France Recipes

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Scallops, Smoked Salmon and Citrus Recipe

We hosted a 4-course meal last week so I wanted to share one of the dishes I prepared. We often entertain  at home and as I get busy in the kitchen, I never have time to take a pretty snapshot between the time of the preparation until the plate is ready to serve our guest. I didn't have time to take a photograph of the starter but since I love seafood, I didn't mind repeating a similar dish for today's recipe. I used pan-seared coquille Saint-Jacques (scallops) and dressed them in a healthy manner as a great way to begin the meal. 

The idea behind the presentation was to find a good balance of color and texture. I made a carpaccio of dill-coated smoked salmon and radish, then also accompanied the scallops with avocado, blood oranges (yay! they're in season), Persian cucumbers, fried wasabi-flavored green peas and a sprinkle of candied walnuts.

I modified the dish I initially served last week by adding Sriracha Guacamole.

Seafood Menu



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Paris Boulangerie & Patisserie Guide (7 Tips to Make Your Paris Trip Delicious) Recipe
After seeing family and friends (of course), the part of a trip to Paris that I most look forward to is visiting the myriad bakeries and pastry shops (boulangeries & patisseries) that the city has to offer. However, over the past decade I've noticed a trend of "industrialization" and franchising of bakeries that has dramatically reduced the quality. To be sure, there are still shops that make products unrivaled by anything you could hope to find in the States. Unfortunately, there are also enough imitators around now that you can just as easily spend your hard-earned money on a pastry or croissant that is far worse than the ones sold at your local Costco. So how does one separate the wheat from the chaff? It's actually not too difficult if you're a bit observant. Here are some tips to help you on your quest:
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Seared Scallops with Hollandaise Sauce Recipe

Papa (my dad) cooks only a few times a year. He cooks on Maman's birthday and on Valentine's Day. And I can already predict what he's going to make: my mom's favorite, coquille Saint-Jacques (scallops).

First he sears the scallops, then finishes the cooking in the oven. Papa doesn't cook very often but he cooks scallops to perfection. He's always been very macho, saying he doesn't help with the housework, but I know he's a true romantic. Every week he brings my mom her favorite flowers and he serenades her with Vietnamese songs (he just bought an electric guitar). They've been married for 36 years now. My husband Lulu and I have been married only for 6 years and I hope we're still as happy as my parents in 30 years. Lulu might not make me coquille Saint-Jacques, but I can always hope!

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Fresh Oysters Topped with Chorizo Dressing Recipe

After raving about duck prosciutto, it's time to talk about some serious business because Valentine's Day is near at hand. My husband Lulu being a vegetarian doesn't mean that I don't get to get to enjoy a feast for our romantic meal on February 14th. I don't know if food with aphrodisiac properties really exists, but I love oysters. During the holidays, Papa made his oyster specialty huîtres chaudes gratinées (oysters au gratin) but that's another recipe. This time around, I served them cold with a chorizo, ginger and lemon topping. And if your significant other loves oysters as much as I do, this might be the perfect starter for a romantic Valentine's Day meal.

While visiting the Château de Fontainebleau, I couldn't resist taking a quick tour of its open-air market, which was fabulous. I found the most delicious saucisses sèches (dry sausages), made of duck and turkey, and some with chorizo made from poultry meat, which tasted even better than the ones I remember from my childhood.

Fontainebleau Castle Picture

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Duck Magret Salad Recipe Recipe

Duck Magret Salad Recipe

02.07.11 by Jackie

Duck prosciutto (thin cuts of smoked duck breast) is one of my favorite cured meats. It makes the most ordinary of salads extraordinary. The combination of saltiness and flavor from the high fat content is irresistible. When I prepared this dish in Paris, for every slice of duck that went into the salad, one went into my mouth as well. I found a supplier on Amazon and I'm going to try them out because I cannot wait until my next trip to France to satisfy my duck prosciutto craving. This would make a perfect first course for a romantic Valentine's Day dinner.

Dieters, avert your gaze! What started as a few innocent pieces of duck prosciutto turned into full-scale gorging of foie gras, oysters, veal and other French delicacies that left me 10 pounds heavier than I was when I arrived. You could say that duck prosciutto was my "gateway" meat .


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