Monday, November 29, 2010

French Fridays Round Up

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We were pretty busy at Mimi's Kitchen. Mini Me was home from college, and Boy Mimi had a big soccer tournament, and time just flew by. So I'm just now getting around to posting the French Fridays with Dorie November recipe round up. For November, no specific order was given, so we got to bake at our own pace.  The nice thing about the recipes in this group is that you can often combine one or two into one meal.

First up for us was the pumpkin gorgonzola flan.  I had misgivings about this recipe, but that's what cooking groups do, push you to make something that you may not have tried otherwise.
 For us this flan was a no go.  The texture was good but we just didn't like the combination of pumpkin and blue cheese. It may be because the blue cheese I used was not a mild cheese, like gorgonzola is. We felt the flavor of the cheese was just too overwhelming, but we did like the texture and flavor of the pumpkin part. The honey and creme fresh were not optional in my opinion, as they were needed to balance out the strong flavor of the cheese.

Next up was the chicken.....  I love roasting chicken in my dutch oven so I knew that this was one recipe that we would enjoy. The big treat was the bread at the bottom of the pot. I used 2 small pieces of bread so everyone could have a bite. As strange as it sounds to add this step to a roast chicken, the result was delicious, and I don't think I'll roast a chicken with out it again.

Dorie's potatoes were an easy side dish to make. They were everything you would expect- rich, creamy and satisfying. But I have to say that even though my family liked them, they said they prefer my usual recipe for scalloped potatoes, made with cream cheese and herbs. We did really like the cheesy crust on top, and will probably adapt it to some other potato side dishes this fall.

To finish things off we made the semolina cake. This cake really has potential. We thought the flavor needed a little boost, maybe from some rum with those raisins, or a sprinkling of citrus zest. The cake it self doesn't have much personality, but you can certainty add some with  different fruits or nuts. Although we baked it until a knife came out clean, as Dorie directed, it was still underdone in the middle. The center had a floury, semolina taste, while the outsides had a firmer texture without the taste of undercooked flour, so next time I would bake it until the center isn't so visibly soft, instead of using the knife test.

For the most part, we really liked the recipes for November. I learned a tasty new addition for roast chicken, and although we didn't love the flan, it was fun to make something new and think of ways we could tweak it to make it something we like, and leave it marked as a "try again" recipe. We are looking forward to December's recipes!