Nov 30

November was a whirl wind month.  I managed to cook along with my French Friday’s with Dorie friends but I didn’t manage to post anything.  I had a bit of vacation time around Thanksgiving and I’ve stocked up some posts.

In November I made the potato gratin (pp. 360 – 361) the roast chicken for les paresseux (pp 200 – 201) Marie Helene’s Apple Cake and I made a french apple tart using Dories pastry crust recipe.  I loved them all!

The potato gratin is so easy to make and the cheesy crust on the top is heavenly.  As usual I made way too much, but this time we ate it all!  I served it with a roast chicken, though not Dorie’s recipe, that I would tackle later.  I did make an addition to the dish inspired by something I recently saw in a magazine.  I had tons of mushrooms left over from another project so I sauteed them in butter, drained them and made a mushroom layer in the middle.  Divine!  It helped break up the potatoes and added a new flavor.

Marie Helen’s apple cake is actually dangerous, as my friend Mardi at Eat Live Travel Write pointed out.  Dangerous because it’s so easy to make and completely delicious!  The batter is light and airy, almost like a slump and the apples are sweet but not too.  A great dessert, breakfast or afternoon treat.  I didn’t photograph this because I ate it too quickly!

The Roast Chicken for les Paressuex is the easiest roast chicken I’ve ever made, which is pretty impressive since roast chicken is seriously easy to.  Dorie uses bread to rest the chicken during cooking which resulted in a really ugly but luscious treat that Tyler and I nearly fought over.  The juice from the chicken seeps into the bread but the dutch oven keeps it crisp.  We dubbed it “chicken bread.”  The skin on the chicken was crisp while the chicken itself was moist, adding the vegetables later in the roasting process created a great brown crust but they retained a toothsome texture to instead of being mushy.  I really love Around my French Table, but this recipe alone is worth the price of entry!

And lastly my French Apple Tart! This was a labor of love to be certain.  I relied on Dories short crust recipe for the tart, the same recipe I used for the base of Gerard’s Mustard Tart from last month’s challenge.  I broke out the mandolin, which always makes Bill nervous, and sliced about 5 gala apples.  I covered it with a cup of sugar and then dabbed about a half a stick of butter across the top.  Popped it into a 425 degree oven for about an hour and there it was, art on a plate.  I think I can do better presentation wise but that will come with practice.  To me, the tart was not only a visual reminder of France, but one bite and I was sitting in a cafe watching traffic.  All I lacked was a cafe creme.  The crust was crisp, the apples maintained a toothsome texture and it was just sweet enough to be dessert, but not so much I felt guilty.  Which is good because between making the crust, slicing and placing the apples and bake time this was a long process, how bad would it be to feel guilty about eating it after all that work.

Thank you Dorie for taking me back to France when a real trip is out of the question!

2 Responses to “French Fridays with Dorie, November Wrap Up”

  1. November was a GREAT month for FFWD. Thanks for sharing your creations!

  2. Thanks Mardi! I had tons of fun cooking them!

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