FFwD: Pommes Dauphinoise~

20 11 2010

This week I selected Pommes Dauphinoise, or Potatoes Au Gratin, as my French Fridays with Dorie dish.  I actually made it twice.  I made it earlier in the week to go with chicken breast I prepared according to a recipe we may get to try at some point…it sure was good!  So were the potatoes!  LOL!  Then, on Friday…when I was ready for a decent meal…and decided the only way THAT was going to happen was to do it myself…!  It was a long stretch between Sunday and Friday…!  Standing there with a package of stuffed pork chops in my hands, those potatoes called my name yet again…they seemed the perfect match to go with the chops.  So be it!  LOL!

Tasting Notes~
While the recipe from Le Cordon Bleu creates a dish with a firmer potato, this one doesn’t need as many dishes and comes out tasting good enough that it’s really not worth the extra work unless you need to put out a 4 star meal.  General French cooking for the average Bonne Femme…or Good Woman…is exactly what Dorie and Julia give us.  LCB has more exacting standards, and more exacting practices…using more pots and pans than Carter has little pills as we once said here in the States!  The only thing I could suggest that might bring any improvement would be to lightly, and I mean lightly… season each layer of potatoes as they are laid down.  Maybe even sprinkle a bit of cheese between some of the layers…which I’ll try next time around.  *Ü*  Because…after making this twice (and buying a special baker just for the two of us), I know I’ll be making it again.  Oh…  I suppose I should confess that I also sprinkle the potatoes with a dusting of nutmeg (freshly ground) before I added the cheese…  That little LCB thing…  *Ü*  A personal touch I guess!

If you’d like to join us, buy Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan, there’s a link on my sidebar, and follow the link to French Fridays with Dorie to the site to register.  That’s it…  Cook the recipes that you wish and post them.  That’s not very difficult.  No requirements other than registration and buying the book…which is worth the price!  We’ve already established that!!  Christmas is coming…  Surely Santa knows you’ve been good enough….!!





Thirty Minute Thursdays: Spaghetti Carbonara with Bacon~

20 11 2010

My selection for this week is Spaghetti Carbonara with bacon.  Pancetta is usually the protein of choice for this dish, but we didn’t have pancetta in the house, and we do have an abundance of eggs so there is bacon….therefore, we use what we have an abundance of in true Italian fashion.    I cooked the thinly sliced bacon  until almost crispy, drained off as much of the bacon grease as I could (into a clean jar for future use) and added the white wine to the bacon to soften it while it reduced.  I also had some fresh mozzarella in the fridge…while everything was coming together, I diced a bit of the fresh mozz to toss in with the hot bacon-wine mixture.

Tasting Notes~
One thing about Spaghetti Carbonara is that it is the suave adult equivalent to a child’s mac & cheese.  We have long, silky pasta rather than tubular pasta…rather than yellow cheese, we have yellow egg yolks and loads of sophisticated parmesano reggiano and romano instead…generous gratings of freshly cracked pepper only a dulled adult palate could stand…and herbs…mmmm!   This is serious comfort food in a bowl, and wonderful food for after being out on the town.  It’s also very comforting if you’ve just been burning the candle at both ends at bit much.  Do you know anyone who does that??  Yeah… I didn’t think so…  *giggle*   Seriously… I do love this when I’m particularly tired and it’s been a long day.  It’s kind of like breakfast and dinner in one…and I’m ready to tuck in almost immediately!  This one is a fall-back recipe I use a lot!  Thanks Giuliano…this one is wonderful!