French in a Flash: Cold Tomato and Tarragon Soup

RECIPE: Cold Tomato and Tarragon Soup
Cold Tomato and Tarragon Soup

Cold Tomato and Tarragon Soup

Get the whole story at Serious Eats.

We, proud Americans, know that peanut butter belongs with jelly. A perfect pair. A dynamic duo. But in France, tomato and tarragon are an incontestable couple.

I have featured the two together before, in an adaptation of the tomato and tarragon chicken I learned in Paris. But summertime screams for the naturally gifted ingredients to strut their stuff raw and unadulterated, and nowhere is that exemplified better than in the kind of Goblin Market of fruits and squashes and herbs that overflow even the most usual of supermarkets. Summer tomatoes, sweet and plump and incomparable in their fleshy delicacy, should throw basil over for a summertime fling.Tarragon is anise-sweet like fennel, fragrant like basil, fresh like parsley or chervil. Like the balance in a tomato, it is unassumingly delicate and unique. You should see them together—and taste them. They’re the perfect pair!

Cold Tomato and Tarragon Soup
serves 6
Cold Tomato and Tarragon SoupIngredients
  • 2 1/2 pounds vine tomatoes, seeded and in chunks
  • 1 Vidalia onion, in chunks
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and in chunks
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves (from approximately 2 large stems), plus more for garnish
  • 2 cups tomato juice
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup baguette crumbs, or fresh bread crumbs
  • 4 ounces crumbled fresh goat cheese, for serving

Procedure

  1. In a large blender, place all the ingredients EXCEPT the bread crumbs and the goat cheese. Blend everything together until almost completely smooth. Taste, and season well with salt and pepper.
  2. Add the breadcrumbs to the blender, and just whiz to incorporate. To make baguette crumbs, take the stale butts of old baguettes and smash them in a food processor. I always keep a baggie of these in my freezer, but any fresh bread crumbs will do. Just avoid heavily flavored breads like rye.
  3. Decant the soup into a pitcher or punch bowl, and cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve in mugs or bowls with some crumbles of fresh goat cheese and whole tarragon leaves, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

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Categories: 15 Minutes, Easy, Eat, French in a Flash, Recipes, Series, Soup, Soup & Salad, Vegetarian
 

BBC Radio Recipe: Blueberry Galette

RECIPE: Blueberry Galette
Blueberry Galette

Blueberry Galette

Galette is what I like to call pie for dummies (like me). The crust is folded free-form around a nest of sweet summer blueberries. Too easy to be so good.

Blueberry Galette
per person

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 250-g short crust, rolled into a round
  • 1/4-inch thick
  • 400 grams blueberries
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Milk for washing the crust

PROCEDURE

  1. Stir the blueberries together with the sugar and pinch of salt.
  2. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C.
  3. Roll out the dough, and place it on a baking sheet.
  4. Add the flour to the blueberries, and thoroughly mix.
  5. Mound the blueberries in the center of the dough, and fold up the edges to make a sort of open-centered pie.
  6. Use a pastry brush to brush the exposed crust with milk.
  7. Bake for about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. The crust should be golden, and the blueberries bubbling.
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Categories: Desserts, Eat, Recipes
 

BBC Radio Recipe: Rack of Lamb with Basil Pistou Crust

RECIPE: Basil Pesto Crusted Rack of Lamb
Rack of Lamb with Basil Crust

Rack of Lamb with Basil Crust

This is a recipe I’ve been making for years! Combine a simple basil pistou with fresh bread crumbs, and pack it onto a rack of lamb. Roast for a glam, but easy and traditional, dinner party center piece.

Basil Pesto Crusted Rack of Lamb

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 large package of basil, stems torn off (about 80 g)
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 500 g rack of lamb, Frenched

PROCEDURE

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.
  2. Make the pesto by blitzing together the garlic, basil, pine nuts, and olive oil in the food processor. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Pulse the bread crumbs into the pesto to make a paste.
  4. Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Place it on a baking sheet drizzled with olive oil.
  5. Pack the pesto paste onto the lamb.
  6. Roast for about 30 minutes (63 degrees C)

*Note: the lamb in the above photo was made for someone who likes lamb well done, and was roasted for nearly 40 minutes.

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Categories: BBC Radio Recipes, Recipes, Series
 

BBC Radio Recipe: Radishes with Homemade Tapenade

RECIPE: Radishes with Tapenade
Radishes and Tapenade

Radishes and Tapenade

When I was staying at the Hotel La Jabotte in Cap d’Antibes, every afternoon they had cocktail hour. They served simple vegetables with little dips, like tapenade or caviar de tomate. Riviera cocktail hour inspired this recipe…

Radishes with Tapenade

INGREDIENTS

  • 350 g can black olives in brine (150 g olives)
  • 1 tablespoon capers (in brine)
  • 2 anchovy filets (in olive oil)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tbs lemon juice (1/4 lemon)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 bunch French breakfast radishes

PROCEDURE

  1. In a food processor, pulse together the olives, capers, anchovies, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and black pepper into a fine rubble.
  2. Serve with the radishes, and sprinkle the radishes with Maldon salt.
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Categories: 15 Minutes, Appetizers & Hors D’Oeuvres, BBC Radio Recipes, Easy, Eat, For a Crowd, Recipes, Series, Vegetarian
 

French in a Flash: Jambon-Wrapped Grilled Endive

RECIPE: Jambon-Wrapped Grilled Endive
Jamon Wrapped Grilled Endive

Jamon Wrapped Grilled Endive

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Jambon-Wrapped Grilled Endive
serves 3 to 4
Ingredients
  • 3 Belgian endive, halved longwise
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for serving and grilling
  • 3 ounces (6 slices) Jambon de Bayonne or Prosciutto
  • Toasted walnut halves, for garnish
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

Procedure

  1. Preheat a grill pan on medium.
  2. Drizzle each endive half lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Wrap each half in one slice of ham.
  3. Grill the endive 5 minutes per side, until the endive starts to become tender and the ham crisp.
  4. Drizzle the warm endive with olive oil, and serve with walnut halves. Squeeze lemon wedges and serve right away.

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Categories: 15 Minutes, Appetizers & Hors D’Oeuvres, Easy, Eat, French in a Flash, Individual, Recipes, Salad, Series, Soup & Salad
 

The Secret Ingredient (Za’atar) Part III: Za’atar Lamb Chops

RECIPE: Za'atar Lamb Chops
Za'atar Lamb Chops

Za'atar Lamb Chops

Get the whole story at Serious Eats.

In the two weeks prior to this installment, I have made za’atarfeel extremely out of place. I placed it where it did not belong, on salmon skewers and in fried chicken. I am sure it was most uncomfortable, and extremely cross with me. Even if it was delicious.

This week, I wanted to placate za’atar with a slightly more traditional treatment. I was getting up to speed on Mad Men this week, and I was struck by Betty Draper’s “Around the World” dinner party, where every dish came from a new, far-flung location, starting in Spain, with gazpacho. Today, our dinner party starts in the Middle East, with succulent lamb, so typically paired with the region, highly seasoned with za’atar and olive oil and grilled, just three minutes per side, until the sumac and thyme and sesame are charred to a gorgeous smoking black and their perfumes violate the meat and seep into its very core while crusting the outside. So simple and fast, no one will believe you just transported them halfway around the world. I do love the unexpected, but sometimes the traditional can be just as delightful.

Za'atar

Za'atar

Za'atar Lamb Chops
serves 2 to start

Za'atar Lamb ChopsIngredients

  • .6 pounds lamb chops (about 4)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons za’atar
  • Olive oil for drizzling

Procedure

Heat a grill pan on medium-high to high.

Dredge the lamb in the za’atar, and drizzle with olive oil.  Sear the lamb chops 3 minutes per side.  Serve with the spicy, creamy dipping sauce.

Sauce Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon harissa (very spicy, alter to your liking)
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Sauce Procedure

Whisk to combine

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Categories: 15 Minutes, Appetizers & Hors D’Oeuvres, Eat, For a Crowd, Recipes, Series, The Secret Ingredient
 

French In A Flash: Spicy Summertime Ratatouille With Mint

RECIPE: Spicy Summertime Ratatouille
Spicy Ratatouille

Spicy Ratatouille

Get the whole story at Serious Eats.

Some people have green bean casserole. For me, vegetable comfort food (not a contradiction in terms, I might add) is ratatouille in the summer and cauliflower or potato gratin under cooler, grayer skies.

Ratatouille, as I had it growing up, both in the house and in the south of France, is comforting because it’s a stew (even more comforting now that I’m grown because it’s a low-calorie stew!). The most comforting ratatouille I ever had was not in France at all, but in Monaco, where little perfect cubes ofeggplant, stoplight peppers, and zucchini melted into each other like a deconstructed Rubik’s cube collapsing in a sauce of onions and summertime tomatoes. With eggplants and zucchinis at their best in the summer, it’s a technicolor wonderland dish, that I generally eat cold, with the fridge still open, on a branch of baguette.

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