AKA Fancy mac and cheese! I enjoy risotto and was slightly disappointed when I read through the recipe to find out it’s everything but. But man do I LOVE mac and cheese. Like LOVE. It is just the definition of comfort food. This fancier version might now be my go to for mac and cheese. I normally make a roux, dump some cream in, melt the cheese and add the pasta. This was SO much easier. Dorie calls for chicken stock – lucky for me I made chicken stock earlier in the day. I had chicken parts in the freezer and was looking to free up some space. It’s getting colder here at the beach thanks to snow storm Hercules, so homemade soup will be happening later this week. The local fish market is having a HUGE sale on clams so I’m also thinking clam chowder is going to happen in the very near future. The perks of living at the beach!
Back to that risotto … Onions, butter, chicken stock, pasta, cream, fresh grated parmesan and mascarpone. MMM. Dorie. It’s like you wrote this recipe just for me. Taking one of my favorite things to eat, making it fancy AND it’s a one pot wonder. Gah! I served mine up with some pork chops (thanks for the chops, Mom!) and greens.
This was a hit all around. I will make this again that is for sure. Check out what the other Doriesters are doing with their dressy pasta risotto here.
Now I will stay indoors all day. It’s cold here!
Update — Beach snow photos! 🙂
So over the weekend I made the compote de pommes as part of French Fridays with Dorie. The bonne idee for the compote was to use it in some turnovers/hand pies. What a bonne idee it was. And so stinking EASY. The compote was super easy to begin with and why not make two things out of one recipe? Consider me sold.
Thaw the puff pastry, roll it out and cut some circles.
Stuff this with some compote, close it, crimp it and add a little egg wash for shine.
Let it do it’s thing in the oven for 20-25 minutes and boom. Turnovers/handpies.
So simple! The puff pastry had a lightness to it but still buttery and delicious. The apple filling is simple and tasty. Personally, I enjoyed this turnover cold. There’s something about cold applesauce and that buttery crust that makes me happy. Now, what else can I stuff in these?!
It’s been a while since I’ve participated in a French Friday with Dorie recipe. I could list excuses but I’m not going to. I’ll just get back in it! I love reading the posts the others in the group share and the camaraderie this group has created and I’ve missed contributing to it. This past Friday’s FFwD recipe is Compote de Pommes two ways. That is applesauce for you who don’t know the lingo. There is a straight forward recipe and the second one is a thicker, gussied up version with butter. I opted for the first go at it and will make the turnovers tomorrow for a fancy breakfast.
Apples, peeled, cored and chopped up.
About halfway there.
Dorie suggests milling, pushing the apples through a sieve or leave them whole. I don’t have a mill, no patience for the sieve and I don’t like an overly chunky applesauce. To the food processor it goes!
Finished compote de pommes.
I took a taste. Delish. I didn’t add the butter or vanilla, which were optional. I thought this was good as is. The compote is now chilling in the fridge waiting to be tucked in some puff pastry and enjoyed as a hand pie. But Dorie also suggests adding some creme fraîche and enjoying it as a delicious dessert. Perhaps I’ll do both. Perhaps I’ll try to nestle this in to something for thanksgiving … Hmm… Posts to come!
Check out the other FFwD compote de pommes posts from fellow bloggers!
PS – It feels good to be back to FFwD! 🙂
So I’m on to my second French Friday with Dorie post! this one is called long and slow apples. You cook them long… and slow.
I was skeptical about one part of the recipe, like most FFwD’ers. You slice the apples thin (check), make a sugar mixture and melted butter for layering in between the apple slices (check). You then wrap the ramekins in plastic wrap and foil. Wait. Plastic wrap?! Yeah. That’s what I, along with a bunch of other FFwD’er’s, said. Some went for it, I did not since I didn’t have any plastic wrap. Even if I did, I probably wouldn’t have done it. I would have probably ended up with a melted mess and ruin my new ramekins. Which, side note, have little hearts on the side of them. Cute!
So anyway, back to dem apples.
Apples sliced, and between each layer is melted butter and the sugary mix. I honestly had no idea what I was doing. There was no photo in the cookbook and I kind of just went with it. After this, I wrapped it with some foil, made some vents, and placed a mug on top to weigh it down. Had i known exactly why, I would have stacked MORE apples on top and make a tower of apples. They cooked WAY DOWN.
See?! Now, this thing was DELICIOUS. The apples were oh so tender, the butter and sugar was DIVINE, and I ate it warm. You could serve it cold, but it’s winter. Warm desserts for me! The only thing that went wrong in this instance was a lack of more apple slices. I wasn’t going to bother taking a picture of a half-inch pile of apples. Also, I ate them before I could do it anyway. 🙂
Filed under dessert, FFWD
So before I get into the reason of this post (um, hi spaetzle) let me tell you WHY I am writing this post. See, there is this little (as in not little, it’s huge) cookbook called Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan. She is like the modern day Julia Child. I read a gazillion reviews on this book that were all positive and had to have this cookbook. There is even a website and Facebook group dedicated to this cookbook. Followers will cook the same recipe and post their review on a Friday, sans recipe to encourage others to buy the book. I must say it is a beautiful book. It is also really large and kind of heavy so it would work as a weapon or a way to attract attention if you drop it. I’ve had this book for a while (thanks to an awesome friend Julia!) and have wanted to participate in French Fridays with Dorie (see Facebook and website) for quite some time. Well now the time has come. The spaetzle dish is first up!
I’ve had spaetzle before. I recall sitting at the table in my grandma’s kitchen watching her put a sticky dough in this box contraption and slide it back and forth over what looks like a cheese grater, but is not, over a pot of boiling water. Little fluffs of dough would fall in to the water and cook up in just mere minutes. She didn’t stop there. We’re not German. We’re Slovenian. We eat things like cabbage and noodles. OK, so I guess cab and nood can really be German, too. It’s a hunky thing. Gram would like to substitute bagged egg noodles in the cab and nood with spaetzle. Oh yes. Best. Thing. Ever. She took cabbage and noodles to a whole ‘nother level. But, I haven’t had spaetzle in for.ever. When I saw it was coming up on FFWD, I got excited on the inside and wiggled my toes. However, not having a spaetzle maker is a PITA. Let me explain…
Spaetzle is a mixture of flour, egg, milk. In this instance, i added in some herbs and additional seasoning. Really, you can make spaetzle any time because those tend to be some kitchen staples. However, it’s a very sticky dough. If you don’t have a spaetzle maker, I suggest getting one. It was SUCH A MESS without one. I tried pressing the dough into a cheese grater and that was just an epic fail. I had dough everywhere. I ended up spooning tiny logs of dough into the water. That may have been more of a pain in the buns than the cheese grater just because it took SO LONG, but it worked. I will say, I will make spaetzle again, but only with a spaetzle maker. It’s a $10 kitchen gadget and I’m a sucker for gadgets.
Following Dorie’s recipe, I sautéed mushrooms and onions in butter and olive oil and dumped the freshly cooked spaetzle into the pan. What a nice compliment to the herbed spaetzle!
This was total comfort food that brought back fond memories of me sitting at that table in Gram’s kitchen, sneaking little pillows of spaetzle behind her back while she was making them. Sorry, Gram, but it was too easy. 🙂