French Recipes

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Polenta Crouton Salad Recipe Recipe

Polenta Crouton Salad Recipe

09.23.13 by Jackie

This polenta crouton salad was my dear friend Carole's idea. Carole is the editor of PhamFatale.com, and someone recently gave her the title of "Literary Swiffer," which I completely approve of. She always comments on the meals I feature on the website. When I posted polenta fries, Carole suggested another version I hadn't considered. She used to eat at a Mexican restaurant in San Francisco that served polenta croutons in their salad and she told me she could have made a meal on the croutons alone!

To make the dish, cubes of polenta are deep-fried until crisp and tossed with mixed alfalfa sprouts, home-grown Sugar Sweet cherry tomatoes, fresh cubed mango and a bit of cheese. Thanks for the inspiration, Carole! 


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Berry Baklava Recipe Recipe

Berry Baklava Recipe

09.20.13 by Jackie

My husband's youngest sister loves sweets, but she often finds desserts to be too sweet for her palate. Baklava, for instance, is overwhelming for her. I found a remedy to this situation by adding berries. The fruits help balance the sweetness of the dessert by adding natural acidity.

I started by preparing a traditional baklava. Once it had cooled, I filled the dessert with a thin layer of freshly crushed berries, topped with a layer of mascarpone cheese to again reduce the sweetness (and for extra decadence) and garnished the finished product with fresh berries.


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Moroccan-inspired Chicken Recipe Recipe

I'm spending some family time in France this month. At the end of this week, I'm going to be cooking for my sister's family while Aria gets to spend some time with her cousins. This is the chicken recipe I'm planning to prepare for our dinner meal. The chicken is flavored with preserved lemons, dried apricots, fennel and harissa. The process is much the same as for my tandoori chicken recipe, but with North African flavors.  There is a large North African community in France, and as a child I enjoyed many similar wonderful dishes. I've learned a lot about the flavors from the region and have savored many spectacular dishes from its culture. 

The dish incorporates lots of sweet flavors, as is common in North African cuisine. I'll serve this on a bed of semolina with a fennel salad. I hope they'll like it!


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King Mushroom Soup Recipe Recipe

King Mushroom Soup Recipe

09.18.13 by Jackie

My husband Lulu craved a hot soup, so I prepared this king mushroom soup. It's very soothing and comforting on a rainy day, which seems to be every day we’ve been in Paris. The broth traditionally consists of beef consommé made with beef bone marrow bones. You could use any clear, thin broth, of course (I used vegetable stock for my husband Lulu, who's a vegetarian).

King mushrooms are perfect for this dish. Their texture varies depending on the manner in which you prepare them. I tore the mushrooms into long strips instead of cutting them, to impart a very meaty feel. The mushrooms and hot consommé make a wonderful first course in cold weather.


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Lobster Orzo Pasta Salad Recipe Recipe

Lobster Orzo Pasta Salad Recipe

09.17.13 by Jackie

This is one of my favorite salads. I pan-seared halved lobsters and garnished them with fennel, lemon and celery orzo salad. To add a luxurious touch to an already luxurious dish, I drizzled the salad with truffle oil. 

To ensure that my husband Lulu was able to share the same meal with me, I prepared the orzo salad separately from the lobster so both of us could enjoy it to our liking; Lulu loved his flavorful vegetarian meal and I absolutely adored the addition of seafood. Feeding a vegetarian has never been this easy!


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