French Recipes

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Fresh Jujube Tart with Walnut Cream (Chinese Date Tart) Recipe

Lulu planted jujube trees 3 years ago and they didn't produce much fruit until this year. A jujube (also called Chinese date) is a little date-sized fruit that has a sweet smell and a flavor reminiscent of apples. In Asia, legend says that the scent of jujubes makes people fall in love. They are also a sign of fertility.

The fruits are so much more flavorful and sweet than the ones from our local market. In Vietnam, jujubes are eaten fresh as a snack. The girls have been going back and forth to the garden to pick the fruits from the trees. The crop is so huge this year; each branch holds at least 2 dozen jujubes. We've been asking friends and family to take some home, but we still had more, so I decided to try and make a dessert with some jujubes.

The texture of the fresh fruit is very similar to apples, so I adapted my tarte amandine and made it with walnuts and jujube instead. For a nice glossy look, I drizzled date syrup over the jujube tarts. It was the first  time I tested the recipe and it worked wonderfully.


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French Roasted Rack of Lamb with Lemon Persillade Crust Recipe

Have I told you how much of a carnivore I was back when I lived in Paris? There wouldn't be a meal without meat or fish on my plate. One of my favorite dishes, and one that was a staple at my home as a child, was le carré d'agneau persillé, or persillade-crusted rack of lamb. We would have lamb at least twice a month and this was the preparation of choice.

What makes this dish so special is the slightly salted, green crust of persillade. The persillade crust is very versatile and can be used for eggplants, tomatoes or even roast cod. I love the flavor so much that after finishing off the lamb, I mop up whatever is left on my plate with a piece of baguette. A traditional persillade is made with flat-leaf parsley, but I fortify my version with cilantro. I think it gives the crust a little more punch. 

It's very easy to make. Try it; you'll love it!

French Roast Rack of Lamb Recipe with Picture


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Duchess Potatoes (Pommes Duchesse) Recipe

The name may sound fancy, but pomme duchesse are simply baked mashed potato balls. As a kid, I think it was my favorite side dish. It's crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, and just oozes potato-ey goodness. 

Not only is it a perfect dish for formal events, but it dresses down as well. Halloween is on its way, and the girls and I have been planning to make some edible ghosts for a Halloween party the girls are attending. Mashed potatoes seemed like the obvious choice. Since I had some pommes duchesse mixture on hand, we decided to test our decorating skills today. I piped the pommes duchesse mixture into several cones. The girls added eyes by using mustard seeds and cumin seeds for the eyebrows. The result is ghoulishly delicious. Sorry, I couldn't resist!

Halloween ghost potatoes


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Scrambled Tofu (An Amazing Egg Substitute) Recipe

Today, Lulu worked from home. I wanted us to have a light lunch together but I felt too lazy to make a fancy meal. I was craving scrambled eggs with salsa and some home-made chorizo on a bagel but of course, once more, I had to create a vegetarian alternative for Lulu.

Since we got married, I've tested lots of varieties of tofu. One type is perfect for simulating scrambled eggs. I add turmeric powder to give the product a yellow hue. It's really hard to tell the difference between it and real scrambled eggs.  Best of all, it tastes great and takes almost no time to make.


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Maple Pecan Fig Tart Recipe

Maple Pecan Fig Tart

09.28.09 by Jackie

We harvested our last batch of Black Mission figs from the garden today. I've been wanting to share them with our friends, and so I made two dozen mini-tarts this afternoon.

I adapted the almond cream that I use in my tarte amandine recipe, but instead of almond I used pecans because I think pecans complement figs really well. To sweeten the figs and pecans, I drizzle warm maple syrup. The result is a true taste of autumn.

 


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