French Recipes

View All | View Summaries
Cauliflower Tomato Salad Recipe Recipe

Cauliflower Tomato Salad Recipe

08.03.12 by Jackie

 

We recently had guests for dinner and I made a cauliflower and tomato salad. I explained to our guests how this "salade de chou fleur et tomates" was made and the following day our guests emailed me back thanking me for this new recipe.

Inevitably, whenever we have guests over, my mother-in-law exclaims "Look what an amazing dish Jackie made today! Did you know Jackie has a food website? She posts daily recipes on PhamFatale.com and she's a soon-to-be published author." And whenever she goes anywhere, she talks about my cooking and about PhamFatale.com. And now that I have my first cookbook coming out soon ("Haute Potato" due on December 18th), she hands out cards to promote my book. She's my own one-woman PR firm!

Back to the dish...I boiled cauliflower very briefly then flavored it with champagne vinegar and a bit of honey. I mixed the cauliflower with beautiful heirloom tomatoes from our garden and shredded lettuce. For a nice contrast in texture, I added lightly toasted almond slices. If you want more crunch you could also top the salad with croutons.


Full Recipe...
Sauteed Crab with Ginger and Basil Recipe

It never occurred to me until today that the reason I don't sauté crab that often is because the preparation can be very messy. Removing the abdominal flaps, separating the back fin, gathering the crab "butter" and corals from the inside of the crabs in a bowl and cracking the claws aren't the most glamorous of tasks. As I was chatting with the fish monger at my local market, he offered to clean the crabs for me and said he would do it whenever I feel like eating crab. How sweet of him!

I ran home and immediately sautéed the crab claws. To give the seafood dish a nice fragrance, I cooked the crab with freshly grated ginger, roasted garlic, sweet paprika, cayenne powder, a squeeze of lemon juice, sweet basil leaves and dry white wine. I also find that the addition of shallots and a bit of butter enhances just about any dish.

The crab was cooked perfectly; the meat came right out of the shell. And rather than getting messy eating crab at a restaurant, isn't it way better to pig out in the comfort of your own home?


Full Recipe...
Plum Chicken (Roasted Chicken Recipe) Recipe

 

This year, we've been fortunate that the gophers and squirrels haven't made off with our fruits and veggies. All our trees have produced prolific crops of fruit, but the plum trees really stand out. We were able to gather large baskets of Santa Rosa plums, Red Raven plums and pluots.

I made a coffee cake with some of the plums and used the rest in this roast chicken dish. The acidity of the plums is an effective tenderizer for the meat, and the sweetness provides contrast. In the past I've used other fruits such as Asian pears and the plums worked wonderfully as well. I also added whole peeled plums at the end of the cooking as a garnish and as a reminder of the flavors that permeate the chicken and as the garnish.

I butterflied a whole chicken and placed it in a roasting pan on a bed of celery stalks so the chicken didn't burn and remains moist. I basted the meat several times; this extra step really makes a difference in ensuring that the final product is moist and delicious. Yum!

 


Full Recipe...
Peach Napoleon Pastry Recipe Recipe

Peach Napoleon Pastry Recipe

07.27.12 by Jackie

When I last posted a savory Napoleon recipe, I realized I had never posted a traditional napoleon dessert recipe. It's called "mille-feuille" (literally "thousand leaves") in French. Unfortunately, I burned the puff pastry, so I improvised with some Pillsbury crescent rolls! I was surprised at how well it turned out. I flavored the napoleon with peach preserves, peach flavored cream filling along and fresh peaches from our garden along with those we received from Full Circle.

It's an elegant dessert that isn't as difficult to assemble as it seems. A little bit of piping skill for the filling and a toothpick to make the intricate topping decoration are enough to please anyone you know who has a sweet tooth!


Full Recipe...
Vegetable Tian in Parmesan Cups Recipe

Vegetable Tian in Parmesan Cups

07.24.12 by Jackie

This summer vegetable tian in Parmesan cups is an elegant starter that can be modified easily depending on what ingredients are available to you. The main elements of this dish are a Parmesan crust and layers of colorful baked vegetables. Garnished with fresh mozzarella, this appetizer truly celebrates the season. Chiffonade-cut basil balances the colors and completes the dish.

If you have the right utensils and quality ingredients, a few cooking techniques are enough to turn your wooden spoon or chef's knife into a magic wand! 

 


Full Recipe...