French in a Flash: Fun and Fiery Moroccan Lamb Meatball Tagine

RECIPE: Moroccan Lamb Meatball Tagine
Moroccan Lamb Meatball Tagine

Moroccan Lamb Meatball Tagine

Eating dinner at my Moroccan Mémé’s house is the highlight of my year.  It used to be the highlight of my week, and my stomach and I both profoundly regret my decision to move so far away from her kitchen.  Moroccan dinners  have this amazing complexity that is somehow rooted in extreme freshness.  The meal starts off with ten salads.  And it ends with a spread of sliced fruits and sweet fresh mint tea.  In the middle there is fish, and then there is meat, often with couscous and vegetables, and chickpeas.  Yes, the fish and meat are intensely flavored, but sandwiched between all those fresh vegetables and fruits, the meal is like a walk through some enchanted exotic garden.

One of the best parts about eating in France is eating Moroccan. Continue reading

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Categories: 60 Minutes, Eat, French in a Flash, Main Courses, Meat, Recipes, Series
 

The Secret Ingredient (Parsley): Beurre Maître d’Hôtel

RECIPE: Beurre Maître d'Hôtel
Beurre Maître d'Hôtel, stuffed with parsley, on a juicy, charred sirloin steak

Beurre Maître d'Hôtel, stuffed with parsley, on a juicy, charred sirloin steak

Beurre Maître d’Hôtel, or the maitre d’s butter.  I’m not sure why it’s called that, but whoever the maitre d’ was, I’m glad he turned his hand to the kitchen.  Beurre Maître d’Hôtel is a simple French compound butter stuffed with chopped fresh parsley and a squidge of lemon juice.  Traditionally it is mixed, rolled, chilled, and sliced.  You set a pat of the freshly flavored butter on a seared steak as it rests, and the butter melts into the grains of the meat, and the parsley and lemon go with it, and the steak becomes moist and the fresh flavors of parsley and lemon cut through the heaviness of the butter and steak.  Quite ingenious, don’t you think? Continue reading

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Categories: Bread & Butter, Cheap, Dips, Spreads, Preserves, Easy, Eat, Fish, Main Courses, Meat, Recipes, Series, The Secret Ingredient, Vegetarian
 

French in a Flash: Pork Chops with Norman Cider Cream Sauce and Thyme

RECIPE: Pork Chops with Norman Cider Cream Sauce and Thyme
Creamy, Fast Normandy Apple Cider Pork Chops

Creamy, Fast Normandy Apple Cider Pork Chops

These days, living in London just a hop, skip, and a jump from the Channel, I’m milking my family in Normandy for all they’re worth.  Just don’t tell them I’m only visiting so I can get my hands on their fantastic cidre buché!  It translates to ‘corked cider’ which doesn’t really do much to describe it.  Imagine the Champagne of ciders.  Apples instead of grapes, but just as dry and elegant and bubbly.  Stunning.  Local.  Pressed from all the orchards that fly by the car windows as you drive along.  If Champagne is a beautiful blonde, then cidre buché is a stunning redhead: more elusive, but also more characterful.  Worth looking for.  And you can find it. Continue reading

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Categories: 30 Minutes, Cheap, Easy, Eat, French in a Flash, Main Courses, Meat, Recipes, Series
 

Tapas-Perfect Spanish Roasted Red Pepper Salad with Garlic and Olive Oil

RECIPE: Spanish Roasted Red Pepper Salad with Garlic and Olive Oil
Garlicky Spanish Red Pepper Salad

Garlicky Spanish Red Pepper Salad

If you’re in the mood for Spanish tapas, which, as you can see from my recent posts, I certainly am, then add this salad on to the last post’s recipe for Shrimp with Green Sauce.  This is a really cool technique.  Just pour a good glug of olive oil into a baking dish with garlic and chili flakes, and put it straight in a hot oven.  The oil will bubble up, the garlic and chilies will toast and get nutty and spicy and sweet.  Then, you just add in strips of jarred sweet bell peppers, and the perfumed oil warms them, and all the peppery juices just splash out and make the most incredible sauce.  Warning: you need a ton of bread with this one. Continue reading

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Categories: 15 Minutes, Appetizers & Hors D’Oeuvres, Cheap, Easy, Eat, For a Crowd, Recipes, Salad, Soup & Salad, Vegetarian
 

The Secret Ingredient (Parsley): So-Easy Shrimp with Green Sauce

RECIPE: So-Easy Shrimp with Green Sauce
Parsley-holics' Shrimp with Green Sauce

Parsley-holics' Shrimp with Green Sauce

This dish is very close to my heart. Before I was born (back in the seventies), my parents used to go to an old Spanish restaurant on the Upper East Side of New York called Malaga. It’s an old-fashioned place in that terrific and charming New York way: wine-red booths. A stately and enormous awning. A bar to the left as you walk in with the same guy sitting behind it. Porcelain portraits of flamenco dancers, wooden details, plants, and the best part: the dessert case that you can see at the very back of the seemingly endless rooms, full of flan. A relic from when restaurants looked like the places that inspired them–not like a blank if stylish canvas. Continue reading

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Categories: 15 Minutes, Cheap, Easy, Eat, Fish, Main Courses, Recipes, Series, The Secret Ingredient
 

French in a Flash: Old-Style Mustard and Rosemary Roasted Asparagus

RECIPE: Old-Style Mustard and Rosemary Roasted Asparagus
Roasted Asparagus with Whole Grain Mustard, Rosemary, and Lemon

Roasted Asparagus with Whole Grain Mustard, Rosemary, and Lemon

Mr. English loves asparagus.  And sometimes, love is making what the person you love loves for dinner.  I’ll admit–this dish isn’t much of a sacrifice. Continue reading

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Categories: 15 Minutes, Cheap, Easy, Eat, French in a Flash, Recipes, Series, Sides, Vegetables, Vegetarian
 

Lickety Split Spaghetti with Brussels Sprouts and Brown Butter

RECIPE: Lickety Split Spaghetti with Brussels Sprouts and Brown Butter
Spaghetti with Brussels Sprouts and Brown Butter

Spaghetti with Brussels Sprouts and Brown Butter under a Shower of Parm

I just made such a good dinner, I had to share it with you in time for you back home to make it tonight.  I love Brussels sprouts.  This is such a simple dish: spaghetti tossed with shaved fresh Brussels sprouts and nutty brown butter, under a shower of Parm.  Some toasted pine nuts would be great too, but I’m fresh out.  This is nutty and different, and light, and really good.  Plus, it’s ready in the time it takes to cook the pasta.  Bon app! Continue reading

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Categories: 15 Minutes, Cheap, Eat, Main Courses, Recipes, Sides, Starches, Vegetarian, Vegetarian