Saturday, March 26, 2011

Scallops w/ Caramel-Orange Sauce - French Friday's with Dorie

When I first started making these, I fretted about the scallops because I got them from the super-market and not the fish market. Our local market has the best dry scallops and I'll use them next time I make these because the sauce was great. The scallops I bought were pretty good, but not the greatest, and that may be why the juices ran and messed up the beautiful sauce? They said "dry" and they did brown nicely, but I'm not sure. I'll have to do a comparison.

So I started making the sauce, using orange juice from a carton, rather than squeezing my own because I wanted to know the juice was going to be good and it's hard to tell what you're going to get with fresh fruit sometimes. I've made caramel before, and know that using a white pan is the way to go. So I browned the sugar, added the wine and juice and really didn't like the smell. I noticed this from other recipes of Dorie's, so I waited it out and once it came together, it was wonderful!
Caramel Sauce
I made the sauce first, then got working on the carrots with spiced butter, also from "Around My French Table". Another case where the smell at the beginning didn't do much for me. No need to be nervous, these were wonderful too. Super easy, sweet and fruity, though maybe too sweet to go with the scallops. Next time I think I'll try asparagus and couscous as sides. As you can see from the plate, there isn't a starch. That's because I bought a nice wheat chibatta to go with it. That worked well because I could soak up all the caramel sauce with it!

Scallops & Carrots

Ricotta Gnocchi

I bought some wonderful ricotta cheese from the Naragansett Creamery at the Plymouth Farmer's Market the other week. I wanted a recipe that would do it justice, so looked around and found several for ricotta gnocchi, including one from Mark Bittman. I gave it a shot and they were pretty good and I even got to use the fresh sage from the market as well. I don't think I'd make them again, and I'm not sure why. Maybe they were too rich, or too mushy? Not quite sure, but the sage butter was wonderful! I used the rest of it later in the week on chicken with roast pears and put he leftover gnocchi in a tomato sauce. 
sage butter
chicken w/ sage butter

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Raisin-Pecan Bread

Finished another installment of the 12 months of baked goods from the goods & services auction from church last year. Made one for us and one for Karen. Yummy!

Salted Butter Break-ups - French Friday's with Dorie

Well this is what happens when you rush and don't use the right equiptment to boot.

As you may be able to see, there are a couple of holes where the clumps of butter that didn't get incorporated were. I made the dough in 15 minutes before the school bus came and it shows. I also made it with mostly all whole wheat flour and used 8 tbsp. butter. The food processor I have was too small and what a mess!

That being said, the taste was still great. This was a cross between a sweet pie crust and shortbread. Hopefully I won't be the only one eating it because I could probably go through the whole thing rather easily.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Beggar’s Linguine - French Friday's with Dorie

The assignment this week was an easy and delicious pasta recipe. We all loved it and had seconds. I wish I could share the smell of the figs, raisins, pistachios and almonds simmering in butter - wow, amazing.

I did make one major change to the recipe. I couldn't put in all the butter. In fact, I only put in 2 out of the 12 tablespoons and augmented the rest with chicken broth. One thing I had trouble with was tossing in the Parmesan cheese. I wanted the pasta to be hot, but then the cheese got a little clumpy. Didn't matter though. It was great and I do think the leftovers will be good. I'll certainly make this again.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Savory Cheese & Chive Bread - French Fridays with Dorie

Late again for this installment of the French Fridays with Dorie entry. Last weeks dish was a quick bread that allowed for some changes while working within the basic recipe. It's really quick, unless you need to stop at the market for the cheese, as I did. But that lead me to include fresh pears, rather than the dried ones as suggested, because I couldn't find dried pears at the market. It also lead to Shara having an egg & bacon sandwich for dinner and Alan making the bacon & sandwich while I worked on the rest of the ingredients. So it was a group effort, the best kind.

Since we also went to Chinatown yesterday and I happened to get flowering chive, which was perfect for this bread. The other additions were the cheese, I found a nice cheddar/bleu cheese that I thought would work well with the bacon and fresh pear.

It looked like a lot of mix-ins and not much batter, but it worked out fine in the end.

As with most breads I bake, I find I need to go longer than the recommended cook time in the recipe. This took about 10 minutes extra. The finished product was great. I had to give some of it away because Shara wasn't a fan, except for the bacon, and Alan thought the pear tasted odd. Maybe I should have used the dried pear instead?

Friday, March 04, 2011

Danish, take 2

This time I tried the danish using the traditional method of layering the butter. What I couldn't do was use 2 sticks of butter and made these with 1 stick, the same amount as last time. I don't think we need the two. Here's one of the uglier ones. I'm saving the prettier pastry for my daughter and nieces.

Yes, this is yummy and flaky. Can't wait to share these and make more!