French Recipes

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French Green Lentils Recipe

French Green Lentils

07.15.13 by Jackie

Unlike in traditional Indian cuisine where lentils are usually the main dish, French green lentils are served as a side with sausages or various meats. Of course, with as many vegetarians as I have in my home, I typically serve it without meat.

In this recipe I cooked the lentils with fennel, fresh lemon thyme, black peppercorns, caramelized onions and a bay leaf. They lentils are known as “Puy” lentils because they originate from Le Puy, in the Auvergne region of France. They have an almost blue-ish shine with a delicate, peppery flavor. 


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Boneless Roast Leg of Lamb Recipe Recipe

If you love lamb as much I as do, you've got to try this dish. The preparation is effortless. It's so easy, even my husband's oldest teenage sister, Sunny, who's a vegetarian, could make it. I jokingly told her she has to learn a few meat dishes so when she gets married she'll know a few basics in cooking. Sunny was a bit frightened handling the roast at first but she overcame her fear and wrapped the meat in fresh herbs and helped me tie it. Now that's dedication. 

The next day, I cut the leftover meat paper-thin and used it as a filling in a fusion-style banh mi. You can find the various condiment elements in these traditional banh mi sandwiches in my latest cookbook, aptly titled "Banh Mi, 75 Banh Mi recipes for Authentic & Delicious Vietnamese Sandwiches". 

A few steps are essential to master the classic roast of lamb. First, make sure you select a boneless leg of lamb, trim any excess fat, then marinate it in a citrus and herb marinade. Finally, tie it tightly and roast to perfection in the oven.


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Garlicky Polenta Fries Recipe

Garlicky Polenta Fries

07.10.13 by Jackie

Every year, the garlic festival is held the last weekend of July, in Gilroy, California. I think Lulu, the girls and I are going to attend this year.

Today I was inspired by the upcoming garlicky event to make something to keep away the vampires. I sliced a slab of polenta into the shape of French fries and flavored the golden polenta fries with parsley and fried garlic. I nestled them in a cone of parchment paper. The sweet smell of garlic is intoxicating. They can be served as a snack and they also make a wonderful summer side dish for any type of grilled meat. Plus, they are more nutritious than plain old fries.

The girls were fooled and mistook the polenta fries for potato fries due to their crispy exterior and golden color. I’ll have to make more; they were fighting over the crumbs!

You can catch me live today on Blog Talk Radio. I'll be talking about my favorite sandwiches and of course my new cookbook "Banh Mi" Wednesday, July 10th at 4:30 p.m EST.


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Scallop Ceviche Recipe Recipe

Scallop Ceviche Recipe

07.09.13 by Jackie

If you're experiencing temperatures as hot as the ones in the San Francisco Bay area, this seafood ceviche might make your mouth water. Chilled scallop ceviche is brightened with heirloom cherry tomatoes, onion, cilantro and key lime. I used fresh, plump scallops that I quickly seared, then transferred into a tangy and spicy "marinade". For a contrast in temperature, I paired the chilled ceviche with oven-baked sweet potato fries, which were incredibly satisfying.

I was inspired by a dish I had in a restaurant in Cancún during our 5th anniversary vacation a few years ago. The only difference is that I added cherry tomatoes and omitted avocados and hearts of palm. I also opted for the larger variety of scallops over baby bay scallops because of their buttery texture.


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Rigatoni Pasta with Eggplant and Green Peas Recipe

The weekend was so nice; we spent the days lounging in our backyard. I prepared effortless meals to maximize my time outside with the family, but as always, made sure not to skimp on the flavor.

Here's the pasta dish I made yesterday evening. I cooked rigatoni pasta and flavored it with an earthy and chunky eggplant sauce. As a last touch, I added frozen green peas. You could add other vegetables such as chickpeas or edamame beans if you prefer, especially if you want to add a little protein to the dish.


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