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FRENCH CUISINE

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EN PAPILLOTE – EASY PREP, LITTLE CALORIES

COD EN PAPILLOTE

We are in the throwback era, where most everything is getting a much-needed makeover, not just with hairstyles, movies, fashion and décor. Food archives are being ransacked and en papillote (cooking in a pouch) is now getting its spotlight. En papillote’s claim to fame arrived when it was introduced during the era of French Haute Cuisine, where meals were presented with élan and panache. An envelope looking pouch was placed on a plate with much pomp and ceremony allowing the clientele to…

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SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT- POTATOES BOULANGÈRE, DAUPHINOISE AND AU GRATIN

boulangere potatoes

Let’s get one thing out of the way – these are full-on decadent so be sure to hurl any lame excuses or lamentations for a carb-free of fat-free dish out the proverbial window. We have already established that these are decidedly not good for your waistline, but if you partake of a small amount, a wee bit of decadence and living on the edge is always a good thing! Everything that is 60’s is making a herculean comeback, so it…

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THE SEXY CHIC THIGH

coconut curry thighs

A lot has been said when it comes to chicken. Endless discussions about its lackluster qualities. Who ever said chicken was boring, must still be pondering how can it get to the other side? Considering the million preparations and techniques, with deep-rooted dishes going through a much-needed revival and new imaginative takes thrown in for good measure, chicken is the 13thwonder of the gastronomic world when given some TLC, because it’s a blank canvas. Sure, you can slap it on…

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POT-AU-FEU

POT-AU-FEU

Pot-au-feu is one of the most celebrated and oldest dishes deriving from French peasant cooking.  Don’t think for one minute that it’s outdated, because the throwback on old classics is now all the rage.  It requires time to cook, so prepare this over the weekend.  This isn’t a beef-stew per say – because it doesn’t have the consistency of stew, but more like beef cooked in broth.  It’s important to provide the garnishes, as that’s what makes the dish taste…

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BEEF BOURGUIGNON

BEEF BOURGUIGNON

The doyenne of French cuisine, the incomparable Julia Child introduced this beloved French beef stew and it has become a true epic beef dish, recreated all over the world.  Like its sister dish is coq-au-vin, both dishes derive from the Burgundy region in France and are slowly simmered in a red wine sauce with pearl onions and sliced mushrooms with a touch of cognac. 1 Lb of beef chuck – fat trimmed and chopped into medium chunks 2 strips of…

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PROVENÇAL TUNA SANDWICH – PAIN BAGNAT

PAIN BAGNAT

Originating from the French region of Provence, this is a tuna sandwich on steroids where mayo is never a participant.  It’s offered at every bakery and found in most outdoor markets, as it’s very affordable. It showcases all the ingredients popular to region and best of all, the longer it sits after it’s been assembled, the most superb marriage of flavors occurs.  Which makes it a perfect choice for a picnic or take along lunch. It’s a Salade Niçoise slapped between…

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FRENCH ONION SOUP – 101

French Onion Soup

There is a superlative reason why French Onion Soup is one of the most exalted and ordered starters in the world –  it’s wicked good and decadently extravagant. For onion lovers it’s what dreams are made of.  Let’s face it, who doesn’t love creamy, luscious flavored onions that have been long simmering in a rich broth with melty, stringy Swiss on top?  It’s an “off the charts soup” and you almost wish it came in a bottomless bowl. Even for…

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FRENCH ONION SOUP – SOUPE A L’OIGNON

French Onion Soup

Please read my post on French Onion soup 101 and delve into the why’s and how to’s of this French bistro classic. The pan is important; I use a 6-quart, deep sauté pan from Le Creuset.  Also ensure you have some type of Country crock bowls, stalwart enough to take the broiler heat.  If you’ve invested in a kitchen blow torch, kudos to you – that is the best way to melt the cheese. Build some fortifications around your soupe…

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COQ AU VIN BLANC – CHICKEN STEW WITH WHITE WINE

COQ AU VIN BLANC

I have made Coq au Vin more times than I can remember.  It’s such a composed dish with tremendous, historical merit.  For the most part, I diligently stay true to the classics, however in this recipe I’m imparting a fresh, new twist on an old faithful. The precise origins of Coq au Vin (rooster in wine) are a bit nebulous but man has been braising poultry in red wine since ancient times.   It’s very similar to Boeuf Bourguignon and…

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50 SHADES OF CHICKEN

ROAST CHICKEN

In the kitchen, we are not discussing how hot and bothered you get prepping a chicken. The only juices that are running here are the ones that run clear when you carve it, having allowed the bird to rest for a while after roasting.  It can be potentially arguable, but there’s something pretty damn sexy about rubbing a whole chicken with spices and olive oil. Well that is my opinion anyway Chicken has crossed the proverbial road over to swanky…

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