French Recipes

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Bouchee a la Reine Recipe (Vol Au Vent Pastry Recipe) Recipe

Bouchée à la reine is a classic in French cuisine. You might also have heard the same dish called "vol-au-vent". During the holidays, it's often filled with sweetbreads and morel mushrooms, which is exactly what I did in this recipe. 

Sweetbreads, known as "ris de veau" in French, are a delicacy and are almost impossible to ruin or overcook. The outer part is crisp and the inside remains soft, fine and tender. If you're looking for a special meal for the holidays, this might be it!


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Persimmon Pie with Crumb Topping Recipe

I had some extra pie crust leftover from the date and pecan tarts I made a couple of days ago, and there was no way I was going to let it go to waste. One of the few fruits that are in season around the time of holidays is the persimmon. We have a couple of trees in our garden and they are absolutely laden with beautiful orange fruit. We grow two varieties; Fuyu, which are firm, and Hachiya, which are pulpy and quite a bit sweeter.

It occurred to me that Hachiya persimmon pulp would make a great pie filling, since it’s almost perfect for the job on its own. It makes the dessert super easy to prepare. The only work required is the preparation the Brazil nut crumb topping in advance and assembly right when you're ready to serve. 

If you’re lucky enough to be able to get your hands on Hachiya persimmons, definitely give this pie a try. Just make sure you let them ripen fully to avoid "cotton-mouth"!


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Date Chicken with Olives Recipe

Date Chicken with Olives

11.21.12 by Jackie

It may be almost sacrilegious to say at this time of the year, but a turkey is not right for everyone. While the big bird (sorry Sesame Street fans) parked on your dinner table, roasted to perfection looks great, if you're having an intimate gathering it can just be too much.

A beautifully roasted chicken is a completely reasonable option, and I've shared one today that uses a sumptuous combination of Medjool dates, date syrup, date molasses and green olives. If you follow the instructions carefully, your chicken will turn out moist and succulent, and more important, won't have you pining for what Benjamin Franklin suggested as our national bird. You can thank my citizenship test prep for that reference! 


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Pumpkin Creme Caramel Recipe Recipe

Pumpkin Creme Caramel Recipe

11.19.12 by Jackie

If you saw last week's dessert recipe, you know I made a French-style pumpkin flan for my husband Lulu. He had asked me to make a flan, which in his mind meant crème caramel, but instead I made a flan pâtissier (French pie crust with pumpkin custard). I always try to keep my promises, so here's the pumpkin crème caramel, which Lulu loved.

His favorite part is the caramel at the bottom of the cup. You could serve it as is, or flip the dessert onto a plate so the caramel drips all over the "flan". I photographed it in both serving styles so you can decide which you prefer.

Three days to Thanksgiving (or four days to Black Friday, depending on your priorities )!


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Cheesy Wild Rice Stuffing Recipe Recipe

When I think of stuffing (or dressing), the picture that comes to mind is of day-old bread mixed with onion, celery, other vegetables, dried fruit and herbs. It's time for a change, and this year for Thanksgiving, I'm opting for a healthier but just as tasty version using wild rice, pumpkin, dried mango, cranberries, asparagus and walnuts.

For easier serving, I baked it in individual cups and covered them with a blend of Jarlsberg and cheddar cheese. That might make them a little less healthy, but it’s so worth it! 


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