The Secret Ingredient: Rosewater

 

Rosewater

Rosewater

I am in Provence, and it’s rose season here in the South of France. After all the April showers in New York and Oxford, the May flowers finally ring true. For this month’s The Secret Ingredient on Serious Eats, I showcase one of my favorite (and coincidentally very French) ingredients: rosewater.

 

Rosewater and Melon Salad

Rosewater and Melon Salad with Mozzarella and Crispy Prosciutto

I begin with a salad of matching boules of cantaloupe, watermelon, and mozzarella, tossed with a rosewater vinaigrette, and topped with crisp Jambon de Bayonne. Next, jewel-ripe raspberries and blackberries spooned over with a lacy rosewater sabayon. And finally, to drink, a rosy rose–rose wine spiked with rosewater, in a glass rimmed with rose petal sugar.

Berries with Rose Sabayon

Berries with Rose Sabayon

Spring is here; and finally, it is time to stop and smell the roses.

Rose Kir

Rose Kir

Bon app!

Provence Rose

Provence Rose

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The Secret Ingredient (Rosewater) Part III: Rosy Rosé

RECIPE: Rosy Rosé
Rosy Rosé

Rosy Rosé

Get the whole story at Serious Eats.

This simple but unique cocktail pairs good rosé wine with a splash of rose water. The pair obviously plays on the color pink, but the rose water also accents the often fruity-floral notes of a good rosé. As an optional crown, I whirl sugar and dried rose petals together for the prettiest in pink wineglass rim.

Rosy Rosé
serves 4 to 6
Rosy RoséIngredients
  • 1/2 cup sugar (optional)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried roses (optional)
  • 1 bottle rosé wine, lightly chilled
  • About 6 splashes of rosewater

Procedure

Make the optional rose-sugar rim by combining the sugar and dried rose petals in a small food processor, and whirling it around until the bits of rose are the same size as the sugar grains. Place on a saucer.

Dip your clean finger in water, and run it around the rim of 6 wine glasses. Dip the wet rim into the rose sugar, so that the sugar sticks to the rim.

Divide the wine between the glasses, pouring to avoid disturbing the rose-sugar rims. Pour a splash of rosewater into each glass thereafter.

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Categories: Cocktails, Drinks, Easy, Eat, Recipes, Series, The Secret Ingredient
 

The Secret Ingredient (Rosewater) Part II: Melon and Mozzarella Salad with Rosewater Vinaigrette and Crisp Prosciutto

RECIPE: Melon and Mozzarella Salad with Rosewater Vinaigrette and Crisp Prosciutto
Melon, Mozzarella, and Rose Salad

Melon, Mozzarella, and Rose Salad

Get the whole story at Serious Eats.

This is an unusual dish that takes its cue from the traditional Italian cantaloupe and prosciutto. Bite-size balls of madras watermelon and cantaloupe are matched by tiny round bocconcini mozzarella. These three are tossed with a bright, heady rosewater vinaigrette, punctuated with chopped baby arugula, and topped with optional crispy slabs of prosciutto. Ham and melon will never be the same!

Melon and Mozzarella Salad with Rosewater Vinaigrette and Crisp Prosciutto
serves 4
Melon, Mozzarella, and Rose SaladIngredients
  • 4 thin slices prosciutto
  • 1/8 watermelon
  • 1/2 cantaloupe
  • 1 3/4 ounces bocconcini mozzarella
  • 1/3 cup arugula, lightly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons light olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon rose water
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup sugar (optional)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried roses (optional)
  • 1 bottle rosé wine, lightly chilled
  • About 6 splashes of rosewater

Procedure

Begin by crisping the prosciutto. While the oven preheats to 350 degrees F, lay the prosciutto, keeping it as whole as possible, on a baking sheet. Bake for about 16 minutes, until the ham is thoroughly crisp. It may take less or more time, depending on your oven and on the thinness of the meat, so check it every now and again. Once done, set aside to cool.

Then prepare the melons. Use a melon baller to carve out balls of melon the same size as the bite-size bocconcini balls.

Toss the balls of watermelon and cantaloupe, along with the balls of mozzarella, in a large bowl with the arugula.

Make the dressing by simply combining the olive oil, champagne vinegar, rosewater, salt, and pepper in a jar. Screw on the lid, and give the dressing a good shake. Dress the salad lightly; you may not use all the dressing. Toss everything together.

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The Secret Ingredient (Rosewater) Part I: Blackberries And Raspberries With Rose Sabayon

RECIPE: Blackberries and Raspberries with Rose Sabayon
Berries with Rose Sabayon

Berries with Rose Sabayon

Get the whole story at Serious Eats.

The perfect topping for sweet-tart blackberries and raspberries is sweet sabayon. Raspberries and rose are like Tweedledee and Tweedledum—once you’ve seen them together, it’s hard to imagine one without the other. Sabayon is a frothy sweet foam made from egg yolks and sugar that looks straight out of the Cordon Bleu, but is probably the easiest impressive thing you’ll ever make. This is easy elegance.

Blackberries and Raspberries with Rose Sabayon
Berries with Rose SabayonIngredients
  • 24 ounces mixed raspberries and blackberries
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons rosewater
  • Pinch salt

Procedure

Begin by setting a sauce pot with a little bit of water in it to simmer.



Making sabayon is almost too easy. Simply place the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl, and use a hand mixer on a medium to high speed to beat the yolks together for a couple of minutes, until the sugar is incorporated, and the yolks begin to turn pale.

Set the bowl over the simmering water. The bottom of the bowl should not touch the water; the steam will provide the heat. Add the rosewater and salt to the yolk and sugar mixture.

Using the electric mixer, continue to beat the egg-sugar-rosewater combination until it becomes frothy and has doubled in volume, about 5 minutes. Take off the heat, and set aside.

Meanwhile, divide the berries into glasses or bowls. Pour the rose sabayon on top and enjoy.

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Categories: Desserts, Eat, Fruit, Recipes, Series, The Secret Ingredient, Vegetarian
 

French Revolution for Kindle!

French Revolution on Kindle

French Revolution on Kindle

It seems to me that knowledge and cooking have a lot in common.

Take Prometheus for example. In Greek mythology, the rascal gave fire to humanity, thus allowing us to cook (invaluable!), but also, symbolically, to think (also somewhat valuable).

So, it is quite apropos, I feel, that French Revolution is now available for monthly subscription on Kindle, Amazon‘s wireless electronic reading device. Whether this blog kindles your stove, or stokes the flame of your ever-expanding mind: I hope you’ll try it!

Click here to be taken to Amazon’s page for French Revolution to subscribe.

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French in a Flash: Purple Potato-Crusted Trout à la Française

RECIPE: Purple Potato-Crusted Trout à la Française

 

Purple Potato Trout

Purple Potato Trout

Every girl starts off her life in the closet. Just whose closet, however, is a matter of chance. I began mine in Meme’s closet.

It was she who taught me the French insistence on simplicity embellished with “the correct” accessories. So this week in French in a Flash, I accessorize my favorite fish, trout, with scales of crisp purple potatoes and a spritz of sauce a la francaise, lemon-butter sauce, layered with threads of lemon zest and petals of whole parsley leaves. Pretty on the inside, and the outside.

As always, the full text and recipe of this post can be found on Serious Eats if you click HERE.

Bon app!
Purple Potato-Crusted Trout à la Française
serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2-pound filets of trout
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 medium or 8 small purple potatoes, sliced chip fine on a mandolin
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup whole fresh parsley leaves

A Note on Some Ingredients

I love the thin, flakey filet of trout for this dish, but you could use any flakey white fish. Tilapia or snapper would be especially nice.

If you cannot find purple potatoes, sometimes called Peruvian purple potatoes or blue potatoes, just use a simple new potato instead.

Procedure

  1. Preheat the oven to 500°F.
  2. Rub both sides of each filet with just shy of 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Spray a foil-lined baking sheet with nonstick spray, and lay the filets skin-side down on the pan. Tile the top of the trout with the slices of purple potato, overlapping them like shingles. Season the potato with salt and pepper as well, and drizzle with the remaining oil.
  3. Roast for 12 minutes, then broil for 2 minutes.
  4. Present the fish on a platter, and spoon some of the sauce à la française on top.
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BBC Audio Now Available on French Revolution!

Recording at the BBC

Recording at the BBC

Good news. I have finally been able to upload the audio for my BBC shows right here to French Revolution. They have been added to all the original recipe posts, which I have listed below. Additionally, please find here my original interview with DJ Joel Hammer, on how it all, from French Revolution to French in a Flash, got started. I hope you enjoy!

BBC Radio Shows


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