Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Bit of French Cooking Flair

A good cook know that it's
not what is on the table
that matters,
it's whose in
the chairs.
by Leigh

So imagine having a bite to eat in a French Bistro with family/friends. Perhaps you might find some of these recipe just the right ones to showcase your cooking skills with a bit of French flair.
Cherry Clafouti (pronounced "kla-foo-tee")
It is a rustic French dessert originally from Limousin in southern France. The region is best known for its sweet black cherries. In this recipe the cherries are left whole and baked in a sweet custard filling. The dessert is easy to make. It can be served warm or at room temperature. To serve dust top with confectioners sugar and adding piece de resistance pistachio ice cream.
adapted from
  • 4 eggs separated
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1-1/2 lb. fresh cherries, pitted or frozen cherries thawed and drained
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • In a large bowl combine egg yolks and 1/3 cup of sugar
  • Beat with hand held mixer on medium high or until ribbons form
  • Add flour, vanilla and cream
  • Reduce speed to low and beat till completely blended
  • In another small bowl with clean beaters- beat egg whites and salt about 30 seconds
  • Add whites to batter gently incorporate with mixer on low
  • In another bowl mix cherries with 1/3 cup sugar and lemon zest
  • Preheat oven to 375
  • Grease baking dish and heat in oven 4 minutes
  • Layer cherries on bottom of dish (11 x 7 rectangular or a large round Corning ware type) and pour batter/custard on top of cherries
  • Bake about 30 minutes until set in middle
  • Serves 6-8
Boeuf Bouigignon aux Carrottes (Provencale) Beef Stew with Red Wine and Carrots
  • 1- 3 lb. boneless chuck roast
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 2 slices of bacon cut in 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 cups of shallots
  • 1/3 cup brandy
  • 1/2 small can of tomato paste
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. herbes de Provence
  • 2 cups red wine such as Pinot Noir or Cabernet
  • 1 can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 cup beef broth mixed with 4 TB. flour
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped celery
  • 1 small package of mushrooms cut up
  • 3 TB orange zest
  • 1-1/2 cups of carrots
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
    • Using your fingers pull the roast apart and carve into 2 inch cubes
    • Dry cubes on a paper towel
    • In a dutch oven pan over medium- heat oil and brown bacon about 5 minutes
    • Remove bacon and arrange cubes in pan to brown- cook on all sides about 10 minutes
    • Remove cubes and discard some of the drippings so only 1 TB. drippings remain
    • Saute shallots, mushroom and garlic cloves for a minute-add brandy and let it boil away
    • Add tomato paste and herbs
    • Add 3 TB. flour to beef broth and whisk
    • Add wine-tomatoes and celery
    • Add zest and cook 3 minutes on low till slightly thickened
    • Add beef cubes, thinly sliced carrots or baby carrots, bacon cover and cook on low about 2 hours

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