French Recipes

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Saffron Fig Tart Recipe Recipe

Saffron Fig Tart Recipe

09.21.12 by Jackie

This dessert combines figs and saffron, two of my favorite ingredients. There is just something so sinfully luxurious about the color, flavor and texture of both items, that when combined, you just know you're in for something really special.

To make the dessert, I pre-baked a homemade tart shell and filled it with saffron-flavored custard. Over the custard I layered freshly picked and sliced figs from our garden. Fruit preserves gave the tart a nice gloss, and for an extra pop of color and texture, I added a thin layer of crumbled pistachios. As elegant and sophisticated as this tart may look, it's actually pretty easy to put together, assuming you know the basics of making tart shells and custards. It can be easily modified to work with your favorite ingredients, so learn the basics, experiment and have fun!


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Boiled Brussels Sprouts with Grapefruit Salad Dressing Recipe

Cooking Brussel sprouts can be a chore, especially if you roast them. So today since I was running out of time, I simply boiled and mixed them warm with a grapefruit salad dressing. For garnish I added freshly-cut grapefruit segments and sunflower seeds.

Boiled vegetables can be delicious if seasoned and paired with a flavorful sauce. Just look for a few fresh, complementary ingredients before deciding on a particular flavor route.


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Pattypan Squash Salad Recipe Recipe

Pattypan Squash Salad Recipe

09.18.12 by Jackie

The vinaigrette for this fresh pattypan squash salad is a blend of chives, parsley, oregano, tarragon, thyme, a bit of mint, garlic, onion and lemon finished with a drizzle of good quality extra-virgin olive oil. You could serve this salad nicely as a side dish; it goes quite well with grilled chicken, for example. Pattypansquash goes by many names. You may recognize it as sunburst squash, cibleme, scallopini squash, custard squash, scallop squash, button squash or summer squash. No matter the name, pattypan squash makes a pleasantly sweet and refreshing addition to just about any salad or grilled vegetable medley. Our friend Kris from Full Circle has again kindly offered a free box of farm-fresh vegetables to two PhamFatale readers this week! The Full Circle box consists of fresh fruits and vegetables from local growers. If you’re lucky enough to win (or if you sign up directly on FullCircle.com) and get your hands on some pattypan squash, definitely give this recipe a try!

To enter the giveaway, all you need to do is enter your email address. I'll pick a winner on Monday, September 24th at 12AM. It's very easy! Also make sure you're a fan of PhamFatale Facebook fan page and FullCircle.com and tweet about this giveaway.


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Mushroom and Gorgonzola Polenta Recipe Recipe

The most common side dishes I serve at home are rice, pasta, bread and potatoes (shameless plug: don't forget to pre-order my Haute Potato cookbook on Amazon!). I think that’s probably the case in most homes. Today, I made something different for a change. I happened to reorganize my pantry early this morning and found lots of containers of corn meal, which I usually use to make corn bread, but also is the main ingredient in polenta. Polenta can serve as an excellent starch, and lends the opportunity to layer on many different flavors. In this particular version, I added morel and baby Bella mushrooms, which give an earthy flavor to the polenta, and gorgonzola for creaminess and a little zing. 

I grilled a few smoked chicken and apple sausages and Tofurky® Italian sausages to complete the meal. You could slice them and add them directly to the polenta as well. Either way, this meal was absolutely delicious!


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Vegetarian Bacon-Wrapped Tofu Recipe Recipe

If you regularly follow my culinary journey, you'll know I often try to serve approximately the same dish to my husband Lulu, who is a vegetarian. I cooked chicken rolls for myself today, so for him I whipped up a mock bacon wrapped tofu equivalent dish with onion and mustard sauce. I used Morningstar Farms brand veggie bacon. I like the texture and the fact that it's soft before cooking. Otherwise, this dish would be impossible to make.

The result was surprisingly tasty. And of course, the vegetarian version is much healthier than the non-veg version. This recipe works equally well with meat, and I’ll post the chicken roll recipe soon. I accompanied it with steamed vegetables so Lulu and I shared (pretty much) the same meal!


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