grill pan stovetop and are draped with foil and topped by a CI (or other heavy) skillet. When they've browned on the bottoms (just a couple of minutes), the skillet and foil are removed so sandwiches can be flipped and replaced. Let those go for a few minutes. Remove weighting skillet and foil. Put a generous handful of grated cheese atop each sandwich and stick the pan under the broiler until the cheese melts. Voilà.

                                        A bit fussy and very rich, but if you're looking to bring a little l'esprit de Paris into your home, DL's croque-monsieur will have your dining companions saying "mon Dieu!"

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                          Oh, my. I almost wish you hadn't reported on that one, ncw.

                                        2. The caramel ribs are really, really good. I suggest trying this recipe as soon as possible!

                                          20 Replies
                                          1. re: jordanhamons

                                            I made those (hadn't gotten around to reporting) and agree!

                                            I was amazed at how fast the sugar turned to caramel. In other recipes they've had me start with water and it takes forever.

                                              1. re: jordanhamons

                                                Caramel Pork Ribs [Travers de Porc au Caramel] (page 187)

                                                Wowie zowie were these good! And except for a lot of turning, almost silly simple.

                                                You caramelize white sugar in a Dutch oven until it’s a “deep copper-colored liquid,” then turn off the heat and stir in beer and either dark or light brown sugar (I used light). After the mixture has cooled a bit, you stir in bourbon, cider vinegar, ketchup, ginger, soy sauce, harissa, mustard, and black pepper. Put the ribs, cut into 3- or 4-rib portions, into the pot and bring the liquid to a boil, turn the ribs a few times, then put the pot in a preheated 350F oven. Turn the ribs every 30 minutes for 1½ to 2 hours, then cook them uncovered for half an hour turning them every 10 minutes.

                                                I cooked mine for two hours, but an hour and a half would have been enough. By two hours the bones were falling out and the meat was just beginning to dry. At the end of the recipe he says to “skim any visible fat from the surface of the liquid, and serve.” There was a LOT of fat. I actually picked up the Dutch oven and poured it out. But he didn’t say what to do with what was left in the pan. It really wasn’t pourable. I gave passing thought to adding some hot water to it to thin in out, especially since one of his recommended accompaniments is rice and I thought I’d love the sauce with the rice. Anyway, I dabbed some of the sauce on the rice and then before I put away the leftovers I added water to what was in the pan, brought it to a boil, and strained it over the leftover rice. Took a quick taste before I put it in the fridge and I think I’ll be making a note to thin the sauce slightly next time.

                                                I cut the baby backs into 3-rib sections, but it made them a little cumbersome to eat. Especially since they were so falling-apart tender, you almost needed a knife and fork. Note, I say almost. My grandson and I just went at them, more or less moaning the whole time.

                                                1. re: JoanN

                                                  That seals it for me. This is on the menu when my son comes over to cook next week. Great report, and great pic.

                                                  1. re: JoanN

                                                    Haha! Grandson confessed over breakfast that after reading in bed for about an hour last night, he got up and had four more ribs, cold, from the fridge. And that was after eating six of them for dinner along with a bowlful of rice.

                                                    1. re: JoanN

                                                      Is there no salt in this recipe?

                                                      1. re: BangorDin

                                                        No, but there are two tablespoons of soy sauce.

                                                        1. re: JoanN

                                                          Oh yes. I thought the soy sauce would be for color.

                                                          1. re: BangorDin

                                                            BangorDin,I used light soy sauce in this recipe but would use dark next time - my ribs turned out a bit lacking in salt

                                                            1. re: Blythe spirit

                                                              I always thought dark soy sauce had less salt than light. Am I wrong about that?

                                                              1. re: JoanN

                                                                That's correct (at least when referring to Japanese soy). Usukuchi (light) soy has more salt than regular (koikuchi) soy. It's light because of the color, not salt content.

                                                                1. re: BigSal

                                                                  I guess I'm associating the stronger taste with more salt. I just looked on the back of the bottles and the black soy does have a little less sodium.

                                                      2. re: JoanN

                                                        Ribs - p. 188
                                                        These were falling-off- the- bone delicious. My first success with ribs - after two failures with other recipes. I used baby back ribs as Joan N. Suggested - and cut them into two- rib portions. As Joan mentioned, mine also only needed an hour and a half - and then another 15 minutes for the sauce to thicken.
                                                        There was quite a bit of fat. The sauce was a tad on the sweet side for me, so I will adjust the vinegar, ketchup and other ingredients accordingly next time. But this is the first time I've made ribs in the oven and had them turn out this tender - I'm very pleased. This is a definite repeat.

                                                        1. re: JoanN

                                                          Caramel Pork Ribs (Travers de Porc au Caramel) p. 187

                                                          Yes, these were very good. DH ate several helpings!

                                                          I followed the recipe, except that since I had 6 lbs of ribs, I did 1½ X the recipe. I ended up with a lot of sauce after two hours in the oven (covered). I let the ribs go another half hour and the sauce reduced a bit. Like Joan, I had a LOT of fat in the pan. I spooned most of it off and then cooked the sauce on top of the stove to reduce it some more. Unlike Joan's, mine was very thin, even after reducing, quite pourable. So I poured the sauce over the platter of ribs.

                                                          Great oven ribs. Had them with corn and salad, after hummus, and before blueberry cobbler. The Farmers Market is overflowing with abundance these days, and I have no will power.

                                                        2. re: jordanhamons

                                                          So I have have about 7 lbs. of baby backs and will be making this within a couple of days. Did anyone serve a starch with these? It looks like the sauce would be tasty with either plain rice or some mashed potatoes (maybe skin-on red bliss?) The recipe almost seems to be hybrid Vietnamese-Southern U.S.-inspired. Any thoughts?

                                                          1. re: bear

                                                            I served it with plain white rice. Great with the sauce. Poured remaining sauce over the rice before refrigerating and it was great leftover, also.

                                                            1. re: JoanN

                                                              Well, these ribs were absolutely delicious and very unique. The caramelized sugar together with the beer and the bourbon really gave them a depth of flavor and unusual flavor. We all had seconds (my husband really loved them) and my son happily took home the leftovers for his girlfriend. They definitely were sweet, but there was enough savory in the sauce to counteract that for us.

                                                              My son had already made a corn and potato salad with balsamic mayo and a roasted beet and feta side, so I didn't make the rice. We ended up tossing most of the sauce so next time I would make plain white rice as JoanN suggests to sop up all that goodness.

                                                              This recipe is definitely a keeper, and I can imagine pulling this out in the middle of our harsh New England winter to warm and brighten the table.

                                                              Thanks for the help, Joan!

                                                              (Sorry for the garish red colors...our lighting was not optimal.)

                                                              1. re: bear

                                                                Lovely. (I am intrigued by that corn and potato salad, too, bear.)

                                                                1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                  Well, we saw that DL paired the ribs with a garlicky slaw, so my son basically improvised after we saw some okay-looking corn at the store. He made a mayo using an egg yolk, red wine vinegar, canola and evoo, garlic and dijon and then added some vin cotto that I had hanging around because he thought it needed a little more flavor. The rest was just yukon golds, blanched corn cut off the cob, celery and spring onions. It was good both at room temp and chilled.

                                                                  We agreed that it was very tasty but would be even better with native corn.

                                                          2. re: jordanhamons

                                                            Caramel Pork Ribs

                                                            I have been bad about keeping up with COTM this month, but the caramel pork ribs sounded too good to let pass by so I made them last night. Agree with everyone that they are delicious, pretty easy and a unique flavor combination. I let these hang out in the oven while I was swimming with the kids, just coming in a few times to turn them over.

                                                            Everyone got hungry before they had been in for the full 2.5 hours, so I probably only cooked them covered for an hour and 15 minutes and then another 15 minutes uncovered. My sauce could have thickened more, but the meat was fine. Tender, but not yet falling off the bone.

                                                            I served with white rice and butter-soy broccoli. I think a crunchy garlicky slaw would have been a better accompaniment as a veggie--- will know better next time. Oh, and I thought the sauce lacked a little salt as written--- I added a bit of fish sauce in addition to the soy sauce and that helped balance it out for me.

                                                          3. Steak with Mustard Butter, p. 206

                                                            This is the first thing I made out of this book and so far it is my favorite. If you make nothing else from this book, make the steak with mustard butter - it's such a simple, but utterly delicious recipe. It is the quintessential french bistro dish. The mustard butter is the key: 2 T. butter, at room temp., 2 t. dry mustard, 1 t. Dijon. I swear, I could eat this every night!


                                                            14 Replies
                                                            1. re: dkennedy

                                                              Steak w/Mustard Butter, p. 206

                                                              I concur: If you like mustard, you'll like this mustard butter.

                                                              When DH came home from running errands with a dry-aged, bone-in ribeye, this recipe came to mind. The look of horror on his face when I mentioned chipotle powder and cilantro, however, dissuaded me from using DL's recipe for the meat. That will have to wait for a less precious steak. This one was simply salted and grilled and topped with the mustard butter.

                                                              I think this butter would be great on any number of proteins--fish steaks, pork chops, chicken breasts.

                                                              1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                I did use the leftover mustard butter on halibut last night. I thought it overwhelmed the fish (which was perfectly cooked thanks to "Fish Without a Doubt," which has revolutionized fish cookery in this house). But I'm thinking I'd like it better on salmon.

                                                                1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                  We had it on the bluefish and liked it; but that's a much stronger flavored fish than halibut, and one that I already know we like with mustard butter/sauce.

                                                                  1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                    It sounds like something that would go well with salmon.

                                                                    1. re: LulusMom

                                                                      Yes, LM, we had it with grilled salmon. Delicious.

                                                                2. re: dkennedy

                                                                  Steak with Mustard Butter, pg. 206

                                                                  OK so, my steak was a top blade cut the non-flat iron way, For the rub smoked Spanish pimenton stood in for chipolte powder, and used the flat leaf parsley option rather than cilantro. Nice enough. For the butter Colman's mustard powder, and Fallot Dijon (thank you SMT--love the Fallot mustards). Also nice enough. But together? so-so.

                                                                  There's a fair amount of the compound butter left over, and a piece of bluefish in the fridge, somehow think I'll like that combination better. Although NCW's idea of pork chops sounds good too.

                                                                  1. re: qianning

                                                                    Bluefish with mustard is wonderful! Or with coriander and smoked. Or with just about everything. Bluefish is just good eats.

                                                                    1. re: qianning

                                                                      I am sorry you didn't love it. I don't think I would have liked the smoked pimenton substitution myself. I find that flavor overpowering so I always reduce the smoked component by at least 3/4s. When I made it, I served it over dry aged Wagu. Well marbled, it is hard to make it taste anything but spectacular. And the recipe brings back wonderful childhood memories of a now long ago closed bistro in my hood. I absolutely this combination and could eat it every night!

                                                                      1. re: dkennedy

                                                                        Isn't chipolte smoked? The recipe calls for chipolte powder.

                                                                        Wow, you added butter to Wagu, that must have been incredibly rich.

                                                                        1. re: qianning

                                                                          I often substitute pimenton in place of chipotle when I want smokiness but less heat, and it seems to work well.

                                                                          1. re: qianning

                                                                            Yes, they are smoked, but I think their heat somehow balances the smokiness, or maybe masks it, because I don't feel the need to back off when using it the way I do with smoked pimeton.

                                                                            In terms of the butter being added to the Wagu, my mustard butter was fairly mustardy, so really it tasted of mustard, not of butter. We have been eating Wagu for so long I don't think of it as being rich. To me, it just tastes the way steak should taste - incredibly flavorful. We are trying to transition our diet to only grass fed pastured meats and wild caught fish and the only hiccup has been our trying to wean ourselves off Wagu.

                                                                            1. re: dkennedy

                                                                              Perhaps I should have been more specific; I was using a picante not a dulce pimenton de la vera. Not sure it matters, though, probably just us, but the capsicum flavor didn't quite work with the mustard.

                                                                        2. re: qianning

                                                                          Steak with Mustard Butter, pg. 206

                                                                          My opinion was similar to Qiannang's. I think that I would like the mustard butter better with something else. I thought it was just ok with steak. My steak was a Delmonico (grass fed from farmers market) and I did grill it rather than cook it on the stove. I liked it better unadulturated.

                                                                          1. re: stockholm28

                                                                            Hmmmm, I had put this dish on the menu for this week (and had even planned on the smoked paprika substitution) but given recent reports I am having second thoughts. To be continued....

                                                                      2. Buckwheat crepes with ham, cheese and egg, p. 135

                                                                        We are a gluten free house so of course I was thrilled to see this recipe for buckwheat crepes. Technically, this recipe works like a dream. I used my tortilla pan and the crepes came out perfectly. If not for the strong buckwheat flavor, I would have absolutely love these.

                                                                        The combination of comte with the ham was perfect. But the flavor of the buckwheat was a little strong for me. I saw elsewhere that someone used light buckwheat flour, I will have to look into that next time around. I know one of the comments on his blog (from a fan) discussed modifying his regular crepe recipe to GF so I may try that next time.

                                                                        Would love to hear other’s opinion on the buckwheat flavor issue. If you are familiar with light buckwheat, I’d love to hear about that too. In any case, this is a solid recipe for crepes, just need to like buckwheat more.

                                                                        Once I figure out the buckwheat issue this will make an excellent light meal for the kids and/or for the lunch box!

                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                        1. re: dkennedy

                                                                          You might try cutting the buckwheat flour with cornstarch. Way back in 1988, when Rose Levy Beranbaum came out with "The Cake Bible", she published in that book a crepe recipe that was made with cornstarch (no wheat flour at all). Now you know that back in '88, she wasn't doing this to accomodate gluten-free folks, she was doing it because it makes a superior crepe. Now, her recipe is for a sweet crepe, to be used for Crepes Suzette and other desserts, but I've made savory crepes the same way. Cornstarch just works really well in crepes. And no, no xanthan gum or other gluten-free oddities needed.

                                                                          I always shake my head when I see people agonizing about making crepes gluten-free, when one our foremost baking authors gave us the simple solution over 25 years ago! One that produces an even BETTER product than the "regular" version.

                                                                          1. re: MelMM

                                                                            I prefer potato starch for this use.

                                                                            1. re: MelMM

                                                                              I think the suggestion on his blog was for using cornstarch. I'll try that - thank you!

                                                                              1. re: MelMM

                                                                                Can you describe how these cornstarch crepes are better? Thinner, or tastier, or paler, or ?
                                                                                I have some tapioca flour I might try too.

                                                                                1. re: BangorDin

                                                                                  Lighter and more delicate in texture, and also very thin.

                                                                                  Tapioca flour tends to lend a chewy texture to baked goods, so might not be the best choice for crepes.

                                                                              2. re: dkennedy

                                                                                Buckwheat crepes with ham, cheese and egg, p. 135

                                                                                Made these last night. Being, like DK, a gluten-free household, I figured I had to try this one.

                                                                                I was OK with the buckwheat flavor. I guess I like it. I did find my crepes a bit crumbly in texture, and they tended to break apart when I flipped them, although they were not sticking at all to my carbon steel crepe pan. I eventually decided just to cook on one side, and not bother with flipping, and then they came out fine.

                                                                                For me, the recipe was fine, but probably not something I want to repeat. I did use gruyere instead of emmenthal for the cheese, and I use La Quercia prosciutto, along with pastured eggs from a local farm. It was good, but just didn't bowl me over.

                                                                              3. Counterfeit Duck Confit, p. 179

                                                                                I make duck confit fairly frequently so it was inevitable I would try this recipe. Had 3 duck legs in my freezer and my DH was out of town so I decided to try it.

                                                                                The flavor profile for the rub - - nutmeg, allspice and gin - is unlike anything I had ever used before. I proceeded as instructed and the duck crisped up perfectly! But, I did not enjoy the flavor profile and I would not use these combination of spices again. I attempted to fix it once it was cooked by adding shallots, thyme and bay leaves to the fat but the allspice was fairly overwhelming.

                                                                                Served it over a lentil salad off his blog, topped with a balsamic reduction. The finished dish was still wonderful, I mean, how bad can duck confit ever be, right? When I have a chance I will add a link for the lentils and for my typical confit recipes.

                                                                                ETA the link for the lentil recipe:

                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                  Counterfeit Duck Confit, p. 179

                                                                                  My, did we love this.

                                                                                  One of the fancy butchers sells confit duck legs with the same flavor profile so I knew that the rub (allspice/nutmeg/salt/gin--I added cracked pepper) would not be a problem. I let the pricked, rubbed legs sit over garlic and bay leaves for 10 hours in the fridge. The only change I made was to triple the number of garlic cloves called for. At the end of the 2 hour, 45 minute cooking time--starting in cold oven, going 2 1/2hours at 300F and another 15 at 375 yielded perfection--we smeared the roasted garlic onto slices of ciabatta. I'm looking forward to using the garlicky, bay-scented fat I strained from the dish.

                                                                                  I could barely tell the difference between true confit and this cheater's version: crisp skin, unctuous flesh, so much deliciousness. This is officially my new method for duck legs.

                                                                                  An ordinary weeknight dinner felt very special when we sat down to these, with lentils (my favorite version, courtesy of Madhur Jaffrey), a pile of mushrooms, and a cherry tomato salad.

                                                                                  1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                    Do you mind sharing your go to lentil recipe?

                                                                                    1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                      Here's a link to the recipe. Deceptively simple, this lentil dish is packed with flavor and is delicious hot, cold, or room temp. It goes with so many things and is always a hit (even with people who are convinced they don't like Indian food).


                                                                                  2. re: dkennedy

                                                                                    Here is my usual confit seasoning mix. Stab the skin all over, then liberally season with grey salt, pepper, fresh thyme and bay leaves. Hold overnight. The next day, dab off the moisture and place the duck legs, skin side down, in a small pan (you want the ducks to fit snugly so the oil doesn't cook down to nothing). Cook over low heat (I usually do mine on the stovetop, but DL's method in the oven works even better. When the legs are brown and the meat is so tender it is in danger of falling off the bone, turn them over so the skin is side up. Pierce the skin again to release any remaining fat. Add 3-5 thinly sliced shallots and 5 whole garlic cloves, skin on, to the fat. You can also add a few more branches of thyme, and more salt and pepper to taste. Return to the oven as instructed by DL. Continue to cook until the skin is nicely crisped.

                                                                                  3. Potato, Feta and Basil Tortilla

                                                                                    Frittatas, tortillas, omelettes, all are very popular at our house on days where we are looking for lighter meals, or maybe aren't in the mood for a meaty dinner. This was the case last night when we served this tortilla with some roasted asparagus and crusty bread.

                                                                                    It all comes together simply enough. Essentially you brown some seasoned potatoes before adding lots of chopped green onion, followed by eggs that have been mixed with paprika, salt, and basil. Then you sprinkle over some feta and cook the lot until a crust forms (approximately 15-20 minutes), before finishing in the oven (5 minutes). You are then meant to invert the pan over a plate and serve bottom side up.

                                                                                    Well everything seemed to be going well until I tried to invert the pan. Despite using a well seasoned cast iron pan, and despite having cooked it on a slightly lower heat than suggested, much of my tortilla stuck to the pan. The result was a very hearty, relatively tasty, mess. I would likely follow a technique learned from Marcella Hazan of simply turning the contents of the pan (potatoes and green onions) into a pie plate and pouring in the eggs, all of it then goes into the oven to cook. I find that a well buttered glass pie plate still gives me good colour on the bottom and is much easier to serve from.

                                                                                    Either way, I would say this recipe has a simple flavour profile but is quite hearty and pretty good. I would likely serve with a flavourful salad so as to add something with more punch to the plate, and maybe add some thyme to the potatoes, but the tortilla is serviceable as is.

                                                                                    The photo below is before my attempt to invert the pan.

                                                                                    9 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: delys77

                                                                                      I love tortillas/frittatas but indeed inverting them is always a challenge. In Italian and Spanish cookware shops, they actually sell double omelette pans that enclose the dish and can be flipped over without making a mess.

                                                                                      I'm thinking of making my next one in a well-seasoned cast iron pan I have and not flipping it, just finishing it with a broil in the oven...

                                                                                      1. re: lagatta

                                                                                        Yes, the CI skillet is perfect for fritattas. Finishing them under the broiler is one way to finish cooking it but I simply bung a lid on the pan, lower the flame a little and cook till the top is not so moist. One has to be careful not to over cook, obviously. Has worked for me for many years.

                                                                                      2. re: delys77

                                                                                        Potato, Feta and Basil Tortilla

                                                                                        This was perfect for me to make, as I have recently taken up cheesemaking, and have some wonderful homemade, raw goat milk feta on hand, and I'm looking for ways to show it off. Combine that with ample basil in the garden, a good supply of local free-range eggs, I was set.

                                                                                        I made a mini version of this in a 6" cast iron skillet, using just 4 eggs instead of 9. Delys has already described the technique. Given his difficulty flipping it out of the pan, I decided to add the step of rinsing and then very thoroughly drying the cubed potatoes. They fried up nicely without sticking at all, although they did take a bit longer than the time in the recipe.

                                                                                        I don't know if rinsing and drying the potatoes is what did it, but I didn't have any sticking problem. I did also run around the edge of the pan with a plastic offset spatula (the kind you would use to ice a cake). Anyway, the tortilla popped right out. The dish was quite good. I can't say it's any better or worse than other versions I've made, but it worked well with what I had on hand. This is the kind of thing I like to make when I'm out of ideas, so there's a fair chance it will show up on our table again.

                                                                                        1. re: MelMM

                                                                                          That is a beautiful tortilla! I need to make one soon. You have inspired me, even though i don't have the book.

                                                                                          1. re: MelMM

                                                                                            So impressed about the cheesemaking. I wanted to start a project like this about two years ago (inspired by a book walker recommended to me) and my husband just laughed at me, which sort of took the wind out of my sails.

                                                                                            1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                              I'm very lucky here in SC, where raw milk is legal and the dairies that sell it are inspected and licensed to do so. I'm getting great milk, and wanted to make good use of it (and I'm really not into drinking milk, nor do I eat cereal, so...). Cheesemaking seemed like fun, and it has been, so far. But it's also something where once you get in, you can fall in deep.

                                                                                              1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                I remain very impressed. The last thing I need right now is to fall deeply into hobby, though, I have to admit.

                                                                                            2. re: MelMM

                                                                                              Very nicely done MelM , it may very well have the potatoes that caused my problem.

                                                                                            3. Chicken with Mustard.

                                                                                              Agree with the previous comments. Was simple and satisfying. Added some bone in breasts for white meat fans. This added a little cooking time but equally delicious.
                                                                                              Would eliminate salt in the mustard marinade. I think my bacon was super salty and this carried though the dish. Although I was more sensitive to this.

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: Sfspicegirl

                                                                                                Lovely Sfspicegirl, looks like the perfect parisian cafe set up (marble top with wine).

                                                                                              2. My book will be arriving soon. Saving my spot on this thread.

                                                                                                1. Le Grand Aioli, or Garlic Mayonnaise with Accompaniments (no page numbers in the Kindle edition - sorry!)

                                                                                                  I made his mayo and got a little carried away so it broke, but an extra egg yolk and more patience saved it. Didn't use all the accompaniments - picked up a roast chicken, salt roasted potatoes, blanched green beans, cherry tomatoes, some raw squash blossoms and baby zucchini - this is almost more of an idea than a recipe, but it's a great one for a fun summer dinner. I think a lot of the main dish recipes in this book feel very wintry to me, so this was a great seasonal treat, and I'm sure I'll repeat it this summer several times.

                                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: Savour

                                                                                                    I agree, thus far the mains remind me winter comfort foods. I guess this makes sense given the author is talking Paris, but there could have been a larger number of southern French fare in the mains section.

                                                                                                    1. re: delys77

                                                                                                      I think this is why I keep making things from the appetizers, first courses, and sides.

                                                                                                      1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                        Come winter, I'll be all over that Carbonnade Flamande with the spice bread. But right now ... no.

                                                                                                      2. re: delys77

                                                                                                        Perhaps he'll do another book with a more Midi and otherwise Med orientation? Who knows - right now David is in Sicily. Yum.

                                                                                                      3. re: Savour

                                                                                                        Yes, I agree also--there are so many recipes I'd like to try come fall and winter but can't see trying now that, at least here, summer has landed with a heavy, humid thud.

                                                                                                        But the aioli dinner sounds lovely.

                                                                                                        1. re: Savour

                                                                                                          Interesting comment about the entree recipes in this book being more cool-weather options, so I looked through the list and I agree. But I did mark several summer-possibilities in the first-course section: the salads for instance, the gazpacho, and also the Israeli Couscous salad and the Wheatberry salad with Radicchio from the sides-section. I plan to try them this summer.
                                                                                                          I agree: the aioli platter sounds lovely.

                                                                                                        2. Baked Eggs with Kale and Smoked Salmon

                                                                                                          So this was intended to be a quick weeknight dinner that turned out to be not so quick, thanks to some errors in the instructions. Grrrr.....

                                                                                                          It has a few components: Garlicky breadcrumbs, which are made by toasting breadcrumbs (panko for me) in butter with garlic and fresh thyme. I had less than half the amount of breadcrumbs required, which seemed to be plenty. They were delicious though.

                                                                                                          Then the kale -- you pre-cook it in a covered pan with garlic and butter and s&p.

                                                                                                          Then you layer a dish as follows: Kale, topped with smoked salmon, then eggs, then goat cheese dotted on top, a bit of cream drizzled over, topped with garlicky crumbs, then into the oven to bake.

                                                                                                          I thought the proportions in this recipe were not correct as written. For the amount of eggs suggested, the recipe calls for too much breadcrumbs and cheese, not enough kale. For 6 eggs, I used 4.5 oz kale (recipe called for 3 oz) and felt that was the bare minimum. Luckily as the recipe involves components, it is easy to adjust the quantities as needed. I didn't have the small gratin dishes he calls for so used one larger dish.

                                                                                                          My real beef with the recipe was the cooking time for the eggs. He has you preheat oven to 350 and says to bake the eggs for 10-12 minutes or until done. I don't usually make baked eggs so this didn't raise eyebrows as it should have. At 12 minutes my eggs were still completely uncooked. With a very hungry husband and family waiting, I cranked the heat up to 450 and my eggs still took about 25 minutes to set, and then by the time the whites were cooked the yolks were more done than I like. Looked at a Smitten Kitchen recipe for baked eggs and she calls for 15-30 minutes at 450. So given that and my experience last night, I feel the temperature and cooking time stated in the recipe is incorrect.

                                                                                                          As for the taste -- it was actually pretty good. A bit brunchy for my taste at dinner. My husband liked it, but both kids refused to try it. I thought it was tasty but not good enough to repeat. In the category of eggs for dinner, I'd rather have shakshuka or a frittata. It is possible though that my reaction was colored by my annoyance at the cooking time.

                                                                                                          Given the long cooking time involved, to make this a true weeknight dinner I would do the kale and breadcrumbs in advance and cook at 450 the whole time instead of 350.

                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: Westminstress

                                                                                                            Thanks for the review. Sorry about your stArving family. I hate when that happens. He talk a lot about eggs and eating them very undercooked ( bc they are French). But this does sound like an error. I am going to do this recipe and I'll also watch the time.

                                                                                                            1. re: Westminstress

                                                                                                              Just a little follow up ... At breakfast this morning my son said that he wanted for his lunch the leftover eggs from last night. He and his sister ate up all the leftovers (three eggs and accompanying salmon and greenery) and said they liked it. Which has me feeling a bit more friendly to this dish in retrospect.

                                                                                                            2. Roast Lamb with Braised Vegetables, Salsa Verde and Chickpea Puffs p. 203

                                                                                                              Great and good: The lamb itself was ok. Part of it was my fault… you stuff the lamb shoulder with garlic and anchovy and I went overboard on the anchovy. It crossed from umami to pretty pungent. This was also my first time to cook a lamb shoulder, which was a pain in the ass to cut/shred as opposed to a leg of lamb. I will be curious to see what others think. It is extremely easy to prepare and cook.

                                                                                                              The Braised Vegetables, however, were amazing. Very simple prep as well, basically mostly root vegetables braised in butter and broth. With the salsa verde (excellent), these are a keeper. I'll post about the Salsa Verde and Chick Pea Puffs in the appropriate spot. Both also very easy and excellent.

                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                              1. re: Tom P

                                                                                                                Salsa Verde p. 233

                                                                                                                I don't think there is a pantry section so I will post this here. A lovely salsa verde, really a tapenade, made with tons of herbs, garlic, olives, shallots and capers. I will make this often as side to many other dishes or an appetizer.

                                                                                                              2. Pork and Chard Sausage (Caillettes)

                                                                                                                I was quite intrigued when I read the preamble to this recipe as I love sausage and the idea of baking a free form sausage sounded easy enough. While we did enjoy the flavour profile this is really more of a mini free form meatloaf. The term sausage was definitely a bit misleading.

                                                                                                                Essentially you sauté a bit of onion in olive oil, followed by some chicken livers. Once these are browned you put them aside and saute some ground pork, garlic and thyme which is seasoned relatively heavily. Just before removing from the pan you add a pinch of all spice and pour it into the same bowl as the liver and onions. Meanwhile you should heat some water and blanch your chopped chard (stems and leaves). Once the chard is blanched you wring it out and add it to a food processor where it is joined by the meat mixture, egg, parsley, and some lemon juice. All is processed until you have a chunky mixture that is blended enough to form a patty of sorts. You then form quail sized ovals and top with some bacon before placing in the oven for about 30 minutes.

                                                                                                                I think I over processed mine as it looked almost like a course tabbouleh by the time I was done. I think this might have made the mixture a bit grainier and the result may not have held together quite as well as it could have. That said, I was able to form my ovals and the caillette held up to the baking in the oven. I also went with about half as much bacon as the full amount would have covered the caillette from end to end.

                                                                                                                The end result was interesting with flavours reminiscent of pate due to the herbs and liver, but still enough brightness from the lemon and chard to lift the dish. I wouldn't necessarily make these again, but I did think they were good, just not great. My husband on the other hand thought they were great and asked that I add them to the rotation so we shall see.

                                                                                                                Extra points for being easy and different though.

                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: delys77

                                                                                                                  Delys77, these look really delicious and your description and photo were very helpful. I want a bite right this minute!
                                                                                                                  Is that a Silpat that you cooked them on? What a good idea.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Goblin

                                                                                                                    Thanks very much Goblin.

                                                                                                                    Yes it's a silicone mat but some sort of knock off. Works very well nonetheless.

                                                                                                                2. Following everyone's lead, i made the Poulet a la moutarde too (page 169, although, since i didn't have the cookbook, i found a link online http://www.thecitycook.com/cooking/re....

                                                                                                                  what a great dish. as others have said, how can you go wrong with smokey bacon, dijon, thyme and chicken? i followed the recipe just about exactly, although i used 6 thighs, no legs. And i ended up using a horseradish dijon for part of the mustard, when i ran out of regular dijon. and i used heavy whipping cream instead of creme fraiche.

                                                                                                                  This is at once an elegant yet rustic dish. served it with simple boiled potatoes tossed in butter and chopped parsley, and a beet/goat farmer's cheese tower over arugula with a dijon vinaigrette.

                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                    Beautiful plate, mc.

                                                                                                                    That recipe is one I have planned for this week.

                                                                                                                    1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                      thanks, ncw! I am sure you'll love it as much as we did.

                                                                                                                    2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                      looks great-- love the arugula pairing

                                                                                                                    3. Smoky BBQ-Style Pork, Pg. 190

                                                                                                                      Great assortment of ingredients both in the marinade and at the roasting stage. Marinade: smoked paprika, red chili powder, cinnamon, cumin, unsweetened cocoa powder. The meat marinated overnight. To Roast: beer, BBQ Sauce (TJ's), cider vinegar (Bragg's), tomato paste, Asian chili paste go into a Dutch oven with the meat. There were no substitutions for this recipe. It's supposed to go into the oven for 2-ish hours but it we cooked it in the slow cooker for 8 hours.

                                                                                                                      The shoulder was very well marbled so it became succulent, tender and juicy, spicy, with wonderful sauce. Served it on its own, the sauce ladled over top and a side dish of Potato Cilantro and Radish Salad with an Aioli Dressing.

                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                        Both this pork recipe and the ribs are two I would have otherwise passed over. That is why COTM is so invaluable. They are both on my list now.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                          Another one I have tabbed. Now I put a star on the tab.
                                                                                                                          I'll bet the leftovers make great sandwiches.

                                                                                                                        2. Parisian Gnocchi

                                                                                                                          I forgot to get the Swiss-style cheese for this at my weekly shop and I didn"t want to wait another week so I just made it anyway with edam.

                                                                                                                          The choux pastry balls puffed wonderfully in the oven but they collapsed again after coming out under the weight of the cheese. It tasted good (I'm sure it would be better with the right cheese). I guess this must be a French comfort food, as he says it's not served in restaurants and it's just like macaroni cheese but with an interesting texture.

                                                                                                                          DL suggests serving it with a green salad, we served it with steamed leek greens which complemented it well. I would be very happy to be served this again, but it's a bit too involved to join our regulars at the moment.

                                                                                                                          1. Souffles with Comte, Arugula and Bacon (no pages on my edition)

                                                                                                                            These were good, but a few notes:
                                                                                                                            I used Gruyere, as it's easier to find in the US and I like it better. The bacon really dominated the flavor, but I think US bacon is generally smokier than French lardons.
                                                                                                                            Arugula was lost here, I think - I'm not sure how I feel about cooked arugula either - I might like this better with spinach or chard or even kale.
                                                                                                                            The second cooking step of "dumping out the souffles and baking them in the oven was lost on me - some of my souffles stuck, and the added crispness wasn't enough of a lure to merit the added cooking steps.
                                                                                                                            I didn't have 4 oz. ramekins so I made 4 8-oz. ramekins. 1 8 oz. ramekin was a good dinner portion for an adult. Although these were rich, a 4 oz. would have been too small for a dinner entree - better for a rich first course or an accompaniment to soup or something.

                                                                                                                            1. Chicken in Red Wine Sauce (Coq au vin)

                                                                                                                              The weather has been a bit grey here for the last few days and my thoughts wandered in the direction of comfort food. I settled on this recipe for Coq au vin as I love braised chicken dishes, especially coq au vin.

                                                                                                                              The recipe is not very fussy and I mostly followed it except for a few detours. You are meant to marinate the chicken in a bottle of wine along with carrots, onions, a bit of garlic, salt and pepper, bay leaves, and some thyme. My chicken marinated happily for about 24 hours before coming out to be strained of the liquid (reserving the liquid and vegetables separately). You then brown the chicken in a pot with a bit of oil and butter until browned on both sides. Reserve the chicken and then add the bacon and mushrooms to brown the lot. Once these are coloured you toss in the vegetables (carrots, onions, thyme and the accompanying bay) and saute till softened. Add 1 tb of flour and stir to combine. At this point the wine goes back into the pot along with the chicken. You then simmer covered over medium heat for 1 hour.

                                                                                                                              Meanwhile you are meant to simmer some peeled pearl onions with a bit of oil, some water and vinegar. I admit to skipping this step entirely and adding frozen pre-peeled pearl onions (I hate peeling the fresh ones).

                                                                                                                              Once the chicken is done you mix 1/4 cup of cooking liquid with some cocoa powder and stir back into the dish, and voilà coq au vin.

                                                                                                                              So I didn't follow his instructions on the pearl onions and I reserved my thyme and bay leaves to a cheesecloth bouquet garni before tucking it in with the chicken for it's final cook down. I couldn't imagine trying to find the branches of thyme in a large pot of dark brown chicken. I also simmered the pot semi uncovered on a much lower heat as covering at medium would likely result in a pretty hard simmer and very little evaporation of the very wet dish. My way worked well I thought, but I'm curious to see if anyone tries fully covered at medium, perhaps something magical happens in the pan.

                                                                                                                              Lastly, I dumped out the fat after cooking the chicken and before adding the bacon, had I left it in this dish would have been far too fatty. I can only assume they neglected to add that to the instructions.

                                                                                                                              Overall this isn't a bad recipe, I mean you have lots of bacon and wine, and some lovely aromatics, but it isn't nearly as good as other coq au vin recipes I've made. For starters, the long marinating of the chicken makes for chicken skin that is pretty much water logged and it never really returned too life, even after running it under the broiler before final serving. Also, I found the addition of carrots to be a bit odd, they didn't add much flavour and the colour of orange carrots and the purpley brown sauce was a little off putting. For me the cocoa slurry did nothing, it was just a bit gimmicky. And lastly, the cooking of the mushrooms and bacon together resulted in well cooked bacon but spongey mushrooms (something I hate). The only way to really crisp the mushrooms would have resulted in burnt bacon. I suggest cooking them separately.

                                                                                                                              On the whole this dish has good flavour, but it doesn't reach the heights that I think coq au vin can.

                                                                                                                              1. Chicken with Mustard (Poulet à la moutarde), p. 169

                                                                                                                                I wanted this to be my favorite recipe in the book. By all rights, it should have been, but this wasn't as soul-satisfying as I thought the sum of these particular parts would be. That said, my husband loved it. I will try again because I strongly suspect cook's error here.

                                                                                                                                I made half a recipe, but used a heavy, shallow LC pan (not sure of its correct name--braiser?) that would have been perfect for the whole recipe but was likely too large for four breasts and thus contributed to scorching, especially with my finely diced onion.

                                                                                                                                Mainly, I found this quite salty (not usually a problem for me) even though I used only 1/3 c diced bacon (all I had) for the half-recipe. The other problem was fat. After browning the chicken, I removed probably 3/4 cup but still ended up with a greasy "sauce" (mostly clumps of bacon, onion, and (what seemed like curdled) crème fraîche. I guess I was expecting something creamier. At any rate, mine did not look like that in delys's or rabaja's photos.

                                                                                                                                So I'll go back to the drawing board on this one.

                                                                                                                                9 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                  Ooops--I posted in the wrong place. Should have replied to Goblin.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                    Mine was good-- but super salty as well-- I thought it was the bacon-- I think I also used half/half-- or whipping cream bc it was in my fridge.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Sfspicegirl

                                                                                                                                      Mustard can be very salty as well. I'd like to try this recipe some time but I just can't square these flavors with "summer" in my mind.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Westminstress

                                                                                                                                        I agree that this dish (like many of these recipes) doesn't call out summer to me, but I wanted to try it nonetheless. This book would, I think, have been better suited to a fall or winter COTM.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                          That's what I thought from the very beginning, and that's why I'm tip-toeing though the book. There's every possibility that I'll cook from it after June, though.

                                                                                                                                    2. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                      I found it neither too salty or two greasy. I used a half of a package of Trader Joe's bacon, cut into lardons.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                                        No doubt something--or a couple of things--went wrong with mine. Next time, I'll try making a whole recipe in an the same pot.

                                                                                                                                        *Another oops, I did use thighs, not breasts. And most of the fat came from the chicken so I suppose these were especially fatty breasts.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                          Hi NMC, I also used my LC braiser and it worked just right, but I went with a full recipe.

                                                                                                                                      2. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                        I had an interesting problem I wonder if anyone can figure out... I make chicken in my cast iron or carbon steel pans all the time, getting an amazing sear on the skin. The skin eventually releases from the bottom of the pan so I can flip the chicken and keep the wonderful browned, crispy skin on top. With this mustard chicken, I am not sure if it was the pan or the mustard but the chicken skin would not release. Ever. So I ended up with all the skin attached to the bottom of the pan and chicken thighs 'naked'! The skin on the bottom made a wonderful fond, of course, that made a very flavorful sauce. But I want the skin to work better.

                                                                                                                                        That said, the two friends for whom I made the chicken loved the chicken, which was moist and flavorful, and the sauce. I liked the chicken a lot but I am not sure I will make it again unless I can figure out this problem.

                                                                                                                                      3. Shakshuka (iPad edition)

                                                                                                                                        This was dinner for us on the last day of June, and it was a real winner. I have never made nor had Shakshuka before, so I can't speak to its authenticity, but I can say it was delicious.

                                                                                                                                        It has been hotter than usual for Vancouver this time of year and this dish with it's mediterranean/middle eastern feel was just the ticket, plus it had me in and out of the kitchen very quickly.

                                                                                                                                        Essentially you saute some onion and garlic until softened and then add minced chile (serrano for me), salt, pepper, paprika, caraway, cumin, and turmeric. Once your spices have bloomed a bit in go some tomatoes (canned for me as it is still too early for nice tomatoes here), tomato paste, wine vinegar, and honey. This cooks down for about 15 minutes, at which point you stir in some chopped greens and then you place some diced feta into the sauce. Finally you crack some eggs into indentations in the sauce. The eggs will cook over low heat for a bit until the white has set, at which point you cover to help the yolk cook to a semi soft stage.

                                                                                                                                        In my case I was worried my eggs would be a bit too runny so I went for the full 5 minutes covered at the end, but I would have been better off on the low end of his range (3 minutes). I also found that my eggs didn't really rest in the indentations I made, so the egg white got distributed quite a bit into the sauce, that said this didn't effect the flavour at all.

                                                                                                                                        On the whole this dish was super easy, very flavourful (especially the lovely mix of caraway and cumin), and quite healthful. With a little bread and a salad we were very happy campers.