French Recipes

View All | View Summaries
Lavender Creme Brulee Recipe Recipe

Lavender Creme Brulee Recipe

04.09.10 by Jackie

I've been waiting for the lavender in my garden to blossom to be able to make my own Herbes de Provence mix. I had so much extra lavender that I thought I'd make our family's favorite dessert. Yes, crème brulée strikes again! Lavender has a strong floral taste, so a little bit goes a long way. To enhance the lavender aroma, I added lavender extract that I bought at Sur La Table store in Palo Alto. I really thought that the unusual flavor would turn off the kids but my little munchkin loved the lavender dessert the most and kept saying "It tastes like a flower, I love it!"

It's the third season we're planting lavender in our garden and I've learned that the variety most commonly used for cooking is English lavender, not French! So be on the look-out English lavender the next time you stop at the nursery.

If you're searching for a fancy French dessert for your next dinner party, try this recipe! On the practical side, you can make the cup dessert 'way in advance and create the sugar crust at the last minute. That way you can focus on your guests instead of dessert while still serving something fabulous. Your guests will be in awe.

Fresh Lavender Picture


Full Recipe...
Summer Orzo Pasta Salad Recipe

Summer Orzo Pasta Salad

04.07.10 by Jackie

Orzo pasta salad is a very quick and easy dish to prepare. You can vary the ingredients in the sauce, but the basics are the same: you need the orzo pasta, some vegetables and a sauce. I made a roasted red bell pepper paste, added some green beans for color, lentils for protein and finished the dish with enoki mushrooms and cashew nuts for texture.

If you're looking for a quick and easy recipe for a picnic, this dish is an excellent choice. It's a light dish that pairs well with almost any kind of protein (hamburgers, fish, etc.). It's also very flexible; as spring turns into summer, you can incorporate many different seasonal vegetables into the recipe. Our extended family has a lot of picnics and potlucks this time of year, and I often prepare some variation of an orzo pasta salad. It's great for both the vegetarians and non-vegetarians in our house.


Full Recipe...
Pesto Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes Recipe

You may not believe it, but buttermilk mashed potatoes are just as fluffy as regular mashed potatoes made with heavy cream. The only difference is a pleasant tangy taste that the buttermilk imparts to the potatoes. To enhance the flavor of the mashed potatoes, I added some homemade Pecorino basil pesto. There is nothing subtle about this dish; it is absolutely bursting with color and flavor.

I was inspired to make this dish during our Christmas trip to Las Vegas. We went to our favorite eatery, "The Buffet at Bellagio". They served pesto mashed potatoes, but without buttermilk. It was so good I had to replicate it but of course, I wanted to add my own twist. I recently made a large batch of Pecorino basil pesto, so I thought it would be a good time to try my hand at the dish. I hope you like it!


Full Recipe...
Banana Coconut Creme Brulee Recipe

Banana Coconut Creme Brulee

03.19.10 by Jackie

A journalist contacted me this week and asked if she could use my crème brulée photos. Not that I need much prompting, but it got me thinking of crèmes brulées and I thought I could try out some new flavors.

I happened to have baby bananas in the house, along with some leftover shredded coconut from making lima bean curry. The mini bananas come from Guatemala. They are very sweet and flavorful. I caramelized them in sugar and used them as garnish. I flavored the custard with the shredded coconut, rum and banana extract. The result is a very pleasant dessert using ingredients that are available this season. Can't wait for spring to experiment with more flavors!


Full Recipe...
Lyonnaise Potatoes Recipe

Lyonnaise Potatoes

03.16.10 by Jackie

Pommes de terre lyonnaises is a crisp, yet tender potato dish. The potatoes are parboiled for faster cooking before being sautéed in butter. Sliced caramelized onions and parsley are added to the dish for color and a mild contrast of flavor. These potatoes are the perfect accompaniment to meat. I recently served them with lamb chops.

Lyonnaise potatoes originated in the city of Lyon which is located in East-central France in the region called Rhône-Alpes. The region is famous for being one of the main centers of French gastronomy. It has produced several beloved French dishes, such as coq au vin and marrons glacés. I haven't made a lot of dishes from Lyon in the past, but that will soon change. Bon appétit, and stay tuned!


Full Recipe...