Friday, October 29, 2010

French Fridays Round UP

When the new group formed for Dorie's New book Around My French Table, I wanted to belong. It is a great way to experience a new cookbook, instead of having it decorate my shelf like so many others. In Tuesday's with Dorie, I found that some recipes that I would have never considered were keepers after all.

What I didn't want was for my blog to be just about cookbooks and their associated groups. I love to participate, but I like to do my own thing too. So for French Fridays, instead of posting each Friday, I have decided to do a monthly round up of the recipes. It was an impressive  group of recipes for October. The first time I make a recipe I do it as written, no variations. I want to see just what it is that Dorie is presenting. These were all recipes that I would make again, but with my own twists next time around.

   Our favorite for this month was the Gerard's Mustard Tart. Next time I might add some roasted chicken or cooked shrimp to the tart to make it more of a complete meal. I would also cut the leeks into rounds instead of strips. Although the Hachis Parmentier sounded like a French version of Shepherd's Pie, it was not quite what we expected. We thought the flavor could have used a boost and maybe some veggies. Next time I would double the meat portion of the recipe, add some veggies, and mix the cheeses into the potatoes, which I would make slightly richer and thicker.

The Vietnamese spicy chicken soup had fabulous flavors and since I am not a coconut lover, I was surprised at how much I liked it. With some veggie potstickers, this would make a great meal on a cold day. I did skip the gougeres, so the last thing I made was the Marie-Helene's Apple Cake. It was moist and loaded with big pieces of apple, similar to our family favorite apple cake. You can add little whipped cream and a touch of caramel sauce if you feel the need to dress it up, but most of it was gone before I got a chance to do that.
We really liked the October recipes and Dorie's new book, and we can't wait to see what next month will bring!