French in a Flash: Braised Lamb Shanks with Lemon Confit and Sweet Pearl Onions

RECIPE: Braised Lamb Shanks with Lemon Confit and Sweet Pearl Onions
Lemon Lamb Shanks

Lemon Lamb Shanks

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I love this time of year. Not only is November home of Thanksgiving and my birthday—the two greatest dessert experiences per annum—but it’s finally, definitely, and indisputably cold. While others pull out cashmere scarves and fleece-lined gloves, I pull out the enamel stew pots. It’s braising season.

These sweet-tart lamb shanks fall of the bone with the prick of an eager fork. Tender, but bright, they don’t lull the taste buds to sleep like many another seasonal stew. The meat is braised with windowpanes of garlic, dry white wine, rosemary, and lemon confit. Roasted pearl onions add a delicate, earthy sweetness that complements the deep citrus acidity of the lemon. The result is still comforting, with the braised, autumnal texture, but the flavor is pert and unexpected.

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

French in a Flash: Parsnip Purée with Olive Oil and Sage

RECIPE: Parsnip Purée with Olive Oil and Sage
Parsnip Purée with Olive Oil and Sage

Parsnip Purée with Olive Oil and Sage

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This is the perfect Thanksgiving side dish. It accommodates vegans, lactose-intolerants, food combination dieters, and people who like delicious things. I find that every Thanksgiving, the volume of dishes I try to create always leads to a cramped, hectic kitchen. So, this year, with this recipe and my recipe for Cranberry Chutney on The Secret Ingredient, I am making only simple, honest, delicious food that will not overwhelm me. This recipe has three ingredients, plus salt and pepper, and is nothing more than heating and blending. The result is something sweet from parsnips, and intensely savory from sage and olive oil. It’s a creative, healthful alternative to the standard mashed potato, and it’s a crowd pleaser. I’m making it this year, and I hope you will too!

Parsnip Purée with Olive Oil and Sage
serves 4
Parsnip Purée with Olive Oil and SageIngredients
  • 2 pounds parsnips, peeled, trimmed, and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • Kosher salt
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 6 leaves fresh sage
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 fried sage leaves as garnish (optional, see note)

Procedure

  1. Bring large pot of water to boil over high heat. Salt water well, and add parsnips. Cook until very tender, 15-20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil small saucepan with 6 sage leaves. Heat on the lowest flame for 5 minutes, remove from heat, and allow to steep for another 5 minutes.
  3. Drain the parsnips and place in food processor. Remove sage from oil and add sage oil to food processor along with remaining 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Purée until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with fried sage leaves (see note).

Note

To fry sage leaves, heat 1/4 cup olive oil in small saucepan to 325°F. Drop sage leaves in three at a time and cook, agitating occasionally until crisp, 45 seconds to 1 minute 15 seconds. Drain on paper towels and season with salt.

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Categories: 30 Minutes, Easy, Eat, French in a Flash, Recipes, Series, Sides, Vegetables, Vegetarian
 

Franglais: Green Egg Soufflés and Ham

RECIPE: Green Soufflés and Ham
Green Egg Soufflés and Ham

Green Egg Soufflés and Ham

Read the full article in The Huffington Post.

Sam I am not. But I love green eggs and ham. I love them here; I love them there. I love them anywhere.

Just because green eggs were created for kids, doesn’t mean they haven’t grown up along with the rest of us. Green eggs are perfect as a 3-ingredient no fuss soufflé that anyone (yes, anyone) can make. Herbs and goat cheese give the soufflé a gourmet omelet flavor, with none of the drama of complicated béchamel-based soufflés. For ham, I make simple crisp baguette toasts draped with salty jambon de Bayonne or prosciutto di Parma. Together, the combination is effortless, but impressive.

I am an inveterate breakfast skipper, but during the holidays, breakfast is the cornerstone of hospitality. Impossibly early breakfasts on Christmas day, or tide-me-over brunches before a 6 o’clock turkey. It’s a fact of life: guests expect breakfast. And if you’re lucky enough to have a brimming house in the coming weeks, I suggest you get cracking, cracking some eggs.

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The Secret Ingredient (Cranberry) Part I: Cranberry Chutney with Orange and Crystallized Ginger

RECIPE: Cranberry Chutney with Orange and Crystallized Ginger
Cranberry Chutney

Cranberry Chutney

Get the whole story at Serious Eats.

I love cranberries. I love that their arrival in the produce section is the natural equivalent to the burgeoning supplies of Christmas stockings and Indian corn I suddenly see everywhere. And what I love most about them is how American they are. Though I have traveled far, and for a long time, I have never seen the fresh patriotic little berry anywhere but our continent. They are just everything Thanksgiving to me, and because it is my favorite holiday, cranberries hold an esteemed place in my heart.

In doing my cranberry research for November’s cranberry series on The Secret Ingredient, I confirmed my suspicions that cranberries are distinctly American and Canadian. We actually started exporting them to Europe in the nineteenth century, and Native Americans were indeed using them both for food, and for medicine and dye. So it is probable (I will even venture likely with no expertise except enthusiasm!) that they were served at the first Thanksgiving. Which is why I always serve it at mine. (Even though some of my European relatives are a little skeptical of the ruby-hued bitter-sweet jam that I heap onto my plate and mash into my stuffing. More for me.)

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Categories: 15 Minutes, Bread & Butter, Dips, Spreads, Preserves, Eat, Main Courses, Poultry, Recipes, Series, Sides, The Secret Ingredient, Vegetables, Vegetarian
 

French in a Flash: Chouquettes

RECIPE: Chouquettes
Chouquettes

Chouquettes

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Pâte à choux, or choux pastry, is the Madonna of doughs. It is always reinventing itself. It can be fried into beignets; boiled into Parisian gnocchi; piped into éclairs; piped with cheese and roasted in gougères; sliced and sandwiched into profiteroles. But the most simple and perfect of them all is when they’re crusted in sugar and baked into the little-known (Stateside)chouquettes.

Chouquettes loosely translates to “little bits of choux.” They are usually sold in baskets perched atop the glass pastry cases of bakeries and pastry shops in France. A sort of afterthought, they are just profiteroles shells—crisp, airy, and hollow, crusted in lumps of pearl sugar. They are just a bit sweet, and slightly rich and eggy from the pastry. They make the perfect snack: unassuming, unextravagant, unfilling. But yet they add that touch of afternoon sweetness to the day, and take the edge off a rumbling belly.

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Categories: Bakery, Bread & Butter, Breakfast & Brunch, Eat, French in a Flash, Recipes, Series, Sweets, Vegetarian
 

French In A Flash: Easy-Omelet With Zucchini, Goat Cheese, And Mint

RECIPE: Easy-Omelet With Zucchini, Goat Cheese, And Mint
Zucchini Mint Goat Cheese Omelet

Zucchini Mint Goat Cheese Omelet

Get the whole story at Serious Eats.

I suppose my “easy-omelet” is somewhere between an omelet and a quiche. No crust, but baked in the oven until fluffy. The flavors are simple: buttery zucchini, fresh mint, and soft, tangy goat cheese. You could swap out the mint for basil, parsley, or thyme and choose asparagus or even cooked autumn squash in place of the zucchini. Then, all you need is eggs and milk and, as if by some miracle, the whole thing cooks up into a dish that is beautiful and rustic, fluffy and golden. A one-pot wonder!

Easy-Omelet With Zucchini, Goat Cheese, And Mint
serves 4 to 6

Zucchini Mint Goat Cheese OmeletINGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3 medium zucchini, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • Fine sea salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 15 leaves fresh mint, chiffonade
  • 4 ounces fresh chèvre (goat cheese)

PROCEDURE

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a 9-inch sauté pan (not skillet), melt the butter over medium-low heat.  Add the zucchini and season with salt and pepper.  Lower the heat to low, and cover, stirring every so often until zucchini is tender, about 7 minutes.  Set aside to cool uncovered.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, mint, salt, and pepper.

Crumble the goat cheese, and arrange on top of the zucchini in the same pot the zucchini has cooked.  Pour the egg mixture over the top, adjusting the zucchini with clean hands or a fork so they lie parallel to the bottom of the pan.

Bake 30 minutes until set.  Then broil about 7 minutes, until puffed, bubbling, and golden.  Cut into 6 wedges and serve immediately with chopped green pistachios as garnish.

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Categories: 30 Minutes, Bread & Butter, Breakfast & Brunch, Easy, Eat, Eggs, French in a Flash, Main Courses, Recipes, Series, Tarts, Quiches, Pizzas, Vegetarian, Vegetarian
 

Franglais: Moules Marinière over Spaghetti

RECIPE: Moules Marinière over Spaghetti
Moules Marinière over Spaghetti

Moules Marinière over Spaghetti

Read the full article at The Huffington Post.

To me, when travelling, there are two kinds of places: those places you plan and plan to go to, and the places in which you suddenly end up. Though I often dress as I picture a Normandy gamine might dress–Breton striped t-shirts and snub-nose ballet flats–Normandy was definitely the latter. I never expected to go there, but as my stepfather recently hails from one of its cities, I found myself unmeditatedly in the coastal city of Deauville. Because I tend to be an obsessive trip planner, packing every never-to-be-lived-again second with activities I agonize over for months, I found the sudden appearance of the northern French coast both charming and disarming. And while I was supposed to be intoxicated with new family encounters, I was instead giddy at the sight of the carnival-striped beach umbrellas, Coco Chanel’s first clothing shop location, and, of course, the mussels.

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Categories: 15 Minutes, Cheap, Easy, Eat, Fish, Franglais, Main Courses, Recipes, Series